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The role of trait emotional intelligence (EI) in the workplace

By Georgia Dissou


This thesis applies the concept of trait El within the context of a theoretical framework of emotions (covering e.g. behaviour, personality and decisions) by analysing its relationship with employees' job-related feelings (Job Satisfaction, Organisational Commitment and Emotional Motivation), emotion-related behaviour (Decision-Making, Counterproductivity in work behaviour), and emotion-related\ud personality traits (e.g. Competitiveness, Perfectionist, Socialised Leadership Traits).\ud With regard to the definition of trait El, Petrides and Furnham (2001) have proposed that individuals differ in the extent to which they attend to, process and utilise effect laden information. Its investigation should therefore be primarily conducted within a personality framework, measured using self-report questionnaires. The data used in\ud this thesis were gathered from questionnaires and 3600 feedback assessments distributed in various sectors in the UK and Ireland, and analysed using correlation and regression techniques. Chapter 3 (Study I and 2) and 5 (Study 5) confirmed that trait El's investigation should be primarily conducted within a personality framework,\ud since strong relationships were found between trait El and emotion-related personality traits. \ud The findings of Chapter 4 (Study 3) and Chapter 5 (Study 5) revealed that trait El is positively related to employees' job-related feelings (e.g. Job Satisfaction,\ud Organisational Commitment and Emotional Motivation). From the perspective of emotion-related behaviour, Chapter 4 (Study 4) showed that a person with low trait El\ud is more likely to exhibit deviant behaviour, such as absence and aggressiveness.\ud Chapter 6 (Study 6) showed that positive emotionality such as well-being and emotional awareness clearly influences decision making. Overall comparisons between high and low trait El scorers were also investigated and the results were in 1ine with the theoretical framework of emotions, in terms of negative vs. positive emotionality. In the present thesis, trait El seems to be broadly consistent with the neuropsychological theories where emotions, dispositions and feelings are presented as biological brain functions, linked to behaviour, personality and decisions

Year: 2010
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