Cite this article as: Krén, H., Séllei, B. (2021) “The Role of Emotional Intelligence in Organizational Performance”, Periodica Polytechnica Social and
Management Sciences, 29(1), pp. 1–9. https://doi.org/10.3311/PPso.15879
Creative Commons Attribution b|1
Periodica Polytechnica Social and Management Sciences, 29(1), pp. 1–9, 2021
The Role of Emotional Intelligence in Organizational Performance
Heléna Krén1*, Beatrix Séllei1
1 Department of Ergonomics and Psychology, Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences, Budapest University of Technology and
Economics, H-1117 Budapest, P. O. B. 91, Hungary
* Corresponding author, e-mail: [email protected]
Received: 07 March 2020, Accepted: 11 May 2020, Published online: 25 November 2020
Emotional intelligence may aﬀect organizational performance, and the aim of our research was to examine whether this statement
can be proven in the case of fnancially successful organizations or not. Information about leaders has been derived from online
surveys with Genos EI and also from interviews, and we gathered data about organizational success from the national TAX system.
Leaders usually determine group and organizational eﬀectiveness, so we analyzed data from 22 leaders working in successful
Hungarian companies. According to our results, some emotional competencies correlate with performance. In this case self-awareness,
awareness of others and self-management seemed to aﬀect organizational performance. In our regression analysis, self-awareness
seemed to be a predictor variable of performance. The relationship between emotional intelligence and performance should be
examined further by expanding on the analysis of other performance indicators and leadership styles.
emotional intelligence, leadership, performance, emotional competencies, eﬀectiveness, Genos
1.1 Literature review of emotional intelligence
Emotional intelligence is a commonly used term but actually a hardly defned psychological concept. Therefore,
there comes a question: what does emotional intelligence
As an umbrella term emotional intelligence accounts
for emotional and social problem solving. Depending from
the theories on which researches are built, usually we
can differentiate 4 types of emotional intelligence models: ability based, trait based and two main mixed models. Mayer et al. created the fundamental ability model of
emotional intelligence on four levels (Mayer et al., 2000).
The basic level is connected to the ability of perceiving
emotions. The second level is concerned with the ability
of assimilating incoming information and using emotions
for mental processes. The third ability level is understanding and reasoning with emotions. On the fourth level of
the model we are able to manage and regulate our own and
other’s emotions (Mayer et al., 2000).
The trait model regards emotional intelligence as
“a personality trait encompassing a constellation of emotion-related dispositions and self-perceptions” (LopezZafra et al., 2012:p.99). The model of Petrides and Furnham
is an alternative model of emotional intelligence and part
of the second generation of EI models because it was built
on the previous model and operates with similar personal qualities (Cherniss, 2010b). Well-being, sociability,
self-control and emotionality refer to the four components
of the trait EI model (Pérez et al., 2005).
The model of Bar-On (2006) and the model of
Goleman and Boyatzis count as the mixed models.
They are mixed in a way that they operate with social
behavior, traits and competencies connected to emotions
(Mandell and Pherwani, 2003). Bar-On (2006) conceptualized emotional intelligence in association with social
and emotional competencies. According Bar-On’s theory of social and emotional intelligence, this is a set of
abilities which determinate how effectively we behave.
Emotional components are intrapersonal and interpersonal abilities, stress-management, adaptation and general
mood (Bar-On, 2006). Another mixed model was built on
the theory of social and emotional competencies which
are crucial from the aspect of workplace performance
(Cherniss, 2010b). Boyatzis (2009) considered emotional
intelligence as a competency – embodying the ability of
perceiving, understanding and using emotional information – which guarantees outstanding performance in life.
Thereof his conceptualization Goleman (2004) describes
2|Krén and Séllei Period. Polytech. Soc. Man. Sci., 29(1), pp. 1–9, 2021
emotional intelligence as ability-based competency, which
can be learned or even developed and contributes to high
workplace performance (Cherniss, 2010b).
The previous model is also ability-based, but one of the
current theoretical approaches is from the model of the
Swinburne University Emotional Intelligence Test (SUEIT)
developed Genos EI, devised by Palmer et al. (2009).
This model was built on Gignac’s defnition of emotional intelligence. Gignac extended the conceptual line
of emotional intelligence, opening the scope from closer,
interpersonal relationships to the wider environment.
Gignac defned this construct as “an ability to purposively
adapt, shape, and select environments through the use
of emotionally relevant processes” (Gignac, 2010:p.131).
These abilities are measurable by the competencies of the
Genos EI model – self-awareness, awareness of others,
authenticity, emotional reasoning, self-management and
inspiring performance – and refer to the most important
workplace soft skills (Palmer and Gignac, in press).
1.2 The role of EI in leadership and organizations
Many researchers believe emotional intelligence has
importance and high effect in life, especially when it
comes to leading people. Emotional intelligence is usually
analyzed in connection with interpersonal relations, such
as leader-employee relationships. Leading is usually interpreted as an inﬂuencing process through which employees
can be motivated, goals can be set out and high performance can be provided (Fehér, 2010). According the idea
of Goleman et al. (2003) emotional inﬂuence is an essential part of leadership and leaders are the main fgures who
manage the mood and emotions of a community.
On this conception was built the idea of resonant leadership, which describes how leaders can be successful
using effectively their own and their employees’ emotions. Leaders’ reactions determine employees’ behavior.
Emotional reactions can lead to emotional norms inside
the group. In this sense leaders’ emotional reactions are
crucial from the point of team and organizational success. According to resonant leadership theory, leaders
have to create an emotionally resonant atmosphere where
employees can securely and successfully use their skills.
Leaders can use their own emotions to create such an atmosphere, just by the way they behave or by sharing emotionally important experiences or feelings. High emotionally
intelligent leaders can build reciprocal trust and a comfortable environment, share knowledge, involve employees in decision-making, encourage teamwork, strengthen
engagement and guarantee organizational performance
with high effectiveness (Goleman et al., 2003). From this
point of view, leaders and their emotional behavior play
an important role in everyday work because leading is
an emotionally loaded process. That is why emotions
and emotionally intelligent behavior can affect success
through relationship with employees (George, 2000).
Considering the fact that emotional intelligence is an
interrelationship phenomenon, Ashkanasy (2003) defned
organizational emotional intelligence in fve steps, starting from the individual levels to the organizational level.
According to his conception, emotions appear frst on a
within-person level, then between persons in a form of emotional intelligence. Before we catch the effect of emotions
on the organizational level, we should take into consideration interpersonal interactions where emotional exchanges
take place and on the fourth level leader-member emotional
exchange which leads to emotionally intelligent groups
(Ashkanasy, 2003). Groups are characterized by group
mood, which is usually determined by members’ emotional
characteristics. This mood can be shaped by emotional
contagion, modelling or manipulation, but most of all by
the leaders’ behavior, and their expressed feelings and emotions (Ashkanasy, 2003). Ashkanasy and Humphrey (2011)
emphasize the fact that leaders are capable of enhancing performance through developing positive effects and
moods in group members. This is connected to Goleman’s
resonant leadership theory (Goleman et al., 2003), because
both conceptions are built on workplace atmosphere and
the role of leaders in building it up for high performance.
Goleman et al. (2003) found that self-awareness and
empathy contribute to organizational success, but it is possible just in case emotionally intelligent behavior, which
supports group norms, is accepted and is vivid in the organization. The most emotionally intelligent members who
can express and verbalize emotions help others to recognize emotions and so develop emotional awareness in the
whole group. Usually the leader is also the group’s emotional leader, who transmits the emotional supporting
norms (Goleman et al., 2003). Because of this role, leaders
should be aware of their own emotions, and on an interpersonal level they should regulate emotions and behave
with emotionally intelligence for having an effect on the
whole group and guaranteeing organizational effectiveness (Ashkanasy and Humphrey, 2011).
1.3 Emotional intelligence and performance
Emotional intelligence is one of the most important parts
of competitiveness not only in private life but also in organizations. The question whether emotional intelligence or
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cognitive intelligence can predict effectiveness has not
been precisely answered yet.
Some results bring into question the correlation between
emotional intelligence and performance (Cherniss, 2010a;
Goleman, 2004). Feyerherm and Rice (2002) could partially
confrm that emotions correlate with group performance.
While understanding emotions and managing them correlated with group performance, no other emotional component was correlated to productivity or increased performance. Neither Day and Carroll(2004) could confrm the fact
that emotional intelligence as a whole concept is correlated
with performance. Although Day and Carroll (2004) found
some supporting evidence in a lower level – between emotional perception and performance in a decision-making task –, Rapisarda (2002), as with the previously
mentioned theory makers, did not fnd any correlation
between group emotional intelligence and group performance. Although Langhorn (2004) could not signifcantly support the correlation between proft and leaders’
emotional intelligence, numerical data showed the difference between leaders of high performance and low performance restaurants. Performance evaluation results supported the positive relation between emotional intelligence
and leaders’ performance with a 21 percent explained variance. Langhorn found that emotional awareness is the
best predictor of leader performance (Langhorn, 2004).
Also, Wong and Law (2002) analyzed the emotional intelligence of leaders and emphasized that leaders should be
aware of emotions, understand them and should be able to
regulate emotions for successful cooperation with others.
Leaders can be deem good if they can solve complex social
problems in organization. Wong and Law’s results strengthened the relation of emotional intelligence and workplace
performance. They found that this relationship is moderated by emotional labor. According this employees’ emotional intelligence and emotionally inﬂuenced behavior
affect their work performance (Wong and Law, 2002).
Against previously mentioned results, O’Boyle et al.
(2011) found a low signifcant correlation between emotional intelligence and work performance. They detected
that cognitive abilities and conscientiousness explain the
biggest part of the total variance with 86.3 percent oppositely emotional intelligence which explains 13.6 percent of
the variance. Emotional intelligence playing an important
role in performance is partially supported, but being the one
and only manipulator of performance is not proven because
of possible moderator variables (O’Boyle et al., 2011).
Many researchers query the role of emotional intelligence
in performance (Day and Carroll, 2004; Feyerherm and
Rice, 2002; O’Boyle et al., 2011; Rapisarda, 2002) although
in many cases they can partially support the correlation
between the two variables.
Despite the skeptical approaches, there are several supporting research papers (Langhorn, 2004; Sy et al., 2006;
Wong and Law, 2002) in which a leader’s emotional intelligence and its effect on organizations and organizational
performance are supported by the whole concept of emotional intelligence or emotional dimensions.
As an alternative stance, Coté and Miners (2006) hypothesized that the relation between emotional intelligence
and performance is moderated by cognitive intelligence.
This means the lower cognitive intelligence, the stronger
the correlation between the other two variables. Cognitive
intelligence alone is not able to explain differences in performance. Emotional intelligence may complete the effect
of cognitive abilities or compensate their dysfunctions.
Emotional intelligence can enhance the performance of people with low cognitive abilities. This supports the presumption that emotional intelligence can compensate cognitive
intelligence and affect performance (Coté and Miners, 2006).
1.4 Research question – hypotheses
As we see from the literature, emotional intelligence plays
an important role in leadership and forms a part of performance, but the nature of the relationship between these
three concepts is not yet clear, as is also the case with the
defnition of emotional intelligence itself. Because workplace related literature usually operates with competency-based measurements, we also selected a competency-based new survey, Social and Emotional Competence
Survey (SECS) (Palmer and Gignac, in press) to defne
and measure a leader’s emotional intelligence.
We share the opinion of O’Boyle et al. (2011) that emotional intelligence can explain some variance in performance, thus emotional dimensions could give us a deeper
understanding and make clearer the role of emotions in performance. Leaders are the main fgures in organizations.
Their emotionally intelligent behavior is critical from the
point of organizational effectiveness. That is why their
emotional intelligence level and their emotionally intelligent behavior need to be examined. Many researches were
built on the relevance of self-awareness and emotional
management. Self-awareness, empathy and emotional regulation can help leaders by creating a positive, comfortable
and productive atmosphere for employees. There is supporting evidence in the literature (Cherniss, 2001; Coté and
4|Krén and Séllei Period. Polytech. Soc. Man. Sci., 29(1), pp. 1–9, 2021
Miners, 2006; Goleman, 2001, 2004; Goleman et al., 2003;
Sy et al., 2006; Wong and Law, 2002). Thus, we think this
evidence will appear in connection with Hungarian leaders. According to this, our hypotheses are:
1. Organizational performance defning factors are
self-awareness, self-management and awareness of
2. Leaders of the most successful organizations have
higher levels of emotional awareness.
3. Higher self-management of leaders provides higher
2.1 Participants and procedure
This research was the basis of a master thesis. Recruiting
participants started in January 2019. 34 Hungarian leaders participated in the research, 16 men and 18 women.
The ages of the participants ranged from 30 to 58 with a
mean of 42 (SD = 8.12). They are not working on the same
levels of organizations. 19 senior executives, 8 mid-level
managers and 6 junior managers who work on the third
level of organizations counting from the top were part of
our sample. They have worked in their current positions
averagely for 6.75 years (SD = 7.2). Their leadership experience in years ranged from 0.5 to 34 with an average of
11.4 years (SD = 8.66). The average number of subordinates was 8.15 (SD = 5.84).
At the starting point verbal and also written information was delivered to the participants. After informing
them, they received an online link to the survey, which we
used for gathering data. The next step was an interview
and feedback about results where we asked for permission
to use their results as research material. Lastly, data of
annual fnancial reports downloaded from the website of
the Ministry of Justice were gathered. From these reports
we used the net of annual turnover and the number of persons employed. The gathering of online and personal data
ended in April 2019.
The aim of this research was to examine successful
organizations so net of annual turnover was taken into
consideration as an important aspect of successful performance. The results of leaders whose organizational performance showed annual turnover or no decrease were
analyzed. Then, those leaders, whose income did not fall
between 2016 and 2017 because some organization were
established in 2016, took part in our research.
Seven leaders did not answer our request and did not
give interviews. In the case of seven organizations, there
were no available income data, and two did not publish
fnancial reports. Five entrepreneurs did not give information about their own businesses so their fnancial reports
could not be discovered. All together 22 leaders answered
the survey and our interview questions. 10 men and 12
women between 30 and 58 years old formed our sample
thanks to the convenience sampling method among the
partners of a Hungarian consultant company.
Participation in the research was voluntary and participants did not receive any reward.
Leaders completed an online survey measuring emotionally
intelligent behavior in the workplace and were interviewed.
Social and Emotional Competence Survey (SECS)
(Palmer and Gignac, in press) developed by Ben Palmer
and Con Stough was used in our research. Two versions of
this survey exist, one for leaders and one for everyone in
workplaces. We selected for research the leadership version which allows the description of socially and emotionally competent leadership behaviors from the perspective
of six competencies. SECS Leadership 180 Survey is a
multi-rater assessment because this 42-item questionnaire
is based on self and multi-rater evaluations. Evaluations
should be made on a 5-point Likert scale from “signifcantly less than others” to “signifcantly more than others”.
This survey is unique because it enables the measurement
of how important items are also on a 5-point Likert scale.
Every competency is measured by seven items and in each
case qualitative feedback also can be appended (Palmer
and Gignac, in press).
The ftness of measurement was proven by factorial validity and internal consistency reliability in all six
dimensions of the survey. Self-rater-scales’ reliability were
estimated via Cronbach α (α = 0.79 to 0.89). In observer
ratings the same reliability is noticeable (α = 0.85 to 0.91)
(Palmer and Gignac, in press). The translated measurement showed a similar internal consistency reliability
with 0.916 in self-assessment and 0.977 in rater assessment results.
The six competencies are:
• Self-Awareness: ability which helps to realize how
you feel and the impact of feelings on decisions,
behavior and performance,
• Awareness of Others: ability that makes us capable
to perceive, understand and acknowledge the feeling
• Authenticity: ability to openly and effectively
express feelings and thoughts, to honor commitment
and encourage it in others,
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• Emotional Reasoning: ability of using information
from feelings in decision-making,
• Self-Management: means being able to manage
one’s mood and emotions, time and behavior; and to
improve oneself and
• Inspiring Performance: ability which is manifested
in problem solving, promoting, recognizing and supporting others to provide high performance.
Our interview questions are related to demography, coordinated teams and leadership tasks. While editing the interview structure we considered topics which are usually connected to emotional intelligence in leadership or to its effect.
3.1 Descriptive statistics
Considering performance criterion results from 22 participants were analyzed. 7 senior executives, 8 mid-level managers and 6 junior managers; from these 8 self-employed workers and 14 employees took part in our research. One leader
flled out the survey, but was not interviewed. In spite of this
the assessment results and fnancial data are part of the sample because of being one of the partners of the consultant
company. The participants’ age ranged from 30 to 58 with
a mean of 40.67 (SD = 7.87). They have been working in
their current positions averagely for 5.36 years (SD = 6.41).
Their leadership experience measured in years ranged from
0.5 to 34 with an average of 9.74 years (SD = 7.88). The average number of subordinates was 8.24 (SD = 6.25).
Participating companies’ income data with descriptive
statistics are shown in Table 1. Every company had income in
2017 so this year was statistically analyzed. Annual turnover
did not show a normal distribution (W = 0.469; p < 0.001),
so we used log-transformation. Transformed variable did not
differ from normal distribution (W = 0.957; p = 0.322).
Detailed descriptive statistics of SECS and its factors
are in Table 2 and Table 3. Leaders think they do best in
Emotional reasoning while their raters say leaders most of
all inspire performance. Leaders think they do not really
manage themselves successfully, while they are not much
aware of others, considering the minimum and maximum
of means according raters.
3.2 Hypothesis testing
Testing the frst hypothesis linear regression was used
to see whether Self-awareness, Self-management and
Awareness of others predict successful performance or
not. Self-awareness (β = 1.551; p < 0.016) and Inspiring
performance (β = ˗1.279; p < 0.029) from leaders’ assessments were the best predictors when analyzing the whole
sample (F(2,19) = 4.161; p = 0.032; R2 = 0.305).
We could identify income defning factors only in a subgroup of leaders, who work in organizations as employees.
One of the signifcant models (F(4,9) = 4.845; p = 0.023,
R2 = 0.683) shows that Awareness of others (β = ˗2.582;
p = 0.003) and Authenticity (β = 1.512; p = 0.008) inﬂuence performance the most based on leaders’ assessment
and Inspiring performance (β = 2.068; p = 0.031) is also an
inﬂuencing factor of performance according raters.
Linear regression in subgroups showed in another model
that Self-management (β = ˗2.314; p = 0.037) and Inspiring
Table 1 Net of annual turnover in 2016 and 2017
Net of annual turnover
Net of annual turnover
Mean 19 206 663 090 23 532 787 050
SD 41 740 385 750 50 028 917 750
Minimum 0 535 000
Maximum 142 780 579 000 117 478 514 000
Table 2 Results of emotional demonstration level based
on SECS and its dimensions according leaders
N Mean SD Min. Max.
SUM_EI 22 3.99 0.43 3.12 4.67
SA_d 22 3.88 0.55 2.7 4.7
AO_d 22 3.98 0.43 3 4.7
A_d 22 3.99 0.57 2.9 4.9
SM_d 22 3.81 0.51 2.9 4.7
ER_d 22 4.19 0.46 3.1 4.9
IP_d 22 4.04 0.59 2.7 4.7
Table 3 Results of emotional demonstration level based
on SECS and its dimensions according raters
N Mean SD Min. Max.
SUM_EI 22 4.02 0.44 2.79 4.68
SA_d 22 3.95 0.48 2.8 4.7
AO_d 22 3.89 0.53 2.5 4.6
A_d 22 4.06 0.48 2.8 4.7
SM_d 22 4.06 0.42 2.7 4.8
ER_d 22 4.07 0.45 3.1 4.8
IP_d 22 4.1 0.53 2.8 4.9
Note: SUM_EI=total emotional intelligence score,
SA_d= demonstrated Self-awareness,
AO_d= demonstrated Awareness of others,
A_d= demonstrated Authenticity,
SM_d= demonstrated Self-management,
ER_d= demonstrated Emotional reasoning,
IP_d= demonstrated Inspiring performance.
6|Krén and Séllei Period. Polytech. Soc. Man. Sci., 29(1), pp. 1–9, 2021
performance (β = 2.257; p = 0.018) according raters and
Awareness of others (β = -3.021; p = 0.002) according to
the leaders’ evaluation are inﬂuencing income the most in
the case of employed leaders (F(5,8) = 4.977; p = 0.023;
R2 = 0.757).
Analyzing total emotional intelligence, there were no
correlations either between total emotional intelligence
score by leaders and income (r = 0.102; p = 0.651) or
between total emotional intelligence score by raters and
income (r = 0.157; p = 0.487). Income showed correlation
only with leadership level (r = 0.527; p = 0.014) and giving
feedback to the principal (r = 0.470; p = 0.032).
The relationship between performance and Self-awareness
was analyzed to see whether the leaders of the most successful organizations have higher levels of emotional awareness
or not and so verify the second hypothesis. There were no
correlations between turnover and Self-awareness either in
leaders’ self-assessment (r = 0.315; p = 0.154) or in raters’
assessment (r = 0.061; p = 0.788). In subgroups we could not
fnd any signifcant effect of emotional dimensions.
Based on the third hypothesis the correlation between
performance and Self-management was analyzed to explore
a positive relationship. Testing the total emotional intelligent scores, neither in the leadership group (r = 0.204;
p = 0.361) nor in a rater group (r = 0.157; p = 0.486) were
any signifcant relations found. But in the group of midlevel managers, we could confrm the correlation with signifcant results between self-assessed Self-management
and income (r = 0.736; p = 0.037). This correlation could be
strengthened separately among men (r = ˗0.656; p = 0.039)
and women (r = 0.693; p = 0.012) considering self-assessment scores and their relation to Self-management.
In our research, we analyzed the emotional intelligence
of leaders working in successfully performing organizations and the contribution of their emotional intelligence
to performance. We examined which emotional dimensions inﬂuence income the most and we formulated three
hypotheses in connection with organizational performance defning factors.
Our frst and the most important question was how emotional intelligence affects organizational performance.
Coté and Miners (2006) and O’Boyle et al. (2011) confrmed that emotional intelligence and performance are
correlated in some aspects. We shared their opinion and
expanded their assumption with Goleman’s results (2004).
Goleman (2004) proved that knowing our own emotions,
regulating them, the awareness of others and empathy
toward them help leaders to build a positive, inspiring and
motivating atmosphere for subordinates.
Based on these preliminaries, we hypothesized that organizational performance will be affected by Self-awareness,
Self-management and Awareness of others. Our results
slightly confrmed the relation between these variables.
On analyzing the whole sample, linear regression showed
that Self-awareness affects performance in a positive way.
In this case Inspiring performance also appeared to be a relevant predictor of performance. In the subgroup of employed
leaders, we found a negative relationship between performance, Self-management and Awareness of others.
The connection between emotional intelligence and
transformational leadership style is proven by Mandell and
Pherwani (2003) and Lopez-Zafra et al. (2012). They found
that transformational leadership can predict emotional
intelligence. Inspiring performance is one of its important components, so this could be the reason why Inspiring
performance using SECS also seemed to be relevant.
Bar-On (1997) emphasized that transformational leaders
with high emotional intelligence are capable of outstanding performance. Bass (1990) also mentioned that leaders
should possess more types of intelligence, thereunder with
emotional intelligence to successfully motivate employees.
These results could explain why Inspiring performance
came out to be an inﬂuencing predictor of performance.
Negative relationship in the case of Self-management
and Awareness of others can be related to emotional labor.
Wong and Law (2002) proved that the relation between
emotional intelligence and performance can be moderated by emotional labor. In connection with interpersonal relationships Ashkanasy (2003) also emphasized
how the required but not authentically emotional behavior affects organizational effectiveness. Goldberg and
Grandey (2007) found that modifed emotional reactions
negatively affect performance in customer service.
Our second and third hypotheses were formulated
based on Goleman et al. (2003) resonant leadership theory.
According to resonant leadership, emotionally intelligent
leaders are able to create a resonant atmosphere by harmonizing their own emotions with environmental actions.
Self-awareness and Self-management should play a huge
role in this harmonization. Next to Goleman et al. (2003),
Cherniss (2001) also emphasized the importance of emotional self-awareness and self-management in group functioning. Taking into consideration that leaders are norms
defning individuals (Goleman et al., 2003), we suggested
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Period. Polytech. Soc. Man. Sci., 29(1), pp. 1–9, 2021|7
that leaders’ emotional characteristics will be related to
performance. Langhorn (2004) also confrmed the relationship between self-awareness and performance. Finally,
some research material can prove the connection between
self-management and performance too (Cherniss, 2010a;
Wong and Law, 2002).
Testing our hypotheses, we could not confrm a signifcant correlation between Self-awareness and income.
But to strengthen the third hypothesis, we could affrm
a positive correlation between Self-management and
income among mid-level managers. This relationship
could be confrmed among men and women as well.
Results showed a negative correlation in the case of men,
but a positive one in the case of women. Negative correlation by men may refer to a behavioral phenomenon
among men. The more they regulate their emotions the
less effective they are at work. While among women, the
more they regulate their emotional reactions the better
they can perform.
Self-awareness results can be explained by supposing
a common contribution of leader and teammates to organizational performance. Although Goleman et al. (2003)
emphasized the role of leaders, probably the interrelationship between leader and subordinates and emotionally intelligent behavior in this context has a higher effect on performance. From this aspect, leaders and their self-awareness
are not enough because the reaction of the group can also
modify the performance or the outcome of the cooperation (Ashkanasy, 2003). According to these ideas, leaders
are not able to defne performance, therefore our second
hypothesis could not have been affrmed anyway.
Opposite to the previous Self-awareness results, Selfmanagement results strengthen the effect of leaders in
inﬂuencing performance. We found reassurance for the
third hypothesis among mid-level managers and also
among men and women. Goleman et al. (2003) stated
that in many cases mid-level managers direct people and
business, so they need to be aware of their emotional
competencies and the effect of emotional functioning
in organizations, which can be detected at their level.
The difference between the genders in emotional intelligence is not new. Mayer et al. (1999) and Mandell and
Pherwani (2003) found difference in emotional intelligence scores of men and women, with higher scores for
women. Mandell and Pherwani (2003) also formulated
that women may regulate better emotions. Our results
are consonant with Mandell and Pherwani’s. Based on
our data analysis, we can say that the emotion regulation
of women contributes to higher performance, while this
could not be affrmed in our sample among men.
Emotional intelligence is not a clearly defned concept
which is proven by the variance of models of emotional
intelligence (Bar-On, 2006; Gignac, 2010; Goleman, 2004;
Mayer et al., 2000; Pérez et al., 2005; Salovey and
Mayer, 1990). The relationship between emotional intelligence and performance is as unstable as the defnition of
this psychological concept.
The “Big Idea” of Cherniss (2010a) gave the impulse for
researching and understanding the contribution of emotional and cognitive intelligence to performance. Some
researchers strengthened the relation (Cherniss, 2010a;
Goleman, 2004; Langhorn, 2004; Sy et al., 2006; Wong
and Law, 2002); while some found doubtful results
(Day and Carroll, 2004; Feyerherm and Rice, 2002;
O’Boyle et al., 2011; Rapisarda, 2002). We state that emotional intelligence is connected to performance in some
ways and we share the opinion of Coté and Miners (2006)
that there should be moderating variables in this connection.
Data of 22 leaders whose organizations met performance criteria – according to which organizations should
keep income level or secure an increasing turnover – were
analyzed. Results showed that emotional intelligence is
not able to predict organizational performance as a whole
concept. But emotional self-awareness, self-management
and awareness of others seemed to be related to performance. Furthermore, self-awareness predicts performance
based on our regression analysis. We can draw the conclusion that understanding emotions and developing emotion regulation can help achieve occupational goals and
increase workplace performance. These effects could also
have been confrmed in subgroups.
In further research some other variables should be analyzed for measuring performance like in the research of
Coté and Miners (2006) in case of group performance.
As O’Boyle et al. (2011) and Coté with Miners (2006)
hypothesized there can be moderating variables in the
relationship between emotional intelligence and performance, so we think that some other variables, like transformational leadership style could moderate this relation.
As a result of this, emotional intelligence should be examined in association with leadership styles and applied performance indicators to make clearer the relationship of
emotional intelligence to performance.
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Cite this article as: Krén, H., Séllei, B. (2021) “The Role of Emotional Intelligence in Organizational Performance”, Periodica Polytechnica Social and