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Competencies as a behavioral approach to emotional intelligence

Richard E. Boyatzis (Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio, USA)

Journal of Management Development

ISSN: 0262-1711

Article publication date: 18 September 2009




Development of competencies needed to be effective managers and leaders requires research and theory that can drive future scholarship and application. This introductory essay to this special issue of JMD seeks to focus on competencies in organizations in Europe and a broader conceptualization of emotional intelligence.


Competencies are defined and an overview is provided for the papers that will follow with original research on competencies, their link to performance in various occupations, and their development.


Emotional, social and cognitive intelligence competencies predict effectiveness in professional, management and leadership roles in many sectors of society. It addition, these competencies can be developed in adults.

Research limitations/implications

As an introductory essay, the paper lays the foundation for the following papers in this issue.

Practical implications

Competencies needed in order to be effective can be developed.


Despite widespread application, there are few published studies of the empirical link between competencies and performance. There are even fewer published studies showing that they can be developed. The special issue will add to both literatures. There is widespread confusion as to the definition of emotional intelligence; the paper offers some clarification.



Boyatzis, R.E. (2009), "Competencies as a behavioral approach to emotional intelligence", Journal of Management Development, Vol. 28 No. 9, pp. 749-770.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2009, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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