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EI training and sales performance during a corporate merger

Gilles E. Gignac (University of Western Australia, Brunswick, Australia)
Richard J. Harmer (Holos Group, Melbourne, Australia)
Sue Jennings (Henry Schein Halas, Rosebery, Australia)
Benjamin R. Palmer (Genos, Sydney, Australia)

Cross Cultural Management: An International Journal

ISSN: 1352-7606

Article publication date: 3 February 2012




The purpose of this paper is to examine statistically the efficacy of an emotional intelligence (EI) training program on sales performance and emotional intelligence in a group of salespeople.


An experimental, repeated measures/between‐groups design was used (training group (n=29) and a control group (n=21)). The dependent variables were sales performance, self‐report EI and rater‐report EI. The data were analysed based on a series of split‐plot ANOVAS.


Rater‐reported EI correlated with sales performance at r=0.32. The EI training group also demonstrated increases in both self‐ and rater‐report EI equal to approximately a Cohen's d=−0.45, in comparison to the control group. Finally, the EI training group outperformed the control group by approximately 9 per cent (p<0.05) in sales performance.

Research limitations/implications

The long‐term beneficial effects of the EI training program on sales performance are not known.

Practical implications

Human resource practitioners and coaches may consider implementing an EI training program to facilitate performance in sales people.


This is the first study to examine the effects of an EI training program using a rigorous experimental methodology and an objective measure of sales performance.



Gignac, G.E., Harmer, R.J., Jennings, S. and Palmer, B.R. (2012), "EI training and sales performance during a corporate merger", Cross Cultural Management: An International Journal, Vol. 19 No. 1, pp. 104-116.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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