Emotional intelligence (EI) is deemed important in developing interpersonal relationships. However, in the development of team-member exchange (TMX), the effect of EI on TMX and the team context have been largely ignored. For filling these gaps, this study explores the effect of employee EI on employee TMX and introduces EI-based leader-member exchange (LMX) differentiation as a team context to moderate the EI-TMX relationship.
Data were drawn from 51 teams (consisting of 293 followers and 51 team leaders) selected from 30 companies (across the industries of technology, real estate, commerce and manufacturing).
Results revealed that employee EI was positively related to employee TMX. EI acted as the basis of LMX differentiation (EI was positively related to LMX, EI variety was positively associated with LMX differentiation), and EI-based LMX differentiation acted as a favorable context for high-EI employees to develop high-quality TMX.
This study contributes to the understanding of EI’s significant and complex influence on interpersonal exchange relationships between leaders, followers and coworkers.
Zhao, D. and Cai, W. (2021), "When does emotional intelligence (EI) benefit team-member exchange? The cross-level moderating role of EI-based leader-member exchange differentiation", Career Development International, Vol. 26 No. 3, pp. 391-414. https://doi.org/10.1108/CDI-10-2020-0285
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