To read the full version of this content please select one of the options below:

When does emotional intelligence (EI) benefit team-member exchange? The cross-level moderating role of EI-based leader-member exchange differentiation

Di Zhao (School of Business, Guangdong University of Foreign Studies, Guangzhou, China)
Wenjun Cai (School of Management, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, China)

Career Development International

ISSN: 1362-0436

Article publication date: 4 June 2021

Issue publication date: 28 June 2021

623

Abstract

Purpose

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.

Design/methodology/approach

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).

Findings

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.

Originality/value

This study contributes to the understanding of EI’s significant and complex influence on interpersonal exchange relationships between leaders, followers and coworkers.

Keywords

Citation

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

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited

Related articles