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Is emotional intelligence the panacea for a better job performance? A study on low-skilled back office jobs

Miguel Ángel Sastre Castillo (Faculty of Economics and Business, Complutense University of Madrid, Madrid, Spain)
Ignacio Danvila Del Valle (Faculty of Economics and Business, Complutense University of Madrid, Madrid, Spain)

Employee Relations

ISSN: 0142-5455

Article publication date: 7 August 2017

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the relationship between emotional intelligence (EI), organizational affective commitment (AC), and performance at low-skilled back office positions.

Design/methodology/approach

In all, 397 participants in low-skilled back office positions from a service company completed a questionnaire assessing EI, AC, and performance. The authors used multiple regression models for testing whether higher levels of EI and AC predicted better performance. Additionally, they tested to see whether EI and AC were positively related.

Findings

The results showed that workers in low-skilled back office positions with higher EI and AC had better performance. In this sense, intrapersonal skills and mood management were the dimensions of EI with the highest predictive power. Also, EI and AC were positively related, with intrapersonal skills and adaptability being the dimensions of EI most closely associated with AC. Finally, the predictive power on performance was increased when EI and AC were considered simultaneously.

Originality/value

Traditionally, the involvement of EI and other personal dimensions in increasing organizational commitment and better work performance has been studied in high-skilled and executive positions, as well as in front office low-skilled positions. However, there is little empirical evidence regarding the simultaneous influence of EI and AC on performance in low-skilled back office positions. This gap prompted this research, which suggests that the investment of organizational resources is mandatory for improving EI and, hence, organizational commitment and work performance in these employees.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors acknowledge the financial support from the Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness (Project ECO2014-54301-P), as well as that of the UCM-Cofares Research Chair.

Citation

Sastre Castillo, M.Á. and Danvila Del Valle, I. (2017), "Is emotional intelligence the panacea for a better job performance? A study on low-skilled back office jobs", Employee Relations, Vol. 39 No. 5, pp. 683-698. https://doi.org/10.1108/ER-11-2016-0216

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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