Essays on The Concept of Emotional Intelligence Literature review

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The paper 'The Concept of Emotional Intelligence " is a perfect example of a business literature review.   The concept of emotional intelligence has been studied since the 1920s. Scholars then started to conceptualize the idea of emotional intelligence in a systematic manner in the early 1980s. Among the scholars who devoted their studies to emotional intelligence include Salovey and Mayer, Bar-On, and Parker, and Goleman (Carmeli 2003, 790- 792). Salovey & Mayer (1989, 185) described emotional intelligence as a subset of social intelligence that consists of the ability to monitor self as well as emotions and feelings of others, to distinguish among these feelings and emotions.

Then an individual applies such information for guiding his or her own actions as well as thinking. The two also reviewed this definition later and referred to it as the capability of an individual to perceive as well as generate emotions in order to assist thoughts, and also understand and regulate emotional knowledge and emotions in a reflective manner for the promotion of intellectual and emotional growth (Mayer, and Salovey 1997). Another scholar, Bar-On et al. (2000, 1108) defined emotional intelligence as an array of emotional, social and personal skills and abilities that influence the ability of an individual to deal with environmental pressures and demands in an effective manner.

In his work, Goleman (2001) viewed it simply as the ability of an individual to recognize and regulate his or her emotions as well as those of others. There has been growing research concerning the significance of emotional intelligence in the success of organisations. Those in favour of the concept of emotional intelligence are more dedicated to the view that individuals with high competencies of emotional intelligence are usually successful in their workplace as compared to less emotionally intelligent individuals.

In specific, the researchers have found out that social skills are very crucial for leaders at the executive level. As an individual gains more power in leadership, social intelligence becomes an increasingly relevant factor for success (Hooijberg, Hunt, and Dodge 1997, 376). They add that the competency in emotional intelligence is capable of improving both individual and organisational performance where individuals with high levels of emotional intelligence are of great value to the organisation (399).

Researchers have also realised that there has been increased success especially to an individual who share the same positions in organisations and in recruitment and selection of individuals with higher emotional intelligence levels. In addition, training the organisational staff to be more emotionally intelligent is also a factor that has been linked to financial gains in organisations (Goleman 2001). Goleman (1998) is one of the main contributors to the implementation of emotional intelligence in organisations. He argues that leaders that possess high levels of emotional intelligence can be regarded as the key to the success of organisations.

He adds that the leaders must be a position of sensing the feelings of employees about the work environments, being able to intervene when a certain problem arises as well as being able to control their own emotions so that employees can trust them. In addition, they need to have a good understanding of the social and political interventions within the organisation (Goleman 2001). Cherniss (2000) argues that emotional intelligence is very important in the place of work.

He outlines four key reasons why the place of work needs to be a logical setting for improvement and evaluation of the competencies of emotional intelligence. First, he states that the competencies of emotional intelligence are crucial factors for success in most jobs. Second, he found out that many individual usually enter into the workforce without the required competencies for excelling in jobs. This leads to failure in the achievement of organisational goals. Third, he found out that the employers have already realised the importance of emotional intelligence and they are establishing ways and motivation for providing training in emotional intelligence.

Finally, he found that most individuals spend most of their time at work and this calls for improvement and evaluation of emotional intelligence competencies.


Abraham, R. 1999. “Emotional intelligence in organisations: a conceptualisation”, Genetic, Social, and General Psychology Monographs, vol. 125, (2): 209-224

Ashforth, B. E., and Humphrey, R. H. 1995. “Emotion in the workplace: a reappraisal”, Human relations, vol. 48, (3): 97-125.

Blau, G.J. 1985. “The measurement and prediction of career commitment”, Journal of Occupational Psychology, vol.58: 277-288

Boyatzis, R.E., Goleman, D., & Rhee, K. 1999. Clustering comptence in emotional intelligence: insights from the emotional competence inventory (ECI), in Bar-On & Parker (eds), handbook of emotional intelligence, San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Carmeli, A. 2003. “The relationship between emotional intelligence and work attitudes, behaviour and outcomes”, Journal of Managerial Psychology, vol. 18, (8): 788-813.

Cherniss, C. 2000. Social and emotional competence in the workplace, in R. Bar-On & J. Parker (eds), the handbook of emotional intelligence, San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Cherniss, C., and Alder, M. 2000. Promoting emotional intelligence in organisations, Alexandria, Virginia: ASTD

George, J. M. 2000. “Emotions and leadership: the role of emotional intelligence”, Human relations, vol. 53, (8): 1027-1055

Hooijberg, R., Hunt, J.G. and Dodge, C.E. 1997 “Leadership complexity and development of the leadership model”, Journal of Management, vol. 23, 375-408

Lam, L.T. & Kirby, S.L. 2002. “Is emotional intelligence an advantage? An exploration of the impact of emotional intelligence and general intelligence on individual performance”, The Journal of Social Psychology, vol. 142, (1): 133-143

Luthans, F. 2002. “Positive organisational behaviour: developing and managing psychological strengths for performance improvement”, Academy of Management Executive, vol. 16, (1): 57-76

Mayer J. D., and Salovey, P. 1997. What is emotional intelligence? Implications for educators in Salovey, P. & Sluyter, D (ed), Emotional development, Emotional Literacy, and emotional intelligence, Basic Books, New York, NY.

Mumford, M. D., Zaccaro, S.J, Harding, F.D., Jacobs, T. O., and Fleishman, E.A. 2000. “Leadership skills for a changing world: solving complex social problems”, The leadership Quarterly, vol. 11, (1): 11-35

Salovey, P., and Mayer, J. D. 1989. “Emotional intelligence”, Imagination, Cognition, And Personality, vol. 9, No. 3 (1989): 185-211

Steiner, C.1997. Achieving emotional literacy, London: Bloomsbury Publishing.

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