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Conscientiousness and Performance Essay

Douglas, C. , Frink, D. D. , Ferris, G. R. (2004). ‘Emotional Intelligence as a Moderator of the Relationship between Conscientiousness and Performance. ‘ Journal of Leadership and Organisational Studies, vol. 10, no. 3, pp 2 – 14. This article examines the point of view of three academics that discuss an experimental assessment investigation they conducted to determine whether the relationship between conscientiousness and performance was stronger for individuals high on emotional intelligence.

Before stating their own findings, Douglas et al, included other researchers conclusions to give the reader a broader understanding of Emotional Intelligence. The hypothesis brought forward is that ‘the relationship between conscientiousness and performance scores will be positive for employees high in emotional intelligence and negative among those low in emotional intelligence. ‘ The experiment was conducted on 205 students at a university; they worked in groups that correlated with their social group and athletic affiliations.

The measurements used to test the students paralleled with real life situations that occur when individuals perform and succeed at work. Overall their results supported their hypothesis and they concluded that for high level performance, conscientiousness should be channelled with more immediate emotional intelligence, otherwise it is not sufficient. The study encountered both

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strengths and weaknesses: the strength being the use of conducting the experiment in a classroom environment, limiting any unexplained variances as it could be conducted in a controlled condition.

Other strengths noted the similar type indicating the control over the variables. A limitation that arose was the nature of the study by using university students whose work experience is minimal compared to older generations. With all experiments the sample group used is not always going to represent the larger population, however it does provide a guide to the hypothesis, which measured the results. Researchers have suggested that emotional intelligence and regulation can vary to fit with particular personality traits.

Future research that interests the academics is to precisely examine interactions of different personalities with emotional intelligence and noticing if it affects work outcomes. Emotions in the workplace: the neglect of Organisational Behaviour Muchinsky, P. M. (2000). ‘Emotions in the workplace: the neglect of Organisational Behaviour. ‘ Journal of Organisational Behaviour, vol 21, no 7, pp 801 – 805 ‘Emotions in the workplace’ examine Muchinsky’s view on addressing emotions in the workplace.

William Whyte, author of Organisation man, developed early beliefs about emotions: ‘to be a successful businessperson you had to be logical, reasoned, and a rational decision maker, disregarding the unwanted influence, emotions. Thought to be a sign of weakness and instability, an unwanted characteristic for a businessman to possess’ (p. 802). Thirty years later the emotion database occurred, which represented the cognitive explanation of psychology.

Within the journal’s research he studies two examples of how psychological constructs are mixed with emotional overtones, these being ‘job satisfaction’ defined as the scale to which you like something; be it work, revealing inner feelings and emotions. He argues that job satisfaction should have been addressed earlier and speculates why the field of organisational behaviour did not use it to explain emotions in the workplace. Job stress was another example of an emotional overtone, which organisational researchers focused on as being a major part of workplace emotions as it evokes images of the dark side of our emotions.

The workplace offers a wide range of emotions, many of which are very rarely discussed in an organisation setting. Muchinsky refers to another academic who discussed the five categories of emotions as being: nasty emotions, existential emotions, emotions provoked by unfavourable life conditions and favourable conditions, and lastly, empathetic emotions. He hypothesises that the way we cope with each emotion will help to develop and understand work performance. He strongly believes that the study of emotions in the workplace will serve many purposes, especially that of organisational justice, which speaks to manifest of what is right and fair.

He concludes by recapping that emotions are not just annoyances that deflect us from objectivity, they are built from human experiences and are real. Workplace Emotion is an important topic for Organisational Researchers to Address BSOC 1601 Organisational Behaviour Katie Upton Student Number 4078228 Organisational researchers have studied emotions in individuals for hundreds of years, however only recently has more emphasis been put on understanding of emotions in the workplace. Emotions are described as reactions to objects or situations, whereas emotions in the workplace, i.

e. emotional labour, are referred to as organisationally desired emotions during interpersonal transactions that employees express (Robbins et al. , 2001: 69). Emotions are apparent in all job tasks individuals take part in, generating positive and negative effects on the metal and physical behaviour of the worker. Emotions can be described as psychological feelings that people have, that usually result from and contribute to conflict. Within an organisation, if effectively managed, positive emotions can become a resource for effective conflict resolution.

However if not managed well, they can intensify a conflict, heightening tension within the organisation. For this reason, researchers should continue to show great importance to understanding both negative and positive effects of emotional labour. This essay views the approach that organisational researchers should address emotions in the workplace for greater knowledge for management to use to increase workplace relations and productivity. The need for research in coordinating emotions in the workplace is wholly at the core of management practice and development.

Increased research taking place, managers are now looking for updated responses and techniques to develop and apply in their organisation. Years ago, effective business people were considered as being logical, reasoned and rational decision makers; emotions were an unwanted, undesirable characteristic that showed a sign of weakness (Muchinsky 2000: 802). Therefore, managers paid little attention to the behaviours and feelings of employees, resulting in a cold, administrated workplace. Basically it reduced the concept of working to an integrated series of passionless, and thus emotionless, laborious tasks.

Today, researchers are deepening their understanding on emotions in the workplace, creating strong potentials for managers to practically apply functions such as selection, performance management and training into narrower fields. ‘The theory behind it is simply today’s leaders need to get the most out of their staff, as leadership becomes more about managing people and less about systems’ (Ashkanasy & Dasborough 2003: 18). “The Apprentice,” a recent television series showed workplace emotions and how they affect individual’s performance.

Competitors are fired each week, depending on how their emotions react to initiative situations, handling conflicts and working as a team. For real life situations this example is a clear point of view of how managers are selecting and cross-examining employees to find emotionally strong individuals. With managers practising some of the conclusions researchers have found to their workplace, will help strengthen the organisation, but also the characteristics displayed by the employees will help them succeed individually, but also help strengthen performance.

‘How we cope with our emotions, particularly the nasty ones, are major contributing factors in understanding job performance’ (Muchinsky 2000: 804). A study conducted on students to understand the need for fundamental leadership skills and emotional research, concluded that learning about emotions through teaching can play a major part in performance outcomes (Ashkanasy & Dasborough 2003: 18). Given current research on this managers can learn that to strengthen the performance of their employees, they need managerial leaders teaching them and their staff about emotions in the workplace, benefiting the organisation in the long run.

Researchers are finding the biggest link of emotions in the workplace is emotional intelligence. Salovey and Mayer (1990, as cited by Douglas, Fink & Ferris, 2004: 3) define emotional intelligence as, “the ability to monitor one’s own and other’s feelings and emotions, to discriminate among them, and to use this information to guide one’s thinking and actions. ” Muchinsky (2000: 804) believes ‘Emotional intelligence may be the long-sought missing link which unites the classic ‘can do’ ability determinants of job performance with the ‘will do’ dispositional determinants’.

Organisational researchers should continue to show great importance into the understanding of an employee’s performance through emotions, as most studies conducted result with the general output that research is helping with the organisations strength in the market, as well as internally succeeding. Although most academics suggest positive feedback from research done on emotions in the workplace, there are also negative emotions that can be displayed by employees in organisations.

Maslow (1954 as cited by Wright 2003: 437) was unsuccessful with approaching emotional research his findings were negatively focused. These earlier studies were ineffective in understanding emotions, as in the workplace; emotions were regarded as unwanted and weak characteristics. The negative emotions that affect employees behaviours and attitudes towards the job can be any of the following anger, envy, frustration, aggression, shame, fear and embarrassment. However negativity can also be a strong source of pulling other employees into the depressive state.

Dr Rob Briner (2003, as cited by Pearson 2003: 14) claims that, “insensitive or incompetent behaviour by managers and colleagues can cause ordinary negative emotions to become “toxic”. ” Previous research into negative emotions has been vague and unsubstantial, however as interest and pressures from management increase in the importance of the affect of emotions in the workplace, more psychological and management researchers are choosing to explore negative emotions.

With the recent upsurge of interest in emotions in the workplace, organisations are observing and treating emotions differently to the past management practises. Studies conducted by academics, provide managers with new and important insights into the way in which people in organisations behave. “The purpose of the study of emotions is to maximise the occurrence of positive emotions and minimise negative emotions” (Lively 2001: 502), concluding an underlying statement that is now implemented in the workforce, with new techniques being adapted by managers to succeed in the markets.

‘The study of emotions in organisational settings has provided new and important insights into the way in which people in organisation behave, and we offer advice for managers to enable them to develop and maintain a positive emotional climate in organisations’ (Ashkanasy & Daus 2002: 76) In an environment where management are striving to obtain maximal input in the workplace, understanding emotions is and will continue to be an important topic for organisational researchers to address.

Reference Section:

Ashkanasy, N. M. , Dasborough, M. 2003, ‘Emotional awareness and emotional intelligence in Leadership Teaching. ‘ Journal of Education for Business, vol 79, no. 1, pp 18. Ashkanasy, N. M. , Daus, C. S. 2002, ‘Emotion in the workplace: The new challenge for managers. ‘ Academy of Management Executive, vol 16, no. 1, pp 76 – 87. Douglas, C. , Frink, D. , & Ferris, G.

Emotional Intelligence as a moderator of the relationship between conscientiousness and performance. ‘ Journal of Leadership and Organisational Studies, vol 10, no. 3, pp. 2 – 14. Lively, K. J. 2001, ‘Emotions in the Workplace: Research, Theory, and Practice. ‘ Work and Occupations, vol 28, no. 4, pp 501 – 505. Maher, K. 2004, ‘Career Journal: The Jungle. ‘ The Wall Street Journal, March 16th: B8

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