Impact Of Emotional Intelligence On Performance Of Teams Management Essay

This study examined the relationship between emotional intelligence and performance of teams. Under Emotional Intelligence (EI), four dimensions were studied; Self-Emotional Appraisal (SEA), Other Emotional Appraisal (OEA), Use of Emotion (UOE) and Regulation of Emotion (ROE). Regression analysis was used to investigate the relationships between the variables. The analysis of responses of 15 teams demonstrated a positive relationship between EI scores and performance of teams.

Keywords: Emotional Intelligence; appraisal and expression of emotion; team performance


In recent years, emotions in the workplace, and especially emotional intelligence, have become an amazingly hot topic in management. The topic of research is “Impact of Emotional Intelligence on teams’ performance”. Employees go through different emotions which are most likely to affect the way they behave at their workplaces. It is important for the team leaders as well as members to understand, act on and manage the emotions of other members to have a healthy environment at workplace and to increase the performance of the team as a whole.

Background of the Study

The concept of emotional intelligence (EI) was first proposed by Mayer and Salovey (1990) which was then popularized by Goleman in his book “Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ”. Since then, this area has got much attention in the field of leadership, Human Resource Management and Organizational Behavior. Researchers have defined EI as a distinct psychological skill that can be consistently gauged.

Mayer and Salovey’s ideas on EI came up from the work of Social Intelligence by Thorndike (1920) and Gardner’s (1983) concept of intrapersonal and interpersonal intelligence. In 1927, Thorndike classified Intelligence into three types: Abstract Intelligence which is related to verbal concepts, Concrete Intelligence which is related to shapes and matter and thirdly Social Intelligence now termed as Emotional Intelligence. It shows that it is not a new concept.

Salovey and Mayer (1990) defined emotional intelligence as “the subset of social intelligence that involves the ability to monitor one’s own and others’ feelings and emotions, to discriminate among them and to use this information to guide one’s thinking and actions” (p. 189). Their model includes features of intelligence, adjustability and encouragement.

Goleman (1998) stated that EI play a major role in improving performance at work as well as achievements in personal life. He claimed that approximately 90 % of the performance between high and average individuals at senior leader positions was due to EI features rather than cognitive ones (Cichy, Kim and Cha, 2009).

As indicate by Mayer and Salovey (1997), EI consists of four skills: emotional awareness of own and others, emotional management of own and others, emotional understanding i.e. recognizes the emotional series and cycle, and emotional facilitation i.e. creating emotions. To measure EI, MSCEIT (Mayer, Salovey, and Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test, 2002) was developed on the basis of these four elements.

Researchers define teams miscellaneously. Ayoko and Callan (2009) defined teams as groups composed of autonomous individuals who are wholly identified as team, having a shared liability and are together accountable for the accomplishment of tasks identified by the organization. Ayoko and Callan argue that the leaders who adopt emotional and transformational leadership behavior probably generate positive team results.

As now, there are many instruments or ways to measure EI, it is time to move forward and increase our knowledge regarding the relationship between EI and performance (Jordan, Ashkanasy, Hartel, Hooper, 2002). The focus of this research is to investigate the relationship among the emotional intelligence of team members on their overall performance as a team.

Significance of the Study

This study will prove to be a source of understanding the benefits of using emotional intelligence in context of realizing team performance. This research will prove to be an important tool for managers and employees which will as a result awaken the need for emotional training of employees.

Problem Statement

What is the impact of emotional intelligence on team performance?

Research Objectives

To investigate the relationship between emotional intelligence that is the dependent variable and team performance, the independent variable.

To identify the dimensions of emotional intelligence and their magnitude on the performance of teams.

To measure the emotional intelligence level of the team members and its overall impact on their team performance.


With the passage of time focus of organizations is shifting from individual job to team based work units. Teams are said to be necessary for organizational effectiveness. To extract maximum performance from team it requires the selection of people with suitable and adequate skills and knowledge who can understand and cater to team needs These required skills must include the EI skill set because EI accounts for eighty percent of success of an individual (Goleman, 1995).

For a large part of work done in the organizations, teams are responsible for carrying it out. Nowadays every employee or employer is a part of a team. Apart from teams being dominant in different kind of settings, they are of hypothetical importance to the scholars. Teams have been analyzed from many viewpoints i.e. analyzing the team members working in a team from a psychological view, the processes within the team, and the background in which the team is formed. With Ancona’s idea of ‘boundary management’ activities, relations of teams with the outside parties have also been studied in which activities across the team boundary which include representing the team to outside parties, defending the team from outside pressures, and obtaining information and providing it to the team (Ancona, 1990).

Before the importance of EI was realized in organizations IQ was supposed to be sufficient for good human performance. Workers were indeed advised to put away their emotions at their homes before coming to work. But it is unrealistic to suppose that emotions can be left home or set aside when you arrive at work. Some people may assume, for a variety of reasons, that emotional neutrality is an ideal, but it is usually not good for an organization for it can hinder people to move into management roles. As, emotional intelligence is critical to high performance, a person who knows how to stay motivated under stress, motivate others, manage complex interpersonal relationships, inspire others and build teams who are recognized specialists on a product or service are likely to get will get better results (Goleman, 2005)

The significance of emotions in work settings has been well-known. Emotional intelligence is a multi-dimensional concept that links emotion and cognition to improve human interactions. It has been linked to improved workplace behaviour and specifically team behaviour and team performance. (Jordan, Peter, Lawrence, Sandra, 2009).

Various models of team development note that to resolve differences between team members, it is important for teams to develop and progress. Emotional intelligence, when linked with group performance, helps in constructing useful group interactions and aids individuals to deal with and resolve emotional issues to facilitate high performance. In recent research, it was found that team performance is positively and significantly influenced if team is able to recognize emotions of teammates. (Stough, Saklofske, Parker, 2009)

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Until now, research has paid attention to emotional intelligence as an individual difference, something similar to intellectual intelligence and associated with personal ability. The notion of emotional intelligence, however, is wider in scope and application than its intellectual intelligence. Studies show that trained teams consisting of members with high emotional intelligence perform as well on measures of team performance as the trained teams consisting of members with low levels of emotional intelligence. Many researchers have anticipated that proper training could be provided to develop the ’emotionally intelligent team’ to craft it beyond just a collection of emotionally intelligent individuals but which jointly demonstrate the positive characteristics of emotional intelligence (Daus and Ashkanasy, 1993).

Though there are many claims regarding the positive impact of EI on job performance, but the studies examining the relationship between EI and individual level performance show that the perceived potential benefits of using EI in the workplace may be absent.

A small number of studies have examined the relationships between EI and performance at group level. (Quoidbach, Hansenne, 2009). Jordan and Troth (2004) have found a link between EI and performance on a purely cognitive task at group level, although this relationship did not appear at individual level.

A number of researchers have hypothesized that job performance is influence by employees’ ability to use emotions to facilitate performance, one of the four defining dimensions of EI. Employees could employ both positive as well as negative emotions to their benefit to improve performance. For example, positive emotions, such as excitement or enthusiasm, could motivate employees to provide better customer service, complete their work assignments, or contribute to the organization. Conversely, negative emotions, such as anxiety, could aid employees’ ability to focus on their work tasks. (Sy, Tram, O’Hara, 2006)

The employees having high emotional intelligence are more skilled to regulate their own as well as manage others’ emotions to promote positive interactions which would lead to higher performance through organizational citizenship behavior. Latest research has revealed that managers having high EI exhibit produce optimistic work attitudes and unselfish behaviors which resultantly lead to employees’ higher satisfaction and performance at job (Sy, Tram, O’Hara, 2006)

Weiss and Cropanzano (1996) claim that emotional elements have a lasting impact on team performance though are not instantly evident. Pate, Watson and Johnson (1998) have revealed that decisions made by the whole group are a better predictor of performance than the decisions made by the best decision-maker in the group. In majority of teams, the role of leadership is revolved so it is predicted that teams with EI will perform well. (Ashkanasy, Hartel, Hooper, 2002)

Due to an increased use of teams in organizations since past several years, it has resulted in a productive research literature on what makes teams effective. This question has recognized various important aspects. It has been found through studies that team performance is affected by several factors like communication, team climate, shared mental models, leadership and size.

Yet other studies showed a relationship between team performance and individual factors which includes skills, knowledge and abilities of team members, age and tenure of team member, his openness to variety and equilibrium of his role preferences (Pirola-Merlo, Hartel, Mann, Hirst, 2002).

Components of Team Performance

Dependability among team members have an influence on how well teams can rely on one another as well as on the organization. It is determined greatly by the extent of how much information is being shared and level of openness among teams, and among organization and team. It also includes consistency of teams in terms of them doing what they say they will do, they remain stick to their commitments to each other and to the organization.

Information Sharing

The basis of trust among team members lies in effective sharing of important information. Teams cannot perform effectively unless they don’t have proper information. When the organization keeps the information secret from the team members that may be useful for them, the members may lose confidence in the organization. Nor organizations can trust on teams that are secretive and are not open.

Clear Direction

A clear direction is needed to point teams to go in the direction in which the organization wants to go. It is important to become clear about the vision and then communicate the vision to the teams. The organization, by setting a clear direction, set the boundaries within which the teams work.


Without having clear goals and an apparent direction, teams are likely to become unstable. Their actions are inefficient because they are not aimed. They keep on shifting to other thing after starting on one thing. Although they move in a same general direction but without any accuracy due to absence of clear goals.


The teams which are not involved in decision making of the organization are more likely to deny it, they may consider the path on which they are moving as not of their own, and they may hold themselves less accountable for the results. Teams may engage in disruption to declare their opposition from the direction inn which they are moving.

Operational Planning

The organization has to create processes to accomplish work once their goals are set, and overall plan has to be set up to fit plans of individual units. In the planning process, they need to plan for teams giving them the clarity and structure and flexibility to gain benefit from unexpected opportunities and deal with unpredicted events.


Teams have to communicate with each other as well as to the organization to stay aligned. So, a medium and practices through which communications can flow freely must be built up. Team based organizations need to create effective modes of communication, to identify the information requirements of all parts of organization, and examine levels of communication and noise level.


The benchmark of high performing organizations is that they outperform what is already known and down earlier. They are innovative, work with their own fashion, and generate new products and services. Innovative organizations believe in challenging the status quo and they have the structure that supports new projects. Teams in these organizations are less liable to remain on past success.

Connecting Values

Where teams have the freedom to act and the resources to be productive, they will tend to buy into the organization’s enterprise when one other condition applies: that the organization’s work taps a deeply held value or set of values. This connection to what is most important or meaningful to teams and their members creates a sense of mission and an esprit de corps that bonds teams together and to the organization as a whole.

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Dimensions of Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence comprises four abilities, Appraisal and Expression of Emotion (own and others), Use of Emotions and Emotional Management (own and others) (Wong and Law, 2002).

Appraisal and expression of emotion

The first factor of EI is the ability to properly determine and express one’s own emotions as well as to be sympathetic, appraise and express emotions of others. Every individual’s ability varies in precisely identifying, appraising and expressing his own emotions as well as the emotions experienced by others. Some people are attentive of their feelings they experience and can express their emotions whereas, some people cannot express their feelings and emotions or they are unaware of their emotions (Zhou, George, 2003).

There is a positive relationship between job performance and team members having high EI because they are highly proficient at appraising and regulating their own emotions which results in a higher level of faith in themselves and have power over them which lead them to make realistic actions resulting in high performance and less supervisory interference. But where team members have low EI, they are less proficient at appraising and regulating their emotions, so they have to get assistance from their managers in helping them to better manage and control their emotions which lead to teamwork, coordination, creativity and adaptability (Sy, Tram, O’Hara, 2006).

Use of emotions

The second factor includes the ability of the individual to use emotions to aid the cognitive processes. Emotions and cognitions are highly interconnected and EI allows people with the ability to use emotions to aid the effective cognitive processing of information. Emotions can be used to emphasize on important matters like selecting among competing and similar options, increase the flexibility of information processing, and engage in certain kinds of information processing (Mayer, 1986; Salovey & Mayer, 1989-1990). Therefore, individuals vary not only in awareness, appraisal and expression of emotions but also in their ability to use emotions in collaboration with their cognitive processes to enhance effective functioning. For adjusting in changing situations, emotions play an important role in the effective development of information for the individuals who are high on EI. On the contrary, individuals with low EI cannot effectively use their emotions to aid cognitive processes and may find it difficult to coordinate among how they feel and what are they doing (Zhou, George, 2003).

Management of emotions

The fourth element of EI is about the management of emotions of the people. People not only understand the emotions of others but also make an effort to manage these emotions. Some individuals are much competent in managing emotional management process for themselves as well as for other, as compared to other people. For example, if there occurs any breach in quality, it may raise up a negative emotional reaction when the manager tries to determine the reason of the problem i.e. anger. Though the manager, instead of being obsessed with blaming others and seeking revenge, he should manage his anger to effectively solve the problem. It is significantly important for leaders to manage the emotions of others (George, 2000). Emotional reactions provide a useful insight of where interest should be focused (Frigda, 1988), whereas unmanaged emotions can hinder the effective information processing. So to avoid this unduly hinderance, EI allows managers to not only use emotions but also to manage them effectively (Zhou, George, 2003).

The management of emotion enables an individual to join or unjoin himself from an emotion in a given situation depending on its utility at that given time. This is apparent in the individual’s ability to have control on his immediate reactions and postpone his judgment and then to communicate them in a measured and careful manner. The suggestion to ‘think and then act’, caution to ‘count to 10 before replying’ and listening practice like ‘pause, breathe and relax then respond’ are all efforts for managing emotions by conveying your feelings and emotions in a proper way when communicating.Delaying instantaneous responses clearly indicates it is as emotional management ability.


Other Emotional Appraisal

Use of Emotion

Regulation of Emotion



Self-Emotional Appraisal

Independent Variable Dependent Variable

The study shows a positive relationship between emotional intelligence and team performance. This relationship has been supported by many researchers (e.g. Qquoidbach & Hansenne, 2009; Jordan, Ashkanasy, Härtel & Hooper 2002).

Research Hypothesis

H1: There is a positive relationship between emotional intelligence and team performance.



The targeted population for this research is the telecom sector of Pakistan. The sample conducting this research was selected from the organizations located in Islamabad/Rawalpindi. The sample of this study consisted of 15 work teams comprising of 5-15 members. The respondents must be working in a team currently. 72% of the participants in teams were male and 28% were female.


Primary data was gathered through questionnaires. The questionnaire consisted of 32 items (see Appendix). All the items related to emotional intelligence as well as team performance were measured on a 7-point likert scale (7 = Strongly Agree to 1 = Strongly Disagree). The reliability test was applied to the questionnaire which showed 0.778 cron bach alpha.

It consisted of two parts. First part was used to measure the emotional intelligence of the respondents, which included both leaders and team members. Second part was used to measure the performance of team leaders and team members separately.


Emotional Intelligence

Emotional Intelligence was assessed using Wong and Law Emotional Intelligence Scale (WLEIS) (2002). This scale consists of 16 items. The WLEIS was designed as a short measure of EI for use in organizational research. It comprises of 16 items, responded to on a 7-point Likert scale and measuring four dimensions: ‘Self-Emotion Appraisal’, ‘Emotion Appraisal of Others’, ‘Use of Emotion’, and ‘Regulation of Emotion’. Wong and Law (2002) report good internal consistency reliabilities for their measure. In terms of validity, they present data showing that scores on theWLEIS are related to job performance and job satisfaction.

Team Performance

The performance of team was measured on 16 items, adopted from Kennedy, K., N., Lassk, F., G., and Burns, M., B., (2001). This was measured on a 7-point likert scale.


Data was collected from 15 different teams of telecom organizations from Islamabad/Rawalpindi. The data collected was analyzed using SPSS Version 18. The linear regression was run on the data. By running reliability analysis to the data, Cronbach’s Alpha value was found to be 0.788 which shows that our instrument is 78 % reliable.

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The reliability test was applied on this questionnaire and the results are as follows:

Table 1:

Demographic information of the respondent is as follows:

Table 2: Gender wise Frequency Distribution of the Respondents (N=100)

The above table shows that there were 72 (72 %) were male and 28 (28 %) were female participants in the study.

Table 3: Age Wise Frequency Distribution of the Respondents (n=100)

The teams in the organization were comprised of only the individuals belonging to the age group of 20-39. Only one percent of the respondents were below 19 years of age. Maximum number of respondents fell in the age group of 20-29 years i.e. of 75 %. The individuals falling in the age group of 30-39 were 24 % in the teams.

Table 4: Experience Wise Frequency Distribution of the Respondents (n=100)

The duration of the employees working in their current organization were also measured. Major percentage of employees i.e. 51%, was working in the organization since 1-3 years. Employees working in the organization since 4-6 years were 35%. Employees working since less than one year and 7-10 years were 10% and 3% respectively. Only 1 employee has been working since more than 10 years.

Table 5:

Correlation finds the connection between two variables and determines the extent to which values of two variables are proportional to each other. (Carver & Nash , 2006).The table above indicates that the correlation between EI and team performance is 0.65 which is statistically significant value.

Table 6:

As in the above table sig. value is less than .05 so we have a significant linear regression.

Table 7:

Regression equation can be formed as follows:


From the above table and the formed equation we can conclude that Emotional Intelligence is the significantly influencing variable. It means that Emotional Intelligence plays a significant role in the performance of the team.

Table 8:

Model Summary reports a statistics that measures ‘goodness of fit’. R is measuring the simple relation between independent variables and dependent variable. R2 measures the variation of dependent variable by independent variables. It can range from 0 to 1 and indicates the extent to which the line fits the points. The R Square value shows that 65% of the variation in the team performance can be explained by the difference in the value of emotional intelligence.


The results of this study were derived from telecom organizations of Pakistan, particularly in Islamabad, Rawalpindi. The multiple regression result indicates that emotional intelligence had positive impact on team performance. However results show moderate relationship between participative management and employee satisfaction. Participative management had less significant impact on job satisfaction than the employee performance.

Table 8 is based on the regression results indicating that there was positive relationship amongst emotional intelligence and team performance. The emotional intelligence was having a positive and significant impact on the performance of the teams indicating that an employee’s emotional intelligence leads a team to perform much better as relevant to its competitors in the same industry.


The present study produced some important results having implications for both theory and practice. A particularly interesting finding of the present study was that high emotional intelligence work teams performed at a higher level than low emotional intelligence teams. This study has implications for managers, suggesting that organizations could profit by identification of high and low emotional intelligence work teams, so that interventions can be focused on the low emotional intelligence teams where maximum benefits can be realized.

Findings from this study may also help researchers to focus more on devising new improved instruments and ways to measure emotional intelligence.

Limitations of the study

This research has been prepared with some limitations which would be tried to overcome in future research. The survey was only conducted in Islamabad/Rawalpindi, which may not be generalizable to the whole country. The sample was not large to cover all the sectors of Pakistan. Only one instrument i.e. survey was used for collection of data. The survey was one-shot study. Lastly, due to shortage of time and resources, this study was limited to only telecom sector.


For successful implementation of this study in the organizations, organizations need to identify the importance of emotionally training their teams. The leaders and managers have to be understanding to the needs of their subordinates. The work environment in the organizations have to be accommodating so that teams have the freedom to take their own decisions so that they may become emotionally intelligent and conducive to learning. The organizations have to become risk-taking in order to encourage and empower the teams to take decisions.


This research is only a foundation of a larger program to study the role of emotional intelligence in team performance. As such, there are many areas for improvement and for further research.

Moreover, the impact of group’s internal structure like emotional intelligence of leader and similarities and dissimilarities of the teams were not analyzed. It is not possible to determine from the emotional intelligence alone that whether the team’s high performance is attributable to only this factor or some other factors like the training they received or the team members’ increased familiarity gained over duration of task in the team. In future, these factors affecting the team’s performance should also be explored. Future studies also need to compare and analyze the performance of teams before they are provided with the training on emotional intelligence and after being provided with training so that a clear impact could be shown. Studies on the effects of the emotional intelligence of team leaders may also be of interest.

Future research should also investigate the magnitude of relationship between EI and team performance may differ depending on other factors like individuals’ attitude, gender, and other moderating variables. It should also aim to replicate this study by involving larger populations.

Further studies should also include other instruments/tools such as interviews and observations which might offer deep insight into EI and performance of teams.


The importance of emotions in work settings has been recognized since 1990s.Emotional intelligence has various dimensions that link emotion and cognition to improve human interactions. It has been linked to many improved workplace behavior and specifically team behavior and team performance. (Jordan, Peter, Lawrence, Sandra, 2009).

Regression analysis was done on the study to find out the relationship between Emotional intelligence and team performance. A positive relationship was found between both the variables.

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