Relationship between Emotional Intelligence and Perceptions of Ethical Behaviour

tract Research Report –Relationship between emotional intelligence and perceptions of ethical behaviour Abstract Empirically the purpose of this study is to investigate the perception of emotional intelligence, pluralist ignorance and one’s ethical standards in the workplace environment. This study is undertaken to help reduce pluralist ignorance in the workplace via educating upcoming business students and the general public. ”.

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Jonathan, Halbesleben, Buckley, Sauer et al 2000: pg17) The method utilised to investigate this research is a survey, which will be undertaken by 229 UWS undergraduate students through Campbelltown and Parramatta campuses. The results will be compared and contrasted to note the pluralistic ignorance and emotional intelligence of an individual. Pluralistic ignorance and emotional intelligence plays an important role in today’s business environment. It is thought to offer better teamwork, decision making, an increase in satisfaction and performance and also a decrease in burnout.

It has the implications of overall business ethics, behaviour and individual variance in perception. In the study we confirmed that this variation of emotional behaviour in the workplace is effected by gender. Angelo Kinicki describes emotional intelligence as “the ability to manage oneself and interact with others in mature and constructive ways” (Kinicki et al 2008: pg 53). Whereas pluralistic ignorance is the assumption that others’ beliefs differ from yours even though behaviours are identical.

There are positive and negative perceptions of self- related ethical behaviour towards the judgment of others’ ethical behaviour; – these findings regarding these concepts have discrepancies-. In the particular, Halbesleben, Buckley and Sauer (2004) suggested that individuals erroneously believe that others are more unethical than they actually perceive themselves to be. (Halbesleben, Buckley and Sauer, et al , 2004: pg17). On the other hand Joseph, Berry and Deshpande (2008) theory was that “a perception of ethical behaviour of peer is a reflection of individual’s ethical behaviour” (Joseph, Berry, Deshpande ,2009 et al 2009: pg544).

The relevance of this information is to enlighten employees and employers and also the general public of an individual’s emotional, psychological behaviour in the workplace, whether it is EI or PI. The study that I am undertaking is a replication of Joseph berry and Deshpande work (Joseph, Berry, Deshpande et al, 2009:pg546) of emotional intelligence and pluralist ignorance via a survey taken by University of Western Sydney students in the Parramatta and Campbelltown campuses. It encompasses several similarities of the theories, of the scholars discussed above.

The hypothesis which I will be investigating in the scope of this research report will be that; “males and females have differing emotional intelligence and pluralistic views”. Also my second hypothesis will be that, “gender plays an important role when decision making is needed in the workplace”. Method The participants in the study were 120 males and 109 females, who participated in the study across both Campbelltown and Parramatta University of western Sydney campuses. The materials utilised for the survey were part of a larger survey from the scholarly work of :(Joseph, J. Berry, K. and Deshpande, S. P. (2008). Impact of emotional intelligence and other factors on perception of ethical behaviour of peers. Journal of Business Ethics, 89 (4), 539-546. ) The survey was distributed in class as an opportunity to educate students to become aware of the factors that contribute to pluralist ignorance in the workplace. The (UWS) students were asked to assist scholarly studies via completing the replicated survey of J. Berry and Deshpande, in class and asked to hand it in the end of the day.

Hence, A total of 229 students were surveyed across both campuses , of those all students participated and were included in the present sample and also were assured there anonymity and confidentiality. The students were asked the following in the survey, overall regarding ethical behaviour in the workplace, “Stands for perceived Ethical Behaviour of Peers (EBP)”, “Stands for perceived Ethical Behaviour of Self (EBS)”, “stands for Over claiming Scales (OS)” and “Stands for the Wong and Law Emotional intelligence Scale (WLEIS)”.

The responses were offered and scaled on the EBP and also EBS as by Very Infrequently (1) to Very Frequently (4), OS was scaled from Not at all familiar (1) to very familiar (3) and WLEIS was scaled from Total disagree (1) to totally agree (7). Then the scores were added up at the end and put on a computer program, spreadsheet to illustrate the findings in a form of correlation. Overall, these scores indicated the emotional intelligence and perceptual intelligence of an individual. Results Table 1: The Variables of UWS students Personal and emotional behaviours in the workplace. | |Male |Male |Female |Female |Sign. | | |Variables |Mean |SD |Mean |SD | | | | |N = 120 | |N = 109 | | | |1 |Ethical Behaviour of Peers (EBP) |2. 70 |. 46 |2. 62 |. 50 |ns | |2 |Ethical Behaviour of Self (EBS) |2. 1 |. 51 |1. 82 |. 45 |*** | |3 |Over claiming Scale (OS) |1. 07 |. 12 |1. 04 |. 12 |* | |4 |Self Emotion Appraisal (SEA) |5. 39 |. 96 |5. 12 |1. 01 |* | |5 |Others Emotion Appraisal (OEA) |4. 97 |1. 18 |5. 41 |. 97 |** | |6 |Use of Emotion (UOE) |5. 15 |1. 18 |5. 13 |1. 5 |ns | |7 |Regulation of Emotion (ROE) |5. 01 |1. 37 |4. 91 |1. 07 |ns | NB. ns = not significant, * = significant at . 05 level, ** = significant at . 01 level, and *** = significant at . 001 level. Table 2. The variables correlation Variables 1 2 3 4 5 6 78 1. Sex1. 00 2. EBP -. 081. 00 3. EBS -. 28** . 41**1. 00 4. OS -. 15* -. 03 -. 011. 00 5. SEA -. 13* . 08 -. 02 -. 151. 00 6. OEA . 20 . 15* . 09 -. 09 . 21**1. 00 7. UOE . 01 . 01 -. 12 -. 02 . 23** . 19**1. 00 8. ROE -. 4 -. 05 -. 12 . 03 . 19** . 15* . 29**1. 00 NB. *= significant at . 05 level and **= significant at . 01 level. There were overall 229 students which participated in the survey throughout both Campbelltown and Parramatta campuses. In which they were 120 males and 109 females. You can see from Table 1 and Table 2 above, that there were a number of significant differences between males and females on a number of variables and correlation. (1)There was not a significant difference, between males and females on perception of ethical behaviour of peers (EBP), where males scored a higher ( mean =2. 0)however scored a lower (SD. 46) than females (mean 2. 62, SD. 50). The differences in the Standard deviation means the variance of the scores from the mean are tighter in the males then the females; this indicates a more positive correlation from the males than the females. This signifies that females agree to perform more unethical behaviours with their peers than males. (2)There was a significant difference, where p>. 001, between males and females on perceptions of ethical behaviour of self(EBS), where males scored higher (mean = 2. 11, SD = . 1) than females (mean = 1. 82, SD = . 45). The result means that males were more likely to agree that they would or do perform unethical behaviours more than females. (3)There was a slight variance, where p>. 05, between males and females on over claiming scale(OS), where males scored a higher (mean 1. 07), than females (mean 1. 04). However both Standard deviation for males and females were the same (. 12), indicating that variance of scores from the mean were the same, over claiming that they perceive themselves to be familiar in various products. 4)There was a inconsequential difference, where p>. 05, between males and females on self emotional appraisal (SEA), where males scored a higher (mean 5. 39) than the females (mean 5. 12). However the standard deviation varied as the females had a higher (SD. 1. 01) than males (SD. 96). The results suggest that females agree that they are self appraisal of there own emotions than males, meaning that they are more aware of their deep emotions and to be able to express emotions naturally. (Song, Law and Wong et al 2004: Pg484) (5) There was a significant difference, where p>0. 1, between males and females on others self emotional appraisal (OEA), where males scored a lower (mean. 4. 97) than females (mean 5. 41). However the males scored a higher (SD. 1. 18) than females (SD. 0. 97), suggesting that males are more aware of others emotions and appraisals than females, meaning males have the ability to perceive and understand the emotions of the people around them(Song, Law and Wong et al 2004:Pg 484) (6) There was not a significant variation, between males and females on use of emotions (UOE), where males scored higher (mean 5. 5, SD. 1. 18) than females (mean 5. 13. SD. 5. 15), showing that males are slightly more aware of how they utilise and manipulate their emotions than females. (7) There was not a significant disparity, between males and females on regulation of emotions (ROE), where males scored higher (mean. 5. 01 SD. 1. 37) than females (mean 4. 91 SD. 1. 07), indicating that males agree upon not being able to regulate their emotions than females, meaning that females have the ability to regulate there emotions, enabling a more rapid recovery from psychological stress. Song, Law and Wong et al 2004: Pg 484) There was a significant discrepancy in most of the results as females and males differed in most areas, however was mediated in the area of over claiming scale, indicating that they perceived products in similar ways, even though they are both different genders. However they differed in other areas such as: The area of the perception of ethical behaviour of peers, this signified that females agree to perform more unethical behaviours with their peers than males.

Another major difference was the result of males agreeing upon that they would or do perform unethical behaviours more than females. These above results indicated that my hypothesis was indeed correct as differences in genders will effect the decision making process in the workplace environment as emotional and pluralistic ignorance differed. Discussion We explored the role of pluralistic ignorance and emotional intelligence in the workplace and how it affects it.

Overall, our results suggest that gender play and important role in emotional intelligence, where male’s females were perceived to be more capable and have the ability to manage themselves more effectively and efficiently and males in a workplace environment and also to interact with others in maturely. Whereas males were suggested to be more ethical aware of others behaviours and them selves, they believed they did not differ, however pluralistic ignorance was encompassed by most female participants as they believed they were more ethical then others.

Overall my 1,2 hypothesis was supported as males and females differed in their emotional behaviour and perception of others, hence leading to differing views of the decision making process in the workplace. The results and my hypothesis were supported by Law and Wong as there theory was that “emotional intelligence is conceptually distinct from personality” (Song, Law and Wong et al 2004: pg 483).

Consequently, the authors Halbesleben, Buckley and Sauer theory of pluralistic influence also contributed to validity of my hypothesis; as they discuss that individuals mistakenly believe that others are more unethical than they actually are and perceived to be. Hence coinciding with my hypothesis as male and female individuals have varying perceptions of ethical behaviour in a workplace towards there colleagues. There were number of limitations of this research which could address. Firstly, there was not enough time for undergraduate students to think and fill up the survey properly.

Also these made the students compulsory fill up the survey, this might of led to the students unwillingness and randomly selecting categories without properly interpreting them. Secondly, the survey was not given on a large scale rather only two groups of students in the same subject. Thirdly, the authors Mesmer-Magnus , Viswesvaran, Joseph and Deshpande indicates that “ respondents may be particularly sensitive to questions about ethics’(Mesmer-Magnus , Viswesvaran, Joseph and Deshpande et al 2008 pg236 ).

Finally, there was not an even number of participants from both genders, which resulted in the decreasing reliability of the results presented. We realised there would be potential problems of this research report reliability. But other sources of theories helped clarify some of the findings. Future research has to be undertaken to better triangulate the finding and to make it credential. The implications of this research can help organisations better effectively and efficiently improve decision making processes, which will lead to a better performance within the workplace.

If utilised in proper ways it can also be effective in increasing profit margins via successful teamwork. The authors Mesmer-Magnus , Viswesvaran, Joseph and Deshpande suggest on (et al 2008: pg 235 )That if emotional intelligence and awareness of pluaristic ignorance is trained into the workplace it could lead to a 4% of the individual variance ethicality, which means it could generate significant improvements in performance and saving for the organisation. (Mesmer-Magnus, Viswesvaran, Joseph and Deshpande et al 2008: pg 235), hence reducing the prevalence of counterproductive workplace behaviour.

Conclusion Emotional intelligence and pluralist ignorance has received a large scale of debates and theories in academic literature. Throughout all theories of the EI and PI topics, research suggest and stresses the importance of organisations assimilating training programs to counteract these problems as the authors Mesmer-Magnus, Viswesvaran, Joseph and Deshpande conclude that overall employees with high emotional intelligence is better performers on the job. Mesmer-Magnus, Viswesvaran, Joseph and Deshpande et al 2008 pg 237) Our research is also a significant forecaster of individual’s pluralist ignorance and emotional intelligence. That perception of others ethical self differs from the counterparts. This report embeds additional supporting information on theories of various academic scholars of the idea that, ‘if an employee is more knowledgeable in the areas of EI and PI he/she will significantly better and organisation ethical behaviour and performance’ (et al 2008 pg 237).

References Angelo Kinicki. (2008). Organizational Behavior: core concepts The McGraw Hill/ Irwin Americas: New York, NY. Jacop Joseph, Kevin Berry, Satish P. Deshpande (2009). Impact of Emotional intelligence and Perception of Ethical Behavior of Peers, Journal of Business Ethics,89:539-546. Jessica Mesemer-Magnus, Chockalingam Viswesvaran, Jacop Joseph and Satish P. Deshpande (2008). The role of emotional intelligence in integrity and ethics perceptions , Research on emotion in organization, (4), 225-239.

Jonathon R. B. Halbesleben, M. Ronald Buckley and Nicole D. Sauer, (2004). The Role of Pluralistic Ignorance in Perceptions of Unethical Behavior: An Investigation of Attorneys’ and students’ Perception of Ethical Behavior, Ethics and Behavior, 14 (1), 17-30. Kenneth S. Law, Chi-Sum Wong, Lynda J. Song, (2004). The Construct and Criterion Validity of Emotional Intelligence and Its Potential Utility for Management Studies, Journal of applied psychology, 89 (3), 483-496.

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