Relationship between Emotional Intelligence (ei) and Occupational Performance


1.0 Introduction

For many years, people have disputed the relationship between emotion and performance. Emotions can be conveyed by a variety of means including verbalizations, expressions, body language and tone of voice (Bernieri, 2001). A person who has the skills of reading these signs should be able to utilize the signals to make an accurate assessment and decision of the situation. This could then lead to better decision making and increased success in social environments (Rosenthal et al, 1979). As such, we are inclined to reason and link with these emotions the information that they provide (Mayer, Caruso & Salovey, 1999). Emotion is almost certainly required as it is general knowledge how important it is in people’s lives. Nevertheless, in the context of education, management and workplaces, emotions or EI are also important. EI is a subtle or soft skill and has become radically popular in the fields of management and psychology. It is widely thought to contribute various aspects of occupational performance (Hubbark, 2005; Mayer, 2008; Boyatzis, Goleman & Rhee, 2000; Cooper & Sawaf, 1997; Goleman, 1998 and Weisinger, 1998) and is applicable to different kinds of industries, organizations, groups and jobs (Schaobroek and Grandey, 2000). Khukkar and Kush (2009) expounded that EI is gradually more relevant to both workplace development and developing people. EI principles provide a new instrument to understand and assess people’s behaviour (Goleman, 2001; Mayor & Salovey, 1993, 1997 and 2008), organization behaviours (Smith & Sharma, 2002), performance (Barsade, Ward, Turner, & Sonnenfeld, 2000) change (Carr, 2001), management styles (Goleman, 1998; Mayer, Caruso & Salovey, 1998; Gardner and Stough, 2002 and Zaiton, 2006) attitudes (Sparrow and Knight, 2007), interpersonal skills (Rohr, 2005; Goleman, 1995, 1998 and 2001; Mayor & Salovey, 2008) and potential. Furthermore it is an important consideration in human resource planning (Mayer, Roberts and Barsade, 2008; Mayer, Salovey and Caruso 2002; Guy and Newman 2004; Kernbach and Schutte 2005) such as job profiling, recruitment interviewing and selection, management development, customer relations, customer service and many more. In the library service industry, emotions play an imperative role in affecting librarians’ attitude to users and in turn his/her job performance Chen (2003), competitive advantage (Leidner 1993; Fuller and Smith 1991; Dulewicz and Higgs 2000; Korczynski 2002 and Hartley, 2008), to assist information exchanges between users and stakeholders, which create value for the user (Cherniss and Adler 2000; Cook and MacCaulay 2002; Korczynski 2002; Bardzil and Slaski 2003 and Cavalzani, 2009). For that reason, it is very important to look after the cognitive skills of the relationship with the user and between others. Otherwise the relation with user and stakeholders can be intimidated with a subsequent receding of the satisfaction rate and a negative publicity. Many previous studies provide evidence that identify EI as positively related to job performance and an enhancement of human performance. However, a great deal of what has been said is unfortunately based on supposition rather than scientific research (Bar-on, Handley and Fund, 2005; Fisher, 2000; Riggio and Lee 2007), while Emmerling & Goleman (2003); Stys & Brown (2004); Douglas, Frink and Ferris (2004); Zeidner, Matthews and Roberts (2004) suggest, more research is necessary to determine the exact connection and validate claims that EI and individual performance at the workplace includes library services.

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1.1 Research Background

The public library and information sector in Malaysia serves the information needs of a democratic, progressive, technologically sophisticated and culturally different society. A key focus of the sector is allowing people to connect with the world of information, interact with information and utilize information in all aspects of their lives (IFLA/UNESCO, 1994 and NLM, 2004). The sector nourishes lifelong learning, personal fulfilment, improved decision making, knowledge development, innovation, creativity, cultural continuity and the support of human capital development. As an information provider to the public, Malaysia Public Librarians (MPLs) are also responsible as the local gateway to knowledge, providers of a basic condition for lifelong learning, independent decision-making and cultural development of the individual and social groups.’ (IFLA/UNESCO Public Library Manifesto, 1994). For the past 52 years, MPLs have grown rapidly and extended their services to most of the states including some remote areas. The public libraries are supported by the National Library of Malaysia (NLM) headquarters situated in the capital, Kuala Lumpur. However, public libraries come under the jurisdiction of their various state governments. In 2003, NLM supported more than 900 public/state libraries in Malaysia, (NLM, 2003). They are responsible for the building and maintenance of the national collection from various library resources, providing facilities for their use as well as providing advice in library matters. The National Library also plays an important role in the planning and development of the library infrastructure throughout the country. This role is in line with the aspirations of the government to encourage a culture of knowledge in the development of the country and to foster a reading culture among Malaysians. However, this is not an easy task for public services and libraries to provide wide ranging services to all communities (IFLA/UNESCO, 2001). These services would include customer focus (public first, performance now) (Raslin, 2009 and Najib, 2009), working towards building a high performance work culture or Key Performance Index (KPI) (Najib, 2005 and Sidek, 2005), public services must equip themselves to satisfy a more demanding clientele (EPU, 2002) along with multitasking. Furthermore, librarians and information professionals work in a rapidly changing environment and the requirement to cope and succeed in this environment has been identified with EI (Leonhardt, 2008). Shamsudin (2005) pointed out that government servants (including public librarians) must possess EI skills in delivering services in order to contribute directly to the creation of a favourable environment and establish a good relationship with stakeholders. Therefore, public libraries have a firm footing in Malaysia and only the government can provide the framework and resources for a uniform service of a high standard. Additionally, it’s clear that Malaysian Public Librarians needs to instil and enhance EI skills in providing quality services and improved organization performance. At the same time as Hochschild (1993) and Morris & Feldman (1996) indicate that emotion is one feature of a successful organization.

1.2 Problem Statement

In summary, an analysis of EI in workplace literature highlights where particular gaps in EI works information exist. Thus, this study is employed to emphasize the following gaps.

1.2.1 Government Advocacy

Recently, Malaysian government initiated the 1 Malaysia concepts, which focuses on people first, performance now (Najib, 2009). This becomes a challenge to library staff in making sure that the service offered must fulfil the user’s needs (Raslin, 2009) even as Malek (2007) lists critical issues in public service facing in the 21st century are; service delivery, values and integrity and relationship management. Thus, in respect of those individuals who scored highest in EI using an appropriate EI assessment, the library can designate, select, develop, recruit andretain quality talented public servants to provide good services to users as required in 1 Malaysia concept. This also affects strategic human capital development (Malek, 2007). Therefore, the forms of knowledge and EI skills that public librarians require are vital in preparing them to be good human resources in the transformation and modernization of public services strength and quality (Mohd Sidek, 2009). The government is responsible in ensuring that public librarians are focusing on quality delivery services and national development. Elements of EI, such as ethics and integrity, are therefore reflected in all activities (Abdullah, 2005). Since independence, the government has introduced various programmes aimed at enhancing EI skills with emphasize on good moral values and integrity in the public service (Aris, 2009). In particular, since the 1980s, greater attention has been given to the concepts of ‘Clean, Efficient and Trustworthy’ (Bersih, Cekap dan Amanah) (1982), ‘Integration of Islamic Values’ (Penerapan Nilai-nilai Islam) (1985), ‘Excellent ‘ISO 9000′ (1987), Work Culture’ (Budaya Kerja Cemerlang (1989), ‘Client’s Charter’ (Piagam Pelanggan) (1993), ‘Code of Work Ethics’ (Kod Etika Kerja) (2004), ‘Islam Hadhari’ (2004) (and lastly, One Malaysia (Satu Malaysia) (2009). New roles, changing roles, training, and the fulfilment of user demand in public sectors have been debated on for many decades. Library service delivery continues to be a major challenge of managing constant change in a constantly changing environment (Curzon, 2006; Fourie, 2007 and Pantry, 2007). Saqib Saddiq (2006) contends that librarians are often gloomy within their workplace and find their job tedious. All library staffs are required to deliver and provide good services to the user (Fourie, 2007). All must be involved with emotions such as, integrity, good ethics, morality, communication and empathy skills, understanding, caring and must have a positive psychology (Quinn, 2007 and Shamsudin, 2005). Some degree of evidence to prove that high demands, meeting user and stakeholders expectations can make librarians become stressed, anger, burnout, tense and display other psychological problems as described by Siamian et al., (2006); Saqid, (2006); Pantry, (2007) and Leonhardt, (n.d). The International Labour Office in Geneva reported that stress problem is increasing in the workplace, negatively affecting a growing number of people across the world (ILO, 2005). Similarly, Blessinger (2002) notable, every type of library inevitably has problem patrons while research in Europe, USA and Australia indicates that emotions may have an increasing problem effect in library services. Therefore, it is important that psychological development in library staff helps them to manage their emotions (Shamsudin, 2005; Abbott and Cribb, 2004). This study is significant in supporting the government objective to reduce the mental and psychological issue in the workplace including MPLs (Abdul R., 2008). Through a proper psychological development, emotional issues such as anger, stress, anxiety and others can be managed with an appropriate emotional management (Feist & Feist, 2006).

1.2.2 Limited Empirical Evidence to Show the Relationship between EI and OP in Library Work.

Extensive research has been conducted on the relationship between EI and students’ performance or job performance. However, there are many scholars in the field of EI that do not have practical evidence to justify their claims that employee success correlates with personal and social skills (Schachter, 2009) and also does not predict performance, specifically because EI is difficult to measure and doubt exists whether it can be assessed at all (Cherniss, 2001; Leonhartd, n.d). Exploring the relationship between EI and librarian performance may provide a source of valuable information for library and information management discipline. There is some research, but it has not been applied to enough samples or in enough situations to be considered a reliable source. Thus, the researchers believe that EI can be applied to the Library and Information Management areas with resulting competitive advantages to the organization in addition to the relationship with the users and stakeholders (Quinn, 2007). Nowadays it is widely recognized that a person’s level of EI is a good indicator of how he/she will perform in a working environment (Schachter, 2009). When EI is applied in the library, “ employees and management be able to accomplish success in their careers and relationships with others and therefore provide a great quality of customer service” (Singer, 2005). However, researchers suggest that more research is required to validate this relationship, since the lack of results on the relationship between EI in performance in the workplace has been shown ( Leonhartd, n.d ). Nowadays it is widely recognized that a person’s level of EI is a good indicator of how he/she will perform in a working environment (Schachter, 2009). When EI is used as an instrument within the library, both employees and management should be able to achieve success in their careers and relationships with others and therefore provide a higher quality of customer service (Singer, 2005). However, researchers suggest that more research is required to validate this relationship, since the lack of results on the relationship between EI in performance in the workplace has been shown ( Leonhartd, n.d ). At first glance, it may appear that a lack of study to show this relationship. Library staffs are reluctant to explore EI skills compared to technical skills and perhaps their cognitive skills are largely unexplored. From this scenario, the library as a whole may be affected through uncommitted staff, lack of empathy and the receipt of negative feedback from users. 8,066 of complaints received by Public Bureau Complaint (Biro Pengaduan Awam) regard failures to fulfill user needs and others complaints at government agencies (JPM, 2008). Some of the feedback referred to staff, such as not committed, no integrity and a lack of communication skills etc. By knowing the connecting of EI and performance, librarians can utilize EI skills optimally and contribute to the overall library mission. The Library can enhance their performance through positive psychology or EI skills, Quinn (2007), and provide appropriate training (Mills & Lodge, 2006). MPLs are not paying much attention to providing an appropriate training and programme related to EI skills. From the NLM calendar training program in 2009, only 3-4 training programmes related to EI offered by NLM were found, such as; communication (related to the social skill area), managing stress (related to self awareness area), team work (related to the self regulation area) (NLM, 2009).

1.2.3 Deficiency of DynamicModel/Framework for measuring EI level among librarians.

Many scholars developed the EI framework and model and most of the model or framework is pertinent to all kinds of disciplines (Salovey & Mayer, 1990; Goleman, 1995; Bar-On, 2000; Dulewicz & Higgs 2000; Mayer, Salovey & Caruso 1999 and Palmer & Stough 2001). Every single occupation or different jobs have an uniqueexclusive profile of emotional competenciesskill that, cooperativelyalong with cognitive intelligence, communication, education, training, mentoring, and supervising, which are necessary for excellence in performance (Goleman, 1998 and Matthews, Zeidner and Roberts, 2004). Kreitz (2009) claims that limited study and examination of the EI model and traits among library directors and their teams consider this most important. From the perspective of services, library encounters are rather complex affairs and contains unique tasks (Leonhardt, n.d and Willis, 1999). Public library staff will have a range of skills and qualities, including interpersonal skills and intrapersonal skills as well as social awareness, teamwork, leadership and competence in the practices and procedures of their organization (IFLA/UNESCO Public Library Manifesto, 1994). The use of EI measures in organizational settings has also been somewhat controversial (Davies, Stankov, & Roberts, 1998; Mattews, Zeidner, & Roberts, 2003) because the presented areas in the EI framework might only be fitting to measure certain types of competency (Hoppers, 2005). Limited EI measurement dimensions in several set skills of the librarian and information professional requires them to develop comprehensive and dynamic instruments to measure librarian EI. Additionally Boyatzis, Goleman and Rhee (1999) suggest elements of the EI model should be clustered in order to rate all competencies to be effective (Hay Group, 2005). At MPLs for instance, the environment of work may be different because the government really emphasizes integrity, spirituality, trustworthiness and Islamic values amongst government servants which are not clear in the existing framework. Besides that, the result may not be reliable or valid since little evidence or research using these frameworks in library works, such as Promis (2008) used Goleman model and Hopper (2005) using Hernon-Rositter Traits Model. Connotation from the absence of an appropriate framework in measuring the EI for a librarian stimulating the library unfamiliar with the EI concept, also not as popular or famous as an aptitude test (Kreitz, 2008). The core competencies and skills procedures of the following library associations and authority bodies were examined. The gap and the main features in order to understand the core competencies/skills or related aspects of EI: American Library Association (ALA, 2008) has highlighted, several skills for librarians to apply. However, the majority of skills with emphasize on technical skills (such as the organization of information and ICT) while only 11 competencies were related to EI set skills; they are analytical skills, problem solving, decision making, communication, creativity/innovation, expertise and technical knowledge, flexibility/adaptability, interpersonal or group skills, leadership, organizational understanding and global thinking, planning and organizational skills, resource management and service attitude/user satisfaction. Unlike ALA, model competency and skill in the Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA, 2001), entered 15 generic skills and attributes to EI such as: communication skills; professional ethical standards and social responsibility; project management skills; critical, reflective and creative thinking; problem-solving skills; business acumen; ability to build partnerships and alliances; effective team relationship skills; self management skills; a commitment to life-long learning; relevant information, communications technology, technology application skills and appropriate information literacy skills. Nonetheless, again the skill related to technical and ICT became vital skills in this model. International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA/UNESCO, 2001) developed 14 set skills for public librarians relating to the EI model are; interpersonal skills, social awareness, teamwork, leadership and competence in the practices and procedures of the organization. The fundamentalprimary qualities and skills requiredcompetencies requisite of public library staff can be defined included as: “communication skills, understand the needs of users, co-operate with individuals and groups in the community, knowledge and understanding of cultural diversity, knowledge of material, understanding, teamwork, organizational skills, flexibility, imagination, vision and openness to new ideas, readiness to change methods and knowledge of ICT”. In this model, clearly cognitive skills become an important and have been included rather than technical and management skills. Despite the EI skills existence, still there is a lack of a widespread model in measuring the EI level for librarians. NLM (2004) conducted research and identified 11 areas of set skills required for librarians to possess. There is persuasiveness and user education, technology information system, strategic thinking & user orientation, Management and Information service, research skills & analytical, performance orientation, impact and business, Management and Leadership (Organizational Drive), communication, information searching and knowledge management and Personal Drive (PNM ID). These set skills have still been lacking when skills related to EI have not been evident. In fact, some skills should put in the same area as cognitive skills. For example, communication should integrate into the personal drive. Despite numerous librarian competency models having been developed by several authors/organizations (e.g., IFLA, 2001; ALIA, 2002; ALA, 2008 and NLM, 2004) but the skills described in their models is not directly related to EI. Each set skill had its own description or were not standardized or well structured. Clearly, it is not comprehensive or dynamic to use in measuring librarian EI. Hay Group (2005), Boyatzis, Goleman, and Rhee (1999) outlined the rationale for the clustering and organization of emotional intelligence competencies in order to make the EI model comprehensive, dynamic and measured. Furthermore, the availability of evidence indicates the differences in librarian set skills, competency of different authority bodies and countries. There is a deficiency of comprehensive, dynamic and established EI models for librarian and information professionals. It would be interesting and meaningful to discover the relationship between EI and OP among librarians using these library EI models and for them to be complimentary rather than contradictory (Ciarrochi, Chan & Caputi, 2000).

1.2.4 Limited literatures Discussing EI skills in the field of Library and Information works.

The EI skill is being discussed widely in newspapers, (Goleman, 1998) magazines (Druskat & Wolff, 2001) books (Cherniss & Adler, 2000; Goleman 2002), a range of academic journals (Ciarrochi, Chan, & Caputi, 2000; Dulewicz & Higgs, 200) and websites (EI consortium, 2009). In the library and information science perspective, Khoo (2004) claims that much literature has been written on the topic of competencies needed by librarians and information professionals in the new millennium. A literature search in the Library and Information Science Abstracts (LISA) database, located more than 1000 papers in the past 10 years discussing LIS competencies including EI. A search in two search engines in July, 2009 shows a stark gap in the number of publications on EI generally and EI related to library services. presented 2,740,000 hits in general and 120,000 hits EI interrelated in the context of library works (4%) while contained 9,950,000 strikes in general and 69,400 hits EI related to library works (0.7%). In addition, Orme and Bar-On (2002), noted that the interest in the EI subject is indicated by the almost 500% increase in the number of publications and in the total number of scientific publications alone, of which 3,500 were published between 1970 to the end of the 1990s. The number of papers suggests that it is an important issue related to skills and competencies for the library and information profession and that the profession has arrived at a turning point in its history when the nature of the profession could be revolutionized dramatically (Khoo, 2004). Although a few discussions of EI and library services appear in both library and information science literature (Edidson, 2000; Nazarova, 2002; Rovengers, 2000 and 2002; Singer and Francisco, 2005; Pellack, 2003; and Quinn, 2007), these are non research pieces. One must go outside of library and information management to find other empirical studies. Some librarians are not clear or do not grasp how EI skills contribute to job performance in the workplace (Leonhartd, n.d). Most literature published is focusing in psychology discipline, education and business sector. Few address the importance of EI in information works. The gap is significant between EI in information works in comparison to others. CILIP (1987) stated that success of service depends on skills. One of the skills required is EI. Similarly Martin (1999) analyzed EI as most applicable in several careers; one of them is the librarian while Leonhardt (2008), stressed the need to address EI skills. However, limited serious publishing and discussion of the EI concept in library works amongst scholars makes this concept quiet and unstable (Landy, 2005). EI is important to all workers because people who possess the ability to control negative approaches and inclinations tend to be reasonable. Stipulation many literatures publish, reveal and can promote EI skills to a librarian and then they can create an environment that harvests trust, respect and fairness and can serve as a means of increasing performance and productivity (Harvard Business Review, 2004; Goleman, 1998, 1998b). In many of the writings related to this subject, EI has been touted as an important determinant of many important outcomes in life including career success (Cooper and Sawaf, 1997; Goleman, 1995, 1998). Most of these claims are however, subjective and imitative (Dulewicz and Higgs, 1999). In particular, it is surprising that so little library and information works literature has actually discussed the topic, especially the relationship of EI and work performance.

1.3 Research Questions

The purpose of this study is to explore the relationship between EI and occupational performance of librarians in Malaysian Public Libraries. The study addresses the following research questions; 1.3.1 What are the dimensions used for measuring EI for librarians? 1.3.2 What is the status/level of EI librarians in MPLs? 1.3.3 How do librarians of MPLs perform in the workplace? 1.3.4 Is there any relationship between EI and OP of librarians in MPLs Is there any significant relationship between self awareness and OP? Is there any relationship between self regulation and OP? Is there any relationship between Social awareness and OP? Is there any relationship between relationship management and OP

1.4 Research Objectives

Research objectives explain the purpose of the research in measurable terms and specify what the research should achieve (Zikmund, 1997). The objectives for this research, derived from the research problems and questions, are listed below:- 1.4.1 To identify the dimensions used for measuring EI for librarians 1.4.2 To develop a profile on the level of emotional intelligence and OP of librarians in MPLS 1.4.3 To measure MPLs performance in the workplace 1.4.4 To develop Psychometric intruments to measure emotional intelligence level among Malaysian Librarians 1.4.5 To identify the relationship between EI and OP of librarians in MPLs To determine any significant relationship between self awareness and OP. To determine any significant relationship between self management and OP To determine any significant relationship between social awareness and OP To determine any significant relationship between relationship management and OP

1.5 Context and Scope of Study

At the research level, the study is particularly significant in MPLs because it applies, for the first time, a quantitative and qualitative approach (pragmatism) to public libraries. Dror (1973 and 1987); a systems approach to organization development (Senge, 1990); developing education and training as instruments available to government, community and business organizations to prepare individuals for the rapidly-changing, increasingly-demanding world of work, and to improve their employability (Beckett & Hager, 2002). Goleman’s (1995, 1996, 1998 and 2002; Cherniss & Goleman’s (2001) analysis of EI in the workplace are combined in this research, for the first time, to be applied at national level in Malaysian libraries: in the public sector. Thus, this research has significance at the local and national level for public and private organizations seeking ways of developing policy to improve the quality of service to their customers using EI concepts. It is possible that its impact could extend to the international level due to the current worldwide interest in the application of Emotional Intelligence in organizations. The scope of this research study is limited to classified variables: EI and its effect on the occupational performance of employees in MPLs. The OP means in the context of this study, will be focusing towards individual performance; for instances job performance, job satisfaction and job commitment. In an effort to eliminate variables that could occur pursuant to using various grades of librarians, the study population is limited to sample librarians in Malaysian public libraries. Participants are full-time employees and classified as first-line supervisors, assistant supervisors, first-line managers, directors and executive-level managers.

1.6 Definition and Key Concepts

1.6.1 Emotional Intelligence

  1. The ability to monitor one’s own and others’ feelings and emotions, to discriminate amongst them and to use the information to guide one’s thinking and action” (Mayer & Salovey, 1990).
  2. “An array of non-cognitive capabilities, competencies and skills that influences one’s ability to succeed in coping with environmental demands and pressures” (Reuven Bar-On, 1998; p).
  3. “Learned capability based on EI that results in outstanding performance at work” (Goleman, 1998)

1.6.2 Occupational Performance

  1. The ability to perceive, desire, recall, plan and carry out roles, routines, tasks and sub-tasks for the purpose of self-maintenance, productivity, leisure and rest in response to demands of the internal and/or external environment (Chapparo, & Ranka (1996).
  2. In the context of this study, OP refers to job commitment, job satisfaction and individual job performance and to impact on work behaviours and success (Noriah, et al.2000).

1.6.3 Job Performance

Job performance is any work-related performance that any librarian can appraise. (HR World, 2009).

1.6.4 Job Satisfaction

“Job satisfaction refers to the feelings and emotional aspects of individual’s experiences toward their jobs, as different from intellectual or rational aspects. (Smith et al., 1969)

1.6.5 Job Commitment

Degree of commitment to one’s profession or occupation (Meyer, 1993)

1.6.6 Public Libraries

A public library is an organization established, and supported and funded by the community, either through local, regional or national government or through some other form of community organization. It provides access to knowledge, information and works of the imagination through a range of resources and services and is equally available to all members of the community regardless of race, nationality, age, gender, religion, language, disability, economic and employment status and educational attainment. (IFLA/UNESCO, 2001). In the context of this study, Malaysian Public Library is an organization established, supported and funded by the federal government or state government by providing access to knowledge, information to all members of the community regardless of race, nationality, age, gender, religion, language, disability economic and user status. It will comprise of national library and 14 state libraries.

1.6.7 Malaysian Public Librarian

A person who is responsible for a collection of specialized or technical information or materials, printed materials, electronic materials, cartographic materials and AV in Malaysian public libraries.

1.7 Significance of Research / Contribution to the Body of Knowledge

In this study it is expected that there are numerous impacts and benefits that result from an emotional intelligence study. This study contributes to the literature of empirical research, library administrations and other related areas of knowledge by examining the relationship between emotional intelligence and occupational performance in Malaysian libraries. In fulfilling the study’s purpose, significantly, the study allows the researcher to:

1.7.1 Develop Theoretical Model

Researcher will develop an empirically based framework of relationship between EI and OP amongst librarians for future research. The theoretical model is developed through empirical literature readings and previous research which enables other researchers to test their research soon. An overview of EI and OP variables outlines the conceptual framework

1.7.2 Provide Empirical Evidence

This study may provide additional empirical evidence in support of an ability model of EI, thus supporting it as constructed distinctly from a personality type. Furthermore, establishing a relationship between EI and OP would enable organizations to promote the development of EI as a coping skill against stress; thus maintaining job satisfaction, performance and individual commitment, as well as to promote commitment to one’s occupation. Also, providing empirical data to practitioners, researchers and educators for developing professional education and appropriate training programs to improve library administrators’.

1.7.3 Practical Contribution

Identifying dimensions of EI beyond the contributions of personality and its moderating role in OP will enable MPLs to identify an appropriate selection processes as well as implement training programs for its staff. Librarians who have a high level of job commitment, satisfaction and performance are less likely to leave an organization. Additionally, librarians are more likely to engage in activities that further enhance their knowledge and skills. Researchers can develop knowledge, skill, competencies and abilities of the library staff in the provision of library services to users. Contribute directly to motivate library staff in delivering library services. These findings are useful as a platform to motivate library staff to provide high quality services and accurate information delivery systems as proposed by the Malaysian Prime Minister.

2.0 Literature Review

2.1 Introduction

EI can be defined in a different way. However, the role of EI in the workplace is important. A positive relationship between EI and an individual’s performances, ethics, and values is implied in much of the EI literature. Goleman (2001) has made some dramatic claims for the importance of EI in the workplace, but to date there has been little empirical evidence to support his claims (Ashforth and Humprey (1995). Leonhart (2008) pointed out the need to address EI in library services. In the context of library services, EI is a vital skill in providing and disseminating information to a patron. This cognitive skill should therefore include in the set skill and competency of the librarian. Empathy, communication and focus to customer orientation are partial to the EI concept that librarian must possess.

2.2 Perceptions of Emotional Intelligence

Emotion and intelligence have been examined as adversarial components. Typically, emotions were seen as a senseless and turbulent force in the work setting (Mayer & Salovey, 1997). Emotionality and rationality were determined to be complimentary components. McDowell and Bell (1997) viewed them as “inseparable parts of the life of an organization” (p. 6). Those authors examined the operation of the human brain and discovered that “proper functioning of the brain is dependent upon the smooth interaction of emotionality and rationality” (McDowell & Bell). Goleman (1995) viewed each person as having two minds, “one that thinks and one that feels” (p. 8). Two minds meant two ways “of knowing to construct our mental life” (p. 8). The rational mind was the one of which people were most conscious –“aware, thoughtful, able to ponder and reflect” (Goleman, 1995, p. 8). The emotional mind worked alongside the rational mind, but was be viewed as impulsive, powerful, and at times even illogical (Goleman). These two minds, the emotional and the rational, operate in tight harmony…intertwining their very different ways of knowing to guide us through the world. Ordinarily, there is a balance between emotional and rational minds, with emotion feeding into and informing the operations of the rational minds, and the rational mind refining and sometimes vetoing the inputs of the emotions. Still, the emotional and rational minds are semi-independent faculties, each…reflecting the operation of distinct, but interconnected, circuitry in the brain. (Goleman, 1995, p. 9)

2.3 Clusters of Emotional Intelligence

The first two clusters have been grouped together under the personal competence heading (Goleman, Boyatzis, & McKee, 2002). The clusters underneath this heading were similar to what Gardner (1983) defined as intrapersonal intelligence and determined how a person managed him/herself (Goleman, Boyatzis, & McKee). Self-awareness. People who were proficient in the self-awareness cluster were able to identify their feelings and assess how their feelings affected them (Goleman, Boyatzis, & McKee, 2002 and Hay Group, 2005). Eminent self-awareness skills legitimate a person to monitor self and behaviour to ensure decisions worked to benefit him/her in the future. We see an environment through filters based on our values, beliefs, experiences, knowledge, culture, and many other factors. To understand how and why we see and interpret experiences and situations the way we do, we must embark on a lifelong journey of learning and growth. In addition, people with self-awareness competencies knew their strengths and limitations, and exhibited confidence when their strengths were needed (Goleman, Boyatzis, & McKee). Self-management. Competencies under this cluster included the ability to admit mistakes, juggle multiple demands, set high standards for self and others, take initiative, and be optimistic (Goleman, Boyatzis, & McKee, 2002). “Managing your emotions means understanding them and then using that understanding to deal with situations productively (Weisinger, 1998, p. xx). Maulding (2002) defined self-management as “handling feelings so they are appropriate. An ability that builds on self-awareness” (p. 9). Social competence was the second heading and included the capabilities that determined how relationships were managed (Goleman, Boyatzis, & McKee, 2002). These clusters were similar to what Gardner (1983) described as interpersonal intelligence. Social awareness. Empathy, organizational awareness, and service orientation were competencies listed under this cluster. People who were skilled in this area read the emotions of others, detected power relationships, got along well with others, and created an emotional climate suitable for all involved parties (Goleman, Boyatzis, & McKee, 2002). Relationship management. A person adept at creating good relationships was one who inspired others to be appropriate role models and who persuaded others to be supportive of change. In addition, skilled individuals managed conflict, encouraged collaboration among team members, and developed the skills of others (Goleman, Boyatzis, & McKee, 2002). “Relating well to others means connecting with them to exchange information meaningfully and appropriately” (Weisinger, 1998, p. xxi).

2.1 Importance of EI in the Workplace

There are enormous roles for EI in the organization. Research in this area embraces the idea that people addressing those with personnel qualities, are the most important aspects of the organizations activity. Individual qualities can be formed by utilizing EI skills (O’Hara, 2005). Bardzill & Slaski (2002) supported this idea when he noted the roles of EI in hiring staff. Several studies reported the implication of the economic value of hiring staff with an EI assessment. The Government Accounting Office (1998) saved the total amount after the United States Air Force used Bar-On’s Emotional Quotient Inventory (EQ-I) to recruit new staff. By recruiting those individuals who scored highest in EI assessment, they increased their ability to recruit successful staff by triple and saved $3 (RM 10.5) million annually. A same finding as study by Boyatzis (1999) found that when their business partners in a multinational consulting firm were assessed using EI competencies, their partners who scored higher delivered $1.2 (RM 4.2) million more profit than did other partners. Promsri (2005) conducted research from 400 respondents at a special commercial bank HQ in Thailand found empathy of service provider EI factors were a significantly explanatory variable to customer retention. Quite similar findings were shown by Lopes et al., (2006) while the conducted study involving Fortune 400 insurance companies. The study found a positive relationship between EI assessed with a performance measure and positive workplace outcomes. Cherniss (2000) listed four reasons why the workplace would be needed for evaluating and improving EI competencies:

  1. EI competencies are critical for success in most jobs.
  2. Many adults enter the workforce without the competencies necessary to succeed or excel at their job.
  3. Employers already have the established means and motivation for providing emotional intelligence training.
  4. Most adults spend the majority of their waking hours at work. EI is feasible in any type of activities including library services.

The development of EI in Malaysia is in line with a national agenda. Noriah, et al., (2000) found that EI is positively linked with problem solving and academic achievement (Wan Ashibah, 2004; Syed Najmudin, 2005; Shammila, 2006; Saemah, 2006; Raslinda, 2007 and Zurina 2005). Throughout the general framework, a large arrangement of competencies had been claimed to be significant for success in occupational settings (e.g., see Boyatzis et al. 2000; Cooper and Sawaf 1997; Weisinger 1998).

2.2 EI in Library and Information Services

There are enormous roles for EI in the organization. Goleman (1998) lists 25 different competencies necessary for effective management in the workplace with different competencies believed to be required in different professions. One of them is librarian. It is clear from the list that librarian requires the EI to deal with users and facilitate services (customer service orientation) (Singh, 2006 cited in Yate, 1977) see figure 1.





Billing Clerk




System Analyst

Radiological Technician

Electrical Engineer

Dental Hygienist

Mechanical Engineer

Compensation Analysis


Rental Sales Associate




Environmental Lawyer



MIS Manager


Software Engineer

Police Officer

Civil Engineer

Nurse Aide

Figure 1: EI Required for Various Job. Source; Singh (2006). Much research and presentations disclose knowledge and skills of human beings in the library and information process (Jela, 2001). This process involves cognitive, affective, behavioral and social elements. The success of library services needs to instill and enhance EI skills in providing quality services at the same time as Christopher, (2003) claims EI for library staffs is essential for harmony, maximum productivity and quality services. Besides that, performance assessment is a further area for which EI will be valuable in hiring, training, and promoting lucratively library staff. Harmon (2000) identified five factors to be the most predictive for recruitment success in the library. These were assertiveness, empathy, happiness, emotional self-awareness and problem-solving skills. A library manager with intense EI skills will use more than IQ to make a hiring, selecting and promoting decision (Singer, 2005). A manager will therefore, be able to make a better decision and recruit quality staff because they will take into consideration how the applicant’s take into account how the applicant’s personalityqualities will be appropriate into and benefit to the library service is also described by Singer (2005). Slaski and Bardzil (2003) and Hartley (2008) conclude that EI is fundamental competencies for enhancing the service provision. Empathy is one of the most important variables from the EI model for librarians. Wilson and Birdi (2008) as well as Quinn (2007) claim empathy is applicable in the field of librarianship while Nikolova (2004) states that “empathy is one of the psychological skills that a librarian must work to improve” and that it could serve to improve the quality of service provided. Users need all types of assistance and services from librarians (Birdi, Wilson and Cocker, 2008). The role of empathy is essential in the development of customer service skills (Goleman, 2001; Bar-On, 2002; Matthewes, Zeidner and Roberts; 2004; Flanagan et al., 2005 and Birdy, Wilson and Cocker, 2008. The role of empathy must be considered in the development of customer service skills (Goleman, 2001; Bar-On, 2002; Matthewes, Zeidner and Roberts; 2004; Flanagan et al. , 2005 and Birdy, Wilson and Cocker, 2008. Likewise, many study findings show evidence the link between emotions and motivation in a broad range of research (Frijda 1994; Zurbriggen & Sturman 2002 and Anne et al., 2007 and Tella, Ayeni and Popoola, 2007). EI in the workplace can play a major role in making staff more committed, motivated, productive, profitable, and in a more enjoyable place (Christopher, 2003 and Zeidner, Matthews, and Roberts, 2004 and Anne et al., 2007). Librarians who regularly receive positive feedback (such as praise, reward etc.) from management and users for their contributions are motivated to think about how they can perform even more in their library performance (Tella, Ayeni and Popoola, 2007). The ability of librarian’s emotions and the feelings of others is the pivotal to relationships or interaction that are engaging, exciting, fulfilling, creative, and productive (Mill and Lodge, 2006 and Birdi, Wilson and Cocker, 2008). Moreover, it is compulsory for connections or communication to be established between library staff and patrons (Sanderback, 2009). The achievement of these relationships will depend on the eminence of the relating approaches used by library staff. One likely indicator of staff’s ability to relate to their users is their level of EI and be able to build, cultivate, sustain and occasionally patch relationships with library patrons (Mill and Lodge, 2006). According to Downing (2009) the changing and evolution information landscape, require library staff to commit and understand user demands, to retain their users in the competitive environment. Library services, therefore, must be able to recognize and combine potential interpersonal, intrapersonal (EI skills) and technical skills in order to make better or right decisions (Harmon, 2000; Goleman, 2005). Librarian can think and act more rationally in the moment by developing emotional self-regulation skills that enable he/she to quickly metamorphose negative, weakening emotions into more positive, productive ones (Stock, 2009). Library also will get advantageous by applying EI in terms of:-

  • Personality traits (conscientiousness, optimism)
  • Motivation (attributions, need for achievement, internal motivation)
  • Self attitude (self-esteem, self confidence)
  • Character (trust, integrity)
  • Cognitive states (intentional flow)
  • Aptitudes (intuition)
  • Social skills (communication, assertiveness, provision of feedback)
  • Social behaviours (pro-social behaviours)

3.0 Research Methodology

3.1 Introduction

Generally, mixed methods research is knowledge derived from the pragmatist. According to Cherryholmes, 1992; Murphy, 1990 and Creswell, pragmatism “provides a discussion of paradigms then it can be proposed that taking a particular approach to research”. InYet spite of that, , the pragmatic paradigm indicatesm implies athat the comprehensive overall approach to research is that of mixing data collection methods and data analysis procedures within the research process (Creswell, 2003). This chapter presents an overview of the methodological perspective of the research. Section 3.2 describes the research strategy. Section 3.3 presents the research design of mixed methods and is based on the research questions in this study. Section 3.4 discusses the exploratory mixed design procedures. Finally, Section 3.5 discusses data collection methods (Appendix A)

3.2 Research Strategy

Reseachers choose to apply a sequentially mixed methods design adapted from Cresswell (2002) and Bulling (2005) in this study. Mixed method approaches to be used and will involve librarians at public libraries in Malaysia. The purpose of this sequentially mixed method study, is to first explore and generate themes about EI dimensions amongst librarians in public libraries using face-to-face interviews (quantitative). Then, based on these themes, the second phase is to develop a new instrument (psychometric) and to survey librarians about the level/status of EI, measure librarian performance and identify a relationship between EI and OP (Quantitative). The rationale for using mixed methods data is that a useful survey to identify the relationship between EI and librarian performance could best have been identified only after a preliminary exploration of dimensions and developed EI instruments for librarians.

3.3 Research Design

In the 1st phase (qualitative), the researcher tends to answer RQ 1 (What are the dimensions for measuring EI amongst librarians?”) And help to develop the second method (quantitative) in the 2nd phase (Greene et al., 1989). This design is based on the premise that an exploration is needed for one of several reasons: EI instruments are not available for librarians, the variables or EI dimensions for measuring librarians are unknown, or there is no guiding framework or theory. Because this design begins qualitatively, it is best suited for exploring a phenomenon (Creswell, Plano Clark, et al., 2003). In the 2nd phase to answers RQ 2-4 (What is the status/level of EI librarians in MPLs?), How do librarians of MPLs perform in the workplace? Is there any relationship between EI and OP of librarians in MPLs? This design will particularly be used to develop and identify a relationship of EI and performance because one is not already available (Creswell, 1999; Creswell et al., 2004) or identify important EI variables to study quantitatively when the variables are unknown. It is also appropriate in generalizing results to different groups (Morse, 1991), to test aspects of an emergent theory or classification (Morgan, 1998), or to explore a phenomenon in depth and then measure its prevalence.

3.4 Exploratory Mixed Design Procedures.

The Exploratory Mixed Design is a two-phase approach and is referred to as the Exploratory Sequential Design (Creswell, Plano Clark, et al., 2003) (Appendix B). This design starts with qualitative data, to explore a phenomenon, and then builds to a second quantitative phase. I’m using this design build on the results of the qualitative phase by developing an instrument, identifying variables, or stating propositions for testing based on an emergent theory, framework or thematic. These developments connect the initial qualitative phase to the subsequent quantitative component of the study. Because the design begins qualitatively, a greater emphasis is often placed on the qualitative data.

3.5 Data Collection Methods

3.5.1 1st Phase – Qualitative

Using the purposive sampling technique, semi structured-Interview with 12 senior public librarians will be conducted and will be involving selected public libraries in Malaysia. The questions are developed based on Goleman, 2001; ALA, 2008; ALIA, 2001; IFLA/UNESCO, 2001 and NLM, 2004) and comprises of 4 main areas. There are; self-awareness, self management, social awareness and relationship management. Public librarian’s job specification analysis will also be highlighted. The Critical Incident Technique (or CIT) procedures will be used for collecting direct interpretation of librarian’s behaviour that has critical significance and meets methodically defined criteria. CIT is used during the interview with chief librarians, where the informants are encouraged to talk about unusual library staff incidents related to emotions instead of answering direct questions. By use of CIT emphasis is placed on the inclusion of chief librarian’s general opinions about management and working procedures, instead the focusing on specific incidents is explored. This technique is then kept track of as incidents, which are then used to solve practical problems and develop broad psychological principles and EI instruments. This technique can be described as one that makes a significant contribution – either positively or negatively – to library activity or phenomenon. Chief librarians are asked to tell a story about their emotional experiences that they have had. Interviews will be transcribed for content analysis using NVIVO. The basic unit of analysis will be a quote taken from the transcriptions. A quote being a “statement made by the subject who was self-definable and self-delimiting in the expression of a single, recognizable aspect of the subject’s experience” (Cloonan, 1971, p.117, cited in Scanlan, Stein & Ravizza, 1989). Both inductive and deductive processes of reasoning will be used to let uniform themes emerge and be grouped together according to a taxonomy approach. An independent researcher will check that the levels of abstraction obtained, accurately represented the raw data units. By employing this triangulation method, the verifying of data will increase its validity (Patton, 1990). The result from an interview is used to develop emotional competence inventory for a librarian (ECI-L). Review from an expert will be used to identify EI taxonomy before developing ECI-L. The method of ECI-L development is as follows: (1) look for EI items with the best chosen by the senior librarians to their intended scale; (2) in the analysis, EI items selected will check credibility, neutrality or conformability, consistency or dependability and applicability or transferability to ensure an item selected is of quality (Lincoln & Guba, 1985) (3) drop unnecessary items or non consistent or of less priority. This means that if chief librarians gave no response, suggests it might be difficult to observe the behaviour in others, or the item wording is confusing; (5) look for items conceptually at the centre of the definition of the EI competency; (6) look for items with distributed levels; and (7) identify items that had confusing or multiple phrases. (8) Validate EI taxonomy with expert in library and information management field and psychologist.

3.5.2 2nd Phase – Quantitative

The ECI-L Questionnaire is developed after determining the EI dimensions from interview data. Beta version of the survey instrument is ready for testing to the general population (library staffs) after completing the pilot study to verify the questionnaire. Survey respondents are responding on a 5 point Likert – type scale ranging from “Strongly Disagree” to “Strongly Agree”. Example of questions is, “I excel in my best work because of my good emotions”. Further, to identify occupational performance. Therefore, a 7-point scale (from unsatisfactory to excellent) on such characteristics as ability, co-operation, job knowledge, and quality of work using Job Performance Rating Scalewill be present. To measure job satisfaction, Employee Satisfaction Inventory is used (Koustelios, 1991; Koustelios and Bagiatis, 1997). It measures satisfaction in six aspects of a job: work itself, pay, promotion, supervision, working conditions and organization as a whole while job commitment will be measured using The Individual Comprehensive Commitment Questionnaire. Respondents will be selected randomly from both professional and support staff and grades of public libraries in Malaysia. In total, a sample of 350 will be selected from a targeted population of 1800 based of sampling frame (Appendix C). SPSS will be used to analyse quantitative data. Confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) will be performed on the data collected through the questionnaires to check whether a good factor structure exists with respect to the theory that is in question. That is, to check whether the variables in the scales of each questionnaire form coherent subsets but is relatively independent of each other (Tabachnick & Fidell, 2001). Once it has been confirmed that the obtained factor solution fits the expected factor solution, and then further analyses will be conducted via structural equation modelling (SEM). The time lapse between two data collection points will last between 6 months to 1 year.

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Relationship between emotional intelligence (ei) and occupational performance. (2017, Jun 26). Retrieved February 5, 2023 , from

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