Page 1

International Journal of Human Resource Management and Research (IJHRMR) ISSN 2249-6874 Vol. 2 Issue 3 Sep 2012 63-72 © TJPRC Pvt. Ltd.,




Dept of Business Administration, Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh- 202002, India


Dept of Business Administration, Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh- 202002, India

ABSTRACT Stress is a state of mind when external demands of the role exceeds from the internal capabilities of the person. Stress is not always harmful. A moderate amount of stress is essential for accomplishment of individual and organizational goals. But a continuous increase in stress level can lead to many physiological and psychological disorders. Stress can be found everywhere and in every situation, but employees at workplace are more prone to stress situations. Occupational stress has been recognized as one of the most significant workplace health hazards for employees across the world. Stress is harmful for both individual stressed and for organization or workplace where he/she is working. Stress can be reduced by many ways. It is better to manage stress rather than simply cope with it. One technique of managing stress effectively at workplace is Emotional Intelligence. Emotional intelligence is the ability to manage and use your emotions and feelings in positive and constructive ways.

It involves

communication with other fellow beings in order to make social connectedness and emotional release. It also allows an individual to talk himself and to manage self. Emotional Intelligence reduces stress and tension in the form of self-awareness, self- management, empathy, social awareness and relationship management. This paper shows qualitatively; how emotional intelligence can be proved a better technique to manage stress at workplace.

KEYWORDS: Occupational Stress, Stress Management, Emotional Intelligence

WORK STRESS “A trouble shared is a trouble halved” (Anonymous) In the present context, stress is an inevitable part of human life. Anybody can be stressed due to one or more reasons. Stress can be the adverse reaction which people suffer due to excessive pressure or other types of demands placed on them (Water & Ussery, 2007). Although it is essential, if it is constructive. If not, then distress is destructive in all sense. It has been seen by continuous research that ill impact of stress can be minimized or even reduced if one is helped to understand the causes of stress, its consequences and the appropriate coping strategies to manage stress (Gibbons & Gibbons, 2007). Emotional Intelligence is one of such coping strategy.


Bushara Bano & Parvaiz Talib

The job stressors are associated with the performance of specific tasks that make up an individual’s job, sometimes referred to as task content factors as well as work environment and work scheduling factors. Cooper and Marshall (1976, 1978) described seven major sources of stress, six external and one internal to the employee’s concerned- Intrinsic to job, Role in organization, Career Development, Organizational Interface, Organizational Structure, Relations with in Organization and factors related to individual. Chronic stress is harmful for individuals and organization as well. Stress is a risk factor for many physical ailments. Some of these are hypertension, coronary heart disease, migraine headaches, peptic ulcers, arthritis, colitis, diarrhea, asthma, sexual problems, allergies, muscle tensions, backache and cancer (Greenberg, 1993; Rice, 1992) (Figure 1). ------------------------------Insert Figure 1 about here -------------------------------In the same manner, organizations also have to bear the stress cost in the form of absenteeism, higher medical costs, staff turnover and low productivity (Figure 1). It is estimated that stress costs US industry over $ 150 billion a year through absenteeism and low productivity (Karasek & Theorell, 1990). Now the cost has increased up to $ 300 billion in USA only. It is obvious from the description that managers and employees have to use appropriate coping strategies to minimize distress in order to manage themselves and also for smooth running of the organization. In the present scenario, it is well known that mere technical and managerial knowledge and skills are not necessary things to be successful in a job. In other words, it takes more than traditional cognitive intelligence to be successful at work. It also takes 'emotional intelligence,' the ability to restrain negative feelings such as anger, self-doubt, stress, anxiety and instead focus on positive ones such as confidence, empathy and congeniality.

EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE Emotional intelligence can be defined as an 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 (Salovey & Mayer, 1990). It is the ability to adaptively recognize emotion, express emotion, to regulate emotion and harness emotions (Schutte et al., 1998). It can be changed with age or developmental level and gender (Gardner, 1999). On the other hand, emotional intelligence also enables people to differentiate their emotions, and to make appropriate choices for thinking and action (Cooper and Sawaf, 1997; Mayer and Salovey, 1993). It may be inborn but it may also be learned, developed and improved (Perkins, 1994; Sternberg, 1996). Emotional Intelligence is now being considered to be important in organisational factors such as: job satisfaction (Ismail et al. 2010), organizational change (Ferres & Connell, 2004; Singh, 2003); leadership (Gardner & Stough, 2002); management performance (Slaski & Cartwright, 2002); perceiving occupational stress (Oginska-Bulik, 2005); and life satisfaction (Palmer et al, 2002). To meet

Managing Role Stress Through Emotional Intelligence- A Model Approach


organizational ends (Lord et al. 2002), it is not uncommon to use emotions and emotion related thoughts and behavior as the ingredients in an institutionalized recipe of emotional culture.

MAJOR COMPONENTS OF EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE Emotional intelligence (EI) is mainly based on two interrelated components: interpersonal competency and intrapersonal competency (Goleman 1998 & 2003; Manna et al., 2009). Goleman (1998), a well known name in EI field argues that EI specifically has five major components: selfawareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy and social skills. Self-awareness refers to the ability of individuals to recognize their strengths, emotions, worth and capabilities. Self-regulation is the ability of individuals to regulate their emotions and behavior so that they act appropriately in various situations. It involves resisting or delaying an impulse, drive, and temptation to act, responding versus reacting. Motivation is the internal driving force that enables individuals to focus on their objectives and continue to reach the desired goals. Empathy, the root of emotional intelligence, is frequently viewed as the ability of individuals to understand the feelings of others and this may help them to act on those feelings and meet others’ needs. Social skills are the skills which are needed to develop and nurture good working relationships with other human beings whether seniors, subordinates, colleagues, peer groups and family members. Therefore, EI components may be divided in the two major dimensions: firstly, intrapersonal competencies (related to individual himself/herself) consist of three elements, i.e., self-awareness, selfregulation, and motivation. Secondly, interpersonal competencies (related to other peoples) include two elements, i.e., empathy and social skills (Goleman, 1998). Many scholars view that EI is a group of noncognitive capabilities, competencies, and skills (Bar-On, 1997), as well as a form of social intelligence (Salovey & Mayer, 1997) where they will increase the ability of individuals to identify emotions, use emotions to guide thinking and actions, understand and manage emotions, and to promote emotional and intellectual growth. As a result, it may motivate employees to properly handle external demands and pressures of the job and reduce stress to its optimum level (Bar-On, 1997; Salovey & Meyer, 1997; Stacciarini, 2004).

OBJECTIVES The research papers aims to identify the concept of Emotional Intelligence and it also aims to qualitatively assess the role of emotional intelligence as the moderator of occupational stress and with this prime objective, the study aims to develop two research models of emotional intelligence and role stress among employees.

METHODOLOGY This research work has been carried out mainly by secondary data. It is a library- oriented research work where the data has been collected from various Journals, publications, research monograms, magazines and also from e-resources. The study has been structured around the research objectives.


Bushara Bano & Parvaiz Talib

LITERATURE REVIEW Goleman used the word ‘star’ for those employees who accomplish their tasks by using emotional intelligence. In a survey of around 500 companies across the world, he found that the 'Star' employees possess more interpersonal skills and confidence than 'regular' employees. Nowicki and Duke (1992) found the direct relationship between emotional intelligence and academic achievement. Goleman (1998) investigated 500 companies across the world and found that EI is twice as important as technical skills and more important than IQ for success in jobs at all levels. Weisinger (1998) suggested that EI is related to success at work and plays a significant role in a certain aspects of effective team leadership and team performance. Gardner and Stough (2003) revealed negative relationship between EI and occupational stress. In another study, Bar-On et al. (2000) indicated that police officers who scored significantly higher on emotional intelligence were less vulnerable to experienced stress and better coped with it. On the other hand, Reilly (1994) conducted a study of hospital nurses and he identified negative correlation between EI and burnout syndrome. Similarly, Duran and Extremera (2004), in their study including professionals employed in institutions for people with intellectual disabilities, revealed a significant relationship between emotional intelligence and burnout syndrome, and personal accomplishment. Salovey & Mayer’s (1997) ability based model of emotional intelligence explains that the level of emotional intelligence will increase individuals’ competencies and this can increase their ability to decrease stress situations and increase positive individual attitudes and behaviors. Montes-Berges et al., (2007) conducted a study with nursing students and found that emotional intelligence is a skill that minimizes the negative stress consequences. The review of literature supports that emotional intelligence plays a very significant role in minimizing the work stress and also helps an employee to be satisfied with his/her job. It also plays a buffering and hidden role for job satisfaction and personal and organizational achievement and makes a regular employee to a star employee. It can be understood well by a proposed model (Figure 2).

PROPOSED MODELS Emotional Intelligence Model Regular Employee (Distress)

Star Employee (Eustress)

Job Satisfaction & Task accomplishment

Emotional Intelligence (EI): SA,SR,M,Em,SS Figure 2 Emotional Grid Model On the basis of the literature review, researcher has proposed the emotional intelligence model (Figure 2). The model clearly shows that emotional intelligence transforms a regular employee with

Managing Role Stress Through Emotional Intelligence- A Model Approach


distress to a star employee with eustress. A star employee, with his/her emotional intelligence finds job satisfaction and life satisfaction and he/she achieves individual as well as organizational goal. This proposed model embarks that emotional intelligence is necessary at both steps- to make employee a man of value and also to get satisfaction from his/her job by reducing occupational stress to a healthy stress level. Emotional Grid Model The model as given in figure 3 is a proposed model. The researcher has kept the name of this model is Emotional Grid Model as it is derived somewhere from the managerial grid model of Blake and Mouton, 1994. This model is not investigated yet. There is a need to explore this model by some empirical analysis. There are two dimensions in this model: Concern for Self and concern for others. It is established by this model that the employees and managers who have maximum emotional intelligence (9,9), who are very keen to concern the emotions of self and at the same time of others are the best managers, sometimes called ‘star’ managers and these managers are very less prone to stress. On the other hand, the managers (1, 1) who don’t have any concern for themselves and for others are worst managers. They are rigid and tough-going and can easily come under stress. While middle road managers (5, 5) are balanced and use their IQ more than their EI. They can be termed as good managers. They are neither much stressed nor very less stressed. But the managers who use their EI are the best managers (Table 1).


Bushara Bano & Parvaiz Talib


(1,9) Country Club Management

Star Managers (9,9) Maximum EI (Team)

Kind Managers/less concern for personal development

(5,5) Middle Road (IQ) Good Managers

(1,1) Impoverished (Worst Managers)


Selfish/task managers (9,1)



Emotional Intelligence and Stress Table 1 is showing the emotional intelligence style and their stress level respectively. As the researcher already described that this is only a proposed model which is to be empirically verified. The model is establishing a negative relationship of emotional intelligence with the negative stress and proposing the managers and organizations to use emotional intelligence as the moderator of stress.

CONCLUSIONS The present paper qualitatively analyses the role of emotional intelligence in managing stress at workplace. It was found from the literature review that emotional intelligence has a strong moderating role in reducing stress and emotional intelligence plays a very significant role in accomplishing personal and organizational objectives. The paper contributes two proposed models- first that shows the moderating role of EI for making a regular employee to star employee and the significant role of EI to make that star employee to a successful employee for himself/herself and worthy employee for organization and second emotional grid model which establishes the employees who use emotional intelligence are less stressed and the best employees in the organizations.

Managing Role Stress Through Emotional Intelligence- A Model Approach


Managerial Implications/ Future Research Directions The study suggests that the employees should use the emotional intelligence than mere traditional cognitive intelligence to reduce distress. It is also suggested to the organizations that they should organize some workshop and training programmes related to emotional intelligence to develop the quality among the employees. The proposed models are yet to be verified by the empirical research. There is also need to further explore the concept in Indian context.


Bar-On, R. (1997). EI in men and women. Bar-on emotional quotient inventory: Technical manual. Multi-Health Systems. Toronto.


Bar-On, R, B., J.M., Kirkcaldy, B.D. & Thorne, E.P. (2000). Emotional expression and implications for occupational stress: an application of the Emotional Quotient Inventory (EQ-I). Per Individual Differences, 28,1107–18.


Cooper, C.L. & Marshall J. (1976). Occupational sources of stress: A review of the literature relating to Coronary Heart Disease and Mental Ill-Health, Journal of Occupational Psychology, 49 (1), 11-28.


Cooper, R.K. & Sawaf, A. (1997). Executive EQ: Emotional Intelligence in Leadership and Organizations. Grosset/Putnam, New York, NY.


Duran, A., & Extremera, N. (2004). Self-reported emotional intelligence, burnout and engagement among staff in services for people with intellectual disabilities. Psychol Rep., 95(2),386–92.


Ferres, N. & Connell J., (2004). Emotional intelligence in leaders: an antidote for cynicism towards change? Strategic Change, 13 (2), 61-71.


Gardner, H. (1999). Intelligence reframed: Multiple intelligences for the 21st century. New York: Basic Books.


Gardner, L., & Stough C. (2002). Examining the relationship between leadership and emotional intelligence in senior level managers. Leadership & Organization Development Journal, 23 (1/2), 68-78.


Gardner, L.J. & Stough, C. (2003).Exploration of the relationship between workplace, emotional intelligence, occupational stress and employee health. Austr J Psychol., 55, 181–95.

10. Gibbons, R.M. & B. Gibbons, (2007). Occupational Stress in the chief Professional. Int. J. Contemporary Hospitality Management, 19, 32-42. 11. Goleman D. (1998). Working With Emotional Intelligence. New York: Bantum Books. 12. Goleman, D. (2003). Getting emotions back into the workplace. BizEd, 18-23.


Bushara Bano & Parvaiz Talib

13. Greenberg, J.S. (1993). Comprehensive Stress Management (4th Eds.). Dubuque, IA: William C. Brown Publishers. 14. Ismail, A., Yao A., Yeo, E., Lai-Kuan, K. & Soon-Yew, J. (2010). Occupational stress features, emotional intelligence and job satisfaction: an empirical study in private institutions of higher learning /, 16 (5), 5-33. 15. Karasek, R. & Theorell, T. (1990). Healthy Work: Stress, productivity and the reconstruction of working life. New York: John Wiley. 16. Lord, G.R., Klimoski, R.J. & Kanfer R., (2002). Emotions In The Workplace: Understanding Emotions in Organisational Behavior. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. 17. Manna, D.R., Bryan, L.D., & Pastoria, G. (2009). Professors and practitioners’ perceptions of the need for accountants to possess emotional intelligence. Economics and Organization of Enterprise, 3(1), 17-34. 18. Montes-Berges, B. & Augusto, J.M. (2007). Exploring the relationship between perceived emotional intelligence, coping, social support and mental health in nursing students. Journal of psychiatric mantel health Nursing, 14(2), 163-71. 19. Nowicki S. & Duke M, P. (1992).The association of children’s nonverbal decoding abilities with their popularity, locus of control, and academic achievement. J Gen Psychol, 153,385–93. 20. Mayer, J.D. & Salovey, P. (1993). The intelligence of emotional intelligence, Intelligence, 17, 443-42. 21. Oginska- Bulik, N. (2005). Emotional intelligence in the workplace: exploring its effects on occupational stress and health outcomes in human service workers. International Journal Occupational Medicine and Environmental Health. 18(2),167-75. 22. Palmer, B., Donaldson, C. & Stough, C. (2002). Emotional intelligence and life satisfaction. Personality and Individual Differences, 33, 1091-1100. 23. Perkins, D. (1994). Outsmarting IQ: The Emerging Science of Learnable Intelligence, The Free Press, New York, NY. 24. Reilly, N.P. (1994). Exploring a paradox: Commitment as a moderator of the stressor-burnout relationship. J Appl Soc Psychol., 24, 397–414. 25. Rice, P.L. (1992). Stress and Health (2nd Eds.). Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks/ Cole Publishing Company. 26. Salovey, P. & Mayer, J. D. (1990). Emotional intelligence. Imagination, Cognition, and Personality, 9, 185-211. 27. Salovey, P., & Mayer, J. (1997). EI meets traditional standards for an intelligence. Intelligence, 27, 267-298.


Managing Role Stress Through Emotional Intelligence- A Model Approach

28. Schutte, N. S., Malouff, J. M., Hall, L. E., Haggerty, D. J., Cooper, J. T., Golden, C.J.,& Dornheim, L. (1998). Development and validity of a measure of emotional intelligence. Personality and Individual Differences, 25, 167-177. 29. Singh, D. (2003). Emotional Intelligence at Work. 2nd Ed. New Delhi: Sage Publications. 30. Slaski, M. & Cartwright, S. (2002). Health, performance and emotional intelligence: an exploratory study of retail managers. Stress and Health, 18, 63-68. 31. Sternberg, R.J. (1996). Successful Intelligence, Simon - Schuster, New York, NY. 32. Stacciarini, J.M.R. (2004). Occupational stress and constructive thinking: Health and job satisfaction. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 46(5), 480-487. 33. Waters J.A. & Ussery W. (2007). Police stress: history, contributing factors, symptoms, and interventions, Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management, 30(2), 169-188. 34. Weisinger H. (1998). Emotional Intelligence at Work. San Francisco: Jossey- Bass.

APPENDICES Table 1 Emotional Intelligence and Stress Level

(1, 1) little concern for either self or others

EI Style


Impoverished type

Worst Managers, no concern for self or others emotions


People oriented style, less concern for personal emotions


Maintains present balance style, Good managers, mostly IQ


(Low EI) (1, 9) lowest concern for self, highest for others

Country-club type

(5, 5) comfortable concern for both self and others

Middle of the road type

(9, 1) highest concern for self, lowest for others

Selfish type

(9, 9) highest concern for both self and others

Team type

(Low EI)

(Balanced EI)

(Low EI)

(Highest EI)

Stress Level

Self oriented style, no concern for other Emotions, Bad Managers


Highest and best Managers or STAR managers



Bushara Bano & Parvaiz Talib

Stress Health and Costs

Figure 1 Source: Rice, 1992.

EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE MODEL Bushara Bano is currently pursuing her Ph.D. from Human Resource Management in Department of Business Administration, Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh. India. She is working as Senior Research Fellow. Prior to that, she has qualified National Eligibility Test for Lecturership and awarded by UGC-Junior Research Fellowship for Management discipline. Her research interest includes stress management, personality traits, policing, leadership and Islamic approach to management. She has presented her research work at several International Conferences, including International Conference on Economics and Finance Research (ICEFR), Doctoral Colloquium in Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, International Conference on Organizational Development (ICOD), International Business Horizon Summit (INBUSH) and many more. Her research papers appeared in International Journal of Logistics, Economics and Globalization, Amity Global Business Review and Purushartha. She has also published several book chapters, including Engineering & Technology Digital Library and Contemporary Issue in Human Resource Management. ( Parvaiz Talib is a professor of Management in Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh. He has done his MBA and PhD from Aligarh Muslim University. He has qualified for Junior Research Fellowship in the year 1978. In addition to it, he has done Management Development Programme from Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad. He has 25 years of teaching experience. His area of research interest includes stress management, policing, leadership, environment and communication. He

Managing Role Stress Through Emotional Intelligence- A Model Approach


has presented his research papers in several conferences on international repute. His research papers have also been published to many leading Journals. (

7-Human Res - IJHRMR -Managing - Bushara Bano - Unpaid 10  
Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you