Role of Emotional Intelligence in Organizational Learning: an Empirical Study.

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Role of emotional intelligence in organizational learning: an empirical study. By Kumar Singh, Sanjay
Publication: Singapore Management Review
Date: Sunday, July 1 2007
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Abstract
This study examines the impact of emotional intelligence on organizational learning. Based on a sample size of 280, the results depicted emotional intelligence as being positively and significantly related with organizational learning. The findings have implications for management of people towards creating and maintaining organizational learning.

Keywords: Emotional Intelligence; Organizational Learning
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Introduction
An organization learns when its individual employee learns, but learning by the individual employee does not guarantee organizational learning. For organizational learning to be a reality, the learning at the individual level has to progress to the group and finally to the organizational level. Further, organizational learning requires not only vertical integration of more than one individual learning entities, but also of its horizontal integration with other learning entities that exist side-by-side to it in the organizational cosmos. To achieve it, the human capital of the organization may even go too far by challenging and demolishing the age old established premises and creating a vibrant and functional one in its place. Therefore, looking at the nature of mental exercise and psychic energy used while organizational members learn together, it is not only the cognitive brain but also the emotional brain that has role to play. Further, for organizational learning to be in full swing, there is a great deal of convergent as well as divergent thinking, which is full of agony and ecstasy for organizational members. Therefore, the key to successful management is management of destructive emotions. Hence, the author believes that organizational learning can be realized successfully when the human resources are able to develop needed emotional competencies. Once this is done then it is quite possible for them to make maximum use of their mental energy to engage into the thinking mode which is more system oriented. In other words, the construct of emotional intelligence and its competencies are believed to play a relatively dominant role for learning at the individual level to reach an organizational level. This study is an attempt to understand the role of emotional intelligence of the human resources on the processes of organizational learning. Organizational Learning: A Prerogative in the Present Millennium The present millennium has rightly been perceived to be a new era in the evolution of organizational life and structure. As a result, organizations are forced to make significant transformations in order to adapt and survive in this new world. Revans (1983) says that in any epoch of rapid change, those organizations which are unable to adapt will soon find themselves in trouble, and adaptation is achieved only by learning, namely, by being able to do tomorrow that which might have been unnecessary today. Similarly, Zuboff (1988) observes that today's organizations may indeed have little choice but to become a 'learning institution'. Further, she adds that learning is the heart of productive activity in every organization and learning is the new form of labor. Therefore, it may be said that today's solutions will be totally inadequate for tomorrow's challenges when the main focus of each organization is on the 'customer' and not on 'workers', in an economy which has shifted from being 'national' to 'global'. In this context, the only competitive weapon for organizations is 'learning at an organizational level'. It calls for the organization to mobilize every resource to facilitate learning at an individual level to move up the ladder to the group and then to the organizational level. Therefore, for an organization to survive and grow, it has to let all its members from the lowest...
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