The Role of Trait Emotional Intelligence in Task and Conceptual Performance

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EDIT KOMLÓSI THE ROLE OF TRAIT EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE IN TASK AND CONCEPTUAL PERFORMANCE

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EDIT KOMLÓSI

The role of trait emotional intelligence in task and conceptual performance: the case of functional managers in the hotel industry12 Unquestionably, adequate selection, recruitment, and retention of employees (for example through (re)training) results in high-quality work outcomes. Ultimately, however, efficient, effective, and competitive organisations require more than just experience and expertise from their employees—some personal traits enrich not only individual, employee performance but also collective, organisational performance. Research has confirmed the link between emotional intelligence and work outcomes (see, for example, Spencer Jr. and Spencer 1993; George 2000; Lopes et al. 2006)—emotional intelligence tests assist with the selection and recruitment of employees, more loyal and better performing than employees selected and recruited the ‘usual’ way, and with their subsequent training and retraining, through the identification of personal traits likely to affect their work (and life) outcomes. In the particular case of the hospitality sector, studies have started to emerge exploring the links between emotional intelligence and work outcomes (see, for example, Langhorn 2004; Sy, Tram, and O’Hara 2006; Scott-Halsell, Blum, and Huffman 2008; Min 2012). However, thorough research into the emotional intelligence of functional managers in the hotel industry—and into its role in task and contextual performance within given organisational cultures—is scant, both in Hungary and internationally. Consequently, this article investigates the links between emotional intelligence and work outcomes—measured through task and contextual performance—in the particular context of the hotel industry. It is based on the author’s extensive examination of the literature as part of her doctoral research, currently (February 1

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This article is part of Young Scholars’ Platform, a Pannon Management Review initiative aiming to guide and encourage masteral and doctoral students and fresh graduates to publish. Young Scholars’ Platform is particularly supportive of young scholars for whom English is not their first language. The author wishes to thank the Faculty of Business and Economics at the University of Pannonia, for making the doctoral research behind this article possible, and her supervisors, Dr. Christine Jones (Derby Business School, Faculty of Business, Computing, and Law, University of Derby) and Prof. Alan Clarke (Department of Tourism, Faculty of Business and Economics, University of Pannonia), for pointing her in the right direction.

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PANNON MANAGEMENT REVIEW VOLUME 2 · ISSUE 1 (MARCH 2013)

2013) in midway progress, and it aims to make recommendations with regard to employee selection, recruitment, and retention. Customised (re)training, for example, enhances functional managers’ awareness both of those personal traits that influence individual performance and of those organisational cultures that would most suit individual functional managers. This article intends to synthesise the results of the literature review, not to reproduce the literature review in its entirety. To this end, the article is divided into six sections. Following this short introduction, the second section presents an overview of the hospitality sector in general and of the hotel industry in particular. The section examines the role tourism plays in the economy, with particular reference to the Hungarian economy and the wider EU economic context. The section also looks into possible explanations for the high employee turnover so characteristic of the tourism sector. The third section looks into similarities and differences between hospitality / hotel management and management in other industries. The section defines general and functional management and identifies the similarities and differences between them. It also...
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