Relationship Between Emotional Intelligence and Perceptions of Ethical Behaviour

Topics: Ethics, Psychology, Emotional intelligence Pages: 8 (2464 words) Published: September 15, 2010

Research Report –Relationship between emotional intelligence and perceptions of ethical behaviour


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. ”. (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”.


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...

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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