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The IUP Journal of Organizational Behavior :
An Empirical Study on Measuring the Trait Emotional Intelligence of B-School Students in South India
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This paper examines the Trait Emotional Intelligence (TEI) of business school students using the Trait Emotional Intelligence Questionnaire-Short Form (TEIQue-SF). The primary objective of the research is to study the wellbeing, self-control, emotionality, and sociability of students in a specific business school and to identify the impact of work experience, age and gender on the respondents. “TEI is defined as a constellation of emotional self-perceptions located at the lower levels of personality hierarchies and measured via the TEI questionnaire” (Petrides et al., 2007). This survey was carried out among the students of a specific B-school in Tamil Nadu, India and comprised 115 respondents. The researchers employed one-way ANOVA to test all variables using descriptive statistics for better understanding. Many research papers on EI of leaders have been published but only a few have been published on students of a specific B-school, particularly students of a B-school in south India. The results show that TEI is not significantly associated with work experience, age and gender.

 
 
 

The aim of this study is to identify how emotions play a major role among B-school students. Goleman (1995), in his book Emotional Intelligence (EI), states that EI influences human behavior in their day-to-day life. Later, EI becomes a prominent sub-division in Human Resource Management (HRM). The term ‘EI’ was first used in 1985 by Payne in Study of Emotions: Developing EI . However, the term EI had appeared in Leuner (1965). Greenspan (1989) also put forward an EI model, followed by Salovey and Mayer (1990), and Daniel (1995). Later in 2000, a distinction between EI as a trait and EI as an ability was introduced. EI has two distinct facets: ability EI and Trait Emotional Intelligence (TEI). The researchers used TEI which deals with emotion-related, self-perceived abilities. EI has attracted a huge number of academic research articles. The study by Kiss et al. (2014) looked at the effects of general intelligence and EI and personality preferences on academic performance. The study revealed that EI, general intelligence and personality traits are positively associated with students’ academic performance. The limitation of the study was that data was collected from only one semester and in future the study could cover other levels of higher education (Bachelor, Master). The study by Chee and Choong (2013) examined the relationship between EI and happiness among students. The study revealed that EI was positively related to students’ happiness and the authors recommended EI as a part of curricula.

Cook et al. (2011) focused on finding out whether EI impacts the students specializing in accountancy. The study stated that future research is required to determine the levels of EI of practicing accountants to find how EI may impact the careers of those with the said skills. At the same time, EI is highly relevant to the development of the organization as well as employees.

Many institutions train students on soft skills. In India, some business schools have included EI in their curriculum and it is a major field of research. For instance, Indian School of Business (ISB) has included EI in their curriculum in the name of “Leadership and EI”. Some empirical findings suggest EI can be improved through learning and development opportunity (Clarke, 2006). According to Nelson and Low (2003), EI is a very important skill for achieving personal goals, a successful career, and leadership.

Therefore, this study seeks to identify how TEI impacts B-school students, using TEIQue-SF. Empirical and theoretical studies on emotions have expanded in the field of management. Goleman (1998) and Cherniss et al. (1998) argued strongly that EI is essential for successful leadership. Leaders who know how to manage their emotions as well as display self-control and deferred gratification could help the followers and later they may see a leader as a role model. It impacts organization's growth because when the followers have trust and respect for the leaders, then the whole workflow will remain positive. Leaders are concerned about understanding others’ emotions (Barling et al., 2000). According to George (2000), “Feelings, moods and emotions play a central role in the leadership process.” Why a business school in south India? Many institutions focus on imparting technical skills; they miss soft skills and human lab process. It is seen that the present day youth exhibit intolerance towards failure and rejection. Hence the researchers wanted to focus on management students of top business schools. So, the researchers take this opportunity to utilize the gap and find out how important EI is for management students. Many research papers on EI for leaders have been published, but only a few have been published on B-school students, particularly the Indian B-school students. The researchers collected the data from one of the premier B-schools of south India. Students take admission in this institution through CAT score as basic eligibility and the internal process includes group discussion and interview, and based on the merit list, the students are eligible to pursue their MBA.

The students’ profile is a mix in terms of work experience, UG courses, age and native place. Top recruiters regularly visit the campus during the summer for placements. In this B-school, students have set up clubs in the areas of HR, marketing, finance, and system and operation. Apart from this, students also run various committees like placement committee, public relation committee, etc. For example, students mess is run by the students. The students mess committee members take decisions to run the process smoothly. Even though the study schedules are hectic, still they are running these committees which give hands-on-experience to the students and indirectly teach management techniques. The researchers collected data from these students, because they are fully preoccupied the whole day responding to the varying requirements from their friends and teachers. The researchers expected that there is a chance of high emotional variation among the students due to the heavy load of the syllabus and other activities these students are involved in, which is of help to find out some significant aspects of students’ TEI.

 
 
 

Organizational Behavior Journal,Antecedents ,Trait Emotional Intelligence (TEI) , Trait Emotional Intelligence Questionnaire-Short Form (TEIQue-SF), Wellbeing, Self-control, Emotionality, Sociability