Friday, September 12, 2014

An Exploration of the Relationship Between Emotional Intelligence and Position Within a Social and Organizational Network

Elizabeth Scott, Fielding's School of Human and Organizational Development

The conceptual framework supporting the argument that individuals need to be emotionally intelligent at work is not fully vetted. Little evidence has been found that emotional intelligence predicts behavioral outcomes. As a result this study explores whether there is a relationship between an individual’s emotional intelligence and the structural position he or she holds in his/her informal social or organizational network.

Specifically this study examines the dynamics of both informal social (friendship) network and instrumental organizational (advice) networks within the workplace while looking for evidence that emotional intelligence does impact one’s structural position in a network. While the hypotheses were not supported, the findings prompt interesting implications for social network scholar-practitioners interested in further researching the antecedents for network centrality. This study provides evidence that there is a relationship between demographic characteristics and network centrality, namely organizational tenure and organizational role. In addition to the social network theory implications, this study provides insights for practitioners who might be interested in supporting programs that enhance the emotional intelligence of individuals who are central to the network, who as a result may garner improved social capital.

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