Emotional Intelligence: Rhetoric or Reality?

Peter J. Jordan, Neal M. Ashkanasy and Catherine S. Daus

in The Oxford Handbook of Personnel Psychology

Published in print October 2008 | ISBN: 9780199234738
Published online September 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780191577093 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Business and Management C

Emotional Intelligence: Rhetoric or Reality?

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  • Human Resource Management
  • Organizational Theory and Behaviour


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The construct of emotional intelligence is confusing, and emotional intelligence researchers must “seem mad” to be embroiled in debate. To be sure, emotional intelligence has been one of the more controversial constructs to be considered in personnel psychology. There have been wide-ranging and substantial claims about the potential of emotional intelligence in predicting a broad range of workplace behavior. This article assesses the efficacy of the emotional intelligence construct by examining variables that have an impact at the organizational level. In particular, it examines the impact of emotional intelligence on prosocial behaviors, antisocial behaviors, and leadership. This article concludes with some recommendations for advancing research into emotional intelligence in the area of personnel psychology, and in particular, it comments on the need for emotional intelligence research to be extended to cover macro-organizational variables such as culture and climate.

Keywords: emotional intelligence; personnel psychology; workplace behavior; prosocial behaviors; antisocial behaviors; leadership

Article.  8820 words. 

Subjects: Human Resource Management ; Organizational Theory and Behaviour

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