Emotional Intelligence in Multicultural Teams

Lead Author: Marjaana Gunkel


Short Description of the Project

Prior research suggests that emotional intelligence (EI) influences work outcomes such as general performance, job performance, and team performance (Bell, 2007; Joseph & Newman, 2010; O’Boyle et al., 2011; and Van Rooy & Viswesvaran, 2004) as well as leadership behavior (Harms & Credé, 2010 and Walter, Cole, & Humphrey, 2011). In addition, studies propose that EI has different effects on management outcomes in different cultural contexts (e.g., Bell, 2007; Harms & Credé, 2010; Joseph & Newman, 2010; O’Boyle et al., 2011; Schlaerth, Ensari, & Christian, 2013; Van Rooy & Viswesvaran, 2004; Walter, Cole, & Humphrey, 2011). The influence of EI on team work has been widely examined. For example, Prati et al. (2003) demonstrate that EI has an influence on team outcomes and Wolff et al. (2002) show that EI can be seen as a basis of leadership emergence in self-managed teams. Jordan et al. (2002) demonstrate that EI influence the team processes and goal focus. In addition EI has an influence on conflict resolution in teams (Jordan et al. 2004). While the influence of cultural intelligence on the performance of multicultural teams are recognized (e.g. Earley and Gardner, 2005), a little is known about the influence of emotional intelligence in multicultural teams.

The aim of the proposed project is to examine how the EI of the team members influence the team performance, the leadership emergence, as well as the peer evaluations within a multicultural work team. The results of the study contribute to the literature on international management, which so far lacks in research on emotional intelligence in multicultural settings, as well as helps management of multinational organizations to understand how to form efficient multicultural teams.


Status: Published at the Journal of World Business