Relationships between emotional intelligence and career success


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Finding a definitive answer is the central goal of any experimental process. Scientific research involves performing a methodical study in order to prove a hypothesis or answer a specific question.

It is a detailed outline of how information is gathered for the assessment and evaluation of the information. Research design includes: title of the study, objective of the study, statement of a problem, research technique, sampling design, methods and tools of data collection, plan of analysis and chapter scheme.

3.2 Research philosophy

Positivistic approach with hypothetico- deductive method, as the study involves identifying relationship between Emotional Intelligence and career success. This approach emphasizes on empirical analysis of relationships, casual relationships and predictions.

3.3 Statement of the Problem

Bangalore, capital of Karnataka is hailed as the "Silicon valley of India" and is often referred by newspaper dailies as "Top Ten Hi-tech cities of the World''. Karnataka is one of the high economic growth states in India with GSDP (Gross State Domestic Product) growth of 9.2% in the year 2006-2007. In 2008-09, the tertiary sector contributed the most to the GSDP amounting to US$ 31.6 billion (55 percent). ( IT firms in Bangalore employs around 35 % of 1 million IT employees of India. This is the rationale behind considering Bangalore for this research, as Bangalore is representative of India in terms of IT industry employment.

Educational sector is another fast expanding sector in India. As per the sector overview published by Ministry of HRD- Department of higher education, there are over 504 universities and more than 26,000 colleges all over India, employing around 6.5 million teachers. ( In the Higher Education Conclave 2010, organized by Indian Chamber of Commerce, in Kolkata on October 21st, 2010, the Union human resource development minister Kapil Sibal emphasized the wide gap between percentage of college going students of developed countries and that of India, which is not even 50 % of the global average. According to Mr Sibal, this low percentage coupled with lack of sufficient Research and Development activities and poor industry-university interface are prime reasons that curb nation's growth. He proposes to increase the number of universities that deliver quality education to 800 numbers and also targets to increase the number of colleges to 40,000. (Business standard, October 21st, These kind of ambitious reforms are bound to double the work force in educational sector. Bangalore , especially north Bangalore has tremendous growth plan in the field of education. Muddenahalli and surrounding areas are identified for the upcoming Sri Sathya Sai Baba University and College of Medicine, Indian Institute of Technology Muddenahalli, and 600 crore Visvesvaraya Institute of Advanced Technology. Devanahalli is set to be the location of a 9500 Crore Devonahalli Business Park, which will contain Aerospace Education Special Economic Zones, near the Bangaluru International Airport ("IIT will be established at Muddenahalli, says Moily". The Hindu (Chennai, India). 2009-06-02. These upcoming expansion in the field of education spearheads Bangalore's position as one of the emerging a premier educational hub of Karnataka. Since Bangalore is set to increase the activities connected to education by a great magnitude, this study is relevant for Bangalore.

Summary of secondary literature review indicates that Emotional Intelligence of employees has a positive impact on the performance in the work place, thereby on the organization's performance. Since both the industries considered for this study are labour intensive and technology intensive, it is understood that a detailed study of contribution of Emotional Intelligence to career success has high significance.

Emotional Intelligence is an emerging field of study. Relatively lesser number of research studies is done owing to this fact. There are contradicting research output showing Emotional Intelligence as a main predictor of career success and EI as just another variable, which do not significantly relate to career success.

In India, research on Emotional Intelligence is still in the nascent stage. The recent realization of the usability of EI to identify leaders has left a gap between research and practice. With a limited amount of research into the subject there is a need for a study that evaluates the effect of EI on career success. Adding to this, positive results of the studies conducted abroad on impact of EI on various aspects of career success as well as the initiative taken up by progressive nations to incorporate EI in the school curriculum, made it imperative to understand the impact of EI on career success of employees. Research on EI is highly relevant and useful for service sector, which has become one of the major contributors for India's GDP. The major resource in service sector is manpower and EI is concerned with improving manpower. Knowledge boom has brought knowledge based industry to the forefront. Strengthening knowledge base has National relevance. Research results will help the individual respondent and the company to identify their strong and weak EI components and work upon those components for improvements.

3.4 Significance of the Study

Linking EI with performance will help organizations to select and assess employees more effectively. Training the employees in EI is cost effective, considering that emotionally intelligent employee is more proactive, stable and easily adapts to environmental demands. Emotionally Intelligent organizations have an added advantage. It can magnetize talents to the organization. Findings of the study will be an original contribution to both IT sector and academic sector of Bangalore.

3.5 Research objectives

To know the extent of predictive power of emotional intelligence for career success

To understand the awareness of the concepts of Emotional Intelligence among IT professionals and academicians.

To understand the influence of demographic variables on Emotional Intelligence of employees.

To know the extent of correlation between emotional intelligence and career success.

To identify the difference in levels of Emotional quotient among the employees of IT and academia.

To identify the areas of improvement in specific facets of Emotional Intelligence.

3.6 Scope of the study.

Knowledge based industry in India consists of a wide gamut of industries like IT, ITES, KPOs, Financial services, Engineering services, Biotechnology and Academia . Due to scarcity of resources, the study is limited to employees of IT and academicians with specific reference to Bangalore city. IT companies from various parts of Bangalore are covered under this study.

Bangalore urban colleges and Bangalore rural colleges were considered for the study. The survey for academicians is limited to undergraduate colleges offering Arts, Science and Commerce degree in Bangalore city.

Four facets of Trait Emotional Intelligence (Petrides & Furnham) are covered in this study. Intrinsic and extrinsic aspects of career success are also measured in this study.

3.7 Variables of study

Independent variable: Emotional Intelligence



Self control

Well being

Dependent variable: Career success.

3.8 Hypothesis

Ho 1: There is no relationship between Emotional intelligence and Gender.

Ho 2: There is no relationship between Emotional intelligence and age

Ho 3: There is no relationship between Emotional intelligence and Marital status

Ho 4: There is no relationship between Emotional intelligence and place of upbringing

Ho 5: There is no relationship between Emotional intelligence and Designation

Ho 6: There is no relationship between Emotional intelligence and Educational qualification

Ho 7: There is no relationship between Emotional intelligence and Income level

Ho 8: There is no relationship between Emotional intelligence and Work experience

Ho 9: There is no relationship between Emotional intelligence and Promotions

Ho 10: There is no relationship between Emotional intelligence and birth order

Ho 11: There is no relationship between Emotional intelligence and Social networking

Ho 12: Employees of IT and academicians are aware of EI concepts

Ho 13: There is no relationship between Emotional intelligence and career success

Ho 14: There is no difference in Emotional intelligence of employees of both industries.

Ho 15: Size of the firm has no affect on emotional intelligence of employees.

Ho 16: Emotional Intelligence has no predictive ability on career success.

Trait EI is correlated to happiness in life

These hypotheses were tested at 5% alpha level.

3.10 Limitations -

It is very important for all the researches to mention limitations of study. This will help other researchers in the same field of research as well future research in connected fields.

One of the main limitations of this study is the presence of multiple models and definitions of Emotional Intelligence which are constantly changing and broadening and this renders the correct choice of the most suitable model of Emotional Intelligence, a little difficult. More over, there is no consensus over a single model which could be universally applied.

Participants' test response accuracy and honesty may have been compromised , should they have interacted with pilot study respondents. Possibility of the response distortion due to "Hawthorne effect" (respondents giving more favourable responses because of the attention given by researcher) can not be ignored.

Another delimiting factor is the inherent problem connected to self report devices used to measure Emotional Intelligence. According to Akerjordet, K et all, (2007), any of the self report measures used for gauging Emotional Intelligence is not free from " Pygmalion effect" or self fulfilling prophecy wherein the respondent gives most ideal responses irrespective of the true response. (Akerjordet, K., & Severinsson, E. (2007). Emotional intelligence: A review of the literature with specific focus on empirical and epistemological perspectives [Electronic version]. Journal of Clinical Nursing, )16(8), 1405-1416.

3.11 Operational definition of concepts

Knowledge-based industries:

Are those which are relatively intensive in their inputs of technology and human capital. They work in a highly competitive environment which changes rapidly due to technological advancement. Intrinsically global nature of their operation demands high level of flexibility and empowerment.

Emotional Intelligence

Emotional Intelligence is "the capacity for recognizing one's own feelings and those of others, for motivating oneself, and for managing emotions well in oneself and in one's relationships. Emotional intelligence describes abilities distinct from, but complementary to, academic intelligence."

Career Success:

Is the ability of one to achieve their career goals and or gain social status though their work.


Traits are characteristic or preferred ways of behaving (e.g. Openness, extroversion, shyness).

Content analysis:

Content analysis is a method of analyzing written and oral textual materials (Insch, Moore & Murphy 1997).

( Insch, GS, Moore, JE & Murphy, LD 1997, 'Content analysis in leadership research: Examples, procedures, and suggestions for future use', Leadership Quarterly, vol. 8, no. 1, pp. 1-25.)

Descriptive statistics :

This deals with the central tendencies and dispersions of the dependent and independent


3.13.1 Research design

3.13.2 Tools for data collection

Research tools are used to collect data which are meant to draw conclusion or validate a set of hypothesis .It is essential to use validated and standardized research tool, especially in the field of psychology, since a research tool which has not undergone tests of validity, reliability and standardization will lead to discrimination when administered. More over , theoretical base of the instrument should be sound, lest it will be just a list of items. Since the purpose of an instrument is to improve behavior, instruments having behavioral items may be more appropriate to help participants prepare action plans for improvement and for follow up and monitoring.

For the current study, executive interview containing 9 questions and a standardised questionnaire for measuring Emotional Intelligent and Career Success are used for data collection.

a) Executive interview

1) Objective of Executive Interview

Executive interview was conducted with 9 different strategists from IT and Academia to understand the level of awareness of Emotional Intelligence in the work place and its perceived significance in functional application of HR like selection, training and succession planning.

2) Conduct of Executive interview

Structured interview with 9 questions which cover different aspects on Emotional Intelligence and Career success were administered to HR heads and other strategists and decision makers of the company like CFOs and Vice Presidents. Heads of the academic institutions were also interviewed to understand the level of awareness of Emotional Intelligence .

b) Questionnaire

1) Description of TEIQue -SF

Trait emotional intelligence (trait EI) is a constellation of emotion-related dispositions located at the lower levels of personality hierarchies (Petrides, Pita, & Kokkinaki, 2007). Table 3.1 presents the constituent elements of the sampling domain of trait EI, which have been derived by means of a content analysis of salient EI models and cognate constructs (Petrides & Furnham, 2003). In trait EI models, emotion-related self-perceptions have been repeatedly shown to form four interrelated factors: well-being (traits pertaining to dispositional mood), self-control

(traits pertaining to the regulation of emotions and impulses), emotionality (traits pertaining to the perception and expression of emotions) and sociability (traits pertaining to the interpersonal utilization and management of emotions; Mikolajczak, Luminet, Leroy, & Roy, 2007; Petrides, Pita, & Kokkinaki, 2007).

Petrides, K. V., Pita, R., & Kokkinaki, F. (2007). The location of trait emotional intelligence in personality factor space. British Journal of Psychology, 273-289.


High scorers perceive themselves as…   



…flexible and willing to adapt to new conditions.


…forthright, frank, and willing to stand up for their rights.

Emotion perception (self and others)

…clear about their own and other people's feelings. 

Emotion expression

…capable of communicating their feelings to others.

Emotion management (others)

…capable of influencing other people's feelings. 

Emotion regulation

…capable of controlling their emotions. 

Impulsiveness (low)

…reflective and less likely to give in to their urges. 


…capable of having fulfilling personal relationships.


…successful and self-confident. 


…driven and unlikely to give up in the face of adversity. 

Social awareness

…accomplished networkers with excellent social skills. 

Stress management

…capable of withstanding pressure and regulating stress. 

Trait empathy

…capable of taking someone else's perspective. 

Trait happiness

…cheerful and satisfied with their lives. 

Trait optimism

…confident and likely to "look on the bright side" of life.

2) Support for the use of TEIQue- SF

TEIQue - SF , being a tool used across the world by various researchers shows its universality of application. Real attributes are measured using the questionnaire, which is an advantage for the research. This is a globally standardized questionnaire with chronbach alpha .86.

3) Standardisation of TEIQue - SF:

Data collection tool is standardized for universality of application. When the instrument is prepared, it is administered to a large sample ( more than 500 numbers) to establish reliability and validity of the instrument.

a)Reliability of TEIQue-SF

In common parlance , reliability is dependability or consistency. Reliability concerns the extent to which a measure is repeatable and consistent (Baker,2001) .Baker, M.J. (2001). Selecting a Research Methodology. The Marketing Review, 1, 373-397, ( It refers to consistency of measurement, usually across time and interpreters. Reliability indicates the extent of error present in a measure" (Grobler, et al., 2002, p. 182).

(Grobler, P. A., Which, S., Carell, M. R., Elbert, N. F., & Hatfield, R. D. (2002). Human

resource management in South Africa (2nd ed.). Canada: Tompson Learning.)

Reliability coefficient is the degree of reliability of the instrument .Reliability is tested by three methods, viz, test retest reliability, parallel form reliability, Internal consistency reliability. Cronbach's alpha, the measurement of internal consistency, is one reliability coefficient that indicates how well items in a cluster correlate positively with one another. It checks the internal consistency, homogeneity and unidimentionality of measuring instrument. Statistical packages like SPSS have internal consistency program and chronbach alpha can be generated from the instrument data. An alpha coefficient of 0.7 or more is considered satisfactory (Nunnally, 1978). Nunnally, J. (1978). Psychometric Theory (2nd edn.). McGraw-Hill, New York. The EI questionnaire consisting of 30 questions for measuring emotional intelligence of employees which is used for the present study has the Cronbach's alpha value of 0.839, which is arrived at using split half reliability. This is considered as an indicator of good reliability and brings in consistency in the responses for questionnaire.

b)Validity of TEIQue-SF

Validity tests the goodness of the measure ie, measuring the concepts the instrument is supposed to measure. Validity is the extent to which scores on a test or interview correspond to actual job performance .There are three types of validity , viz, content validity, criterion related validity and construct validity. Construct validity is the degree to which the assessment instrument measures the proposed construct (Borsboom, Mellenbergh and van Heerden, 2004). Borsboom, D., Mellenbergh, G.L., and van Heerden, J. (2004). The Concept of Validity. Psychological Review, 111(4), 1061-1071. Factor analysis is done to establish construct validity, by factor analysing the correlations of the score on an instrument and obtaining a predicted factor loading pattern.

B) Career success Questionnaire

1) Description of the questionnaire

Consists of 10 questions covering intrinsic and extrinsic career success aspects.

2) Internal Consistency Reliability for Career success questionnaire

The Career Success questionnaire of 10 questions of present study has also has the Cronbach's alpha value of 0.839 , which is arrived at by using split half reliability. This again ensures the usability of the questionnaire for research purpose and provides consistency in the responses for questionnaire.

3) Validity of Career success questionnaire

The internal validity like content, criterion-related, and construct validity are observed by using content analysis. The external validity of this questionnaire is observed by genralisability of these questions to the work area.

3.13 Scale used for study

For the current study, nominal , ordinal , interval and ratio scales are used for different attributes. Nominal scaling is, classification of responses in to exclusive and exhaustive sets. For parameters like gender, age, upbringing, marital status, occupation, educational qualification etc, nominal scale is used. Ordinal scale means rank ordering the classification. Ordinal scales are used in this study for all the questions under emotional intelligence and career success . Under interval scale, each unit is exactly equal to other units. For categories like income, work experience, salary hike etc , interval scale is used . Ratio scale has a true zero point. Ratio scale is used for promotion.

3,14 Sample design

Samples were drawn from a heterogeneous population consisting of employees of different age group, income level, educational qualification, gender, work status etc. Two separate sampling frames from both IT and Academic institutions were collected for deciding on the sample size. Information on sampling frame were collected from Bangalore directory and NASSCOM reports.

3.14.1 Type of sampling.

Since the population is highly heterogeneous, it is divided in to homogenous strata .Based on the size of the firms, sampling frame is divided into 3 homogenous strata , viz small, medium and large sized companies/ institutions. From each stratum , institutions are selected at random. From each industry, 10 IT companies/ Academic institutions were selected. At each company/institution , questionnaires were distributed to respondents and responses were selected at random basis.

3.14.2 Sample size

A total sample size of 511 was decided after discarding the outliers and responses which are incomplete. 259 (50.68 %) IT responses and 252 (49.31 %) responses from academicians are considered for data analysis. The present study comprises 200 female and 311 male respondents. Minimum sample size for indefinite population is arrived at by the following formula and is found to 450

3.14.3 Scope of sampling

The study is limited to respondents of IT and undergraduate colleges of Bangalore. Geographic coverage

IT companies and undergraduate colleges from South of Bangalore and East of Bangalore city were considered for survey. Urban and Rural colleges of Bangalore were considered for survey of academicians. Tenure of sample collection

Completed the data collection during a period of July 2009 to January 2010 with 257 responses from academicians and 265 responses from IT industry

3.15 Sources of Data

Data for this study was collected from primary and secondary sources. Primary data is the major source of data, as this research is analytical in nature. Secondary data was used to support primary data wherever required.

3.15.1 Primary Data

Primary data was collected using 2 tools- Questionnaire and Executive interview. Questionnaire was administered to the respondents to elicit first hand information for the research. The questionnaire consists of 3 parts. a) Demographic details b) Globally standardized Emotional Intelligence test (TEIQue-SF) c) Career success questions. A total of 58 questions were included in the questionnaire. Questionnaire was mailed to some of the respondents and for others who do not have access to internet, researcher personally distributed the questionnaire and filled in responses were collected. A total of 700 questionnaires were distributed and 522 filled in responses were received. Response rate is 74 %. From the filled in responses, the incomplete questionnaires and outliers were removed to arrive at the final number of 511.

Executive interview consists of 9 open ended questions pertaining to perception and awareness of Emotional Intelligence among the strategists of both IT industry and academia. 8 executive interviews each from both the industries were conducted for finding out the awareness level of Emotional Intelligence among the strategists of the IT companies and heads of educational Institutions.

3.15.2 Secondary Data

Secondary data for the study was collected from books, journals, e journals, newspaper, magazines etc. Data was also collected from NASSCOM reports and UGC website.

3.16 Data verification

Data entered in SPSS 18 (PASW) was verified for entry errors. Incomplete questionnaires were deleted from the study. Reverse scoring was done for negative questions in TEIQue-SF to arrive at the correct value for each response.

3.17 Missing value analysis

To address several concerns caused by incomplete data, missing value analysis has done. To avoid the distortion due to missing values, data responses were dropped either using any advanced techniques of Missing Value Analysis or completing the cases with recollection of the data. The rationale behind this task to support of our study which could based on complete cases so that it converges with proposed theory related to EI and Career Success and lack of time to recollect it. Outliers are also identified and removed to avoid extreme values

3.18 Plan of analysis

The data collected was codified based on the industry and institution. To condense the data, tabulation is done. Tables are constructed both in simple and complex form as well as frequency table. Data is represented using suitable charts to have visual appearance as well as to draw the inference regarding the distribution and relationship. Descriptive statistics are used for demographic variables. MS Excel and SPSS 18 version (PASW) were utilized extensively to draw various bi-variate frequency distributions involving two variables and correlation coefficient between related variables. Spearman's correlation coefficient was calculated to find the correlation between Emotional Intelligence and Career success. Statistical tools like MANOVA, Factor Analysis, Mann-Whitney U test, Chi square test, t test for testing the hypothesis and regression analysis has done for fitting the model for predictability of Career success based on Emotional Intelligent score and inferences are drawn by using regression statistics and related inferential statistics.

3.18 Tools for Analysis

Content analysis:

The systematic study of content of ideas, and propositions that are relevant to our study has done based on both by using extensive literature review of EI and Career Success, and Questionnaire feedback response. The content of the executive interview has analyzed by using the frequency of appearances if a particular idea which is obtained as a measure of content.

3.19 Pilot study:

Pilot study is done to check and establish the appropriateness of the instrument for administration. Pilot study for this research consisted of administering the survey instruments to 34 pilot study respondents which yielded correlation coefficient of 0.3621.The data used for pilot study were later excluded from the final survey. Time taken by the respondents to fill the questionnaire was recorded to establish expected duration for final testing. Feedback forms were given to the pilot study respondents to identify the problems and ambiguities in the survey instruments. Based on the feedback from pilot study respondents, rephrasing the terminologies, rearranging the questions and technical jargon has reduced and rewording was done for certain questions. Response options were also changed based on the feedback to suit the study.

3.19 Chapter Scheme

Chapter I : Introduction-General Background of the study

This includes the introduction part of the project, where we look into the general background of the study .The background and history of EQ and some related study are discussed.

Chapter II: Review of Literature.

This chapter contains the results of preliminary survey conducted by the researcher on the available literature of the topic. This helps in better understanding of the problem in depth and the aspects, which are being investigated and will provide ideas for further research. Different libraries like IIM Bangalore, Mount Carmel college of management library, Bangalore university's Gnana Bharathy campus library etc were frequented by the researcher to get informations about the topic of the study.

Chapter III : Research Design & Methodology.

This provides basic framework for the research. It is a proposed blue print for the research. It contains Statement of the problem, Importance of the study, Objectives of the study, Scope of the study, Data design, sample design, Tool design, Limitations of the study, Operational definitions, plan of analysis and Chapter scheme.

Chapter IV : Analysis & Interpretation of Data.

This is the core of the research. This contains analysis and interpretation of data collected during the survey and also from the secondary data. The data is edited, coded and tabulated .For analysis, tables are used and for interpretation, diagrams or graphs are used. Statistical techniques like Mean, Standard deviation, Upper boundary, lower boundary & correlation are used to analyse the data, in order to achieve the objectives of the study

Chapter V: Summary of Findings, Conclusions & Recommendations.

This is the last chapter in the main body of the dissertation. The objectives of study and methodology used are briefed here. Then the results of the analysis along with the conclusion are presented. Conclusions of this study is drawn with direct reference to the objectives. This is followed by policy options or recommendations which forms the basis for policies

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