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Panacea Or Placebo? An Evaluation Of The Value Of Emotional Intelligence In Healthcare Workers

Author: ELIZABETH A. VANDEWAA, DAVID L. TURNIPSEED and GEORGIE CAIN
Published in JHHSA, Vol. 38 No. 4

The purpose of this study was to empirically investigate the relationship between emotional intelligence and desirable nursing behaviors, measured as organizational citizenship behavior (OCB). We used Mayer and Salovey?s (1997) four-dimensional model of emotional intelligence and Organ?s (1988) OCB construct to test the EI-OCB relationships. Using a sample of 137 clinical nurses, and analyzing the data with hierarchical multiple regressions, we obtained results indicating that the EI dimension perceiving emotion was linked to conscientiousness, and facilitating thinking was linked to civic virtue. Managing emotion was linked to conscientiousness, civic virtue, altruism and courtesy. There were no relationships between facilitating thinking and the OCB dimensions. Results suggest that EI may increase conscientiousness in performing nursing duties, and in the levels of involvement and participation in hospital affairs. Higher levels of emotional intelligence may also increase altruistic activities and discretionary coordinating efforts. However, there is no reason to expect that a poor work climate, and grieving, complaining behaviors will respond positively to increasing EI. Managers should realize that efforts to improve EI may not provide global results.

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