Using Emotional Intelligence to Identify High Potential:A Metacompetency Approach
Introduction (1) • « you have it or you don’t » • Detection competencies < successful executives • Young potential=same competencies as experienced executives? • Competencies needed today=competencies needed in the (unpredictable) future? • metacompetency approach • Detection competencies < learning agility • « Adaptability » and « identity » learning • Protean careers Selection perspective Development perspective
Introduction (2) emotional self-awareness,assertiveness, self-regard, self-actualization,independence empathy, interpersonal relationships, social responsibility problem solving, reality testing, flexibility happiness, optimism stress tolerance, impulse control correspondences with metacompetency model Emotional intelligence (EI) “an array of noncognitive capabilities, competencies and skills that influence one’s ability to succeed in coping with environmental demands and pressures” intrapersonal functioning interpersonal skills adaptability stress management general mood
Hypothesis 1 H1. High-potential managers display higher levels of emotional intelligence than their “regular” peers. • « covert » identification criterion? • > links with performance and competencies > links with effective/transformational leadership • cause of derailment?
Introduction (3) EI HP identification Higher performance Higher EI HP identification Individual job performance (P) Individual job performance Group/team performance Organizational performance « Exceeds expectations » performance ratings Career commitment (CC) > Make sacrifices for the organization > Lower intention to leave
Hypothesis 2 & 3 H2a.Emotional intelligence positively predicts individual job performance. H2b. High-potential managers display higher job performance levels than their regular peers. H3a. Career commitment positively predicts individual job performance. H3b. Emotional intelligence positively predicts career commitment. H3c. High-potential managers display higher levels of career commitment than their regular peers.
Method anonymity discretion • Participating organizations: • Financial sector • Insurance sector • Telecom sector Online surveys, distributed by email: URL « a »: high potentials (HP) URL « b »: regular managers (M) • Items: • 133 EQ-i items (Bar-On, 1997) • 7 Career Commitment scale item (Blau, 1989) • 1 Performance item (self-anchored) • Current managerial level & number of managerial levels in the organization • Gender & age
Matching procedure Table Sample Size, Gender Distribution and Means and Standard Deviations of Age per Sample Category
H1: EI-HP status • H1: No significant differences at scale level • HPh highest score (115.89), other sample categories in « average » range • Subscale level: • Assertiveness: HP > M • Independence: HP > M • Flexibility: HP > M • Optimism: HP > M • Social responsibility: HP < M • Subscale level – sample categories: • Flexibility: Ml < Mh < HPl < HPh • Happiness: HPl < Mh < HPh < Ml • Interpersonal relationships: Mh < HPl < HPh < Ml
H2: the role of Job Performance • H2a: No significant prediction model at scale level • Subscale level: • Optimism: + performance • Emotional self-awareness: + performance • Interpersonal relationships: - performance • Reality testing: - performance • H2b: Significant differences • HP > M • HPh > HPl > Mh > Ml
H3: the role of Career Commitment • H3a: No significant prediction model at scale level • Item level: • « If I could get another job and be paid the same amount, I would probably take it »: - performance • « If I could do it all over again, I would not choose to work in this profession »: - performance • H3b: Differences at scale and subscale level: • EQ-i: + career commitment • All but « adaptability » scale: + career commitment • H3c: No significant differences at scale level • Item level: • « If I could get another job and be paid the same amount, I would probably take it »: HP < M
Discussion (1) Protean careers • EI: differences in subscales • Assertiveness → visibility, dialogue • Independence → self-direction, act on own values • Flexibility → adaptability • Optimism → problems = opportunities • Social responsibility ↔ Machiavellism, individualism, low identification? • Interpersonal relationships → HP prioritize performance? • → Ml compensate for their lower performance? • → Mh frustrated or technical experts? • Happiness → HPh stress/insecurety/loneliness? • → Mh frustrated or more work-life imbalance?
Discussion (2) • Self-reported job performance: HP > M • → Self-enhancement bias = equal for HP and M • → Proxy of objective data available to employees? • → Reflection of self-perceptions due to HP status? • → « Cognitive dissonance reduction » in M? • → « Unrealistic optimists »: overrating of performance or innovative • thinkers? • → Self-awareness: acting on strengths and weaknesses? • Career commitment: at item level: HP > M • → Conscious choice for profession: higher performance • → HP less boundaryless career attitudes? Not primarily motivated by pay?
Implications... • For practice: • > EQ-i = valuable for assessing learning agility • → Added value over micro-competencies • > High potentials ≠ high performers • → « Halo effects » • > Retention management • → positive emotions • → risks of peer comparison/forced ranking • For research: • >EQ-i as proxy for learning agility • → Validate against other proxies • >More research on perspective of HP individuals • >Predictive value of EI to identify HP? • >Selection or development perspective?
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