ROLE OF EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE AND WORK LIFE BALANCE IN JOB STRESS
1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
The 21st century is also an era of stress. Individuals face job stress in their organization and daily lives due to globalization, information technology revolution, and speed of life. The most important effects of these can be seen in the business world, and they can manifest themselves as changes that organizations make in their structures, strategies, activities, and technologies. Constantly changing organizations impose new roles and duties on their employees which have effect on their work life balance, and the employees who want to handle new roles and duties need to have efficiency in intelligence quotient (IQ) and efficiency in emotional quotient (EQ) in the processes of decision making and problem solving. A completely stress-free life is impossible, and stress becomes a characteristic of human existence.
Individuals have used various methods to handle stress, including using their intelligence, especially their emotional intelligence (Sirin, 2007). Emotional intelligence (EI) is a social intelligence that enables people to recognize their own, and other peoples’ emotions. Moreover, emotional intelligence enables people to differentiate those emotions, and to make appropriate choices for thinking and action (Cooper and Sawaf, 1997; Mayer and Salovey, 1993). It is an intelligence that may be learned, developed and improved (Perkins, 1994; Sternberg, 1996).Emotional intelligence (EI) refers to the ability to perceive, control, and evaluate emotions. Some researchers suggest that emotional intelligence can be learned and strengthened, while other claim it is an inborn characteristic. It is also, defined as the ability to use your awareness and sensitivity to discern the feelings underlying interpersonal communication, and to resist the temptation to respond impulsively and thoughtlessly, but instead to act from receptivity, authenticity and candour (Ryback,1998). Peter Salovey and John D. Mayer (1990) in their influential article “Emotional Intelligence,” defined emotional intelligence as, “the subset of social intelligence that involves the ability to monitor one’s own and others’ feelings and emotions, to discriminate among them and to use this information to guide one’s thinking and actions”.
Emotionally intelligent people are defined in part as those who regulate their emotions according to a logically consistent model of emotional functioning. Emotional intelligence allows employee to think more creatively and use his emotions to solve problems. Daniel Goleman believes that emotional intelligence appears to be an important set of psychological abilities that relates to work life balance and life success. It is empathy and communication skills as well as social and leadership skills that will be central to your work life balance and personal relationships. The ability to manage feelings and handle stress is another aspect of emotional intelligence that has been found to be important for successful work life balance. Emotional intelligence has as much to do with knowing when and how to express emotion as it does with controlling it. Empathy is a particularly important aspect of emotional intelligence. Emotions are more successful in work as well as in social lives. Emotional Intelligence is now being considered to be an important organizational factor.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Stress is recognized worldwide as a major challenge to workers health and the healthiness of organizations. Stress can be brought about by pressures at work. Job stress can be a real problem to the organization as well as to the workers. Job stress can manifest itself in numerous ways. A range of somatic and mental ailments such as, tension headaches, allergies, back problems, colds and flu, depression (Arroba & James, 1990), anxiety, irritation, tension and sleeplessness(Cooper, Cooper & Eaker, 1988) and may lead to health compromising coping strategies such as increased consumption of cigarettes, alcohol and drugs (Quick, Nelson & Quick, 1990).Chronic exposure to stress may have even very serious consequences such as cancer, heart disease, respiratory illnesses, strokes, arthritis, ulcers and high blood pressure (Quick, Nelson& Quick, 1990; Cooper, Cooper & Eaker, 1988). However, all individuals do not develop such problems in face of stress. However, the researcher is examining the role of emotional intelligence and work life balance in job stress.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The following are the objectives of this study:
1. To examine the role of emotional intelligence and work life balance in job stress
2. To find out the relationship between emotional intelligence and job stress
3. To identify the factors causing job stress in a work place.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
1. What is the role of emotional intelligence and work life balance in job stress?
2. What is the relationship between emotional intelligence and job stress?
3. What are the factors causing job stress in a work place?
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The following are the significance of this study:
1. The outcome of this study will educate the general public and managers of corporate organizations on the causes of job stress for the employee and how emotional intelligence can be used to maintain proper work life balance.
2. This research will also serve as a resource base to other scholars and researchers interested in carrying out further research in this field subsequently, if applied will go to an extent to provide new explanation to the topic.
1.7 SCOPE/LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
This study on the role of emotional intelligence and work life balance in job stress will cover all the factors that causes job stress and approaches by which emotional intelligence can be used to maintain a stable work life balance.
LIMITATION OF STUDY
Financial constraint- Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).
Time constraint- The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.
Copper, R.K., & Sawaf, A. (1997). Executive EQ: Emotional Intelligence in Leadership and organization .New York: Grosset/Putnam
Mayer, J.D. and Salovey, P. (1993). The Intelligence of Emotional Intelligence,17(4), 433-442.
Perkins, D. (1994). Outsmarting IQ: The Emerging Science of Learnable Intelligence, The Free Press, New York, NY
Ryback, D. (1998). Putting Emotional Intelligence to Work: Successful Leadership Is More than Just IQ, Butterworth-Heinemann, Boston, MA .
Sirin G (2007). The relationship between teachers‟ emotional intelligence levels and their ways of coping up with stress (In Turkish). Master’s thesis, Gazi University, Ankara, Turkey.
Sternberg, R.J. (1996). Successful Intelligence, Simon – Schuster, New York, NY