Paper in Industrial and Organizational Psychology: Perspectives on Science and Practice
  • Joseph, D. L., & Newman, D. A., MacCann, C. (2010). Emotional intelligence and job performance: The importance of emotion regulation and emotional labor context. Industrial and Organizational Psychology: Perspectives on Science and Practice, 3, 159-164.

    Cherniss (2010) described three issues that need to be addressed en route to considering emotional intelligence (EI) a useful construct for personnel psychology: (a) empirical evidence that EI predicts job performance, (b) distinguishing between models of EI and models of emotional and social competence (ESC), and (c) some unresolved EI measurement problems. A recent meta-analysis (Joseph & Newman, 2010) illuminates the first of these topics while considering the second and therefore provides empirical tests for many of Cherniss’s conceptual ideas. Regarding the third issue, we also point to recent developments in EI measurement based on situational judgment testing (SJT; MacCann & Roberts, 2008; Orchard et al., 2009). In this commentary, we focus particularly on two key concepts we believe are necessary to understand the relationship between EI and job performance: emotion regulation and emotional labor. First, we emphasize the value of distinguishing between the different facets of EI (i.e., emotion perception, emotion facilitation, emotion understanding, and emotion regulation, as in Mayer, Salovey, & Caruso’s [2000], four-branch EI model). Doing so reveals the critical importance of the emotion regulation facet as a mediator of other EI facet effects on job performance. Second, we demonstrate the vital role of context in the EI–job performance relationship, illustrated by stronger EI criterion validity findings for high emotional labor jobs.