SA Journal of Industrial Psychology
On-line version ISSN 2071-0768
RAMESAR, Saras; KOORTZEN, Pieter and OOSTHUIZEN, Rudolf M.. The relationship between emotional intelligence and stress management. SA j. ind. Psychol. [online]. 2009, vol.35, n.1, pp. 39-48. ISSN 2071-0768.
Regardless of where one lives in the world, one cannot escape three defining forces of our time: globalisation, the information revolution and the speed of change (Cascio, 2001). To ensure continued organisational performance and to maintain the competitive advantage, organisations must therefore constantly implement changes in strategy, structure, process and culture (Higgs, 2002; Langley, 2000). Goleman (1998) proposes a solution of self-awareness as a key skill in handling stress, thereby indicating that a lack of emotional intelligence in such an unstable environment means possible failure that can impact on everyone's future. The general aim of this research was to determine whether there is a relationship between emotional intelligence and stress management in a group of managers. This was done through a quantitative study of the relationship between stress management and emotional intelligence. These constructs were operationalised by means of a combination of scales present in the Feelings and Emotions domain of the Occupational Personality Questionnaire (OPQ32i) and the Emotional Quotient Inventory (Bar-On EQ-i). The correlation and regression results seem to indicate that stress management (the ability to cope with stress) is a component of emotional intelligence, while stress can be either an input or an outflow of emotional intelligence or the lack thereof.
Keywords : emotional competence; social intelligence; stress management skills; Occupational Personality Questionnaire (OPQ32i); Emotional Quotient Inventory (EQ-i).