As a result of globalization, today’s multi-national corporations operating in an ever changing competitive world must look to promote leaders that are capable of dealing with the intricate challenges that are involved with cultures that are often vastly different than their own. In an article titled “Global Leadership success through emotional and cultural intelligences” the authors Ilan Alon and James M. Higgins, suggest that emotional intelligence which is typically defined as “the ability to identify and manage your own emotions and the emotions of others” and cultural intelligence which is defined as “ way of assessing and improving effectiveness for culturally diverse situations and also measuring the capabilities to cope with multi-cultural situations, engage in cross-cultural interactions appropriately, and perform effectively in culturally diverse work groups.” (Goleman 1998). is of far greater importance to a company’s leadership success than its traditional contemporary leading indicator the “Intelligence Quotient.” Which is a tested measurement of raw intelligence.
This text will examine the claims of the article, which in light of the sparse research available on emotional and cultural intelligence in the context of leadership may be overstated. Certainly, the debate continues about how much EQ and CI contribute to effective leadership and further research beyond the studies cited in the article are required if more detailed information is to be obtained regarding the relationship between EQ/CI and effective leadership. In assessing the value of a high EQ in correlation to strong leadership, the article cites three methods of quantifying the results namely: “The Emotional Quotient inventory” which is a self-reporting model of constructs measuring emotional and social intelligence. The standard test consists of 133 questions and takes approximately 30 minutes to complete. The ECI method which provides a behavioral measurement of emotional and social competencies and finally the Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Test or MSCEIT, which is problem-solving instead of self-reporting test. The MSCEIT test at least has the advantage or relying upon empirical results, whereas the other two methods are subjective and must rely somewhat upon the integrity of the person in reporting truthful answers. Those who complete the test that possesses a high Intelligence quotient may know what answer should be given in order to score a high EQ, yet the answer may not be an accurate representation of what they personally believe or what action they would necessarily take.
It is interesting to note, that Alon and Higgins would seem to dismiss IQ as the least significant factor in effectively globalized leadership, yet that very IQ may be the reason why any results from EQ tests are skewered, with the result being that IQ, is in fact, the most significant factor in effective leadership. The article maintains based on a study by Stein and Book completed in 2000 that anywhere between 47% and 56% of a person’s domestic and work- related success is directly attributable to a high EQ score. Another study, based on the previously referred to Goleman ECI done in 2002, notes that majority of corporate leaders today possess most the EQ competencies, thus drawing a correlation between EQ attributes and strong leadership. However, one flaw that is readily apparent in all these EQ studies is that women typically score higher on EQ quotients than men do, yet comparatively occupy few leadership roles.
Therefore, it would be reasonable to account for the 5 to 10% deviation that women outscore men by with adjusted results that account for it, yet this is absent from aforementioned studies, nor are demographic or ethnic changes provided for. Roberts, Zeidner and Matthews (2001) conducted one of the rare studies that evaluated ethnic group differences in EQ and found conflicting results. In an American study, Van Rooy, Alonso and Viswesvaran (2005) found that Black people scored higher than White people on the total EI scale, equal to a Golemans scale of of 0.32./d.
As the article notes, Cultural Intelligence is an emerging competence that poses a challenge for successful management in the 21st century. The rapidly expanding impact of globalization, expatriation and multi-national working environments compels leadership to interact with multi-cultural stakeholders, including customers, suppliers, employees, and communities, in order to deliver the required outputs and ensure the financial results required for continued economic success. An appreciation of a different culture is obtained from a widespread and in depth experience in that culture, and with such prolonged exposure eventually leading to a deeper appreciation of a that particular culture’s social structure, customs and norms.
The Article notes “using a sample of 112 individuals (35 employees of a U.S.-basedcorporation and 77 undergraduate students1998 study by Amy Montagliani & Robert A.Giacalone found that the ability to adapt cross-culturally is positively related to impression management tendencies and suggested that both will have a positive impact on the ability to succeed in global leadership” (Montagliani & Giacalone, 1998). Since the concept of Cultural Intelligence is grounded in the theory of multiple intelligences as discussed by Sternberg and Detterman (1986), Cultural Intelligence is seen to be similar to, yet different than other forms of intelligence. Alon and Higgins note that Cultural Intelligence is similar to emotional intelligence, since it is a set of capabilities, rather than preferred ways of acting Cultural Intelligence, motivational Cultural Intelligence and behavioural Cultural Intelligence, are dissimilar competencies that together comprises the total Cultural Intelligence. All these capabilities are regarded as important for managers who have to meet organizational objectives by harnessing the efforts of staff with multiple cultural backgrounds. Unlike Emotional Quotient, no objection can be raised with respect to the requirement that today’s leaders are well versed with cultural intelligence, as globalization only looks to accelerate, not contract in the present and into the foreseeable future.
- Goleman, D. (1998). Working With Emotional Intelligence. New York, NY. Bantum Books.
- Global leadership success through emotional and cultural intelligences. (n.d.). Retrieved August 02, 2016, from https://www.academia.edu/668628/Global_leadership_success_through_emotional_and_cultural_intelligences
- Roberts, R.D., Zeidner, M., & Matthews, G. (2001). Does emotional intelligence meet traditional standards for an intelligence? Some new data and conclusions. Emotion, 1(3), 196–231. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/1528-35220.127.116.11, PMid:12934681
- Van Rooy, D.L., Alonso, A., & Viswesvaran, C. (2005). Group differences in emotional intelligence scores: theoretical and practical implications. Personality and Individual Differences, 38(3), 689–700. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2004.05.023
- Sternberg, RJ & DK Detterman. 1986. What is Intelligence?: Contemporary Viewpoints on its Nature and Definition . Norwood, NJ: Ablex.