The study author examined the role emotional intelligence plays in the work-life balance of foster care workers. In so doing, he/she felt that there was a statistically significant relationship between emotional intelligence and the days an individual was absent from work. That was one of the research questions. In order to answer that question the researcher came up with two hypotheses. The null hypothesis which is what the researcher thinks is not likely to happen while the alternative hypothesis is what the researcher thinks will happen. In inferential statistics, the researcher cannot prove the alternative hypothesis directly so he/she conducts research to try to reject the null hypothesis. In rejecting the null hypothesis, the researcher will prove that the alternative hypothesis is true. In this case, the researcher thinks that there is a statistically significant relationship between emotional intelligence and the rate of absenteeism. This makes sense and it is a good starting point. That is why the researcher made this the alternative hypothesis.
The second research question was one that assessed whether there was a statistically significant relationship between emotional intelligence and work-life balance? In order to answer this question, the researcher came up with two hypotheses—the Null hypothesis and the alternative hypothesis. The null alternative was one that dictates that there is no relationship between emotional intelligence and work-life balance. Once again, the researcher thinks that there is a relationship between the two variables (emotional intelligence and work-life balance). So, the null hypothesis states that there is no statistically significant relationship between emotional intelligence and work-life balance and the alternative hypothesis is that there is a statistically significant relationship between emotional intelligence and work-life balance.
The study variables are emotional intelligence, absenteeism and work-life balance. Emotional Intelligence is the independent variable and absenteeism and work-life balance were the dependent variables. In order to assess emotional intelligence, the researcher used a pre-existing scale which was called the Emotional and Social Competence Inventory (ESCI). This scale asks 68 questions and it covered 12 areas of competency. Those areas are:
Coach and Mentor
In order to narrow down the list of important components from the aforementioned list of twelve components. The researcher conducted with is called Principal Component Analysis (PCA). PCA is a technique used to modify the dataset in such a way as to bring out the components that really matter in a dataset. After doing PCA on the dataset, the researcher was able to determine that only seven components were necessary in answering the research questions at hand. The researcher then conducted regression analysis with emotional intelligence being regressed upon absenteeism. In so doing, the researcher was able to determine that emotional intelligence had no statistically significant effect on absenteeism in this group that was studied.
In assessing the relationship between emotional intelligence and work-life balance, the researcher determined that seven subscales could be used to determine whether the work-life balance was in an acceptable range. The subscales used were as follows:
Control at work
Stress at work
Overall quality of working life
Each item on the subscale was treated as a dependent variable and Multivariate Analysis of Variance was conducted. The findings of the analysis was that all of the aforementioned factors were that emotional intelligence was a significant predictor of each of those factors. In answering the research questions, the researcher concluded that there was no statistically significant relationship between emotional intelligence and absenteeism and that there was a statistically significant relationship between emotional intelligence and work-life balance. This relationship, however, was a weak one—accounting for less than 4% of the variation seen.
The Significance of the Findings
The study was grounded in the theories of absenteeism that differentiate between the two types of absenteeism—voluntary and involuntary. Voluntary absenteeism is viewed as an unexcused absence because the employee is physically able to go to work but he/she chooses not to for personal reasons and involuntary absenteeism is when an individual has no choice but to miss work. In which case, he/she has an excused absence. In the case of voluntary absenteeism, the employee chooses to miss work due to a lack of motivation or he/she has been demoralized by the tasks he/she performs at work.
The study operated with many limitations. The first limitation was that the study did not deal with the fact that there can be several types of absenteeism and that absenteeism occurs for different reasons. The study author feel that a more enlightening study can be done in the future—one which distinguishes between the different type of absenteeism. If such a study is conducted, the researcher thinks that one will have a clearer understanding of the impact emotional intelligence has on absenteeism. This is most important since the researcher undertook this body of research on the grounds that there would be some kind of relationship between emotional intelligence and absenteeism. This was assumed based on the theories used by the researcher. The researcher indicated that this assumption was made in both cases and despite the fact that there was a relationship between emotional intelligence and the individual measures of work-life balance, that relationship was not what was expected. The researcher expected to find a strong correlation but what was found was an extremely weak on.
The researcher recommends that, in the future, other researchers could improve on the usefulness of this study by dividing the variable of absenteeism into two distinct variables—voluntary and involuntary absenteeism. In so doing, the picture derived from the findings of this study can be made clearer because they may indeed be a negative correlation between either voluntary or non-voluntary absenteeism. This is indeed practical.