An overview of EI:

The concept of Emotional Intelligence was introduced for the first time by Peter Salovey and John Mayer (1990) and since than has gained enormous popularity among researchers, organizations, and general public. A prominent researcher Daniel Goleman came across the work of Mayer and Salovey and decided to conduct his own research on the subject of EI. In furtherance of this initiative Goleman conducted a very useful research and published the first book on Emotional Intelligence (Goleman, 1995). Since then the notion of EI gained enormous popularity among different researchers, organization and academic institutions. Different courses and programs have been adopted in order to develop EI. But still the concept is unclear as to identify whether EI is an intelligence or personality dimension (Stys & Brown, 2004). In furtherance of this clarification several researchers have attempted to accurately describe and assess the concept of EI (e.g. Salerno, 1996; Henig, 1996; Bennets, 1996; Gottman, 1997; Segal, 1997; Cooper and Sawaf, 1997; and many other books and articles). Consequently, with the increased research and publications on the notion of EI different models and corresponding measures were constructed and instead of contributing in the development of the concept it rather increased the debates and controversies on the subject matter, and has created a state of confusion for different researchers and organizations that which model or measuring instruments should be adopted in order to assess and measure the level of EI in individuals and team performance.

EI has been perceived distinct from traditional IQ and is deemed crucial in predicting many real-life outcomes (Ciarrochi, J, V, et al, 2000, p 540). From the research of Daniel Goleman it is obvious that IQ and EI are two different notions which exist independent of each other in an individual’s personality. Goleman (1996, pp 33-45) has given more emphasis on EI rather than on IQ. According to him IQ plays a little role in life success and that individuals with high IQ must not necessarily be successful in terms of their status, salary, productivity, relationship with family and friends, and romance etc, which signifies that high IQ is not a guarantee of prosperity, prestige and success in life. On the other hand EI plays an important role in life success. It offers a competitive edge in workplace. Those individuals who know and can manage their own emotions and feelings (intrapersonal intelligence) and of others (interpersonal intelligence) are at an advantage in any domain of life. Goleman (1998, pp 24-25) further states that even though an individual possesses high EI, does not mean that he will have learned the emotional competencies that are of vital importance at work, he will rather need to learn and develop emotional competence, which is a learned capability based on EI that leads to high performance at work and that the level of EI determines one’s potentials for learning the practical skills that are based on its five elements, i.e. self-awareness, motivation, self-regulation, empathy, and adeptness in relationship (See figure 1 below for “The Emotional Competence Framework”).

Although it is beyond the scope of the current study to sum up the whole concept of EI, but an attempt has been made to conduct an inclusive research in order to summaries the concept of EI, to address key controversial factors, and highlight the role of EI in leadership and teamwork effectiveness.

Definition of EI:

The term EI is defined by different scholars and researchers in books and articles. Different researchers have defined and constructed the notion according to their own perspective and mental approach. In order to define the term EI, the current research has mainly focused on the study of prominent researchers in the field of EI, such as Peter Salovey, John Mayer, Daniel Goleman, and Reuven Bar-On.

John Mayer and Peter Salovey are considered as the originators of the notion of Emotional Intelligence (EI). In their article on Emotional Intelligence, they have defined the term EI 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”. (Salovey & Mayer, 1990; Mayer & Salovey, 1993) but subsequently Salovey and Mayer came up with more simplified definition of EI which means it is “The ability to perceive emotion, integrate emotion to facilitate thought, understand emotions, and to regulate emotions to promote personal growth” (Mayer & Salovey, 1997).

Another famous researcher of the emotional intelligence construct is Reuven Bar-On, the originator of the term “emotion quotient”. He states that “Emotional intelligence is an array of non-cognitive capabilities, competencies, and skills that influence one’s ability to succeed in coping with environmental demands and pressures”. He has adopted slightly different point of view regarding the notions of EI, according to his view point EI as being concerned with understanding oneself and others, relating to people, and adapting to and coping with the immediate surroundings to be more successful in dealing with environmental demands (Bar-On, 1997). He described EI as an eclectic mix of traits, i.e. happiness, self-esteem, optimism, and self-management, rather than as ability based (Bar-On, 2004).

On the other hand a prominent researcher and psychologist Daniel Goleman defines the term EI in broader sense. According to him EI is “A form of intelligence relating to the emotional side of life, the ability to recognize and manage one’s own and others’ emotions, to motivate oneself and restrain impulses, and to handle interpersonal and intrapersonal relationships effectively” (Goleman, 1998).

Hughes and Terrel (Hughes, M, and Terrel, J, B, 2007) have used the notion as Emotional Social Intelligence (ESI).

Different models of EI:

By making an in-depth analysis of the existing literature on the subject of EI it is evident that research on EI originates mainly from three models which are very popular among the researchers, academics, and different organizations on global level. The first model introduced by Peter Salovey and John Mayer (1990, 1997) perceives EI as a pure intelligence, which means EI is a cognitive ability. The second model is presented by Reuven Bar-On (1997) that considers EI as mixed intelligence that includes cognitive ability and personality aspects in which more importance is given on how cognitive and personality factors persuade general well-being. The third model is originated by Daniel Goleman (1995, 1998) which perceives EI in the same way as Bar-On’s model and regards EI as a mixed intelligence that involve cognitive ability and personality aspects and in addition Goleman has given more emphasis on how cognitive and personality factors determine success at workplace. Accordingly, these models and their associated measures have been used and employed in researches on the subject of EI. The measurement tools of these EI models respectively include the MSCEIT (Mayer, Salovey, and Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test), ECI-2 (Emotional Competence Inventory-2), and EQ-I (Emotional Quotient Inventory). These models and measurement tools differ in terms of whether they narrowly define EI or broadly conceive it as closely related either to personality attributes or to behavioural outcomes.

Although an in-depth description of these models and measures is beyond the scope of the current study, but an attempt has been made to present a comprehensive review of the similarities and differences between EI models and evidence regarding the validity of the corresponding EI instruments (McEnrue, M, P et al, 2010).

These models are discussed in more details in the following section.

Salovey and Mayer Model of Emotional Intelligence (An Ability Model):

Mayer and Salovey model of EI is known as Ability Model. By looking at the definition and construct of EI by Mayer and Salovey (Salovey & Mayer, 1990; Mayer & Salovey, 1993; Mayer & Salovey, 1997) it can be seen that EI is conceived as ability rather than a personality dimension by narrowly defining the construct in order to differentiate it from other phenomena. The domain of Mayer and Salovey Model of EI describes a number of distinct emotional abilities or dimensions, which are mainly divided into four competencies i.e. emotional perception, the use of emotions in order to facilitate thoughts, understanding emotions, and managing emotions (Salovey et al, 2004; Mayer & Salovey, 1997).

Figure 1 Mayer, Salovey, and Caruso Model of EI

Bar-On Model of Emotional Social Intelligence (Mixed Model):

The second model of EI is originated by Reuven Bar-On (1997). This model is a mixed model of intelligence that combines personality aspects and cognitive abilities it mainly comprised of five scales and fifteen subscales (Bar-On, 2004). The main scales of the model focus on different dimensions i.e. intrapersonal, interpersonal, adaptation, stress management, and general mood.

Goleman Model of Emotional Intelligence (Mixed Model):

As stated earlier, after getting inspired from the work of Salovey and Mayer in the 1990’s Daniel Goleman started his own research on the subject of EI and in furtherance of this initiative he wrote a book on Emotional Intelligence (1995), the remarkable book which gain tremendous popularity among the public and private sectors with the idea of familiarizing the notion of EI. The model introduced by Daniel Goleman mainly focuses on EI as an extensive range of competencies and skills that drive performance of individuals at workplace. Goleman’s model prescribes five main constructs and each construct consists of a set of emotional competencies (see figure 1). As mentioned before, according to Goleman (1998, p 25) Emotional competencies are not inborn talents, but rather learned capabilities that can be learned and developed to achieve outstanding performance in different aspects of life, which indicates that Goleman conceives that individuals are born with a common EI that determines their strength for learning emotional competencies.

The Emotional Competence Framework with practical examples of its impacts on leadership and teamwork

  • Personal Competence
  • Social Competence
  • Self-Awareness

Emotional Self-awareness (recognizing one’s emotions and their effects), for instance, George Soros: He learned to recognize that a backache signaled time to sell, even before he was consciously aware he had made a bad investment.

Accurate Self-Assessment (Knowing one’s strengths and limits), Howard Gardner states that we all spend far too much time trying to remedy our weaknesses rather than building on our strengths.

Self-Confidence ( A strong sense of one’s self worth and capabilities), as Albert Banduara a Stanford professor has done decades of research into “self efficacy”, states that confidence determines choices, effort, perseverance, and resilience

Social Awareness

Empathy (Sensing other’s feelings and taking an active interest in their concerns). For instance Aaron Feuerstein, whose Malden Mill Polartec factory was destroyed by fire in 1995, He personally paid salaries of 2,000 workers for three months while the factory was rebuilt.

Organizational Awareness (Reading a group’s emotional currents and power relationships). Collin Powell, the youngest general ever to be named Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Legendary for the political skills which he has demonstrated at every stage of his career.

Service Orientation (Anticipating, recognizing, and meeting customers’ or clients’ needs). Estee Lauder developed innovative “gift with purchase”.


Emotional Self-control (Keeping disruptive emotions and impulses in check), the Marshmallow study states that 4 years olds had to pick either one marshmallow now or two in 15 minutes. Kids who waited did an average of 210 points better on the SAT’s more than 10 years later.

Transparency (Maintaining integrity, acting congruently with one’s values), Andrew Grove CEO of Intel during 1994 Pentium flaw crisis, the company was in denial at first but he ultimately took personal responsibility.

Adaptability (Flexibility in handling change). Carly Fiorina the first woman CEO of HP who headed a fortune of 50 companies. She has led a transformation of H-P’s culture and structure.

Achievement orientation (Striving to improve or meet a standard of excellence). Ken Chenault balances what colleagues term “unrelenting drive” with friendliness, charisma, and open-door policy. Early in his career at American Express, he took a challenging assignment in Marchendise Services. This department which sold items to consumers via direct mail, was troubled and was peripheral to the company’s main card business. Within three years, he had grown sales from $100 Million to $ 700 Millions.

Innovative (Readiness to act on opportunities). For instance Bill Gates, who was reluctantly dropped out of college. He states “unlike of some students, I loved college. However, I felt the window of opportunity to start a software company might not open again”.

Optimism (Persistence in pursuing goals despite obstacles and setbacks). For example J.K Rowling, the author of Harry Potter, who was divorced and living on public assistance with her daughter in a tiny apartment in Edinburgh. Her first book in the series was rejected by 10 publishers.

Relationship Management

Developing others (Sensing others’ development needs and bolstering their abilities). Jack Welch the General Electric CEO spent 50% of his time on people development. He knew the names and roles of over 1,000 people at the company.

Influence (Having impact on others and wielding effective tactics for persuation). Robert Cialdini, a maitre d’ at a restaurant in Chicago told people: “please call if your plans change”. Only 10% of no shows called to cancel. He began asking people “will you please call if your plans change?” as a result, the cancellation rate tripled-30% called.

Conflict management (Negotiating and resolving disagreements). Negotiators with emotional competence are much more likely to reach Win-Win agreement. Mark Parker Follet states that two sisters fought over an orange. They did not realize that one sister wanted the peel for a cake while the other wanted to make juice. They split the orange instead of dividing it in a more intelligent way.

Inspirational leadership (Inspiring and guiding individuals and groups). Ernest Shackelton the explorer who leaded a team of men to Antarctica in 1914. Their boat the Endurance, was crushed by ice early in the expedition. He managed to bring them back to safety after more than 600 days in the wilderness. He paid close attention to the group’s emotional condition during their trials together. He created intelligent strategies for helping individuals and the group remains busy and optimistic.

Change catalyst (Initiating or managing change). Gordon Bethune took over as CEO of falling Continental Airlines in early 1990’s. One of his first public acts was to take a group of employees out to the company’s parking lot. They burned the outdated and constraining employees manual. This symbolic gesture set the stage for his successful transformation of the airline.

Teamwork and collaboration (Creating group synergy in pursuing collective goals). Like in the world of science, teams are also becoming more pervasive in business organizations. Team synergies can lead to performance that far exceeds the aggregated sum of what individual members can accomplish on their own. Individuals are increasingly being evaluated, compensated and promoted based on their ability to work effectively on teams.

Source: (Goleman, 1998; Wolff, 2005; )

Measurement of EI

There are different tools that are used by researchers and scholars in order to measure the level of EI with reference to leadership and teamwork. Mayer and Salovey Model of EI is measured by using Mayer, Salovey, and Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test (MSCEIT). This measurement tool requires the respondents to perform a number of tasks relating to EI. Bar-On’s and Goleman’s models use self-report measures of EI. Bar-On model is measured by using Emotional Quotient Inventory (EQ-i) while Goleman’s model is assessed through Emotional Competency Inventory (ECI).

Different EI Measurement Tools (Stys, T & Brown, S. L (2004)

Corresponding Theorists

Mode of Measure

Brief Description

Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test


Mayer and



Specific tasks are used to measure level of ability of each branch of emotional intelligence

Emotional Quotient Inventory




133 self-report items measure total IQ and each of the 5 components of the Bar-On model

Emotional Competency Inventory






A multi-rater instrument that provides ratings on a series of behavioral indicators of emotional intelligence

Emotional Intelligence Appraisal






A 7-minute assessment meant to measure the existence of Goleman’s four components of emotional intelligence

Work Profile Questionnaire-Emotional Intelligence Version (WPQei)



Measures 7 of Goleman’s competencies thought of as most essential for effective work performance

Levels of Emotional Awareness Scale




Measures levels of awareness of emotions in oneself and others

Self-Report Emotional Intelligence Test


Salovey and Mayer

Or Other


A 33-item measure of Salovey and Mayer’s original concept of EI

These measurement tools are discussed in details in the following section.

Mayer, Salovey, and Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test (MSCEIT):

By looking at the existing instruments of measuring EI, the MSCEIT seems to be the single instruments that measure EI by making comparison of self-reported scores against consensus and expert opinion which distinguishes the MSCEIT from the models presented by other researchers. The MSCEIT is a tool developed by Mayer, Salovey & Caruso (2003) and is adopted by different researchers and organizations for measuring the level of EI in individuals. During the process of measuring EI through MSCEIT participants require to respond to 141 questions that are further divided into four sets of tasks. These different tasks include: identification of respondents’ feelings based upon their facial expressions and emotions from images and landscapes; comparison of different emotions to diverse feelings and signifying which mood is likely to assist specific of problem solving; identification of situations as to ascertain that how emotional transition occurs; and linking certain situations with certain emotions. Finally, the test asks participants to assess how efficient different actions would be to reach a conclusion that involve other individuals and to rate the efficiency of substitute actions in circumstances that call for emotional regulation.

Emotional Competence Inventory (ECI):

ECI is an instrument developed by Goleman, Boyatzis, and McKee (2002) for measuring the level of EI. This inventory is based on the original model of EI by Goleman (1995, 1998). In Developing ECI different sources such as the outcomes of study on management competencies applying the Self Assessment Questionnaire (Boyatzis, Stubbs, & Taylor, 2002) and other tools have been taken into consideration. The most updated tools for measuring Goleman model of EI is the ECI-2. It is mainly composed of eighteen competencies divided in four clusters i.e. self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and social skills (See table 0.0). By making comparison of ECI-2 with the old version ECI-1 it can be seen that Version 2 of the ECI has significantly less components than the ECI-1 (72 opposed to 110). ECI-2 excludes two scales i.e. conscientiousness and communication, and merges two scales i.e. teamwork and building bonds into a single component and adds optimism which was not included in ECI-1. By making an in-depth analysis of ECI with other measurement tools it has resemblance to some extent to Reuven Bar-On’s (1997) model of EI and his corresponding measurement tools EQ-i in that many of the scales in the ECI-2 appear to measure aspects of EI e.g. setting up satisfying relationship and working in supportive manners with others, but not EI by itself.

Figure 2 Source: (Goleman, 1998; Wolff, 2005)

Emotional Quotient Inventory (EQ-i):

The EQ-i is an instrument that measures the level of EI based on Reuven Bar-On’s EI Model. EQ-I mainly contain 133 items which is divided into five scales and 15 subscales (Bar-On, 2004). The scales contain different Intrapersonal and Interpersonal personality aspects. The substance of the aspects in EQ-i matches the concepts associated with the Bar-On’s model. For instance, the interpersonal scale includes three subscales i.e. awareness and understand of others’ feelings; to establishing mutual gratifying interaction and favourable relationship with others; and identifying one’s social group and collaboration towards others.

Different scales and sub-scales of EQ-i

Scales of EQ

Sub-Scales of EQ


Self regard, Emotional Self Awareness, Assertiveness, Independence & Self-actualization


Empathy, Social Responsibility & Interpersonal Relationship

Stress Management

Stress Tolerance & Impulse Control


Reality Testing, Flexibility & Problem Solving

General Mood

Optimism & Happiness

Other Measurement tools:

Emotional Intelligence Quotient (EIQ):

EQI is a model and corresponding measurement instrument of EI which is formulated by Dulewicz and Higgs’ (1999, 2000) this model of EI and corresponding measure, is composed of seven dimensions which include; conscientiousness, intuitiveness, influence, interpersonal sensitivity, motivation, resilience and self-awareness. EIQ is analogous to Bar-On’s (1997) EI model and evaluate the level of EI in the sense that it includes what seem to be trait-based phenomena i.e. conscientiousness and characterizes the notion of EI in a broader sense i.e. including motivation in its construct. Although EIQ is having resemblance with Bar-On model but it appears to be less popular among different researchers and organizations for measuring EI.

Work Group Emotional Intelligence Profile (WEIP):

Different researchers have used the Mayer and Salovey (1997) model in developing their own models and corresponding measurement tools of EI. Jordan et al. (2002), for instance, established an instrument of measuring workgroup emotional intelligence which is purely based upon a previous model of EI established by Salovey and Mayer (1990). By in-depth study of the WEIP it seems different than other measurement tools because firstly it is not a general EI measure and only purports to assess the level of workgroup’s EI, secondly all the aspects refer to members of the participant’s team, and finally it measures EI within a single perspective operating in a workgroup.

The WEIP has gone through successive amendments and modifications since its establishment by Jordan et al. (2002). WEIP is divided into two scales i.e. ability to deal with own emotions (intrapersonal) and ability to deal with others’ emotions (interpersonal) and than further divided into sub-scales (Jordan, 2006; Murray, 2006). The latest version of the instrument is WEIP-6 which signifies that it assess just two dimensions in the Mayer and Salovey (1990) EI model i.e. emotional perception and appraisal; and regulating the emotions of one’s self and others. Four subscales in the WEIP-6 correspond to the four aspects of EI in the first dimension of the Mayer & Salovey (1990) model that relates to emotional perception and emotional appraisal. One of the residual scales seems to measure the ability of managing the emotions of others. The final subscale is relating to using emotions in order to facilitate thinking but actually seems to assess regulation of one’s own emotions rather than the use of emotions to enhance problem-solving, decision-making, and direct.

Self-report of Emotional Intelligence (SREI):

Like others Schutte et al. (1998) have also developed an instrument for measuring EI. The SREI consists 33 items which are subdivided into four factors i.e. optimism, appraisal of emotions, utalising emotions, and social skills. Like WEIP this model is also based upon Salovey and Mayer (1990) model of EI. Hence, it does not assess certain aspects of EI in the modified measuring tools. The original model incorporated a dimension the “use of emotion to facilitate performance” which related to individuals’ ability to employ their emotions by directing them toward constructive and personal performance but in the revised instrument this is re-named as the “use of emotion to facilitate thinking”. This dimension purports to the use of emotion in order to direct responsiveness and to amplify decision-making power. The modified model also includes an additional dimension i.e. understanding emotions and deals with the individuals’ ability to understand that how emotions change, to know complex/mixed emotions, and the meaning of emotions in context, etc. by making comparison of SREI with other EI measurement tools it seems similar to the EIQ and EQ-i, in a way that it includes aspects that seems to tap constructs other than EI such as optimism and self-efficacy.

Main components of Self-report of Emotional Intelligence (SREI)

(1) I know when to speak about my personal problems to others

(2) When I am faced with obstacles, I remember times I faced similar obstacles and overcame them

(3) I expect that I will do well on most things I try

(4) Other people find it easy to confide in me

(5) I find it hard to understand the non-verbal messages of other people

(6) Some of the major events of my life have led me to re-evaluate what is important and not important

(7) When my mood changes, I see new possibilities

(8) Emotions are one of the things that make my life worth living

(9) I am aware of my emotions as I experience them

(10) I expect good things to happen

(11) I like to share my emotions with others

(12) When I experience a positive emotion, I know how to make it last

(13) I arrange events others enjoy

(14) I seek out activities that make me happy

(15) I am aware of the non-verbal messages I send to others

(16) I present myself in a way that makes a good impression on others

(17) When I am in a positive mood, solving problems is easy for me

(18) By looking at their facial expressions, I recognize the emotions people are experiencing

(19) I know why my emotions change

(20) When I am in a positive mood, I am able to come up with new ideas

(21) I have control over my emotions

(22) I easily recognize my emotions as I experience them

(23) I motivate myself by imagining a good outcome to tasks I take on

(24) I compliment others when they have done something well

(25) I am aware of the non-verbal messages other people send

(26)When another person tells me about an important event in his or her life, I almost feel as though I have experienced this event myself

(27) When I feel a change in emotions, I tend to come up with new ideas

(28) When I am faced with a challenge, I give up because I believe I will fail

(29) I know what other people are feeling just by looking at them

(30) I help other people feel better when they are down

(31) I use good moods to help myself keep trying in the face of obstacles

(32) I can tell how people are feeling by listening to the tone of their voice

(33) It is difficult for me to understand why people feel the way they do

Wong and Law Emotional Intelligence Scale (WLEIS):

Another instrument established by Wong and Law’s (2002) is WLEIS. This measurement tool is especially proposed to assess EI among training participants. Law et al. (2004, p. 496) indicate in their study that they developed their assessment tool on the basis of four dimensional definition of EI that was proposed by Davies et al. (1998). Similarly in an earlier presentation of the method used to develop the measure composed in Wong and Law (2002), however, the researchers refer to the aspects of EI used in the Salovey and Mayer model (1990). This is the same instrument on the basis of which Schutte et al. (1998) established the SREI measurement tools. As a result, the WLEIS is lacking the same two dimensions of EI i.e. understanding emotions, and using emotions to facilitate thinking. Furthermore no research or study has shown the use of WLESI tools for measuring the level of EI.

By looking at the construct of the WLEIS instrument, it contains 16 items and is subdivided into four scales i.e. appraisal of emotion in oneself; appraisal of the emotions of others’; regulation of emotion in oneself; and use of emotion to facilitate performance. Wong and others (i.e. Wong & Law, 2002; Law et al., 2004) made hard effort to distinguish and compare scores on the WLEIS with personality, IQ, powerlessness, and life satisfaction as well as mixed measures of EI associated phenomena i.e. TMMS, ECQ, ACT, etc. It seems, however, that the WLEIS and associated results deal with limited number of the leadership skills one probably needs to express in dealing with others in emotionally intelligent manners.

Moreover, there are seems a number of potential deficiencies in using the WLEIS in order to develop EI among leaders. Firstly, most of the aspects relate to individual with no indication to others. For instance, there are no aspects that refer to managing the emotions of others. Similarly there are no aspects that involve the utilizing emotions to direct attention, assist decision-making, or increase and develop problem-solving. These aspects appear to measure general self-efficacy or self-esteem rather than emotional intelligence. Therefore, the WLEIS is unlikely to be an ultimate and ideal measure for assessing or training leaders in a number of dimensions, such as managing the emotions of others; detecting deception in others; promoting innovation; and demonstrating other essential EI abilities.

Debates and controversies on the subject of EI:

Despite of the immense popularity and extensive research conducted by different scholars and psychologists in the last two decades on the subject of EI, the concept remains controversial among them. Debate exists over the legitimacy of the construct (definition), the superiority of one type of model over another, the measurement of EI and the ability to teach EI. The current study has mainly focused on the controversies that exist between the works of leading scholars and psychologists i.e. Peter Salovey & John D. Mayer, Daniel Goleman, and Reuven Bar-On.