A Comparative Review of Team Emotional Intelligence Measures for IT Teams

A Comparative Review of Team Emotional Intelligence Measures for IT Teams

Mary Melinda Dunaway (Morgan State University, Baltimore, USA)
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 22
DOI: 10.4018/IJTD.2019100103

Abstract

In today's complex information technology (IT) systems, team task work is highly interdependent, dynamic, and multifaceted. Firms seek ways to make their IT teams work better. Team emotional intelligence (TEI) is an emergent collective skill that has been shown to benefit performance in teams; however, measures for TEI are relatively new, and research is scant for applying TEI measures to examine IT team behaviors. This research presents a comparative review of the TEI construct for use in research.
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Introduction

In today's technology organizations, a team is an organizational unit most often utilized for IT (Information Technology) work. IT offers a wide range of knowledge-intensive platforms that enable organizations to integrate and coordinate their business processes. IT supports information systems that are central to an organization where information can be shared across all functional domains and the management hierarchy. The revolutionary growth of disruptive technologies, sharing of large amounts of data across diverse geographies, and increasing complexity in technology boost the need for greater collaboration and team interactions.

Companies consider IT as an enabler of business processes that helps to transform the landscape of task work within organizations (Bradley, Pratt, Byrd, & Simmons, 2011; Peppard, Ward, & Daniel, 2007). IT teams face numerous obstacles that adversely affect their performance. These obstacles often relate to knowledge or emotions. IT teams’ interactions can involve intense social interactions (Hoegl & Parboteeah, 2007; Nicholson & Sahay, 2004), which elicit many emotions (Reus & Liu, 2004), such as stress and anxiety (Wastell, 1999). It has been suggested more than over 6o percent of IT professionals suffer from anxiety or other emotional problems (Shinozaki et al., 2015).

Although industry-wide, general perceptions are that technology initiatives improve productivity and operational efficiencies. However, well over half of the technology initiatives in organizations fail to achieve their stated goals (e.g., Black, 2018; Galorath, 2012; Pratt, 2017). According to (Black, 2018, pg. 1), “human factors are becoming a major cause of IT Project failure”. Black suggests that the project team’s behavior influences IT Project failure more than perhaps project risks or external project constraints.

Development in organizational theory advances that events and emotions play important roles in influencing employees’ attitudes and behavior (Weiss, 2002; Brockner & Higgins, 2001, Curseu et al., 2015). The collective and individual productivity in organizations seem to depend on the effective and appropriate use of technology, however, absent from these formulations is the consideration of emotional responses to the process changes, attitudes, and behaviors. Moreover, organizations seek out ways to improve collaboration over and beyond the IT team’s specialized training and talent, and the company’s technology investments. The collective contributions (team work) of the individuals who perform the work are considered paramount for companies to reach their goals.

Typical tasks of IT teams include developing application software, managing network security, implementing new software applications, and undertaking a variety of other complex technology-supported initiatives. Early in the formation of the teams, cooperation may be dictated by the characteristics of the task work, but more often it is dictated by teams’ objectives and the means of accomplishing those objectives (Hackman, 1992). As teams begin to interact, their cooperative behaviors emerge as norms, which helps to govern the acceptable and unacceptable behavior interaction among team members. These norms are mutually agreed on by the team members (Cialdini & Trost, 1998) and help guide the collaborative task work to exert a powerful form of social and emotional control that can influence the teams’ performance (e.g., Taggar & Ellis, 2007). In environments of task work interdependence, the absence of strong collaborative norms supporting task accomplishment can detract from the teams’ efficiency and productivity.

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