The Role of Emotional Intelligence in the Culture-Entrepreneurship Fit Perspective

The Role of Emotional Intelligence in the Culture-Entrepreneurship Fit Perspective

Saurav Pathak (Kansas State University, USA & Xavier University, USA) and Etayankara Muralidharan (MacEwan University, Canada)
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 31
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-3744-2.ch005


Values are at the core of cultures, and this view has also dominated research on cross-cultural comparative entrepreneurship. However, empirical evidence relating cultural values and entrepreneurial behaviors has been mixed. Scholars have therefore suggested that cultural values may influence entrepreneurship only indirectly, thereby suggesting the existence of intermediary mechanisms linking cultural values and entrepreneurship. One such mechanism could be through the influence of culture-specific emotional intelligence (CSEI) on entrepreneurial behaviors. CSEI can be explained as culturally driven implicit beliefs rather than it being a direct manifestation of overarching cultural values, several manifestations of which shape entrepreneurial behaviors differently across countries. As such, CSEI has a unique position in the culture-entrepreneurship fit perspective.
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Extant research has defined EI as the capacity of individuals to recognize their own, and other people’s emotions, and use this understanding to guide behaviors. Researchers have examined EI in a number of contexts such as education, social adjustment, health, personal, and work (Mayer, Roberts, & Barsade, 2008). Over the years several models to examine EI have been developed (Fernández-Berrocal et al., 2005; Landy, 2005; Joseph & Newman, 2010). Although many of these models have conflicting definitions (Cherniss, 2010), most researchers have accepted a basic definition of EI proposed by Mayer, Salovey, and Caruso (2000) as “the ability to perceive and express emotion, assimilate emotion in thought, understand and reason with emotion, and regulate emotion in the self and others’’ (p. 396). Of the several models of EI proposed the ability and trait EI models have been widely invoked in an organizational context.

As per Mayer and Salovey (1995), ability EI is defined as the capacity to process information on emotions accurately and efficiently. It consists of four dimensions 1) appraisal and expression of emotion in the self — self emotional appraisal, 2) appraisal and recognition of emotion in others — others' emotional appraisal, 3) regulation of emotion in the self — regulation of emotion, and 4) use of emotion to facilitate performance — use of emotion (Mayer & Salovey, 1997; Mayer, Roberts, & Barsade., 2008). This framework assesses individual differences at the interface of emotions with cognitive processes such as judgement and behaviors (Salovey & Mayer, 1990; Mayer & Salovey, 1997; Mayer, Salovey, & Caruso, 2002). The trait framework or emotional self-efficacy assesses individual differences in emotion related dispositions (Petrides & Furnham, 2001; Petrides et al., 2007) and refers to an individual’s self perception of their emotional abilities. It is one’s confidence in capabilities to perform various tasks (Bandura, 1977). Therefore, while ability EI refers to an individuals’ maximum performance, trait EI would refer to the individuals’ actual performance. The present chapter draws upon extant literature to suggest that regardless of the EI model, they are subject to the nuances of culture and that EI is culturally sensitive.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Emotional Intelligence: Capacity of individuals to recognize their own, and other people’s emotions, and use this understanding to guide behaviors.

Culture-Specific Emotional Intelligence (CSEI): Shared norms about emotions, their expressions, and their use in a society that are culturally endorsed.

Entrepreneurial Behaviors: Individual behaviors that are related to and drive the process of entrepreneurship.

Entrepreneurship: Process of discovery, evaluation, and exploitation of opportunities to produce and market goods and services.

Culture: Values and norms that form the bases of what is important for individuals in society.

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