The relationship between thinking styles and emotional intelligence: An exploratory study of retail managers

by Hovencamp, Sherry A., Ph.D., CAPELLA UNIVERSITY, 2014, 187 pages; 3607705


Differences in the personal and professional success of individuals have been attributed to personality and intelligence, although these factors alone cannot account for all of it. Emotional intelligence is defined as an individual's ability to monitor and manage emotions and use emotions to guide behavior (Salovey & Mayer, 1990). Thinking style refers to an individual's preferred manner of reasoning. These two constructs may provide a link between intelligence, cognitive styles, and personality, though few studies have addressed their relationship. This study replicates the Murphy and Janeke (2009) study in which the researchers surveyed 308 South African graduate students. The aim of this quantitative study is to examine the link between thinking style and emotional intelligence, extending the previous study by surveying 307 professional retail managers in the U.S. Participants completed shortened versions of the Schutte Self-Report Inventory (SSEIT) and the Thinking Styles Inventory (TSI). Both a field test and a pilot study were conducted prior to the research to establish the reliability of the instruments. The results of the study indicate a statistically significant positive relationship between each of the subscales (Type I, Type II, and Type III) of the abridged version of the TSI and the abridged version of the SSEIT. The multiple regression analysis and ANOVA used to determine predictability demonstrate that thinking styles predicts emotional intelligence, accounting for 49% of the difference in emotional intelligence scores. These significant findings demonstrate the strong relationship between thinking style and emotional intelligence and provide evidence for the practical uses of those constructs in the workplace. Hiring managers could use thinking styles and emotional intelligence to identify applicants whose preferences for thinking styles are consistent with the thinking styles necessary to do the job. Training on thinking styles and emotional intelligence could help retail managers learn new approaches to problem solving and develop their abilities to work closely with others. Retail organizations may see improved performance from retail managers resulting in improved profitability and success for the organizations.

AdviserVirginia Hinrichs
Source TypeDissertation
SubjectsManagement; Organizational behavior
Publication Number3607705

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