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This study examined the relationship of emotional intelligence (EI) to jobs requiring emotional labour in a sample of 6,874 participants from eleven countries or geographical regions. In particular, the current study examined the relationship of a mixed model of EI, as measured by the Emotional Capital Report (ECR), to emotional labour identified in recent literature as performed by workers in three types of service occupations, customer service, social control and caring. Previous research had reported that individuals high in EI may be more likely to perform well in jobs requiring emotional labour and, as such, emotional labour was an important moderator of the EI-performance relationship. Results of this study supported the existence of a moderate relationship between a mixed model of EI and emotional labour and thus provided further support for this claim. The findings suggest that where jobs require high emotional labour, EI is likely to assist individuals to know both when to perform emotional labour and how to alter emotional behavior to meet organizational goals. Furthermore, when service occupations were examined for the type of emotional labour performed, those in customer service occupations produced significantly higher scores on 8 out of 10 ECR subscales. Taken together, the findings suggest that when considering the EI-performance link it is important to consider both the occupational context as well as the emotional intelligence of individuals. Limitations of the study and future directions are discussed, along with practical implications for both researchers and human resource personnel seeking to improve the job related performance of employees.

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Journal Article

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