Emotional intelligence of managers in the UAE: the role of national culture

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The British University in Dubai (BUiD)
Today’s business world is becoming increasingly global as many companies embark on the journey to become global corporations, where managers operate in a context that can be classified as multicultural. For these managers, it becomes imperative to understand the implication of cross-cultural work environments as business success, profitability and achieving competitive advantage rely on how effectively leaders or managers can lead or manage multinational or multicultural teams. In order to effectively and efficiently manage a team that is composed of people from various cultural backgrounds it is also important for managers to comprehend how culture may have the potential to impact self and the team members cognitive processes. National Culture has an overwhelming power to influence the behavior of an organization as well as the behavior of people within the organization. More specifically, when it comes to emotions in workplace we tend to recognize, assess, regulate, and express it based on cultural norms. This process of emotion recognition, assessment, regulation and expression is known as Emotional Intelligence (EI). This research examined how National Culture dimensions influence the EI abilities of managers within a multicultural context. The National Culture dimensions used in this study were dimensions that were developed by Project GLOBE. The study surveyed a sample of international managers to assess the role National Culture plays in determining the Emotional Intelligence abilities of managers and the data obtained from the sample was analyzed using a series of statistical tests. The results of this study confirmed that National Culture is positively correlated to Emotional Intelligence abilities of managers. Results are discussed and recommendations made on how EI abilities could be enhanced from a cultural perspective.
national culture, emotional intelligence, project GLOBE, United Arab Emirates (UAE)