The use of emotional intelligence in the management of resistance to change by MBA students of the North-West University, Potchefstroom Campus
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Even though change is regarded as a natural phenomenon, the rate of change seems to hasten in many activities, especially for organisations to survive and remain competitive. This can be complex and exhausting, and individuals' emotional experiences may influence their behaviours and attitudes, affecting performances and production. Subsequently, emotions in the workplace can no longer be ignored and management might need to consider this when resistance to change is managed. Although awareness of emotional intelligence and its importance in the workplace has only recently been recognized, MBA students from the Potchefstroom Business School are encouraged to develop their emotional intelligence in order to reason intelligently about emotions and thus become more effective managers. Since emotions are evident during change and any resistant behaviour, it is proposed to determine whether MBA students will use emotional intelligence to manage resistance to change. Perceptions on emotional competencies were used in the empirical study, and results from the empirical study indicated that emotional intelligence is perceived to be important when resistance to change is managed, therefore this suggests that emotional intelligence might be utilized during change management. Emotional intelligence is learned abilities, and the results suggested that these abilities may have developed throughout the MBA programme. Knowledge gained during the programme from complementary modules can also assist students in the use of emotional intelligence during the management of resistance to change. It is recommended that managers are encouraged to become aware of emotions during change initiatives and that training programmes may include emotional intelligence. More research is also needed to validate the importance and need for emotional intelligence skills in the management of resistance to change.