The influence of emotional intelligence of managers on job insecurity and coping behaviour
Job insecurity in the current global climate has escalated and more organisations are engaged in downsizing and restructuring in an attempt to survive under difficult economic conditions. At the same time, organisations are also exposed to structural reforms and international competition leading to transformations in the labour market. Jordan, Ashkanasy and Hartel (2002) developed a model to explain the effect of job insecurity on employees’ coping behaviour. In their two stage model they propose that perceptions of job insecurity could lead to lower affective organisational commitment and higher job-related stress which in turn could lead to negative coping behaviour. They then include emotional intelligence - a moderator linking the above-mentioned constructs. The main objective of this study was to investigate whether this model will be applicable to a national soft drink company in South Africa. A literature review was conducted to determine how emotional intelligence, job insecurity, affective organisational commitment, job-related stress, and coping behaviour were conceptualised. The relationships between these constructs and the role of emotional intelligence as moderator were also determined. This was done to investigate the model of Jordan et al. (2002). A cross-sectional research design was used for the purpose of this study. Managers of a national soft drink company were the participants. The Emotional Intelligence Scale (EIS) (Schutte et al., 1998); the Job Insecurity Questionnaire (JIQ) of De Witte, (2000); the Organisational Commitment Questionnaire of Meyer and Allen (1997); the COPE Questionnaire of Carver, Scheier and Weintraub (1989); and the Experience of Work and Life Circumstances Questionnaire (WLQ) of Van Zyl and Van der Walt (1991), including the biographical questionnaire, were utilised. The SPSS programme was used to perform the statistical analysis and descriptive statistics were used to analyse the data. Cronbach alpha coefficients were used to assess the reliability; and explorative factor analysis was conducted to assess the validity of the measuring instruments. Pearson’s product-moment coefficients were used to specify the relationships between the variables. Multiple regression analysis was used to determine the moderating influence of emotional intelligence. It was determined that, in this specific research group, job insecurity has a negative correlation with affective organisational commitment, but job insecurity has a positive correlation with job-related tension. A positive correlation was found between job-related tension and negative coping behaviours, such as denial, behavioural disengagement, mental disengagement or alcohol-drug disengagement. A negative correlation was found between job-related tension and affective organisational commitment. Furthermore, job insecurity was found to have a negative correlation with affective organisational commitment. Lastly, problem-focused coping has a positive relationship with emotion-focused coping. All of these correlations were statistically and practically significant. Multiple regression analyses were performed to determine the moderating effect of emotional intelligence as mentioned above. The results indicated emotional intelligence does not moderate any of the relationships between the constructs. Conclusions and limitations of this research and recommendations for the national soft drink organisation as well as for future research were made.