Date of Award

2014

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

First Advisor

Stewart, Alice and Toms, Forrest

Abstract

There is a growing emphasis in institutions of higher learning to produce sustainable and competitive graduates who possess relevant personal competencies for career success. Emotional intelligence skills can provide the competitive edge for graduates to be successful int heir industry of choice. Integrating emotional intelligence into higher education can potentially shift the learning environment and increase specific personal competencies. This study aims to investigate the influence of an emotional intelligence intervention to improve college students’ intrapersonal and interpersonal skills to impact leader behavior skills and team effectiveness. The research looked specifically at students’ skills from three dimensions (intrapersonal,interpersonal, and leadership) and their performance in two areas (leader behavior and team effectiveness). These competencies were viewed as critical skills employers seek when hiring graduates according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE, 2008) survey. NACE also report in (2012) that employers expressed that teamwork and collaboration were critical skills for the work environment, thus making teamwork the number one skill employers valued in a new hire for that year. More employers, boards, and accrediting agencies are recognizing the need to incorporate personal qualities, skills and behaviors of emotional intelligence into the formal curriculum. While it seems that more colleges and universities are trying to do this, there does not seem to be a coherent and systematic way to modify the curriculum to address this growing need. This study makes a direct connection with new requirements from AACSB and provides examples of curriculum to improve interpersonal and intrapersonal aspects of leadership. The study is a quantitative quasi-experimental design that incorporated a pre-test and post-test, the Emotional Learning System (ELS) that was incorporated into the Emotional Intelligence Management Concept Curriculum Program intervention (EIMCCP) and provided a sequential systematic model that increased the experimental group’s post Emotional Skills Assessment Process (ESAP) score along with a community service team project experience. This research used emotional intelligence as an integral part of the Management Concept course curriculum in the School of Business and Economics at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. The results indicated a significant positive impact on emotional intelligence scores and team effectiveness. The findings implied that emotional intelligence made a significant difference in the experimental groups’ ability to perform in a team environment. Institutions of higher education should integrate emotional intelligence in course curricula to assist students in becoming sustainable and competitive graduates.

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