Journal of Organizational Behavior J. Organiz. Behav. 26, 409–410 (2005) Published online in Wiley InterScience (www.interscience.wiley.

com). DOI: 10.1002/job.316

Point/ Counterpoint

Introduction: emotional intelligence

Few topics in both organizational research and psychology have been as controversial as emotional intelligence (EI), typically defined as abilities concerning the recognition and regulation of emotion in the self and others. Debate rages about the definition and nature, measurement, and application of EI. Controversy exists not only between EI researchers and their critics who doubt the value of the concept, but also among EI researchers themselves, who take quite different views of the nature of EI. Exaggerated claims for the importance of EI in job performance, leadership, and other areas of organizational life have helped fuel opponents of the entire idea. Our current point/counterpoint exchange brings together five leading scholars who have very different views of EI. Frank J. Landy traces early failed attempts to assess social intelligence and notes that more modern research on EI is in many cases either suspect or inadequately reported in the scientific literature. Edwin A. Locke makes his case that EI does not meet the requirements to be considered an intelligence at all as he draws distinctions between cognition and emotion. Jeffrey M. Conte limits his critique to existing measures, focusing on four of the most popular. He concludes that all are lacking, although some are more promising than others. Neal M. Ashkanasy and Catherine S. Daus address a number of points raised by each of the three critiques. Although agreeing on several issues, they note that much of the criticism applies only to certain models/scales of EI and does not apply to the more serious scientific work on the Salovey and Mayer (1990) model of EI. In a second paper Daus and Ashkanasy review literature showing promising findings supporting the viability of the Salovey and Mayer conception of EI. As a group, these five papers present diverging views about EI, representing those who question its value with those who believe in its worth. If there is any common ground it is perhaps that they would agree much work remains to achieve consensus in the field one way or the other about the viability of the EI concept, and the construct validity of EI measures.

Author biography
Paul E. Spector is a professor of I/O psychology and the I/O doctoral program director at the University of South Florida. His work has appeared in many journals, including Academy of Management Journal, Journal of Applied Psychology, Journal of Management, Journal of Organizational Behavior, Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, Journal of Vocational Behavior,
* Correspondence to: Paul E. Spector, Department of Psychology, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL 33620, U.S.A. E-mail:

Copyright # 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Accepted 5 January 2005



Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Personnel Psychology, and Psychological Bulletin. At present he is an associate editor for Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, and the Point/Counterpoint editor for Journal of Organizational Behavior, and is on the editorial boards of Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, Organizational Research Methods, and Personnel Psychology. In 1991 the Institute For Scientific Information listed him as one of the 50 highest-impact contemporary researchers (out of over 102,000) in psychology worldwide.

Salovey, P., & Mayer, J. D. (1990). Emotional intelligence. Imagination, Cognition, and Personality, 9, 185–211.

Copyright # 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

J. Organiz. Behav. 26, 409–410 (2005)

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