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Int. J. Work Organisation and Emotion, Vol. 7, No.

1, 2015 63

A study on emotional awareness and organisational


role stress among the middle management level
employees

Satya Ranjan Bhattacharya*


Bhilai Steel Plant, Ore Handling Plant,
Bhilai Nagar, Dist-Durg (C.G.), 490001, India
Email: satya@sail-bhilaisteel.com
*Corresponding author

Sumeet Gupta
Indian Institute of Management,
GEC Campus, Sejbahar,
Raipur (C.G.), 492015, India
Email: sumeetgupta@iimraipur.ac.in

Abstract: Employees, being human beings, carry their emotions to work place
which affect their performance in the workplace. Therefore, organisations are
now emphasising on becoming ‘emotionally aware’. Being emotionally aware
benefits both employees as well as the organisation in the long run. Industrial
organisations are primarily task-oriented and focus on routine matters and
activities to meet the organisational goals rather than on other dimensions
(particularly human and behavioural dimensions, i.e., various groups and
individuals which constitute the organisation). An individual has to deal with
various problems according to his role. Various role conflicts or role stresses
have implications for the effectiveness of the individual and of various groups
working in the organisation. By assessing, exploring and changing core values,
beliefs, emotions and then learning and reinforcing, maintaining new
behaviour, sustained personal and organisational growth can be achieved. This
study examines the relationship between emotional awareness and the
organisational role stress. The outcome of this study may help organisations to
resolve short-term emotional outbursts and subsequent stress in employees as
well as manage these effectively for an overall growth of the organisation.
Managers may want to consider that effective coping with stress will improve
one’s effectiveness in the organisation.
Keywords: organisational role stress; ORS; emotional intelligence; emotional
awareness; human resource; work place emotions.
Reference to this paper should be made as follows: Bhattacharya, S.R. and
Gupta, S. (2015) ‘A study on emotional awareness and organisational role
stress among the middle management level employees’, Int. J. Work
Organisation and Emotion, Vol. 7, No. 1, pp.63–82.
Biographical notes: Satya Ranjan Bhattacharya is working with SAIL (Large
PSU) for the last 33 years. He has worked in various capacities and presently
he is an Assistant General Manager, a Metallurgical Engineer, MBA (HR and
Prod) and done his Master’s in Clinical Psychology. For the last 19 years, he is
rendering services as corporate trainer in behavioural aspects, emotional
management and stress management as his core interest area.

Copyright © 2015 Inderscience Enterprises Ltd.


64 S.R. Bhattacharya and S. Gupta

Sumeet Gupta is currently affiliated with IIM Raipur as Associate Professor


and Chairman (Research). He received his PhD in Information Systems as well
as MBA from National University of Singapore. He has worked as a Research
Fellow with the Logistics Institute – Asia Pacific, Singapore. He has worked on
several high profile national and international consultancy assignments such as
with SAP A.G., DFS Gallerias, ASEAN secretariat and EDB Singapore. He has
published several papers in top tier international journals (such as Journal of
Management Information Systems, Decision Support System, European Journal
of Operations Research, Omega) and conferences (such as ICIS, ECIS,
POMS).

1 Introduction

Cut-throat competition, career consciousness, job insecurity etc. increase stress and
hence are the major issues of concern in organisational psychology. Organisational role
stress (ORS) is generated when there is a conflict between organisational and
non-organisational roles such as required work commitment, expectations from people,
lack of skills/resources, lack of clarity about one’s roles and duties in the organisation,
organisational policies, interpersonal conflicts and decreased sociability (Singh, 1987).
Part of building an effective organisation is to overcome the role stress that an employee
carries. An individual has a role to play in an organisation and his role enables him to
build his links with other person and organisation. Emotions play a vital role at work in
day to day activities. All moments of frustration or joy, grief or fear, lead to an enduring
sense of dissatisfaction or commitment, the experience of work is saturated with
emotions (Murensky, 2000). Dissatisfaction, high expectation/demand, helplessness, and
lack of control over one’s own situation influences an individual and cause stress. While
we are subject to stimulus/threat (stressors), our body automatically prepares to handle
the emergency through responses we call them fight-or-flight that is “bodies’
mobilization to attack or flee from the threatening situation” (Hilgard and Atkinson,
1975).
Emotions are contagious and even one person can influence the emotional tone of a
group. Emotionally aware individuals as part of the organisation contribute to
emotionally aware organisations. Emotionally aware individuals can perceive, understand
and regulate the emotions of self and others, thus making/contributing significantly
enhancing interpersonal and intrapersonal effectiveness and may facilitate in improving
employee’s workplace attitudes and behaviour. David Wechsler defined intelligence as
“the aggregate or global capacity in an individual that motivates him/her to act
purposefully, to think rationally and to deal effectively with his environment”. Emotional
aware of an individual or group of employees helps in better handling of personal,
emotional and social abilities that influences ones’ skills to succeed in coping with
environmental demands and pressures (Goleman, 1995). Emotionally aware individuals
can perceive, understand and regulate the emotions of self and others, thus making a
significant factor for enhancing interpersonal and intrapersonal effectiveness (Leonard,
2008).
Therefore, this study takes a holistic approach for being aware and then managing
emotions in intelligent ways in the work place, to determine better relationship
management, stress management and management of other human factors in work
A study on emotional awareness and organisational role stress 65

atmosphere and to contribute towards the improvement of employees’ workplace


attitudes and behaviour for improving their perceptions of quality of work life. Adequate
positive modifications in various dimensions of the personality contributes for enhancing
the effectiveness of the employees in terms of addressing his/her job satisfaction,
affective commitment, stress management, performance, quality of relationship and
organisational citizenship behaviour.

2 Literature review and conceptual background

2.1 Role of emotions in workplace


Stress refers to all influences, such as dissatisfaction, frustration, alienation, anxiety,
anger, high expectation and demand, and helplessness which are against one’s nature
(Pestonjee, 1992). Quantitative overload/under load role ambiguity (RA), lack of control
over one’s own situation and lack of social support, lack of togetherness in the group,
interpersonal conflict among group/group leaders, from bosses, fellow workers, and even
subordinates accelerate stress. Stress is a psychological and physiological response of the
body for adoption to external action, situation or events. When body is not able to adjust
to stress, then feelings of distress occurs in form of tiredness, anger, frustration,
depression and other emotional outbursts. The factors that bring about stress are called
‘stressors’. ‘Stressors’ may be from within or outside the organisation or from groups of
employees or from employees themselves. Stress can have damaging physiological and
psychological effects on employees, especially managers and it will affect their health
and wellbeing. Organisation can reduce the above-mentioned reasons for stress by
enhancing emotional competencies.

2.2 Emotional intelligence


Emotion refers to ‘any agitation or disturbance of mind, passion or excited mental state
on which we react’. In the routine life, we are influenced by various emotions, some
strong and some mild, some positive and some negative. Perceived and expressed
emotions are based on factors like thoughts, attitudes, intentions, and personality traits.
These positive and negative emotions compel us to think and behave in a particular
manner. Emotional intelligence is a personal and social skill that leads to superior
performance at work. A number of human behavioural psychologist note that emotional
intelligence is the ultimate mantra for individual success (Goleman, 1998). In laymen
terms, emotional intelligence as defined by Weisinger (2006) is the intelligent use of
emotions, “what feels good, what feels bad and how fast we can return from bad to good
mood”. Emotional intelligence can formally be defined as emotional awareness and
emotional management skill, which enables us to balance emotions and reasons so as to
maximise our long term relationships and happiness (Weisinger, 2006).
Similar to intelligence quotient, emotional quotient can be calculated by considering
various aspects of an emotionally intelligent work space. An emotionally intelligent work
space is one in which emotional processes are given due consideration and where
emotions and work are not necessarily separated. Some of the aspects of emotional work
space and which should be considered in describing an emotionally intelligent work
space are as follows (Thomas and Kamalanabhan, 2011):
66 S.R. Bhattacharya and S. Gupta

Space given in the organisation for emotional expression and understanding:


emotional intelligence is the innate potential to feel, use, communicate, recognise,
remember, describe, identify, learn from, manage, understand and explain emotions.
Expression of emotion intelligently is a key criterion of emotional intelligence. It is the
ability to express emotions accurately, honestly and to express needs related to those
feelings. All of us want to be understood and listened to. By understanding someone,
unnecessary conflicts are avoided or resolved and at the same time mutual trust and
respect is developed. It is simply the validation of individual’s thoughts, feelings and
emotions. Since humans need understanding, organisation must provide sufficient scope
and space to express emotions and understand without prejudice, ill motive and without
labelling them. Organisations that provide freedom of emotional expression would
probably be more focused on emotional aspects of managing emotions of one-self and
others.
The empathic and caring organisation: the manner in which an organisation responds
(empathically) to a situation of crisis or difficulty in the life of its employees. If an
organisation is empathic and understands personal requirements of an individual, then an
organisation must include emotional intelligence in its processes. An emotionally
intelligent organisation would be aware of the emotions of the individual and respond
accordingly. Empathy is to identify with another’s feelings. It is to put yourself in place
of other. The ability to empathise is directly dependent on one’s ability to feel one’s own
feelings and identify them. Reading about a feeling and intellectually knowing about it is
very different than actually experiencing it. A person who has actually experienced or can
experience, acknowledge, innately understand or accept the feelings of others from all
walks of life is an emotionally intelligent individual. One must be in touch with his own
feelings to be an emotionally intelligent individual. This is because only when we
acknowledge, identify and accept our own feelings, we can empathise with others. The
person who communicates or establishes relationship with another person is of prime
concern and should be concerned in terms of empathy which lays the foundation for
interpersonal effectiveness, the working of groups and even for the entire organisation.
Importance given to behavioural competencies among employees: in an emotionally
intelligent organisation, employees must pay importance to behavioural competencies
such as right attitude, an empathic nature, and emotional maturity. Right information
and understanding about self and any individual’s feelings, senses, intuitions help in
re-analysing/monitoring our own perception of the situation and then
responding/behaving and communicating appropriately.
Leadership building processes in the organisation: in leadership building process
some of the factors are job related and some are behaviour related (McClelland and
Boytzis, 1982). One of the major aspects in this process is the commitment of
organisations towards emotional intelligence. Kelley and Caplan (1993) in their study of
Bell Labs report that “beyond mastery on technical skills once Bell Lab stars mastered
social skills and various aspects of emotional intelligence they started working more
effectively”. Again all these skills, of course, are the aspect of emotional intelligence in
leadership building process (Kelley and Caplan, 1993). Leaders (formal/informal) in
exercising their leadership, to achieve common objective, need to recognise the
competency of various team members. Likert (1967) emphasised on the effect of
managers/leaders attitude/empathy towards his subordinates and the organisation as
whole.
A study on emotional awareness and organisational role stress 67

Self-awareness or emotional self-awareness is the prime building block and key to


Emotional Intelligence. By being self-aware of our own motivations, emotions, feelings,
senses, actions, intentions and others’ perception may help us in responding, behaving
and communicating in appropriate manner to achieve set objective.
An emotionally aware organisation comprises of the following five clusters:
a Self-awareness cluster: it is concerned about knowing one’s internal states,
preferences, resources, and intuitions. Emotional self-awareness recognises one’s
own emotions and their effects.
b Self-management cluster: it refers to managing one’s internal states, impulses and
resources and comprises following four competencies.
1 emotional self-control: keeping disruptive emotions and impulses in check
2 adaptability: flexibility in handling change
3 achievement orientation: striving to improve or meeting a standard of excellence
4 positive outlook: seeing the positive aspect of things and the future.
c Social awareness cluster: it refers to how people handle relationships and awareness
of other’s feelings, needs and concerns. It comprises following two competencies.
1 empathy: sensing others’ feelings and perspectives, and taking an active interest
in their concerns
2 organisational awareness: reading a group’s emotional currents and power
relationships.
d Relationship cluster: concerns the skill or adeptness at inducing desirable responses
in others. It comprises following five competencies.
1 Coaching and mentoring: sensing others’ development needs and bolstering
their abilities.
2 Inspirational leadership: inspiring and guiding individuals and groups.
3 Influencing ability: wielding effective tactics for persuasion.
4 Conflict management ability: negotiating and resolving disagreements.
5 Teamwork skills: working with others towards shared goal. Creating group
synergy could be in pursuance of collective goals.
e Cognitive intelligence competencies: these competencies related to cognitive
intelligence include
1 system thinking: perceiving multiple causal relationship in understanding
phenomena or events
2 pattern recognition: perceiving themes or patterns in seemingly random items,
events or phenomenon.

2.3 Organisational role stress (ORS)


Organisational membership is a dominant source of stress. The term ‘role’ refers to the
demands communicated by significant others present either within the organisation or
from outside (Pareek, 1980a, 1980b). The major causes of stress are personality (personal
psychology), inter-role distance stress (IRD), role stagnation (RS), role expectation
68 S.R. Bhattacharya and S. Gupta

conflict (REC), role overload (RO), personal inadequacy (PI), promotion policies and
career growth (PP and CG), self-role distance (SRD), RA, resource inadequacy (RIn),
role erosion (RE), role isolation (RI).
a SRD: each individual faces a unique pattern of adjustive demand. The term
personality (personal psychology/construct) is used broadly to refer to all those
factors that describe a person’s propensities to behave in a certain way by virtue of
his/her self concept, His motives and values, his sensitivities and fears, his habits and
the like (Majumdar, 1977). When his/her role in the organisation and personal
psychology mismatch he/she is succumb to conflict between the person and his job
results in SRD.
b IRD: it is experienced when there is a conflict between organisational and
non-organisational roles (e.g., the role of an executive versus the role of a husband).
c REC: different expectations from various significant persons about the same role
lead the role occupant into confusion about who to please (Gupta and Pratap, 1987;
House et al., 1983; Kahn et al., 1964).
d RO: when the role occupant feels that there are too many expectations from the
significant role in his role set, he experiences RO.
e PI: individual feels that he does not have the necessary skill and training for
effectively performing the functions expected from the role. This happens when the
organisations do not have the periodic training to enable the employees to cope with
the changes both within and outside the organisation (Marshall and Cooper, 1979).
f RS: results from difficulty in taking over a new role due to lack of preparation. The
role occupant keeps on stagnating in the old role which is familiar, comfortable and
secure. It is the feeling of being stuck in the same role. Such a type of stress results
in fear about lack of opportunity for future progress in one’s career (Shrivastava and
Sinha, 1983).
g RE: it means that the importance of role is reduced. Role occupant feels that some
functions which should belong to his/her role are transferred to/or performed by
some other role. This can also happen when the role occupant performs the
functions, but the credit goes to someone else. Another manifestation is in the form
of underutilisation in the role.
h RI: the role occupant feels isolated from the main stream from the organisational life,
indicative of the absence of strong linkages of one’s role with other roles.
i Rin: the role occupant suffers from lack of resources for performing the functions
expected from his/her role.
j RA: the role occupant suffers from lack of clarity about the demand of his/her focal
role. This many arise from lack of information or understanding in relation to
activities, responsibilities, personal styles or norms (Rao, 1987).
We have considered first five stressors for the purpose of this study as they are most
relevant in a manufacturing organisation where jobs are well-defined.
A study on emotional awareness and organisational role stress 69

2.4 Emotional awareness and role stress (ORS)


Emotional awareness plays a significant role in ORS. Here we consider the relation of
emotional intelligence with the five factors of ORS.
a Emotional awareness in relation to stressors’ personality/SRD:
1 Emotional stress: emotional stress is a generalised state of heightened
emotionality which eventually becomes habitual. Sources of stress are mainly
from fear or the result of conflicts. It occurs when the attainment of goal is
threatened by an environmental obstacle (outside the person or by a
physical/psychological obstacle from within him). Emotional stress takes the
form of anxiety, increased frustration, jealousies, and envies [Hurlock, (1976),
pp.222–223]. The amount of inner stress experienced affects pleasantness on the
job and increases general fatigue, reduces performance (Pareek, 1980a, 1980b,
1983).
2 Tolerance: it is a psychological skill, an eternal battle between impulse and
overpowering the impulses, to be tolerant, patient, self-controlled, delayed
gratification, accepting and cooperative.
b Emotional awareness in relation to stressors’ IRD:
1 Commitment to work: to work hard, to get things done, to take on responsibility.
2 Sociability: to be outgoing and sociable. To seek and enjoying others’ company
and conversation. Being able to segregate time between work demands and
family or social demands.
c Emotional awareness in relation to stressors’ REC:
1 Self-direction: to make decision/goals, to set priorities, to initiate action.
2 Assertiveness: communicating one’s thoughts, trying to convince others. Telling
others what one wants, needs, requires or expects, exercise power and authority,
engage in interpersonal conflict, confronting openly, disagree, saying no, and
taking unpopular positions.
3 Consideration for others: to be considerate, understanding, helpful, honest and
responsible.
d Emotional awareness in relation to stressors’ RO:
1 emotional energy: the amount of energy available to cope with frustration,
conflict or pressure
2 desire to change: to create changes or improvements in one’s environment to
vary one’s pattern of behaviour.
e Emotional awareness in relation to stressors’ PI:
1 courage: to do what is challenging or unfamiliar, to risk injury, loss, hardship or
discomfort to reach the desired goal
2 self-esteem: to value self and to be self-accepting
3 attention to details: to think things through, to concentrate on details, to be
thorough, to be careful, and strive to be accurate.
70 S.R. Bhattacharya and S. Gupta

3 Research model and hypothesis

The research model for this study is presented in Figure 1. Emotional awareness is a
predictor of ORS. ORS is modelled as a formative construct with personal psychology,
IRD, REC, role-overload and PI as formative indicators.

Figure 1 The research model


Formative Indicators

Personal
Psychology

Inter-role
Distance

H1 Role-
Emotional Organizational
Expectation
Awareness Role Stress
Conflict

Role Overload

Personal
Inadequacy

3.1 Emotional awareness


A simple definition of emotional intelligence is to use one’s emotions
intelligently. Emotional awareness is a basic component of emotional intelligence. High
self-awareness is the foundation for all emotional intelligence skills. This helps us take
charge of any of our destructive thought which in-turn reduces arousal and monitor our
behaviour/actions. Low self-awareness may lead to distress, poor decision-making, and
poor response/approach to people/situation/events.
Being aware of our own feelings/mood and behaviour as well as of others’
perceptions about us decide our action and observe ourselves in action. Our action
towards our clients, customers (external customers and customers within the
organisation) is the barometer of an emotionally aware organisation. Your feeling,
sensitivity, appraisal etc and its processing (as an employee) helps in understanding how
emotionally aware organisation it is. Self-awareness is the core of each of these skills.
Our emotions effect our rational decisions.
A study on emotional awareness and organisational role stress 71

3.2 Work organisation and emotionally aware organisation


A work organisation is a social unit of people which is integrated, systematically
structured and managed to meet collective goal (Pareek, 1987). Organisations are open
systems which influence and influenced by the environment beyond their boundaries, that
depends upon the interrelationship of the individuals who are part of it. Success of the
company, employee performance and stress free work environment (cohesive relation,
solving each other’s problem, resolving conflict) goes hand in hand.
In a company in which the employees create a culture by continuously
applying/practicing the skills and tools of emotional intelligence may be referred to as
emotionally intelligent organisation. In such workplace, all employees take responsibility
for increasing their own emotional awareness, managing their emotions and improving
emotional awareness of an organisation as a whole. Emotionally aware organisation helps
in avoiding dejection, counter stress, accept criticism and give one’s best in the
profession.

3.3 Organisational role stress


Since past few decades a number of studies have examined organisational stress in
general and role stress in particular. Researchers have focused their attention on causal
factors of stress and types of stresses experienced by diverse work populations (Agrawala
et al., 1979). Study on stress experienced by all the job categories of a particular
organisation is limited (Khanna, 1985). Pareek developed and modified an early version
of his instrument, the ‘ORS scale’ which measures ten types of role stress as discussed
earlier. Out of these we have considered personal psychology, IRD, REC, RO, PI
(Pestonjee and Singh, 1982).

3.4 Emotional awareness and ORS


Since human beings need understanding, therefore organisation must provide sufficient
scope and space to express one’s emotions and understanding them without prejudice.
Firstly, one should be aware of his/her own emotions and the emotion of others
(verbal/non-verbal expression and regulation in self and in others) then only he/she can
skilfully balance the emotion of each other for long-term happiness. This is an essential
criterion for emotional intelligence. A lot of research has been conducted on
understanding an emotionally aware organisation which is promoted by emotionally
intelligent employees. According to Goleman (2001), emotional intelligence can be
defined as “the ability to motivate oneself and persist in the face of frustration; to control
impulse and delay gratification; to regulate one’s moods and keep distress from
swamping the ability to think; to empathies and to hope”.
We contend that an emotionally aware work environment is one which can be created
by emotionally intelligent people. When an individual is emotionally intelligent, there is a
tendency of that individual to influence the environment in which he or she is, in a
manner that is different from one who is less emotionally intelligent. Therefore, for an
organisation to be emotionally aware, it must have emotionally intelligent people.
Essentially an emotionally aware work space would be one in which emotions are
supported and where emotions and work are not necessarily separated.
72 S.R. Bhattacharya and S. Gupta

Stress can be defined as person-environment relationship (Folkman, 1984; Lazarus,


1974). According to Palsane et al. (1986), stress is the result of an imbalance between the
physical or psychological demands encountered and the response capability of the
individual, in case of failure to meet the demands. According to Goleman (2001),
emotionally competent individual encounter significantly less perceived stress than
emotionally incompetent individuals. The insidious mental stress is produced by high
pressure jobs, having little or no control over how to get the job done, personality
traits/temperaments etc. (timid, bold, upbeat and melancholy) (Goleman et al., 2002). A
caring and sharing organisation leads to reduced ORS. Hence:
H1 Emotional awareness is inversely related to the ORS.

3.5 Influence of demographic factors on emotional awareness and ORS


There is a tendency to believe that as individual grow older in an organisation, their work
space experiences, wisdom gained over the years, their understanding about the
organisation and organisational culture naturally become more effective. It is also
generally believed that older people may have faced many different emotional and
physical experiences and may have very different psychological, social and physical
resources available for coping which have been collected over a period of time. Hence:
H2 Emotional awareness of the organisation increases with the length of service.
Indian organisations are mostly hierarchical and conforming to very little confrontation
and disagreement between seniors and juniors. Multinational organisations especially
from the West may like to encourage as part of their culture openness and space for
disagreement with seniors. With all influence of literature and awareness on emotional
intelligence, it may be possible that multinational organisation may place more emphasis
on emotional intelligence especially in its leadership building processes. Hence:
H3 ORS decreases with the length of service.
There has been some research to understand aspects of behavioural functioning change
across the lifespan. As individuals grow older they naturally become more aware about
their life experiences and contain the wisdom gained over the years. Moreover, older
people may have faced many different emotional and physical experiences and may have
very different psychological, social and physical resources available for coping which
have been collected over a period of time. Goleman (1996) notes that there is growing
consensus that personality traits tend to be stable with age but that key aspects of self
such as goals, values, coping styles and control beliefs are more amenable to change.
This leads to the fact that there could be different assumptions about the relationship
between emotional intelligence and age. Contemporary literature and research shows that
a relationship exists between emotional intelligence and age of an individual. Whether
there is a strong relationship that exists between age and emotional intelligence or
whether older people are more self-aware, better at self-management and make more
principle-centred decisions needs greater understanding. Some research shows that older
people are likely to be higher in emotional intelligence, thereby suggesting that emotional
intelligence is a developing ability and accumulated life experience could contribute to
emotional quotient.
A study on emotional awareness and organisational role stress 73

Older people are considered more self-aware especially as they get lot of feedback
over the years. However, there are a large number of young people with high emotional
intelligence and many older people who have high emotional intelligence and many older
people who have not developed any of these competences. Literature does seem to
suggest that most people will improve in these competencies of emotional intelligence
simply through life experiences or could develop their emotional intelligence through
learning and training. The relationship between emotional quotient and age is marginal
showing that only a small majority of older people are higher in emotional quotient and
that there are many young people with higher emotional quotient scores than their older
counterparts.
H4 Emotional awareness of the organisation increases with employees’ age.
H5 ORS decreases with the employees’ age.

4 Method

4.1 Measures
We employed survey research method in this study. The data for the study was collected
by means of a questionnaire. A large Indian public sector company engaged in steel
manufacturing was selected to study the key factors of emotional intelligence and
perceived stress level among the middle managers. Since the organisation was a large
one, the respondents comprised a varied mix in terms of profession (different
departments in the same company), cultural background and age.
The two major constructs examined in this study are emotional awareness and ORS.
The measures for these constructs were adapted from previous studies. ORS has been
studied as a multi-dimensional construct in previous studies (Pareek, 1980a, 1980b). The
development of stress depends on one’s personality, IRD, REC, RO and PI. There were
various other factors considered by Pareek (1983) which we do not include because of
parsimony as well as their inapplicability in the current firm. Thus, ORS has been studied
as a formative construct based on the above-mentioned factors. The items for ORS were
adapted from existing literature.
Emotional awareness has been measured using the emotional intelligence instrument
as developed by Thomas and Kamalanabhan, 2011). These studies mention various
dimensions of emotional intelligence (such as empathic and caring organisation, space
given in organisation for emotional expression/understanding and Importance given in
the organisation towards behavioural competencies). The scale for emotional awareness
was developed considering these dimensions together. Emotional intelligence could be
studied as a multi-dimensional construct with formative indicators (the above-mentioned
dimensions) or items drawn from these dimensions so as to have a unified scale. The
overall items were drawn from these three dimensions to develop the scale for emotional
intelligence. The instrument was developed on the ‘five-point Likert scale’ with anchors
at strongly disagree and strongly agree. The survey instrument for the study is presented
in Appendix.
74 S.R. Bhattacharya and S. Gupta

4.2 Participants and procedures


The respondent of the study were employees (male and female) of the middle
management (AGMs/DGMs) cadre are from technical(engineering)/administrative/HR/
finance background from different departments of the selected organisation. As the
stressors vary from one job category to another attempts were made to focus exclusively
on five prominent factors of the ORS, which are more prominent in this research context
by virtue of their nature of job and organisational policies including time bound
promotion policies, well defined clear-cut authorities and responsibilities, pre-defined
key performance areas and thrust areas for the executives at different level. As far as
resources are concern its availability and mobilisation is not the hindrance in performing
the given task.
The middle managers were either assistant general managers (AGMs) or deputy
general managers (DGMs). The respondents varied in terms of age groups, departments,
length of service etc. Care was taken to adjust equal percentage of AGMs (81) and DGMs
(22) (from major departments) from the sum total in pay roll. The survey instrument was
given to each of these respondents. A total of 103 respondents were contacted for the
survey. After data collection it was found that around three respondents did not fill their
questionnaire completely. Thus, we were left with 100 valid responses from the survey.
The descriptive statistics of respondent characteristics is shown in Table 1:

Table 1 Descriptive statistics of the respondent characteristics

Standard
Characteristic Class Freq. Mean
deviation
Age <= 45 28 43.21 1.38
46–50 31 48.32 1.45
51–55 31 52.42 1.17
> 55 10 58.2 1.03
Designation AGM 79 --- ---
DGM 21
Length of <= 20 19 19.36 0.68
service in this
organisation 21–30 64 25.45 2.83
31–40 17 33.11 2.87
> 40 0 0 0

Table 1 show that the respondents being in the similar class had fair distribution in terms
of age and length of service in the organisation. Most of the respondents were in the age
group of 46–55 thus being mature in terms of their age to deal with people. The length of
service is also fairly high with around 81% of respondents having served for around 25 or
more years.
A study on emotional awareness and organisational role stress 75

5 Data analysis and results

5.1 Principal components analysis


We conducted principal component analysis with ‘VARIMAX’ rotation to assess the
convergent and discriminant validity of constructs used in this study. This would help us
in ascertaining the proper factor structure as well as reliability of the survey instrument.
The results of factor analysis are shown in Table 2.
Table 2 Results of exploratory factor analysis

Construct Item 1 2 3 4 5 6
Empathic and caring ECO1 0.73 0.02 0.05 0.00 –0.10 –0.21
organisation ECO2 0.80 –0.04 –0.06 –0.11 –0.04 –0.16
Emotional expression/ EEU1 0.63 –0.13 0.14 0.06 –0.11 0.35
understanding
Importance of IBC1 0.59 –0.20 –0.21 0.09 0.38 –0.12
behavioural IBC2 0.70 –0.07 –0.20 0.18 0.07 –0.09
competencies
IBC3 0.70 0.14 –0.15 0.21 0.01 –0.03
Personality/personal PPP1 0.03 –0.03 0.34 0.08 0.62 –0.44
psychology PPP2 –0.03 0.14 –0.08 –0.06 0.79 0.09
PPP3 –0.03 0.21 0.19 0.15 0.60 0.24
IRD IRD1 –0.06 0.68 0.14 –0.04 0.20 0.16
IRD2 –0.13 0.72 0.12 0.08 –0.10 –0.22
IRD3 0.03 0.83 0.12 0.04 0.10 0.01
IRD4 0.02 0.85 0.22 –0.07 0.11 0.15
PI PI1 0.18 –0.02 0.10 0.78 –0.04 0.01
PI2 0.04 0.02 0.03 0.74 –0.05 0.19
PI3 0.08 0.13 0.51 0.64 –0.03 –0.02
PI4 0.03 –0.05 –0.01 0.71 0.23 0.07
RO RO1 –0.07 0.22 0.77 0.15 0.14 –0.04
RO2 –0.07 0.22 0.74 0.08 0.00 0.14
RO3 –0.26 0.16 0.69 –0.02 0.04 0.30
REC REC1 –0.28 0.01 0.10 0.11 0.07 0.74
REC2 –0.09 0.10 0.32 0.28 0.13 0.65
Initial Eigen Values 4.48 3.26 2.27 1.54 1.26 1.19
% of Variance 20.36 14.83 10.30 6.99 5.73 5.40
Cumulative % 20.36 35.18 45.48 52.47 58.19 63.59

From Table 2 we can see that six factors are extracted with ‘eigen values’ greater than 1.
All items were loaded on each distinct factor with a factor loading greater than 0.5 for all
items. Total variance extracted is 63.59%. Thus, the convergent and discriminant validity
of the constructs is established. The items for emotional intelligence are loaded together
depicted a single-factor structure for the construct emotional awareness. The formative
factors of ORS are loaded cleanly and separately indicating a multi-dimensional factor
76 S.R. Bhattacharya and S. Gupta

structure for the construct ORS. Hence, ORS is formulated as a formative construct with
personality/personal psychology, IRD, PI, RO and REC. In the next step, we adopt the
two-stage methodology (Anderson and Gerbing, 1988) using LISREL to examine the
structural model-based.

5.2 Confirmatory factor analysis


Confirmatory factor analysis was conducted by creating a path diagram using LISREL.
First, we checked for unidimensionality. Unidimensionality means that for each
measurement item there should be one and only one underlying construct, i.e., the
variance shared by items does not related to an unspecified latent variable. According to
standard LISREL methodology, the measurement model was revised by dropping one at
a time, items that shared a high degree of residual variance with other items (Gefen et al.,
2000). The test results indicated that none of the items violated unidimensionality
although the analysis showed moderate fit (GFI = 0.79, AGFI = 0.74, NFI = 0.75, CFI =
0.90, RMSEA = 0.064). One of the reasons for less than strong fit could be the small
sample size. CFA works well with large sample size. Since, the respondents were limited
by the size of the organisation, we had to resort to the smaller sample size and conduct
further test using moderate fit.
Next, we assessed the convergent validity and discriminant validity of the constructs.
Convergent validity is the degree to which the items of a given construct measure the
same underlying latent variable. It is assessed on the following criteria:
a individual item ‘lambda’ coefficients should be greater than 0.7, and each path
loading should be greater than twice its standard error
b a significant ‘t-statistic’ should be obtained for each path (standardised path loadings
which are indicators of the degree of association between the underlying latent factor
and each item should be significant)
c the composite reliabilities (CR) for each construct should be greater than 0.7

d The average variance extracted (AVE) for each factor must exceed 50% (Fornell and
Larcker, 1981).
The results of confirmatory factor analysis are presented in Table 3.
As shown in Table 3, a few path loadings were well below 0.7 (particularly EEU1,
PPP1 and PPP2). The individual path loadings were all greater than twice their standard
error (except EEU1). The t-statistic was significant for all the items except PPP3. The CR
for each construct was greater than 0.7 except for PPP and the AVE for EMOA, PPP and
PI were lower than 0.5. The ‘Cronbach’s’ alpha was low for PPP whereas for all others it
was acceptable. Since these factors are formative indicators of a larger construct ‘ORS’,
we can use them in this study.
Discriminant validity is the degree to which the measures of two constructs are
empirically distinct. We assessed discriminant validity of the measurement model by
comparing the squared average variance extracted for each construct with the correlations
between that construct and other constructs. As shown in Table 4, the average variance
extracted for each construct exceeded the squared correlations between that construct and
other constructs thus indicating discriminant validity.
A study on emotional awareness and organisational role stress 77

Table 3 Results of confirmatory factor analysis

Item Std. loading Meas. error t-value AVE CR Alpha


ECO1 0.75 0.44 3.7
ECO2 0.86 0.26 3.79
EEU1 0.40 0.84 3.22
0.41 0.80 0.79
IBC1 0.51 0.74 3.45
IBC2 0.61 0.63 3.46
IBC3 0.61 0.63 1.96
PPP1 0.38 0.86 6.35
PPP2 0.42 0.82 6.10 0.305 0.54 0.54
PPP3 0.77 0.41 1.90
IRD1 0.65 0.58 6.35
IRD2 0.56 0.69 6.68
0.54 0.82 0.81
IRD3 0.76 0.42 5.47
IRD4 0.92 0.15 2.06
PI1 0.69 0.52 4.93
PI2 0.62 0.62 5.68
0.428 0.75 0.75
PI3 0.71 0.50 4.78
PI4 0.59 0.65 5.89
RO1 0.68 0.54 5.59
RO2 0.71 0.50 5.32 0.53 0.77 0.77
RO3 0.79 0.38 4.17
REC1 0.52 0.73 5.85
0.496 0.65 0.61
REC2 0.85 0.28 1.44

Table 4 Correlations between latent variables

Constructs Mean SD EMOA PPP IRD PI RO REC


EMOA 2.98 0.78 0.64
PPP 2.99 0.79 0.00 0.55
IRD 2.49 0.82 –0.12 0.26** 0.74
PI 2.71 0.81 0.18* 0.14 0.08 0.65
RO 2.33 0.78 –0.25* 0.25* 0.41*** 0.27** 0.73
REC 2.52 0.70 –0.26** 0.13 0.16 0.27** 0.40*** 0.70
Notes: Bold number shows square roots of AVE for that construct *p < .01, **p < 0.01,
***p < 0.001.

5.3 Hypothesis testing


We then examined the structural model for online customers using LISREL. First, we
checked the model fit indices. The fit indices for the repeat customer structural model
suggested an excellent fit: the normed χ2 was 1.51, which was good. Usually, the
recommended value of normed χ2 is below 3.0 (Hair et al., 1998). RMSEA was 0.064,
78 S.R. Bhattacharya and S. Gupta

indicating a good fit, being below the maximum desired cut-off of 0.06. ‘Root mean-
square residual (RMR)’ was 0.099, almost at the threshold of the desired limit. Goodness-
of-fit index (GFI) was 0.79 and adjusted goodness-of-fit index (AGFI) was 0.74, both of
which indicate a moderate fit only. Other fit indices also showed moderate fit: CFI =
0.90, NFI = 0.75 and the non-normed fit index (NNFI) = 0.88. These results suggest that
the structural model fitted the data only moderately. Figure 2 shows the standardised
LISREL path coefficients and the overall fit indices.

Figure 2 Structural model for main effects hypotheses


Formative Indicators

Personal
Psychology

-0.51**
Inter-role
Distance

0.32** Role-
Emotional Organizational
Expectation
Awareness Role Stress -0.40**
Conflict

R2 =69% -0.85***
Role Overload

-0.72***

Personal
Inadequacy

The results of hypothesis testing provide support for the influence of emotional
awareness on ORS. Since the construct ORS is formed from five formative indicators
having negative relationship with the ORS, we can conclude that the relationship between
emotional awareness and ORS is negative. Thus H1 is supported. Hypotheses H2 to H5
were testing using bivariate correlations. The results of bivariate correlation analysis are
shown in Table 5.
Table 5 Results of bivariate correlation analysis

Relationship Hypo. Correlation Result


Emotional awareness and age H4 0.276** Supported
Emotional awareness and length of service H2 0.226* Supported
Role stress and age H5 –0.31 Not supported
Role stress and length of service H3 –0.047 Not supported

From Table 5, we can infer that emotional awareness is positively related to age and
length of service thus supporting H2 and H4. However, organisational stress is not related
to Age or Length of service and thus H3 and H5 are not supported.
A study on emotional awareness and organisational role stress 79

6 Discussion, implications and limitations

The results of hypothesis testing provide support for the influence of emotional
awareness on ORS. Since the construct ORS is formed from five formative indicators
having negative relationship with the ORS, we can conclude that if the organisational
workspace is emotionally aware, there will be lesser ORS. The results of this study have
the following implications for establishing organisational climate and culture:

• deciding organisational policies (recruitment, exposure to various behavioural and


sensitivity trainings on (emotional management, stress management, sensitivity
training etc.)

• timely corrective measures to take care of stressed employees to avoid and eliminate
accidents and to create safe working environment

• in improving quality of work life, inter-personal and intra-personal relationship,


Employees will be able to empathise with others’ feelings, acknowledge them and
seek to help them at the earliest

• in improving employee’s performance, enhanced leadership skill and greater


creativity

• in improving production and productivity

• in helping employees identify own body messages and decide what it needs to be
happy.

The results of this study, however, must be interpreted in the background of its
limitations. First, the instrument used for measuring emotional awareness is meant for
measuring emotional intelligence/emotional awareness of an organisation, rather than an
individual. Hence, there are chances that the individual perception may not be the same
as the overall organisation. This could result in deviation in the results. However, this
could be further verified using several other tools of emotional intelligence/emotional
awareness in the work place along with the tools to measure stress level of employees in
the same organisational system. Secondly, the sample size was only 103 which may pose
some limitations in analysis given the heterogeneity in the sampling frame. Following
factors contribute to the heterogeneity:

• varied educational background (engineers + finance personal +HR/administration


personals) – respondent included different educational qualification

• varied professional background (engineering + CA/ICWA + PG + graduates)

• diverse working environment – respondents were from extreme working


environment (hot shops e.g., blast furnaces, Coke ovens, steel melting shops), to
moderate (rolling mills, Services etc) and cool working environment (HR,
administrations, finance etc).
80 S.R. Bhattacharya and S. Gupta

7 Conclusions and limitations

The main objective of the study was to examine the relationship between emotional
awareness and role stress. Based on a survey of 100 middle managers (AGMs and
DGMs) of a large public sector organisation engaged in steel manufacturing, we found
that emotional awareness has a strong relationship with ORS. Thus, managers/
organisations may create an emotionally aware environment to reduce organisational
stress and motivate its employees to be sensitive to the emotional needs of other members
of the organisation. This may not only bring a culture of cooperation amongst employees
but may also lead to improved productivity and overall performance of the organisation.

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Appendix

Table A1 Survey instrument

Construct Items Scale Source


Emotional awareness
Empathic and ECO1 The best way to describe my organisation on the following Thomas
caring terms is: concern for people. and
organisation ECO2 I would describe my organisational as one which is caring. Kamalana
bhan
Emotional EEU1 I have gone through behavioural training in this (2011)
expression/ organisation.
understanding
Importance of IBC1 In my organisation, bosses are people-centric and
behavioural task-centric as well.
competencies IBC2 The one quality I find in most of our managers is their
awareness and understanding of people.
IBC3 There is a great amount of flexibility in adapting and
rejecting the ideas/views expressed by team members,
irrespective of organisational hierarchy.
Organisational role stress
Personality/ PPP1 Argument upsets me Pareek
personal PPP2 When I am busy at some task, I hate to be disturbed (2002)
psychology
PPP3 I often hesitate to express my feeling
IRD IRD1 Overstaying at work place is a regular phenomenon Pareek
IRD2 My role in the organisation tends to interfere with my family (2002) and
Pestonjee
IRD3 I have various other interests (social, religious etc) which (1992)
remain neglected because I do not get time to attend to these.
IRD4 My role does not allow me to spend enough time with my
family
PI PI1 I wish I had more skills to handle the responsibilities of my
role
PI2 I find that my colleagues in the same role are more
knowledgeable and skilled
PI3 I wish I had prepared myself well for my role
PI4 I need more training and preparation to be effective in my
work role
RO RO1 I get depressed when I consider that the entire task needs my
attention
RO2 The amount of work I have to do interferes with the quality
that I have to maintain
RO3 There is a need to reduce some part of my role
REC REC1 I am not able to satisfy the conflicting demands of various
people with me
REC2 The expectations of my seniors interfere with my juniors