The emotional and social intelligence of Slovak managers

Zuzana Birknerova, Lucia Zbihlejova,

and Miroslav Frankovsky f (in loving memory)

Introduction to the emotional and social intelligence of Slovak managers

In literature, general intelligence is defined within the context of broader understanding, with attributes that enable accentuation of prerequisites for the fulfillment of the life tasks, such as practical, social, interpersonal and intrapersonal intelligence, emotional, and moral intelligence (Goleman, 2000; Kaukiainen et al., 1999; Orme & Bar-On, 2002). Along with these attributes, one encounters the use of notions such as social deftness, social skills, social competence or competences, and personal competence (Bell, Rychener, & Munsch, 2001).

Intelligent behavior is related to cognitive, affective, personality, or social factors. These factors essentially create the autonomous components of intelligence. Thoughts about the autonomous components of intelligence are supported by the opinion of Gardner (1993), according to which it is impossible to consider only a single intelligence but, contrarily, it is necessary to specify the individual types of intelligence (e.g., business intelligence; Rajnoha, Stefko, Merkova, & Dobrovic, 2016).

Discussions of the constructs of emotional and social intelligence (their definitions, nomological network, and validity) are, therefore, part of a much broader discussion of intelligence as such (Gardner, 1993). Ruisel (2004) pointed out the obvious diffusion in understanding the notion of intelligence within the professional community of psychologists based on surveys of how one imagines the concept of intelligence and how to study it, as well as the opinions of Sternberg and Detterman (1986). From these inquiries, Ruisel (2004) found the beliefs that intelligence is a quality of intellect, an individual and unique attribute, which accurately copies the process of logical operations. However, the author states that intelligence also significantly regulates actual behavior, and thus it is inevitable to regard the qualities such as effectiveness and usefulness of what people do or would like to do. He adds that intelligence represents a diverse entity, a complex of many components, and is not a mere cognitive ability.

In the context of considering the autonomous components of intelligence, since the 1920s thoughts were given also to the existence of social intelligence, which was defined by Thorndike (1920) as the ability to understand and manage other people and to act wisely in interpersonal relationships. Simultaneously, there are discussions within this context about the construct of emotional intelligence (Mayer & Salovey, 1993).

The exploration of emotional and social intelligence as social phenomena in a cultural context is an important theoretical and methodological issue. Discussions are aimed at the verification of generally applicable characteristics, independently of the cultural context, but also at how a particular culture affects a person. The studies of emotional and social intelligence are carried out within various social contexts and fields of social practice such as work, education, leisure, family, and a number of other typical areas of social phenomena. In this sense, the context of work comes to the fore as it is significantly linked to the other areas of human life. From the point of view of managers, this relationship is even more important because it is also directly related to the lives of other people (Frankovsky, Birknerova, Zbihlejova, & Medvid’, 2018).

In this chapter we aim to examine and review the literature discussing two particular concepts of intelligence, that is, emotional and social intelligence, and offer evidence of our own to the possible differences between the selected measures of these two popular, pivotal terms. Presented are the results of analyses of the emotional and social intelligence attributes based on comparisons of the responses of managers and non-managers, and male and female managers in the Slovak cultural environment.

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