Purpose – The purpose of this study is to investigate the effects of an emotional intelligence (EI) training program on: the EI of service providers; and the service quality provided by employees who have received such training. Design/methodology/approach – Employees of five branches of a large public‐sector bank in Iran are randomly selected as the “treatment group” to undertake a tailored eight‐session EI training program, while employees of another homogenous sample of five branches are selected as the “control group” (involving no EI training). EI is measured by the ECI‐2 instrument before and after training. Two samples of customers (150 customers of the “treatment branches” and 150 customers of the “control branches”) are utilised to evaluate the perceived service quality of both groups of branches before the training and two months after the training. Findings – One of four dimensions of EI (“relationship management”) is found to be enhanced by EI training. Moreover, the EI training program is shown to result in improved service quality in terms of both overall service quality and its four dimensions (“reliability”, “responsiveness”, “assurance”, and “empathy”). Research limitations/implications – Operational constraints prevented a second assessment of the EI of employees in the control group. The post‐training evaluations had to be conducted shortly after the training finished, thus preventing an assessment of longer‐term effects. Originality/value – This is one of the first studies to have undertaken empirical investigation of the effectiveness of EI training in a service setting.
Managing Service Quality – Emerald Publishing
Published: Sep 6, 2011
Keywords: Service quality; Emotional intelligence; Training; Bank services; Iran
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