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Emotional intelligence (EI) plays a vital role in work and non-work outcomes. Gaps exist in the role of contextual factor (i.e. perceived organisational support, POS) and personal resource (i.e. psychological capital, PsyCap) in investigating employees’ EI. This current research draws on the cognitive–motivational–reactional theory of emotions and conservation of resources theory in examining the serial explanatory pathways between EI and work engagement.Design/methodology/approachData were collected at three points of measurement from the public sector in Nigeria. The authors tested their serial mediation model with a sample of 528 public sector employees using PROCESS macro with a bias-corrected bootstrapping method.FindingsThe findings show that EI was positively related to work engagement. EI exerted an indirect effect on PsyCap via POS. The indirect effect of EI on work engagement was serially mediated by POS and PsyCap.Practical implicationsOrganisations need to pay attention to the level of support they provide to employees, given that employees differ in their emotional appraisal and regulations. The way employees perceive organisational support is vital to helping them stimulate their personal resources towards work goals. This study further accentuates the fact that emotionally intelligent employees tend to understand how to manage their emotions and that of others in a way that leads to a higher level of work engagement.Originality/valueThis paper addresses gaps in the literature on EI and regulations in the changing and challenging world of work. In so doing, this paper contributes to the literature by deepening our understanding of the complex relationship between EI, POS, PsyCap and work engagement. Theoretical and practical implications for employees’ emotional appraisal and regulations are discussed.
Journal of Organizational Effectiveness: People and Performance – Emerald Publishing
Published: Apr 20, 2022
Keywords: Emotional intelligence; Work engagement; Perceived organisational support; Psychological capital; Conservation of resources
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