The Research Study
On July 9, 2001, faculty members 5 of the Asian Institute of Management sat with researchers 6 from the Human Resources Center, 7 School of Social Sciences, of the Ateneo de Manila University, to define the parameters for a study that would lead to the formulation and construction of a reliable and valid instrument to measure emotional intelligence (EiQ) among Asian managers.
The study would seek to understand the dynamics of culture, leadership and emotional intelligence, and the whole-brain approach to learning, by analyzing their construct relationships. Comprehension of the value-connectedness of these concepts would then lead to the completion of the instrument.
The research posed three major questions:
- Does emotional intelligence contribute to effective leadership in the Asian setting ?
- How can emotional intelligence be defined ?
- Can emotional intelligence establish itself as significant to the whole-brain approach to learning ?
Two assumptions were advanced to answer these questions. The first proposed that emotional intelligence comprises critical competences that help Asian managers/leaders develop the organization and its people, and increase productivity to meet the organization's targets.
The second assumption was that emotional intelligence enables the Asian manager/leader to respond to the challenges of the times, and adapt the organization to regional and global multicultural and cross-cultural realities.
These assumptions came after an extensive review of the literature on emotional intelligence, leadership, and culture. Critical data was gathered from focus group discussions and interviews with participants and students of AIM's executive and graduate programs, AIM alumni, professional psychologists, and non-AIM management practitioners. Content analyses of randomly-sampled AIM graduate theses and Asian case studies were conducted as well. From this emerged a working definition of emotional intelligence - the ability to process emotional information critical to effective leadership in the Asian context.
The extensive data also allowed the researchers 8 to draw a list of EiQ variables for an initial item pool. During the test construction phase, they generated a set of items for each variable. Through consultations with another sample of non-AIM managers and non-AIM graduate students, the research team then validated each set.
This resulted in an initial instrument consisting of 158 items divided into three parts encompassing 23 EiQ variables. The instrument was pre-tested on 38 AIM graduate students and graduate students from the Ateneo Professional Schools. After minor revisions, the initial instrument was ready.
The final phase of the research involved validating the test, developing an initial set of norms, and administering the test to 742 respondents from 21 nationalities and various industries. This sample consisted of 60.1% males and 39.9% females, with ages ranging from 20 to 70 years.
Factor analysis, inter-correlation of sub-scores, and correlations with a standardized test (FIRO-B) established internal and inter-rater reliability, and construct validity.
In June 2003, the researchers delivered the Asian Institute of Management Emotional Intelligence Measure (AIM-EIM, or AIM Squared). It had 74 items divided into three sections, and measuring 7 EiQ variables. The final report included score intervals, interpretations, and norms for each of the 7 variables, and a test manual for administration, scoring, and interpretation.
The seven variables, now referred to as "factors of emotional intelligence", are:
Emotional Literacy (EL)
5 Professors E. Morato, H. Borromeo, G. Ortigas, M. Quintos-Gonzales and Dr. C. Ortigas.
6 Dr. E. Liwag, Ms. E. Franco, and Ms. L. Tumbaga
7 This unit has since been renamed the Center for Organization Research and Development (CORD).
8 The research team included Dr. Carmela Ortigas (research project director), Letty Tumbaga, Belinda Sy,Oliver Pangan, Jane Pauig, Alain Cruz, Lisette Villanueva, and Primitivo Mactal. Prof. Borromeo represented AIM and acted as consultant to the research team. Other resource experts included Dr. Emma Liwag, Dr. Regina Hechanova, and Ms. Edna Franco.