New Horizons in Management series
Edited by Alexander-Stamatios G. Antoniou and Cary L. Cooper
Chapter 16: Emotional Intelligence and Coping with Occupational Stress
Moshe Zeidner For most people in modern society, work is a major source of self-esteem, life satisfaction and well-being. At the same time, the job environment can also be a major source of personal distress and unhappiness (Cartwright and Cooper, 1996). In fact occupational stress is rapidly becoming one of the most pressing organizational and health concerns in the Western world today. Widespread concern over the implications of stress in the workplace is attested to by the burgeoning literature on job stress and by the proliferation of stress management and training programs. Moreover research has demonstrated highly comparable sources of work stress, levels of stress and personal characteristics that cause workers to be susceptible to stress in various occupational settings across the globe (Mack et al., 1998). Proponents of emotional intelligence (EI) (Goleman, 1995, 1998; Salovey et al., 1999) have recently claimed that a better understanding and regulation of one’s emotions may dramatically enhance personal coping capabilities at the workplace and aﬀect favorably adaptive outcomes. Accordingly EI should be systematically related to individual diﬀerences in coping, which, in turn, should confer generally more or less successful outcomes on the individual. This chapter sets out to portray our current understanding of the role of EI in coping with stress in occupational settings. We begin by brieﬂy discussing sources of occupational stress and strategies for coping with stress at work. We then discuss the possibly pivotal role of EI in coping with stress in occupational settings. We conclude by...
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