The case for the ability-based model of emotional intelligence in organizational behavior



In this second counterpoint article, we refute the claims of Landy, Locke, and Conte, and make the more specific case for our perspective, which is that ability-based models of emotional intelligence have value to add in the domain of organizational psychology. In this article, we address remaining issues, such as general concerns about the tenor and tone of the debates on this topic, a tendency for detractors to collapse across emotional intelligence models when reviewing the evidence and making judgments, and subsequent penchant to thereby discount all models, including the ability-based one, as lacking validity. We specifically refute the following three claims from our critics with the most recent empirically based evidence: (1) emotional intelligence is dominated by opportunistic ‘academics-turned-consultants’ who have amassed much fame and fortune based on a concept that is shabby science at best; (2) the measurement of emotional intelligence is grounded in unstable, psychometrically flawed instruments, which have not demonstrated appropriate discriminant and predictive validity to warrant/justify their use; and (3) there is weak empirical evidence that emotional intelligence is related to anything of importance in organizations. We thus end with an overview of the empirical evidence supporting the role of emotional intelligence in organizational and social behavior. Copyright © 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.