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Observing Emotional Intelligence through Behaviours: Does team members’ cultural background play a part?

Sturre, Sven (2022) Observing Emotional Intelligence through Behaviours: Does team members’ cultural background play a part?

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Abstract:In an increasingly globalized world, the Agile way of working is becoming more and more popular to tackle the issues of fast-changing environments. Agile teams are also more multicultural than ever before. In these multicultural teams, emotions can be displayed and interpreted differently due to cultural differences among team members, and thus may affect team dynamics. Therefore, team members may highly benefit from Emotional Intelligence (EI), which is the ability to understand and manage one’s own and others’ emotions. Consequently, we explore whether EI behaviours differ between members of mono- and multicultural teams, and their Product Owners (POs), taking a specific look at two Agile meeting types, namely the sprint planning and retrospective meetings. EI is studied through video observations and a verbal behaviour codebook, to address a recurring problem in EI research: measurement issues. Hence, through a mixed-method research design, integrating qualitative and quantitative methods, 5 mono- and 5 multicultural teams were selected, for a total of 26 and 29 individuals per team respectively. The results of this study show that members of mono- and multicultural teams do not differ significantly from one another in terms of displayed EI, showing that EI moments do not occur more in one team type or the other. However, whilst POs do not display more EI in mono- or multicultural team meetings, they do have a higher observed EI frequency and duration than regular members. Furthermore, considering the Sprint Planning and Sprint Retrospective, there was no significant difference either, telling us that EI moments do not occur more in one meeting type than the other. We have extended current knowledge by exploring observed EI in Agile settings through innovative verbal behaviours. Yet, this study demands future research through, for instance, a larger sample size and behaviour set. In terms of practical implications, we recommend EI training for all Agile team members, as it has found that conflict can be a main cause for EI occurring less in meetings. We have also lined out specific recommendations for members and POs of mono- and multicultural teams; reducing moments of conflict and reducing cultural differences’ impacts, respectively.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:85 business administration, organizational science
Programme:International Business Administration BSc (50952)
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