Trait Emotional Intelligence, Personality and the Self-Perceived Performance Ratings of Casino Key Account Representatives

Prentice, Catherine (2008) Trait Emotional Intelligence, Personality and the Self-Perceived Performance Ratings of Casino Key Account Representatives. PhD thesis, Victoria University.


This thesis explores the impact of emotional intelligence on frontline employee service performance in the casino industry. Emotional intelligence is a relatively recent psychological construct that has attracted substantial interest in both the popular literature and within academia. A major appeal of emotional intelligence lies in its possibility of contributing to a portion of the remaining variance in job performance that traditional cognitive intelligence leaves unexplained (Van Rooy & Viswesvaran, 2003). However, the predictive validity of emotional intelligence varies considerably and depends on the context, criterion of interest, and specific theory used (e.g. Emmerling & Goleman, 2003). Furthermore, as agreed by most personality psychologists, a new construct such as emotional intelligence needs to provide incremental validity over well-established constructs to be welcomed into the relevant field (Brackett & Mayer, 2003). With respect to job context and selected criteria, it has been claimed that there is a positive relationship between emotional intelligence and job performance in the case of roles which are associated with emotional labour, such as customer service (Daus & Ashkanasy, 2005). With regard to theory, various models have been proposed as a means of conceptualising the construct within the relevant literature. These models have been associated with a range of tests which purport to assess emotional intelligence and its predictive validity. In an attempt to emphasize the importance of the role of assessment in operationalising emotional intelligence, Petrides and Furnham (2001) have proposed the theory of trait EI, which is measured using a self-report test. These authors indicated that the theory encompasses behavioural tendencies and self-perceived abilities like a personality trait; therefore, its investigation should be primarily conducted within a personality framework (Petrides & Furnham, 2001; Petrides, Furnham & Frederickson, 2004). From the perspective of predictive validity, this thesis applies the concept of trait EI in the context of the casino high-end market (casino key accounts), and analyses its relationship with the service performance of casino service representatives for the high-end market (casino key account representatives). From the perspective of incremental validity, the thesis incorporates the Five Factor Model (FFM) of personality factors as another independent variable to analyse the additional variance in the dependent variable explained by trait EI in predicting the service performance of casino key account representatives. This study also tests the mediating roles of customer orientation and adaptability in the context of hierarchical relationships of the influence of personality traits (trait EI and FFM) on service performance evaluation, based on the hierarchical model theory proposed by Brown, Mowen, Donavan & Licatal. (2002). The data used in this thesis were gathered from questionnaires, distributed within a VIP gaming room catering to casino high-end players in one of the world’s largest casinos located in Australasia. A sample of 152 usable employee responses was obtained. Multiple regression has been used to test the relevant hypotheses and Baron and Kenny’s (1986) method has been used to analyse the mediation. Through the use of the various statistical analyses, it was found that trait EI was positively related with the service performance of casino key account representatives. It also explained additional variance in the dependent variable – the service performance of casino key account representatives over and above the FFM of personality factors. Partial mediations of customer orientation and adaptability were also found between the basic personality traits and service performance of casino key account representatives. It indicates that indirect effects between the independent and dependent variables are enhanced by the incorporation of the various mediators. The thesis concludes with a discussion of the results, which includes comments on the implications of the findings, an evaluation of the limits of the current investigation, and some thoughts on possible future research.

Item type Thesis (PhD thesis)
Subjects Historical > RFCD Classification > 380000 Behavioural and Cognitive Sciences
Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > School of Hospitality Tourism and Marketing
Keywords emotional intelligence, personality, self-perceived performance ratings, casino industry
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