The call center industry is considered as one of the newest blooming industry in the Philippines, earning around US$I billion in 2005 alone. Although there has been a worldwide recession during the start of their industry, they have managed to grow notably and make a name. Presently, it has provided employment for 96,000 Filipinos. In fact, the Philippines is now considered the call center capital of the world (DOST- COT, 2012).
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Call center employees are required to display patience and empathy in dealing with their customer’s demands thus, employees who can manage their motions more effectively is much likely to perform better (Hang, Chance, Lam & Nan, 2010). This type of Job requires telephone contact with the public and call center employees are expected to provide or perform emotional labor (Household; as cited in Deere, Iverson, & Walsh 2002). They are expected to convey emotions based on what the organization expects from them and these emotions were intended to create the desired reaction from the customer.
Erickson and Wharton (as cited in Deere, Iverson & Walsh, 2002) stated that the employees are expected to appear happy’, nice and glad to be able to serve the customer even if they are experiencing negative emotions at the moment. The key feature of this type of work is conveying the emotions that were specified by the organization together with the rules of employment. Household (as cited in Deere, Iverson, & Walsh 2002) claimed that the most probable outcome of performing emotional labor is Job-related burnout.
The psychological health is crucial for good Job performance; however, it is often neglected in the call center industry both by employers and employee. Job reference is conceptualized as the level wherein an individual does one’s role with consideration to the organization’s standards (Knavery, as cited in Mishear & Anaphora, 2010). Excessive Job demands and continuous hassles may result in a chronic state of physical and emotional depletion or the experience of emotional exhaustion.
Emotional exhaustion is the core component of burnout and it has significant implications with the quality of one’s work life and to the optimal
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functioning of an organization (Sahara, 1997; Shirrs, as cited in Byrne, Cropland, and Molder, n. D. ). The nature of call center Jobs which involves spending all day on the phone, dealing with people one after another is the primary source of stress to the employees because the nature of the Job is difficult (Iraqi & Sure, 2008).
Aside from the emotional exhaustion experienced by employees, this study also covers three possible factors, which might predict Job performance: emotional intelligence, civil status and Job ratification. Salvoes and Mayer (1990) provided definitions of emotional intelligence (E’) : as the ability to perceive accurately, appraise, and express emotion; the ability to access and/or generate feelings when hey facilitate thought; the ability to understand emotion and emotional knowledge; and the ability to regulate emotions to promote emotional and intellectual growth. E able to manage their emotions so that they can be able to display the emotions desired by the organization (Hurt & Moon, 2011). The variable civil status in this study refers specifically on the marital aspect of the individual; married or single. The last possible predictor of Job performance is ratification. Ratification refers to the repetition of the tasks performed in the Job which will be represented by customer purport representatives and technical support representatives. Call center agents within Metro Manila are asked to take part in the study.
The participants are divided with equal representation for civil status and ratification of their Job. There are a total of 320 participants. Non-discriminative snowball sampling is used in selecting the participants. Three scales are utilized, each scale measures one construct, the variables measured are: emotional intelligence, emotional exhaustion, and Job performance. Statement of the Problem This proposed study determines the possible predictors of Job performance and the editing role of emotional exhaustion.
Specifically, the study intends to answer the following questions: 1. Do the following significantly predict Job performance? Emotional intelligence b. Civil status c. ratification 2. Does emotional exhaustion mediate the relationship between Job performance and the following: a. Emotional intelligence Review of Related Literature The review of related literature focuses on studies which discuss the relationship of each predictor variables to Job performance.
Each variable is defined and this section also includes results and discussions from previous studies that are erectly and/or closely related to the study. However, there is limited literature available on the relationship between the variable ratification and Job performance. Also, studies on the relationship of emotional intelligence to Job performance show inconsistent results. Job Performance Knavery (as cited in Mishear & Anaphora, 2010) conceptualized Job performance as the level in which an individual performs one’s role in consideration of certain standards set by the organization.
It is the combined value of the discrete behavioral episodes that is performed by the individual for the organization over a standard interval of time (Motility, Barman, & Schmitt, as cited in Sahara & Regenerated, 2011) and is divided into two dimensions. The first dimension, task performance, refers to behaviors that are directly linked with Job completion and it consists of carrying out technical processes and maintenance and servicing of technical requirements. The second dimension is contextual performance; this dimension pertains to an individual’s interpersonal behaviors or actions that benefit the organization.
This dimension comprises different activities like helping and volunteering to carry out tasks (Motility et al. As cited in Sahara & Regenerated, 2011). These dimensions lead to raising awareness about what contributes to an individual’s overall performance in the workplace. Emotional Exhaustion Emotional exhaustion is a chronic state of physical and emotional depletion which results from excessive Job demands and continuous hassles (Shirrs, as cited in Byrne, Cropland, and Molder, n. ; Sahara; as cited in Wright and Cropland, 1998). It is a significant topic of interest for organizational researchers because it has important implications for the quality of work life and for optimal organizational injunction. Emotional exhaustion is one of the three components of burnout, a psychological response to work-related stress. The two other components are diversification and reduced personal accomplishment (Mascara, Schaeffer, & Letter, as cited in Deere, Iverson, & Walsh, 2002).
Focusing on emotional exhaustion, even if it is Just one part of the three-component conceptualization of burnout, can be Justified by two issues. First issue is that, although past research about burnout was dominated by the three-component conceptualization as it elates to measurement of burnout, other researchers have questioned Mach’s three component conceptualization and other conceptualizations were proposed for the processes underlying burnout (Demerit, Beaker, Machinery, & Schaeffer; Pines, Aaron’s, & Carry; Shirrs, as cited in Byrne, Cropland & Molder, n. D. Hellbender; as cited in Demerit & Moister, 2010) and the second issue is that, even though the alternative conceptualizations vary in different ways, all of them included emotional exhaustion as a primary component of burnout (Hellbender, 2007). This suggests that emotional exhaustion is indeed central to the experience of burnout because it is the most consistent with its relationships with outside variables such as commitment and Job satisfaction (Corded & Doughtier; Demerit; Green, Walked, & Taylor; Lee & Seaports; Hellbender; as cited in Wright & Cropland, 1998).
Although the three components are important, a growing number consensus based on previous research has concluded that emotional exhaustion is the key dimension of burnout (Corded & Doughtier, as cited in Wright & Cropland, 1998). According to Shirrs (as cited in Byrne, Cropland, & Molder, n. D. ), the core meaning of burnout can be best found in the physical and psychological depletion that characterizes emotional exhaustion. He further noted that defining burnout as emotional exhaustion will help distinguish it from other social science concepts.
Wright and Cropland (1998) focused on emotional exhaustion derived from the Conservation of Resources (CORE) theory that provided particular valuable insights on prolonged emotional exhaustion. The framework stated that emotional exhaustion is most likely to manifest if an individual experienced an actual resource loss, or a perceived threat of resource loss or if the individual had been in a situation where one’s resources were inadequate to meet work demands, or when in a situation in which the return of an investment of resources were not obtained (Hobble, 1988 as cited in Wright & Cropland, 1998).
In a one-year longitudinal study conducted by Wright and Cropland (1998), and Job performance to emotional exhaustion. Wright asked social welfare workers employed by a large city on the West Coast of the United States (N = 64) to participate n the study by meaner of a direct contact procedure. The actual sample included 52 employees, representing a response rate of 81%. The mean age for this mostly male (69%) sample was 42 years; the mean tenure was 13 years. Emotional exhaustion was measured with Mascara and Jackson’s (1986) nine-item emotional exhaustion scale (Mascara Burnout Inventory).
This nine-item scale measured how often one feels emotionally overextended and exhausted by one’s work. Results showed that emotional exhaustion was unrelated to Job satisfaction, it was associated with both performance and subsequent turnover. Multiple regression analysis further demonstrated that emotional exhaustion predicted both turnover and Job performance, even after negative affectively and positive affectively were controlled. Call center employees experienced high levels of emotional pressure and work- related strain, which caused poor performance as well as high turnover (Highs; Vary; Rose & Wright; as cited in Hang, 2010).
Emotional Intelligence The concept of emotional intelligence originated from Thorniness (1920) concept of social intelligence. Salvoes and Mayer (1990) provided definitions of emotional intelligence: as one’s capability to clearly convey emotions, the ability to make sense of what one feels when processing a thought, the ability to comprehend and interpret emotion and emotional knowledge, and lastly, the ability to manage emotions in a way that enhances one’s emotional and intellectual growth.
There are two constructs of emotional intelligence (E’): trait emotional intelligence and ability emotional intelligence (Peptides, Burnham & Manville, 2007). Trait emotional intelligence which can also be called trait emotional self-efficacy focused on the motion -related dispositions and self-perceptions which are measured using self- report while the second construct, that is ability emotional intelligence or the cognitive-emotional ability focused on the emotion-related cognitive abilities which can be measured through maximum-performance tests.
Trait El and ability El are different in terms of measurement and conceptualization because Trait El is measured using self-reports while ability El is performance-based and for their differences in conceptualization, Trait El is based on personality trait while ability El is based on the cognitive ability (Peptides et al, 2007). Emotional Intelligence on Job Performance According to Munchkins (as cited in Barbet, Barterer, & See, 2004), there is a lack of literature on organizational behavior that focuses on the emotional aspect because people often see emotion as the complete opposite of logic.
In line with this rising interest in emotions, studies have been conducted in which the role of emotional intelligence in individuals and organizational performance has been demonstrated (Bar-on; Coleman; as cited in Moon & Hurt, 2011). Coleman (as cited in Moon & Hurt, 2011) defined emotional intelligence as a competency of managing oneself and one’s relationships with others, making effective teamwork, leading others, and forecasting the future, all of which had positive effects in terms of efficacy and Job performance.
Emotional intelligence is important for employees because it is essential for them to be able to manage their emotions so they may be Individuals who are emotionally intelligent cope better with life’s challenges and job stresses, and therefore are psychologically and physically healthy. It was also suggested that emotional intelligence aids individuals in managing Job stress and remotes adaptability to challenging environments so that distress or burnout are avoided (Bar-on, as cited in Moon & Hurt, 2011).
Contrary to the previous studies mentioned, a study conducted by Gray (2010) showed that there was no statistically significant relationship between emotional intelligence and Job performance. The sample consisted of 268 call center (45 leaders and 223 raters) across different age and race groups. All of the participants completed the 3600 Emotional Competency Profiler (ESP.) in order to measure emotional intelligence whereas the Job performance data were obtained from the management team and an average score of their performance over a one-year period was examined.
Civil Status on Job Performance The role of civil status on Job performance is still in need of more studies that will focus entirely on the relationship of the two. However, there are studies that are related to civil status and Job performance that offers different perspectives on how job performance varies depending on civil status. Johnston and Keeled (as cited in Russell & Rush) 1987 said that married individuals may be perceived more favorably than singles because marriage is received with high value, a desired characteristic and as an important state for the development of an individual.
Russell and Rush (1987) asked 160 male and female undergraduates to provide performance evaluations and attributions for a poor- performing stimulus employee depicted as male or female, either single or married. Results showed no significant difference between the evaluation of the males and females. However, when it comes to civil status, it shows that married mothers were evaluated most favorably while single females were least favorably evaluated.
Their endings were interpreted through the societal values individuals have regarding employment and civil status. Being employed is positively evaluated because individuals perceive it as a factor that contributes to an individual’s sense of life satisfaction and positive mental health. Ratification The forms of service that call center employees provide may vary from providing inbound or outbound services and the management practices of the call center companies (Bait; Wood, Holman & Stride; as cited in Hang et al. 2010). Majority of the work they provide is characterized by high degrees of ratification and employee control (Knights & McCabe; Taylor & Pain; Franken, Corrosions, Shire & Tam; Holman & Fernier; Taylor, Baldly, Pain & Ellis; as cited in Hang et al. , 2010). The repetitive nature of the tasks performed in call centers is a distinctive feature of the Job (Jennie, Hutchison, & Purcell; Taylor & Pain; as cited in Deere et al. 2002) which led to the expectation that employees in call centers will have higher level of emotional exhaustion due to its lacking of task variety and routinely nature (Wharton, as cited in Deere et al. , 2002). Emotional Intelligence, Emotional Exhaustion and Job Performance particularly relevant to work behavior in call centers, because abilities to manage relationships and to show empathy and social sensibility when needed are the prerequisites for good performance in the call center workplace. Employees who are high in Emotional Intelligence (E’) have lower risk of experiencing emotional exhaustion and burnout.
The reason behind this is that, employees high in El have better interpersonal skills and are more able to tolerate emotional pressure which implies that employees high in El will probably exhibit higher performance at work. Based on a study conducted by Highs (2004), El was positively related to individual performance. The data were collected from 289 call center employees in the I-J. In addition, Van Roy and Visceral (2004, as cited in Hang et al. , 2010) proposed that “emotional intelligence should be a predictor of burnout” (p. 87) which in turn may influence the work performance of employees.
Hang et al. (2010) hypothesized that in call centers, burnout may be an intermediate variable that mediates the relationship between emotional intelligence and work performance. They examined the Joint effect of leader-member exchange ELM) and emotional intelligence (E’) on burnout and work performance. Results based on data collected from 493 leader-member dyads in the call center of a large Chinese telecommunication company indicated that ELM was negatively related to burnout, in which the variable emotional exhaustion is a component, and was not significantly related to objective work performance.
Furthermore, the effects of the four dimensions of El (self emotion appraisal, other-emotion appraisal, use of emotion, and regulation of emotion) on burnout and performance was examined and found that burnout mediated the link between use of emotion and work reference. (Hang, et. Al , 2010) A study conducted by Moon and Hurt (2011) examined how emotional intelligence (E’) affects emotional exhaustion (burnout) resulting from emotional labor, and how emotional exhaustion influences an individual’s Job performance in terms of organizational commitment and Job satisfaction.
The participants include retail sales employees who had worked at major department stores (Lotto, Shingle, and Kayaking) in South Korea for at least one year. They were asked to complete a self-administered survey. Results showed that the three factors of emotional intelligence – appraisal of motions, optimism, and social skills – were negatively associated with emotional exhaustion, which was also negatively related to Job performance. In addition, the mediating effect of emotional exhaustion was confirmed in the relationship between job performance and appraisals of emotions, optimism, and social skills as factors in emotional intelligence.
The literature discussed in this chapter presents observed relationships between the variables and Job performance, and the mediating role of emotional exhaustion. Researches stated that emotional exhaustion being the core component of burnout an lead to deterioration of one’s Job performance. In previous studies, researchers also pointed out that emotional intelligence has an existing role on a person’s individual and organizational performance. Likewise, civil status affects Job performance of individuals.
However, the results of the studies about civil status and job performance are not consistent whether married people or those who are single The diagram shows the predictor variables, emotional intelligence, civil status and ratification, the possible mediating variable; emotional exhaustion, and the criterion variable; Job performance. The solid lines indicate relationships between variables that are supported by literature. The broken lines indicate that no related literature shows the relationship between the two variables.
The diagram shows the predictor variables, emotional intelligence, civil status and ratification, the possible mediating variable; emotional exhaustion, and the criterion variable; Job performance. The solid lines indicate relationships between variables that are supported by literature. The broken lines indicate that no related literature shows the relationship between the two variables. Figure 1 . The variables emotional intelligence, civil status and ratification are predictors of Job performance among call center agents in Metro Manila with emotional exhaustion as a mediating variable.
The predictor variables are emotional intelligence, civil status and ratification. Emotional intelligence is one’s capability to clearly convey emotions, the ability to make sense of what one feels when processing a thought, the ability to comprehend and interpret emotion and emotional knowledge, and lastly, the ability to manage emotions in a way that it enhances one’s emotional and intellectual growth (Mayer amp; Salvoes, 1990). In this study, civil status pertains to individuals who are married or single by law.
Ratification encompasses how patterned and monotonous the nature of an employee’s work is. It pertains to the nature of work that the individual is engaged in, which may vary depending on whether the call center agent is a customer support representative or technical support representative. The criterion variable is Job performance, which is the level wherein an individual does one’s role with consideration to the organization’s standards (Knavery, as cited in Mishear and Anaphora, 2010).
The predictor variables and the criterion variables are mediated by emotional exhaustion which is defined as a chronic state of physical and emotional depletion which results from excessive Job demands and continuous hassles (Shirrs, as cited in Byrne, Cropland, and Molder, n. D; Sahara; as cited in Wright and Cropland, 1998). Hypotheses 1. The following variables significantly predict Job performance a. Emotional intelligence 2. Emotional exhaustion mediates the relationship between Job performance and emotional intelligence, civil status, ratification.See More on Emotion