Scott Thor Dissertation APA Edited Final Version

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My dissertation studying the relationship between emotional intelligence and work engagement.

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<p>Organizational Excellence: A Study of the Relationship Between Emotional Intelligence and Work Engagement in Process Improvement Experts</p> <p>Scott Thor 642 Jasmine Park Drive Apt. 2 Bakersfield, CA 93312 661.204.9448 sthor09@georgefox.edu</p> <p>Submitted to the School of Business George Fox University In partial fulfillment of the requirements</p> <p>for the degree of Doctor of Management</p> <p>Dr. Tim Rahschulte, Ph.D., Committee Chair Dr. Paul Shelton, Ph.D., Committee Member Dr. Michael Hartsfield, Ph.D., Committee Member</p> <p>February 2012</p> <p>EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE AND WORK ENGAGEMENT</p> <p>ii</p> <p>Organizational Excellence: A Study of the Relationship Between Emotional Intelligence and Work Engagement in Process Improvement Experts by Scott Thor has been approved as a Dissertation for the Doctor of Management degree At George Fox University School of Business</p> <p>EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE AND WORK ENGAGEMENT Abstract</p> <p>iii</p> <p>The role of a quality leader has changed significantly over the past several decades from chief inspector, primarily focused on detection activities, to one in which the attention has shifted to prevention and improvement initiatives (Addey, 2004). Many of the traditional responsibilities related to quality control have been integrated into the role of all employees. In a sense, each individual is now responsible for the quality of the processes they work within, and little external quality control is needed. The transformation of the quality function away from control activities has led to initiatives such as Total Quality Management (TQM), and most recently Lean Six Sigma. Both TQM and Lean Six Sigma place a heavy emphasis on creating a culture of teamwork and continual improvement. Two potential elements that may impact the success of process improvement experts working in such environments are their level of emotional intelligence and work engagement. Research suggests that individuals with high emotional intelligence outperform those with low intelligence (BarOn, 2006; Goleman, 1995, 1998; Nadler, 2010; OBoyle, Humphrey, Pollack, Hawver, &amp; Story, 2011), and organizations with high employee engagement are more successful than those with low engagement (Harter, Schmidt, Asplund, Killham, &amp; Agrawal, 2010; Towers Perrin, 2003, 2007; Wagner &amp; Harter, 2006). Despite the link to individual and organizational performance, the research studying what drives engagement is sparse (Schaufeli &amp; Bakker, 2010). The research that does exist argues much of the driving force behind engagement is controlled by external factors such as available resources, working environment, and leadership support (Towers Perrin, 2003, 2007; Wagner &amp; Harter,</p> <p>EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE AND WORK ENGAGEMENT</p> <p>iv</p> <p>2006), but research focused on individual characteristics, such as emotional intelligence, has yet to be studied. This research sought to better understand the relationship between emotional intelligence and work engagement. Taking a quantitative approach, the research utilized the Assessing Emotions Scale to measure emotional intelligence, and the Utrecht Work Engagement Scale to measure work engagement of 5,187 process improvement experts. Correlation analysis indicated a moderate statistically significant relationship existed (r = .416). Regression analysis indicated emotional intelligence predicted 17.3% of the variability in work engagement. Gender, education, and organizational level had a significant effect on emotional intelligence, whereas age was found to have no effect. Education, organizational level, years in current position, and not having an ASQ certification were also found to have a significant effect on work engagement, whereas age, gender, and having a Six Sigma certification had no effect. Implications of the findings and recommendations for future research are also discussed. Keywords: emotional intelligence, employee engagement, process improvement, Lean, Lean Six Sigma, Six Sigma, TQM, work engagement</p> <p>EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE AND WORK ENGAGEMENT Dedication</p> <p>v</p> <p>This dissertation is dedicated to my grandfather, Randolph Randy Hoffman. Despite having no more than an eighth grade education he lived the American Dream and was the picture of work engagement. His vigor, dedication, and absorption for his work was the inspirational fuel I tapped into when I struggled to engage myself in this dissertation. I have no doubt he is smiling down on me today as I complete what I never thought was possible.</p> <p>EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE AND WORK ENGAGEMENT Acknowledgements</p> <p>vi</p> <p>Although a dissertation is completed by one individual it takes the support of many to complete the process, and I acknowledge them here for all the support they have provided in this challenging and rewarding journey. First and foremost, I credit my faith in God as a primary source of motivation and support that was essential in helping me achieve my goal of a doctoral degree. I also have to acknowledge my loving wife, Jana, who endured the countless mornings I snuggled not with her, but instead with the writing, reading, and data compiling documented in this body of workI promise there will be more snuggling with you in the future! My dissertation committee, Drs. Tim Rahschulte, Paul Shelton, and Michael Hartsfield were also pivotal in taking my work to a level not possible solely on my own. Tim, I truly appreciate your feedback and constructive critiquing of my work that have taken this dissertation to a level I did not expectwithout your guidance this dissertation would not have been possible. Paul, I thank you for the rewarding dialogue we had in our time together on campus in Newberg during my final course at George Fox. Those discussions played heavily into this dissertation and provided the insight I needed to complete this work. Michael, I appreciate your feedback during both defenses and also want to thank you for your work on emotional intelligence, which provided insight into my own research. I would also like to acknowledge Dr. Craig Johnson for his feedback in the semesters leading up to the start of this dissertation. Craig, the literature review in</p> <p>EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE AND WORK ENGAGEMENT</p> <p>vii</p> <p>this dissertation would not be what it is without the guidance you provided during my independent study with you. I also acknowledge my cohort at George Fox for providing words of encouragement and the support needed throughout not only the dissertation process, but also during our time together in courses online, on campus in Newberg, and during a trip to China I will never forget. Darrick, John, Mike, and Rick, I look forward to celebrating your final defenses in the very near future! A final acknowledgement goes to Seiche Sanders and Anna Lu at ASQ. One of the greatest challenges of quantitative research is getting an adequate sample size, and your willingness to provide access to ASQ members played a critical role in helping me complete this research. I look forward to summarizing the results and sharing them with ASQ members around the world very soon.</p> <p>EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE AND WORK ENGAGEMENT Definition of Terms</p> <p>viii</p> <p>Emotional Intelligence: the ability to perceive accurately, appraise, and express emotion; the ability to access and/or generate feelings when they facilitate thought; the ability to understand emotion and emotional knowledge; and the ability to regulate emotions to promote emotional and intellectual growth (Mayer &amp; Salovey, 1997, p. 10).</p> <p>Lean: A method of improvement based on Japanese manufacturing concepts that include mapping value streams within an organization, and identifying areas that include processes that are nonvalue added (those a customer is not willing to pay for), and either eliminating the process or minimizing it (Womack &amp; Jones, 1996).</p> <p>Lean Six Sigma: A combination of lean and Six Sigma typically starting with lean to eliminate nonvalue added activities followed by Six Sigma to reduce the variation of those processes remaining (George, 2002). The methodology is also referred to as Lean Sigma.</p> <p>Process Improvement Expert: An individual who is responsible for developing, implementing, and leading improvement strategies within an organization. They typically hold the title of quality technician, quality engineer, green belt, black belt, master black belt, quality supervisor, quality manager, quality director, or vice president of quality. An expert for this study was defined as having five or more years of process</p> <p>EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE AND WORK ENGAGEMENT</p> <p>ix</p> <p>improvement experience, Six Sigma certification, and/or American Society for Quality (ASQ) certification.</p> <p>QMS: Quality Management System. A management system (processes, procedures, strategies, etc.) that is used to improve the performance of an organization (Okes &amp; Westcott, 2001). Example systems include the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award and ISO 9000.</p> <p>Six Sigma: A process improvement methodology that uses statistical tools and a structured approach consisting of five phases that include define, measure, analyze, improve, and control (DMAIC) that is used to reduce variation and costs, which lead to increased customer satisfaction and profitability (George, 2002). Statistically, Six Sigma quality is quantified as 3.4 defects per million opportunities.</p> <p>TQM: a customerfocused management process of continuous improvement that utilizes employee involvement and the appropriate application of the technical tools of quality (Hoover, 1995, p. 83).</p> <p>Work Engagement: a positive, fulfilling, workrelated state of mind that is characterized by vigor, dedication, and absorption. Rather than a momentary and specific state, engagement refers to a more persistent and pervasive affectivecognitive state that is not focused on any particular object, event, individual, or behavior (Schaufeli &amp; Bakker, 2004, p. 4-5).</p> <p>EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE AND WORK ENGAGEMENT Table of Contents</p> <p>x</p> <p>Abstract ........................................................................................................................................... ii Dedication ....................................................................................................................................... v Acknowledgements ........................................................................................................................ vi Definition of Terms...................................................................................................................... viii List of Tables and Figures............................................................................................................ xiv Chapter 1 ......................................................................................................................................... 1 Introduction ..................................................................................................................................... 1 Emotional Intelligence Constructs .............................................................................................. 4 Employee and Work Engagement Constructs ............................................................................ 5 Previous Research ....................................................................................................................... 7 Significance of the Research ....................................................................................................... 9 Purpose and Scope of the Study................................................................................................ 10 Chapter 2 ....................................................................................................................................... 12 Literature Review.......................................................................................................................... 12 Quality Management and Process Improvement ...................................................................... 13 Emotional Intelligence .............................................................................................................. 37 Work Engagement .................................................................................................................... 78 Chapter 3 ..................................................................................................................................... 100 Method ........................................................................................................................................ 100 Research Questions ................................................................................................................. 101 Population and Sampling ........................................................................................................ 102 </p> <p>EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE AND WORK ENGAGEMENT</p> <p>xi</p> <p>Data Collection and Instrument Reliability and Validity ....................................................... 104 Data Analysis .......................................................................................................................... 109 Study Assumptions, Risks, and Limitations ........................................................................... 113 Chapter 4 ..................................................................................................................................... 115 Results ......................................................................................................................................... 115 Research Questions ................................................................................................................. 116 Sample Description and Data Collection and Coding ............................................................ 117 Demographic Data .................................................................................................................. 119 Data Analysis and Instrument Reliability ............................................................................... 129 Descriptive Statistics............................................................................................................... 133 Wave Analysis ........................................................................................................................ 137 Correlation Analysis Results................................................................................................... 138 Research Hypotheses Results ................................................................................................. 140 Conclusion .............................................................................................................................. 158 Chapter 5 .................................................................................................................................</p>