The impact of trait emotional intelligence on nursing team performance and cohesiveness

J Prof Nurs. 2009 Jan-Feb;25(1):23-9. doi: 10.1016/j.profnurs.2007.12.002.


Claims about the positive influence of emotional intelligence (EI) on work team performance are very numerous, both in commercial and scientific literature. However, despite the huge interest that media and business consultants put in EI and its fast-growing use in organizations, there is very little empirical evidence to support these claims. In this study, we investigated the relationships between EI, performance, and cohesiveness in 23 nursing teams. EI was assessed using the modified version of the Schutte Emotional Intelligence Scale and cohesiveness with the Group Cohesiveness Scale. Finally, nursing team performance was measured at four different levels: job satisfaction, chief nursing executives' rating, turnover rate, and health care quality. Results showed that health care quality was positively correlated with emotion regulation. Emotion regulation was also positively correlated with group cohesiveness. Surprisingly, it also appears that emotion appraisal was negatively correlated with the health care quality provided by teams. These results suggest that EI and, more specifically, Emotional Regulation may provide an interesting new way of enhancing nursing teams' cohesion and patient/client outcomes.

MeSH terms

  • Emotions*
  • Humans
  • Intelligence*
  • Interprofessional Relations*
  • Job Satisfaction
  • Nursing Staff, Hospital / psychology*
  • Nursing Staff, Hospital / standards
  • Nursing, Team / methods*
  • Nursing, Team / standards
  • Patient Care Team / standards
  • Personnel Turnover
  • Physical Therapy Specialty
  • Quality of Health Care
  • Social Behavior