Despite significant attention from practitioners and broad claims of the importance of Emotional Intelligence (EI), empirical support for its incremental direct effects on outcomes relevant to professional selling has been disappointing. However, little research has included relevant contextual variables or the potential interactions of EI with contextual variables when considering its effects. This contingency view of EI maintains that EI is important in work settings, but only under certain conditions. Drawing on the appraisal theory of emotions, the authors develop a contingency model, which proposes that salesperson EI moderates the harmful effects of role stress on three work outcomes—emotional exhaustion, customer-oriented selling, and sales performance. Using three matched data sources from multiple professional selling workgroups in a business-to-business sales setting, the authors find that EI moderates the relationship between role ambiguity and all three outcome variables. Link to the article
MCFARLAND, R., RODE, J. and SHERVANI, T. (2016). A Contingency Model of Emotional Intelligence in Professional Selling. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 44(1), pp. 108-118.