Emotional Intelligence and hotel employees in Vietnam
Conference: Council for Hospitality Management Education Conference
Dates: 4-6 May 2016Abstract:
Recent research recognises the importance of Emotional Intelligence (EI) in the Hospitality Industry. Hospitality employees are required to regulate their emotions effectively during face-to-face interactions with customers, which form a crucial part of the experience.
Hospitality research in EI has only explored issues such as its role in managerial positions and its relationship with work-related factors such as social skills, stress management, counterproductive work behaviours and work effectiveness. Furthermore, most studies have taken a quantitative approach to examine the relationship between EI and such factors. Taking a qualitative approach, this study explores employees’ understanding and application of EI in interactions with both domestic and international customers as well as co-workers in Vietnamese hotels. The research has three stages of data collection; focus groups with hotel employees, semi structured interviews with hotel employees and use of the Critical Incident Technique. This paper reports on the focus group interviews, examining employee understanding of EI during interactions with customers and co-workers. Initial findings suggest that hotel employees are aware of EI and its application in interactions with customers and colleagues. The majority emphasised that learning from real-life situations is more effective for improving emotional control than training programmes developed by hotels or universities.