This thesis aimed to explore Hungarian hotel functional managers’ emotional intelligence traits and examined if there was a relationship between the emotional intelligence traits and the level of individual task and contextual performance. Moreover the research studied the role individual and organisational factors played in managers’ emotional intelligence and performance. Additionally it identified the present dominant and the preferred organisational culture of Hungarian hotels as perceived by functional managers. The thesis followed a positivist research philosophy and focused on the deductive approach. Meanwhile it aimed to adopt methodological triangulation by applying both quantitative and qualitative research techniques. A questionnaire was developed to test the proposed hypotheses allowing for multiple regression and correlation analysis. On the one hand an internationally applied reliable and valid trait emotional intelligence questionnaire was adopted and validated
in Hungarian. On the other hand, an individual performance measurement scale was developed based on previous research outcomes and case studies via interviews with hotel managers.
Principle component analysis was applied to identify task and contextual performance items. Present and preferred organisational culture was explored taking individual and organisational variables into consideration as control variables. Hierarchical multiple regression analysis was
conducted to perceive which independent variables had a higher influence on the dependent variable. A strong positive relationship was found between hotel functional managers’ trait emotional intelligence and their global performance. The relationship was medium and strong even at factorial level. ‘Hierarchical culture’ was identified as the present dominant hotel culture, and ‘clan’ as the most preferred. Furthermore the hierarchy culture indicated a strong negative
correlation with performance, especially within contextual performance. Considering gender female functional managers’ emotionality was found to be higher than their male colleagues’ while male functional managers’ self-control differed significantly from their female colleagues’. It was managers’ tenure rather than age that had significant influence on emotional intelligence and performance. Functional managers with higher optimism and social awareness levels were found to complete their task performance better, while those with high empathy, happiness and adaptability were likely to accomplish better contextual performance. Within contextual performance, female managers’ loyalty was found to be significantly higher than their male counterparts. Regardless of gender, functional managers with high optimism, social awareness, and happiness and empathy levels seemed to have been more loyal to their hotels. The development and validation of an individual performance scale is a specific outcome of the research. This attempt was the first to examine separately individual task and contextual
performance in Hungary with a reliable measurement that was developed specifically for hotel functional managers. Furthermore, the introduction of the international emotional intelligence measurement in Hungarian academic life is also a novelty of the thesis. This enables researchers to apply a valid and highly reliable measurement in future research. The results of the combination of three human resources phenomena (emotional intelligence, performance and organisational culture) and the pilot case study will offer real-life implications to hotel management as how to select and train functional managers in the future. As emotional intelligence traits (among them emotionality and self-control as the most significant factors) were identified stronger determiner of performance than age or hotel category, HR managers
should consider these when hiring or training employees. Besides, gender differences should be taken into consideration especially empathy, stress control and loyalty facets. Moreover individual preferred organisational culture and hotel present culture have clashed noticeably.
Those working in clan and adhocracy hotel cultures and prefer to continue so demonstrated higher performance levels, especially on contextual performance. While in hierarchic
organisational cultures hotel managers’ performance showed a negative relationship. This tells owners and general managers that functional managers prefer and do work better in family
atmospheres (clan culture) or creative, innovative and flexible (adhocracy culture) hotels than in more controlled and monitored environments (hierarchy culture).The thesis developed a new performance scale measurement for the hospitality industry. Furthermore, it identified certain emotional intelligence traits that enable high task- and
contextual performance. Triangulation, in the form of the combination of quantitative and qualitative research methods, is one of the strengths of the research. It is the first research of its kind in the Hungarian hospitality industry. The outcomes of the thesis can therefore act as a firm basis for a carefully developed selection, training and performance assessment process for hotels. The question of what makes one person perform higher despite external circumstances and
what makes one stay in an organisation and endure hardship has always intrigued me. Being a frequent guest in hotels, first involuntarily and then purposely, I began to observe how employees behave and affect each other, the business outcomes of these interactions and obviously the behaviour of guests. Knowing that there have only been a few empirical studies carried out investigating soft factors that can influence work outcomes in organisational culture (especially in Hungary) in hospitality, I deliberately decided to take the challenge and focus on these in my research. Furthermore as a lecturer and as one of the founding members of the
Hungarian Association of Hotel and Restaurant Educational Board, I feel responsible for contributing both to the academic and practical knowledge with the results of this research.