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A walk on the dark side

Themes: Organisational behaviour

Professor Martin Kilduff and Dr Jochen MengesResearch into the self-serving benefits of emotional intelligence has revealed a little understood ‘dark side’ that requires greater investigation!

Two Cambridge Judge Business School specialists in organisational behaviour say more research is into emotional intelligence is of high strategic importance. Professor Martin Kilduff, Diageo Professor of Management Studies, and Dr Jochen Menges, Lecturer in Human Resources & Organisations, have explored the ‘dark side’ of the way in which individuals use Emotional Intelligence in organisational settings.

Until now, research has focused on pro-social outcomes overlooking the possibility that individuals with high emotional intelligence may use their skills to advance their own interests at the expense of others.

Among their conclusions: in an organisational setting, those high in emotional intelligence are likely to benefit from several strategic behaviours including disguising and expressing emotions for personal gain and controlling the flow of emotion-laden communication.

“The emotional intelligence community recognises that research into the dark side is of high strategic importance,” says Professor Kilduff.

“The research could extend into how these tactics could be beneficial to organisations. We don’t want leaders to be naive. We want them to be tactically savvy.”