The relationship between emotional intelligence, frontline employee
adaptability, job satisfaction and job performance
, Nandakumar Mekoth
Department of Electricity, Government of Goa, Sankhli, Goa 403404, India
Faculty of Management Studies, Goa University, Taleigao Plateau, 403205, India
Received 21 April 2015
Received in revised form
22 December 2015
Accepted 22 December 2015
Structural equation modeling
Adaptable FLE's are an asset for the organization and customer alike as they are an indispensable part of
service experience. They are subjected to pressures which are not found on any other positions in the
organizations and displaying organizationally desired emotions play an important part in a service en-
counter. Therefore, the present research examines the relationship between emotional intelligence,
frontline employee adaptability and job outcomes (Job Satisfaction and Job Performance). 517 FLE's
working in Power utility in India participated through a cross sectional study. The research found a
positive relationship between emotional intelligence and frontline employee adaptability. Speciﬁcally, all
the dimensions of emotional intelligence positively impacted FLE adaptability. In addition, FLE adapt-
ability is found to positively impact Job outcomes. The results and implications are discussed.
&2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Emotional intelligence (EI) is a signiﬁcant predictor of key or-
ganizational outcomes especially in the times of ‘affective re-
volution’in management studies. Although it is generally accepted
that emotions are an intrinsic part of the workplace, but still job-
related emotions still constitute an under-developed area of study
(Bande et al., 2015). Adaptability of employees is also a key factor
which is known to impact organizational outcomes like Job sa-
tisfaction and Job performance (Cullen et al., 2013). An adaptable
employee is an asset for the organization (Chebat and Kollias,
2000) and customer (Ahearne et al., 2005) because it known to
impact organization performance (Cullen et al., 2013,2014;Nesbit
and Lam, 2014;Pulakos et al., 2000) and customer satisfaction
(Clark, 2000;Keillor et al., 2011). Previous research has developed
and tested the general model of employee adaptability (Char-
bonnier-Voirin and Roussel, 2012;Ployhart and Bliese, 2006;Pu-
lakos et al., 2000;Pulakos et al., 2002). Frontline employees (FLE's)
are critical to organization success (Kafetsios and Zampetakis,
2008) and these employees are subjected to pressures which are
not found in other positions (Kao et al., 2014). Thus, the general
model of employee adaptability cannot be used to explain front-
line employee adaptability. Many researchers have conceptualized
employee adaptability to be multidimensional phenomenon
(Charbonnier-Voirin and Roussel, 2012;Pulakos et al., 2000;Sony
and Nandakumar, 2014). In order to measure FLE adaptability, a
scale is also developed by Sony and Nandakumar (2015). FLE due
to their proximity to customers are often subjected to emotional
distress and previous research has categorized that handling
emotions are critical to their success (Shih-Tse Wang, 2014).
Emotional intelligence has been propounded as a major con-
tributing factor for the performance of employees and it con-
tribute to more positive attitudes, behaviors and outcomes (Go-
leman, 1998;Goleman et al., 2013;Wong and Law, 2002). Studies
have also explored the importance of Emotional intelligence on
the frontline employee performance (Prentice and King, 2011;
Prentice and King, 2013).
Emotional intelligence is conceptualized as a multidimensional
concept (Goleman, 1998;Schutte and Malouff, 1999;Wong and
Law, 2002). FLE adaptability also encompasses several new di-
mensions that have lately attracted research attention. The di-
mensions like Interpersonal, Service offering, Political, Social,
Physical, Group and Organizational adaptability dimensions un-
earthed by Sony and Nandakumar (2014) appear to be important
and worthy of investigation in the context of Emotional in-
telligence. An investigation of these issues is important because
emotional intelligence being a multi-dimensional construct, the
different dimensions may impact FLE adaptability.To the best of
our knowledge previous research has not explored the impact of
the each dimensions of emotional intelligence on the dimensions
of FLE adaptability.
Another potential aspect to consider is most studies on emo-
tional intelligence is conducted on Western, Educated, In-
dustrialized, Rich, and Democratic (WEIRD) societies. Henrich
Contents lists available at ScienceDirect
journal homepage: www.elsevier.com/locate/jretconser
Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services
0969-6989/&2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services 30 (2016) 20–32
et al. (2010) stressed the importance of use of non western sam-
ples especially when the interest of study is of human nature. This
study is conducted in India which is a non western society (Vis-
wanathan et al., 2010). Zeidner et al. (2004) commented that
though there exists a plenty of literature of Emotional intelligence
in workplace environment, however they stressed that the ratio of
hyperbole to hard evidence is high. They also observed that there
was over-reliance in the literature on case studies, expert opinion,
anecdote, and unpublished proprietary surveys. In this study we
seek to extend to address this gap and this study investigates the
impact of Emotional intelligence on frontline employee adapt-
ability and job outcomes in a non western sample through a cross
sectional study in power sector.
2. Background theory
Adaptability is an indistinct construct that is purported to be
pertinent in a range of situations. It can also be viewed from nu-
merous perspectives (Van Dam, 2013). Stokes et al. (2010) ex-
plicated that adaptability in the workplace has been con-
ceptualized and investigated as an outcome, such as task or job
performance, adaptive expertize, as strategy selection or as a
stable individual difference construct etc. They further argue that
while each study adds to our understanding of workplace adapt-
ability in its many different ways thereby clarifying the construct
further. Pulakos et al. (2000) broad deﬁnition of adaptive perfor-
mance was altering behavior to meet the demands of the en-
vironment, event, or new situation. Ployhart and Bliese (2006)
model helped to understand individual differences in the context
of adaptability. They further submitted that the individual differ-
ences contribute to aspects of job performance which can impact
the task, contextual, and counterproductive work behavior. This
theory clariﬁes adaptability as a predictor in terms of dispositions
and various KSAs (knowledge, skills, and abilities). However this
theory does not consider adaptive performance as an outcome or
criterion as it is in the job performance domain. Elucidating
adaptive performance as a criterion is important for and ascer-
taining the usefulness of job performance models which can be
used by practitioners at the forefront of the changing workplace.
Allworth and Hesketh (1999) have recognized that adaptability
is a substantial component of the job performance domain. Ilgen
and Pulakos (1999) stressed that business and military settings
alike also commented on the need for their personnel to be agile
and adaptable. In response, a plethora of research projects have
been directed at identifying predictors of adaptive performance for
training and selection purposes (Ployhart and Bliese, 2006;Pula-
kos and O'LEARY, 2011;Stokes et al., 2010).
2.1. Frontline employee adaptability
FLE's are an integral part of the service experience (Singh,
2000) and play a salient role in the customers' satisfaction and
perceptions of service quality. Service judgments are based pri-
marily, on the specialized skills, techniques, and experiences of the
employee with whom a customer interacts (Paulin et al., 2000).
FLE's are perhaps, the most critical link in the provision of superior
service to customers (Alexandrov et al., 2007). However, they are
caught in the middle between discerning customers' service ex-
cellence demands and management's productivity and perfor-
mance requirements or constraints. Most often, they need to
participate in unscripted and challenging interactions with cus-
tomers (Zablah et al., 2012), thus leading to altering of behaviors in
response to interactions with customers (Hartline and Ferrell,
1996). Different employees respond to such situations differently
(Gwinner et al., 2005;Ployhart and Bliese, 2006). Hence, some
employees may be good at it, and some are not. Thus, adaptability
of FLE's attains a perennial dimension, as usually such behaviors
being purposeful, in role and organizationally desired behaviors.
Pulakos et al. (2000) were the ﬁrst to propose a global model of
adaptive performance. Ultimately, they proposed eight dimensions
of adaptive performance, including: dealing with uncertain or
unpredictable work situations; handling emergencies or crisis si-
tuations; solving problems creatively; handling work stress;
learning new tasks, technologies and procedures; demonstrating
interpersonal adaptability; demonstrating cultural adaptability;
and demonstrating physically oriented adaptability. The ad-
vantages of the model were that it was the ﬁrst time a multi-
dimensional model of adaptive performance was proposed. An
vital reﬂection from their study is that each of the eight dimen-
sions were dependent on the type of job being considered
(Gwinner et al., 2005). Besides, another aspect, to ponder over, was
the disagreement on the number of dimensions. Johnson (2003)
criticized that four out of eight dimensions can be viewed as a
They argued that dealing effectively, with unpredictable and
changing work situations and learning new tasks, technologies,
and procedures uniquely reﬂects adaptive performance, as op-
posed to task performance or citizenship behaviors. This model
was more parsimonious and predicted adaptive performance.
However, when Pulakos et al. (2002) asked supervisors to rate
employee's adaptive performance using similar items, they found
that a single factor best ﬁt the data (see also Shoss et al. (2012)).
Subsequently, researchers have conceptualized adaptive perfor-
mance as a one-dimensional construct, but one that encompasses
adaptation to changes occurring at the task, team, and organiza-
tional levels (Grifﬁn et al., 2007;Grifﬁn et al., 2010). Studies by
Charbonnier-Voirin and Roussel (2012) viewed employee adapt-
ability as a multidimensional construct with ﬁve dimensions and
found in a non military setting there were signiﬁcant differences
in the dimensions proposed by Pulakos et al. (2000) and Pulakos
et al. (2002).
Charbonnier-Voirin and Roussel (2012) developed a ﬁve di-
mensional adaptability performance scale, however there is dis-
agreement on number of dimensions proposed by Pulakos et al.
(2000). Moreover, the research was not conducted among the
FLE's and hence cannot be used in this research. Recent research
has suggested that the dimensions of adaptability in power sector
are different as compared to other service sectors. FLE's are dis-
tinct from other employees. The three distinctive functions re-
ported by previous researches are ﬁrst, FLE's disseminate in-
formation coming from the external environment back to the or-
ganization (Rafaeli et al., 2008). Second, they represent the face of
the organization to the customer (Karatepe and Kilic, 2007). Lastly,
they must display organizationally desired behaviors during in-
teractions with customers (Arnold and Barling, 2003) even if these
behaviors are not a reﬂective of their true feelings (Adelmann,
Besides it is also prudent to consider the context speciﬁc nature
prevailing in a developing country power sector, in addition to
these three factors. Frontline employee being the interface, be-
tween the customer and the organization, has to bear the brunt of
the customer and other stake holders, due to the inherent inability
of the power sector to meet needs of the customers. Power, being
an essential service, it caters the basic needs of customers, hence,
there is a narrow zone of tolerance for the customers as the ex-
pectation of desired service is high (Michael and Mariappan, 2011).
FLE's plays an important role being the ﬁrst interface between the
Power utility and customers. Hence the FLE's in addition to actu-
ally offering the technical service like attending complaints etc,
the FLE has to exhibit an in role, organizationally desired beha-
vioral requirement, wherein they need to change their behavior in
M. Sony, N. Mekoth / Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services 30 (2016) 20–32 21
response of customer outrage or dissatisfaction, political inter-
ference, capacity constraints etc. Power utilities in India are a
subject to ridicule by the politicians and general public alike due to
shortage of power, load shedding, brown outs, blackout, political
interference, inefﬁciency etc. (Min, 2011).
There are reports of customers and other stake holders like
politicians etc verbally and physically abusing the FLE's (Petty
et al., 1984;PTI, 2012,2013;Sprung et al., 2012). Under such cir-
cumstances the previous research model of employee adaptability
needs further conﬁrmation and research, in order, to conﬁrm its
applicability in assessing adaptability of frontline service em-
ployees, in power sector and previous research of employee
adaptability cannot be generalized for power sector. Recent re-
searches (Sony and Nandakumar, 2014) have testiﬁed the above
proposition using grounded theory and the seven dimensions for
frontline employee adaptability were unearthed as explicated in
Table 1. They deﬁne FLE adaptability as “the frontline employee
(rater) exhibiting interpersonal, service offering, political, social,phy-
sical, group and organizational adaptive behavior(attributes) as per
the demands or requirement of stake holders, environment, event or a
new situation(focal object)”. The research was furthered recently
and a 41 item scale is developed to measure FLE adaptability using
the proposed dimensions.
2.2. Emotional intelligence
Scholars tend to view emotional intelligence as a factor which
has a potential to contribute to more positive attitudes, behaviors
and outcomes. Schutte et al. (2002) remarked that emotional in-
telligence can be conceptualized as either competency or ability
(Ciarrochi et al., 2000;Mayer et al., 1999) or a personality trait
(Schutte and Malouff, 1999;Schutte et al., 1998). The present re-
search view emotional intelligence as a competency that is ex-
pected to augment positive attitudes toward work, and drive po-
sitive behaviors and better outcomes. Emotional intelligence is a
subset of social intelligence, which includes ability to monitor
one's own and others' feelings and emotions, to differentiate
among them and to use this information to steer one's thinking
and actions (Salovey and Mayer, 1989). Mayer et al. (1999) sub-
sequently, conceptualized emotional intelligence as the ability to
perceive emotions, to access and generate emotions so as to aid
thoughts, to understand emotions and emotional knowledge, and
to reactively regulate emotions so as to promote emotional and
intellectual growth. Wong and Law (2002) and Mayer et al. (1999)
deﬁned EI as a set of interrelated skills concerning “the ability to
perceive accurately, appraise, and express emotion; the ability to
access and/or generate feelings when they facilitate thought; the
ability to understand emotion and emotional knowledge; and the
ability to regulate emotions to promote emotional and intellectual
growth”.Salovey and Mayer (1989),Mayer et al. (1999) and Wong
and Law (2002) conceptualized EI as composed of four distinct
dimensions and deﬁnition is given in Table 2.
Adaptive employees are also identiﬁed as having the ability to
combine cognitive and affective skills to promote learning, curi-
osity, self-conﬁdence, and coping abilities in approaching new
tasks (Hesketh and Neal, 1999;Savickas et al., 2005). Goleman
(1998) explained emotional intelligence, can lead to more adaptive
and productive behavior in the workplace. They further suggest
the importance of emotional competency for higher and lower
management levels as such in the adaptability spectrum of
frontline employees; the emotional intelligence might play a vital
role in adaptability. Huy (1999) contended that the present the-
ories of individual and organizational change have focused mostly
on cognitive processes, at the expense of social and emotional
bases of change. At the individual level, emotional intelligence is
deﬁned as “the subset of social intelligence that involves the
ability to monitor one's own and others' feelings and emotions, to
discriminate among them and to use this information to guide
one's thinking and actions”(Mayer and Salovey, 1995), to put it
simply is how we handle ourselves and others.
Although emotional intelligence is considered innate, emo-
tional competencies can be developed with motivation, practice,
feedback, and support. They enhance the potential emotional in-
telligence of a given individual. Goleman (1998) deﬁned emotional
Seven dimensions for frontline employee adaptability.
Dimension Deﬁnition Authors
Deﬁned as the verbal, non verbal and emotional adaptive behavior ex-
hibited by the FLE, as per the requirement of the customer or situation
through interpersonal communication
Gwinner et al. (2005),Pulakos et al. (2000),Sony and Nanda-
kumar (2014),Sony and Nandakumar (2015) and Zablah et al.
Deﬁned as the ability to produce the desired service. It include Professional
Adaptability, skill variety Adaptability,creative problem solving Adapt-
ability and dealing with uncertain and unpredictable situations adapt-
ability to manufacture the service
Gwinner et al. (2005),Hartline and Ferrell (1996),Sony and
Nandakumar (2014) and Sony and Nandakumar (2015)
Political adaptability Deﬁned as the ability to adapt to the legitimate / illegitimate demands of
ruling or opposition political parties of the area where FLE is working. It
includes adapting to the ruling party representatives and adapting to the
opposition party representatives as most of the times their demand are
Brass (1984),Brass (1994),Min (2011),Petty et al. (1984),Sony
and Nandakumar (2014) and Sony and Nandakumar (2015)
Social aspects of
Deﬁned as an FLE consciousness or competency to adapt to the society. It
includes adapting to local culture, language and social consciousness. So-
cial aspect of adaptability is a set of formal/ informal values and norms and
subjectively-felt obligations that FLE perceive about the society, which are
instrumental in shaping the FLE adaptability in the organization.
Michael and Mariappan, (2012),Min (2011),Sony and Mekoth
(2012),Sony and Nandakumar(2014) and Sony and Nandakumar
Physical aspect of
FLE exhibits competency of adapting to the physical factors of the Job. FLE
adapting to physical requirement of Job like working in physically in
convenient working conditions like heat, noise, inclement of the weather,
dangerous working condition as dealing with electricity, working at long
hours, Odd days, standing for a long time or a carrying weight etc
Pulakos et al. (2000),Sony and Nandakumar (2014) and Sony
and Nandakumar (2015)
Group adaptability FLE adapting to groups within the organization and external to
Andrews (1995),Campion et al. (1993),Michael and Mariappan
(2012),Sony and Nandakumar(2014) and Sony and Nandakumar
FLE exhibiting competency to adapt to organizational culture, rules, po-
licies used in the organization
Arnold et al. (2012),Hesketh and Neal (1999),Hollenbeck et al.
(1996),Sony and Nandakumar (2014) and Sony and Nandaku-
M. Sony, N. Mekoth / Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services 30 (2016) 20–3222
competence as “a learned capability based on emotional in-
telligence that results in outstanding performance at work”. There
is growing evidence that emotional competence is learnable and
can be grown for employees
2.3. Research question and hypothesis
Emotional intelligence is seen in literatures as a factor which
has a potential to contribute to more positive attitudes, behaviors
and outcomes. Frontline employee adaptability is a competency
that frontline employee exhibits while adapting along various di-
mensions, as per the demands or requirement of stake holders,
environment, event or a new situation. Emotional intelligence may
help an employee to adapt along the various dimensions. Recent
research by has shown that emotional intelligence can positively
impact career adaptability like career concern, career control, ca-
reer conﬁdence and career curiosity (Coetzee and Harry, 2014).
Frontline employee adaptability is different from career adapt-
ability in terms of dimensions, deﬁnitions etc. However being a
vocation behavior it strengthen the conviction that Emotional in-
telligence may impact frontline employee adaptability. Hence we
put forth the research question what is the relationship between
emotional intelligence, frontline employee adaptability and job
outcomes? This study will speciﬁcally extend the literature by
clarifying the hypothesized relationship. Further emotional in-
telligence being a multidimensional concept this study will also
clarify, which dimensions of emotional intelligence will impact the
frontline employee adaptability. The study will further clarify the
moderating impact of work experience on the impact of emotional
intelligence and frontline employee adaptability. An additional
contribution of the study would be to clarify the relationship be-
tween frontline employee adaptability and job satisfaction and job
Among the FLE's due to the close nature of interactions with
constituents external to the organization, emotions can make or
break a situation. Under such conditions it may help an FLE who is
emotionally competent to exhibit behaviors which are desired by
other stakeholders. Self emotional appraisal relates to the in-
dividual's ability to understand their deep emotions and be able to
express these emotions naturally. FLE who have great ability in
this area will sense and acknowledge their emotions well before
most people and hence FLE adaptability being a Meta competency
this dimension is contemplated to positively impact FLE adapt-
ability, hence it is proposed as
Hypothesis H1. Self emotional appraisal will have a positive effect
on FLE Adaptability.
Others' emotional appraisal relates to peoples' ability to per-
ceive and understand the emotions of those people around them.
FLE who are high in this ability will be much more sensitive to the
feelings and emotions of others as well as reading their minds
which in turn may help to adapt and hence it is proposed that
Hypothesis H2. Others' emotional appraisal will have a positive
effect on FLE Adaptability.
Regulation of emotion relates to the ability of people to reg-
ulate their emotions, which will enable a more rapid recovery
from psychological distress. An FLE who can regulate the emotions
may inﬂuence FLE adaptability.
Hypothesis H3. Regulation of emotion will have a positive effect
on FLE Adaptability.
Use of emotions relates to the ability of FLE to make use of their
emotions by directing them towards constructive activities and
personal performance. An FLE who can use emotions to actuate
performance may inﬂuence FLE Adaptability.
Hypothesis H4. Use of emotion will have a positive effect on FLE
2.4. Job outcomes
The two job outcomes studied in this study is (1) job satisfac-
tion and (2) job performance. Job satisfaction is studied as it re-
ﬂects the feelings of employees towards the Job. Emotionally in-
telligent frontline employee will have a different feeling towards
the Job compared to the others. Same would be the case with
adaptable employee. Similarly emotionally intelligent employee
may perform differently than others and also an adaptable em-
ployee will perform better than non adaptable employee. With
this premise in mind the job satisfaction and Job Performance is
Operational deﬁnition and measures of research variables.
Variable Operational deﬁnition of construct No of items (Scale
Emotional intelligence The ability to perceive accurately, appraise, and express emotion; the ability to
access and/or generate feelings when they facilitate thought; the ability to un-
derstand emotion and emotional knowledge; and the ability to regulate emo-
tions to promote emotional and intellectual growth
Wong and Law (2002)
Self emotional appraisal: This relates to the individual's ability to understand
their deep emotions and be able to express these emotions naturally.
Others’emotional appraisal: This relates to peoples’ability to perceive and
understand the emotions of those people around them.
Regulation of emotion: This relates to the ability of people to regulate their
emotions, which will enable a more rapid recovery from psychological distress.
Use of emotion: This relates to the ability of individuals to make use of their
emotions by directing them towards constructive activities and personal
Job satisfaction collection of feelings that an individual holds towards his or her job 5 (Cronbach alpha¼0.77) Adams et al. (1995)
Job performance Employee Job performance, in general, refers to behaviors that are relevant to
organizational goals and that are under the control of individual employees
Babin and Boles (1996) and El-
linger et al. (2008)
FLE adaptability Frontline employee adaptability is deﬁned as the frontline employee (rater)
exhibiting interpersonal, service offering, political, social,physical, group and
organizational adaptive behavior (attributes) as per the demands or requirement
of stake holders, environment, event or a new situation(focal object)
Sony and Nandakumar (2015)
M. Sony, N. Mekoth / Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services 30 (2016) 20–32 23
2.4.1. Job satisfaction
Robbins (2005),deﬁned job satisfaction as a collection of feel-
ings that an individual holds towards his or her job. Job satisfac-
tion has been observed to affect levels of job dissatisfaction, ab-
senteeism, grievance expression, tardiness, low morale, high
turnover, quality improvement and participation in decision-
making. Locke (1976) deﬁned job satisfaction as “a pleasurable or
positive emotional state resulting from the appraisal of one's job
or job experiences.”An adaptable FLE would be exhibiting beha-
viors as per the requirement of various stake holders leading to an
internal appraisal state for the employee about his/her perfor-
mance. If the employee is able to exhibit behaviors which beneﬁt
the stakeholders, then this will deﬁnitely impact his internal ap-
praisal system, which in turn will result in a pleasurable or posi-
tive emotional state. Therefore it is an important step to con-
jecture, whether FLE adaptability would constitute job satisfaction.
Thus it is hypothesized that
Hypothesis H5. FLE Adaptability is positively related Job
2.4.2. Job performance
Employee Job performance, in general, refers to behaviors that
are relevant to organizational goals and that are under the control
of individual employees (Babin and Boles, 1996;Ellinger et al.,
2008). Murphy (1989),deﬁnes job performance as a function of
the individual's performance of speciﬁc tasks that comprise stan-
dard job descriptions, and declares that it is also affected by
variables such as maintaining good interpersonal relations, ab-
senteeism, and withdrawal behaviors, substance abuse and other
behaviors that increase hazards at the workplace. Befort and
Hattrup (2003), indicate that the essence of job performance relies
on the demands of the job, the goals and the mission of the or-
ganization and the beliefs of the organization about which beha-
vior are mostly valued and hence hypothesized that FLE adapt-
ability is related to Job performance, hence it is hypothesized that:
Hypothesis H6. FLE Adaptability is positively related Job
3. Research design
3.1. Operational deﬁnition of variables
The operational deﬁnition of the variables along with its
sources and operational deﬁnitions used in this research is ex-
plicated in the Table 2.
3.2. Sample and data collection
The researcher used purposive sampling, also called as judg-
mental or selective sampling, in which the population elements
are selected based on the judgment of the researcher.
In this study the researcher is interested to study the adapt-
ability among frontline employee in power sector. Robertson
(1995) deﬁnition of Frontline employee is one who engages in job-
related interactions with a person who is considered part of the
environment and who is not a member of the organization was
used. The researcher chose FLE's (Station Operators, Billing Clerk,
Junior and Assistant Engineers) who were willing to put in their
effort and time for this study and they were working in power
utility in western India after securing permission from the em-
ployers. Data collection was done by using a questionnaire, which
was personally handed over to the employees, after explaining the
rationale for the survey and emphasizing the importance of their
contribution to this study. The questionnaire was distributed to
around 711 employees, (Hair and Black, 2006) suggests a sample
size of 500 for a study with more than seven dimensions while
using structural equation modeling. The completed questionnaires
were collected personally by the researcher and three of his
friends who volunteered for data collection to ensure high return
rate. Out of this 531 returned the study, 14 questionnaires were
incomplete with more than 10% and were discarded, a total of 517
usable questionnaires was available with a response rate of around
72%. To know whether the effect of response bias is signiﬁcant
between those who responded early, with those who responded
late, this study performed both chi-square tests and ttests. The
null hypothesis of this analysis is that an early respondent has the
same characteristics as a late respondent. The observed signiﬁcant
level p for all variables is much higher than 0.05 suggesting no
response bias between those who responded early and those re-
sponded late and sample characteristics are given in Table 3.
4. Data analysis
4.1. Reliability analysis
From Table 4 this it is evident that all constructs have Cron-
of 0.7 and above, which is a substantiation of high re-
liability (Nunnally, 1978).
Sample size 517 Percentage
Male 399 77%
Female 118 24%
Age in years
Mean 35.1 years
Range 24–52 years
Level of Education
12th 119 23%
ITI 124 24%
Diploma 186 36%
Graduation 88 17%
Station Operator 160 31%
Billing Clerk 134 26%
Junior Engineer 150 29%
Assistant Engineer 73 14%
Number of customer handled in a day
Experience in years
Mean 8 years
Range 5–26 years
ITI –Industrial Training institutes technical qualiﬁcation, Diploma –Diploma in
Engineering or technology.
12th –12 years of education.
Cronbach αand average loadings.
Construct Cronbach αAverage Loading
Emotional intelligence 0.76 0.78
FLE adaptability 0.79 0.82
Job satisfaction 0.76 0.72
Job performance 0.77 0.74
Average loading is average factor loading of each construct.
M. Sony, N. Mekoth / Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services 30 (2016) 20–3224
4.2. Validity analysis
4.2.1. Convergent validity
The items that are indicator of a speciﬁc construct should
converge or share a high proportion of variance in common. Evi-
dence of convergent validity is provided by all factor loadings
being statistically signiﬁcant (Anderson and Gerbing, 1988) and
the average factor loadings are of each factor is greater than
Fig. 1. Second order CFA of FLE adaptability.
M. Sony, N. Mekoth / Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services 30 (2016) 20–32 25
0.7 suggesting high loading. The variance extracted is also greater
than 0.5 (Hair, 2009) indicating good convergence. The construct
reliability was computed for all constructs is greater than 0.7 thus
supporting the convergent validity.
4.2.2. Discriminant validity
To check for discriminant validity the correlation square of all
dimensions was compared with the Average Variance Extracted
for each construct. The variance extracted percentages was greater
than hence discriminant validity of each construct. To check for
discriminant validity amoung constructs the variance extracted
percentages for any two construct was compared with the
correlation estimate between these two constructs. It was also
found that variance extracted was greater than the correlation
estimate suggesting discriminant validity.
4.3. Social desirability bias
To test whether socially desirable response (SDR) bias had af-
fected the subject response, a six item measure of the Marlowe–
Crowne scale developed by (Donavan et al., 2004) was adminis-
tered to all respondents as being a self reported survey, and there
is potential for socially desired responding, perhaps to overstate
their own capabilities and performance (Mabe and West, 1982).
Loadings of second order factor analysis of FLEADAPT scale.
First order dimension/items Latent variable Std Estt Pvalue Rsq
0.83 0.001 0.69
o–FLEADAPT 0.79 0.001 0.62
o–FLEADAPT 0.85 0.001 0.72
o–FLEADAPT 0.83 0.001 0.69
o–FLEADAPT 0.81 0.001 0.66
o–FLEADAPT 0.80 0.001 0.64
o–FLEADAPT 0.86 0.001 0.74
SO6 I use a various tactics to satisfy customer in uncertain situations. o–Seroffadapt 0.90 0.001 0.81
SO9 I can easily suggest a lot of solutions to meet each customer's needs. o–Seroffadapt 0.88 0.001 0.77
SO7 I can easily reorganize my work to deal with uncertain situations. o–Seroffadapt 0.87 0.001 0.75
SO5 I try to manage actions during uncertain work situations. o–Seroffadapt 0.86 0.001 0.73
SO1 I can use my skills to vary service as per customer needs. o–Seroffadapt 0.84 0.001 0.71
SO3: It is better to be multiskilled to satisfy a customer o–Seroffadapt 0.82 0.001 0.67
SO8 I try to convert new ideas into practical solutions for customers needs. o–Seroffadapt 0.82 0.001 0.68
SO2 I can use my skills in different social or cultural setting to satisfy customers. o–Seroffadapt 0.82 0.001 0.67
SO4 I use wide range of skills to modify the service to meet customer needs. o–Seroffadapt 0.81 0.001 0.66
IA2 I try to talk differently with different customers. o–Interperadapt 0.90 0.001 0.81
IA4 At times I show negative emotions while dealing with customers. o–Interperadapt 0.89 0.001 0.79
IA5 I feel exhausted to tell the same things to different customers. o–Interperadapt 0.86 0.001 0.74
IA7 I present myself in a way that makes good impression to satisfy customers. o–Interperadapt 0.85 0.001 0.72
IA3 I can change my communication to handle situations. o–Interperadapt 0.83 0.001 0.69
IA6 I try to help customers feel better when they are showing negative emotions o–Interperadapt 0.78 0.001 0.61
IA8 I adjust my tone of voice depending on the customers I am serving. o–Interperadapt 0.75 0.001 0.56
IA1 I try to change my talk as per customer needs. o–Interperadapt 0.66 0.001 0.43
GR3 Good relations with group members will not help me to serve customers. o–groupadapt 0.90 0.001 0.82
GR5 I set aside individual differences to adapt well with people from other organizations o–groupadapt 0.90 0.001 0.82
GR4 While working it is difﬁcult to adjust with people outside my organization. o–groupadapt 0.89 0.001 0.80
GR2 I think in terms of other group member's point of view in order to act as a team. o–groupadapt 0.87 0.0 01 0.76
GR1 I easily adjust my behavior towards group members from my organization o–groupadapt 0.86 0.001 0.73
SA5 I offer to work for extra hours during major social events o–Sociadapt 0.89 0.0 01 0.79
SA4 It is important for me to contribute to society. o–Sociadapt 0.89 0.001 0.80
SA2 It is a waste of time to learn local language to satisfy customers. o–Sociadapt 0.89 0.001 0.78
SA3 I try to be aware of the major events in the locality to serve customers better. o–Sociadapt 0.85 0.001 0.73
SA1 I try to learn about the society to understand my customers. o–Sociadapt 0.85 0.001 0.72
PO5 I can manage conﬂicting demands of ruling and opposition party. o–poladapt 0.89 0.001 0.79
PO2 I use a variety of tactics to deal with the demands of political parties. o–poladapt 0.88 0.001 0.77
PO3 I look for range of solutions for illegal demands of political parties. o–poladapt 0.86 0.001 0.74
PO4 It is better to please the inﬂuential party than the weaker party o–poladapt 0.85 0.001 0.73
PO1 I set aside my political orientation while dealing with politicians. o–poladapt 0.72 0.001 0.51
PH2 I adjust to the physical requirements of work like standing for a long time or carrying weight o–phyadapt 0.89 0.001 0.79
PH4 Even with all safety measures,I ﬁnd it difﬁcult to work in physically unsafe situations. o–phyadapt 0.86 0.001 0.75
PH1 I can only work efﬁciently in comfortable environment. o–phyadapt 0.82 0.001 0.66
PH5 I can sometimes skip physical needs (skip meals etc) to handle situation. o–phyadapt 0.80 0.001 0.65
PH3 I can go to my physical extremes to accomplish a task. o–phydapt 0.80 0.001 0.64
OR3 I can easily adapt to changing rules and regulation of my organization o–Orgadapt 0.89 0.001 0.79
OR4 I am comfortable working according to the procedures of my organization. o–Orgadapt 0.87 0.001 0.75
OR2 I can easily adjust with the culture of my organization. o–Orgadapt 0.84 0.001 0.70
OR1 I adjust my values and goals to the values and goals of my organization. o–Orgadapt 0. 75 0.001 0.56
pValues associated with the cross-loadings lower than 0.05; and that the loadings are equal to or greater than 0.5
Service offering adaptability.
Frontline employee adaptability.
M. Sony, N. Mekoth / Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services 30 (2016) 20–3226
The result, using data from this survey, indicated a non-signiﬁcant
correlation between SDR bias and all the constructs in the study
easing concerns about this issue.
4.4. Common method bias
When self-report questionnaires are used to collect data at the
same time from the same participants, common method variance
(CMV) may be a concern. This concern is strongest when both the
dependent and focal explanatory variables are perceptual mea-
sures derived from the same respondent (Podsakoff and Organ,
1986). In this research we asked only bare minimum personal
details e.g. no name is asked, in addition we categorically invoke
the doctrine of privilege communication where in the researcher is
duty bound to protect the data of the respondents, In order to
account for acquiesce responding the scale contains positive and
negative worded statements. To test for common method bias, the
researcher employed the “unmeasured latent factor method”
suggested by Hammer et al. (2013) and Podsakoff et al. (2003) to
extract the common variance. The difference in standardized
loading with or without latent factor was less than 0.2 and also
common variance extracted less than 15% suggestion no common
method bias (Chin et al., 2012).
4.5. Second-order conﬁrmatory factor analysis –FLE adaptability
The seven dimensions of Interpersonal, service offering, poli-
tical, group, physical, social and organizational adaptability belong
to the construct FLE adaptability and hence the higher order factor
can be hypothesized to account for relations in lower order factors.
The purpose of the second-order conﬁrmatory factor analysis is to
facilitate testing the hypothesis. As shown in Fig. 1, all the ﬁrst-
order seven factors load very well onto the second-order FLEA-
DAPT construct. The regression weights are very close and range
from 0.77 to 0.89, with all critical ratios above 1.96. The model ﬁt
indices for ﬁrst order CFA was:
GFI¼0.883, RMSEA¼0.63, PCLOSE ¼0.025, CFI ¼0.912, RMR¼
0.136 The model ﬁt indices show similar results as the ﬁrst-order
conﬁrmatory factor analysis:
GFI¼0.892, RMSEA¼0.61, PCLOSE¼0.022, PGFI ¼0.686, NFI ¼
0.847, CFI¼0.920, RMR ¼0.156, The slight difference in the ﬁrst-
order and second-order estimations occurs due to the emergence
of slightly different degrees of freedom between executing the
ﬁrst-order and second-order measurement models. The above
statistics show that all the 41 items converge into a single FLE
adaptability construct. The 41 items are partitioned into seven
component factors: interpersonal adaptability, service offering
adaptability, political adaptability, social adaptability, physical
adaptability, group adaptability and organizational adaptability.
Each of the 41 items is loaded onto only one of these seven
factors, without any cross loading. The loadings are expounded in
4.6. Nested models
The above second order CFA of FLE adaptability model was
tested against other competing models. Attempts were made to
incorporate one general factor plus a number of component fac-
tors. All the model ﬁt indices of the model i.e. one general factor
plus seven component factor show improvement from those of
other models thus demonstrating a best ﬁt compared to other
4.7. Overall measurement model
The ﬁt statistics of overall measurement model are (
df¼2183, po.0001) C
/df¼2.93, the, GFI¼0.91, CFI (0.92), NNFI
(0.916), RMSEA 0.0672, SRMR ¼0.047, provided evidence of ac-
ceptable ﬁt. Additionally, all items loaded signiﬁcantly on their
respective constructs. As the overall conceptual model was com-
plex a multiple method for model building as was used. The ﬁrst
the model was build using the graphical user interface. The pur-
pose of graphical user interface as suggested by Galitz (2007),isto
enable ease in model building without resorting to complex pro-
gramming, as the tools for model building is readily available.
However, when the complexity of the model increases, the GUI
(graphical user interface) loses its advantage. In other words, such
a philosophy is justiﬁable when models are simple; however,
when models are complex, programming method or script based
model building is advantageous (Galitz, 2007). Hence, a visual
basic script was written for this model. Both the model i.e. using
graphical user interface and visual basic script yielded similar ﬁt
statistics thus conﬁrming the model validity.
4.8. Structural model
After establishing that the measurement model has sufﬁcient
levels of validity and reliability, the study proceeded to assess the
hypothesized structural model. Since multicollinearity poses pro-
blems when testing theory using structural equation modeling
(Jagpal, 1982), VIF was found to be less than 8 suggestion no issues.
As regards to normality, using Amos one can directly assess the
multivariate normality. The value of kurtosis statistic was found to
be less than the critical ratio (CR) of this statistic i.e. less than 8.00,
suggesting no multivariate normality issues (Kline, 2011). As the
model under consideration is a complex model, modeling the
structural model with measurement model would make the
model complex. Hence due to the complexity of the hypothesized
model, as recommended by (Goudarzi et al., 2011), the analysis
continued by converting the multi-item measures to a single-item
measures, using data imputation feature with regression imputa-
tion of AMOS 18.0 (Arbuckle, 2009).This imputation of the data of
measurement model is done to make a manageable model. Loehlin
(2013) explicates the strategy to form composite variable of all
indicators of each factor and use that as a single indicator of the
latent variable, with its path ﬁxed to the square root of internal
consistency reliability (for a standardized variable) and its error
ﬁxed to residual variance. The merit of this strategy is that the
investigation of the structural model is quicker, cheaper and
cleaner because of the smaller matrix and the elimination of dis-
tractions from the measurement model (p.198). Gaskin (2012)
provides guidelines that to create composite variables from latent
factors. The ﬁt statistics of the model is given as below. The ﬁt
statistics is elucidated in Table 6.
The standard CFA model assumes relationships between each
pair of constructs. Only a saturated structural model would make
this assumption. So SEM structural models attempt to explain inter
construct relationship more precisely than does CFA. A structural
model demonstrating an insigniﬁcant Cmin/df value with its CFA
model is strongly suggestive of adequate structural ﬁt.. The Cmin
/df for structural 2.96 and measurement model is 2.93. GFI, CFI,
RMSEA, SRMR of measurement model is 0.92, 0.931, 0.0612,
Fit statistics of structural model.
CMIN/DF GFI CFI SRMR RMSEA PCLOSE
2.96 0.928 0.939 0.0424 0.0596 0.14
M. Sony, N. Mekoth / Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services 30 (2016) 20–32 27
0.043and whereas for structural model is the, GFI ¼0.928
CFI¼.939, RMSEA¼0.0596, SRMR ¼0.0424. For practical purposes
considering the complexity of the model these minor differences
are insigniﬁcant and the structural model suggests adequate ﬁt.
The model was checked for residuals. The residuals were found to
be less than the absolute value of |4|.
4.9. Path analysis results
Path analysis was performed to test the theoretical model. All
analyses were conducted using the AMOS 18.0. These analyses
used the maximum likelihood method of parameter estimation,
and all analyses were performed. The hypothesized model was
assessed by examining the p-values of the paths and their stan-
dardized regression weights. The signiﬁcant paths had small to
moderately strong size standardized regression weights. The hy-
pothesis H1 to H6 was tested based on the path model. The
structural model is given in Fig. 2 and the results of hypothesis
testing are summarized in Table 7.
4.10. Moderating effect of work experience of frontline employees
Various researchers have advocated the role of work experi-
ence on the impact of emotional intelligence (Ealias and George,
2012;Hur et al., 2014). We used multi-group analysis within AMOS
to assess the moderating effect of number of years of work ex-
perience on the structural model. Before conducting the analysis,
however, we created two separate samples: a relatively “high”
(N¼221) and “low”(N¼296) based on the number of years of
experience of FLE. It was done on the sample based on median
splitting of the data according to number of years of experience of
FLE as a moderating variable. Results of the multi-group analysis
are shown in Table 8. The results suggest difference in relationship
between low and high experienced FLE.
We found that experience of FLE has a moderating effect on the
relationship between EI and frontline employee adaptability. To be
speciﬁc, The impact of self emotion appraisal on FLE adaptability
was greater for high experience group (
¼0.28,po0.05) than for
low experience group (
¼0.15, po0.05). Similarly the impact of
others emotion appraisal on FLE adaptability was greater for high
experience group (
¼0.46, po0.05) than for low experience
4.11. Testing for mediation
4.11.1. Partially mediating model (theoretical model)
This model examines the impact of emotional intelligence on
FLE adaptability and job outcomes i.e. job satisfaction and job
performance and explores the direct inﬂuence of FLE adaptability
on job outcomes.
4.11.2. Direct model
This model examines the direct impact of Emotional
Fig. 2. Path diagram of structural model.
Summary of hypothesis testing.
0.28 8.32 0.001 H1 Supported
0.46 12.36 0.001 H2 Supported
0.31 15.3 0.001 H3 Supported
0.19 4.31 0.001 H4 Supported
o–Adap 0.52 20.36 0.001 H5 Supported
0.62 28.54 0.001 H6 Supported
Signiﬁcant at 5% level.
Self emotional appraisal.
Others emotion appraisal.
Regulation of emotion.
Use of emotion adapt.
M. Sony, N. Mekoth / Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services 30 (2016) 20–3228
intelligence and FLE adaptability on job outcomes.
4.11.3. Completely mediating model
This model assumes that the FLE adaptability is the mediating
variable between emotional intelligence and job outcomes.
The ﬁt statistics of all three models are elucidated in Table 9
and completely mediating model is best ﬁt. The multigroup ana-
lysis was carried out for experience of FLE's and for both groups
(low and high experience) FLE adaptability fully mediates the re-
lationship between EI and Job outcomes (job satisfaction and job
5. Discussions and implications
The present study extends an emerging body of research on
affectivity in the workplace by testing for links between emo-
tionality (EI), FLE adaptability and job outcomes. The results un-
derline the important role of FLE adaptability at work in this re-
lationship. This study found a positive relationship between
emotional Intelligence and FLE adaptability. The hypothesis H1
found a positive relationship between self emotional appraisal and
FLE adaptability. After seven studies on emotional intelligence,
Nicola S Schutte et al. (2001) concluded, that, strong positive re-
lations between emotional intelligence and interpersonal rela-
tions. This study extends the research trend by concluding that FLE
who are high on self appraisal dimension of EI will have positive
impact on adaptability. Self emotional appraisal relates to the in-
dividual's ability to understand their deep emotions and be able to
express these emotions naturally. Hence the FLE who have great
ability to understand his/her deep emotions and be able to express
emotions will naturally sense and acknowledge their emotions
well before most people. A possible explanation offered for such
relation is offered by Gallese et al. (2007) in their seminal paper on
mirror neurons. Self emotion appraisal may trigger the mirror
neurons and the neuron “mirrors”the behavior of the other, as
though the observer was himself acting. Clark et al. (2012) spec-
ulates that mirror neurons contribute to language abilities and
Pettijohn et al. (2011) have argued that mirror neuron systems in
the human brain help us understand the actions and intentions of
other people leading to better interpersonal relations.
The hypothesis H2 found a positive relationship between oth-
ers emotional appraisal and FLE adaptability. Others’emotional
appraisal relates to peoples’ability to perceive and understand the
emotions of those people around them. FLE who are high in this
ability will be much more sensitive to the feelings and emotions of
others as well as reading their minds. This research supports
others emotional appraisal is found to be positively related to FLE
adaptability. Researchers recognize the inseparability of commu-
nications and emotions. The link between cognition, emotion and
communication has been the interest of many researchers (Gou-
darzi et al., 2011). Research also suggest that emotions result from
appraisal of events, situations etc. (Vargo and Lusch, 2004) and
therefore by understanding others emotions a link between cog-
nition, emotion and communication is set through.
This research delineates an important quality in employees that
cognition of others emotion appraisal suggests a positive re-
lationship with FLE adaptability, thus rightly suggesting the im-
portance of understanding others emotions to enable to adapt to
the verbal, non verbal aspect of adaptability. FLE adaptability en-
compasses exhibition of multi skills to manufacture a service. It
includes skills like handling uncertain or unpredictable or emer-
gency situation etc. Vargo and Lusch (2008) explicates the im-
portance of emotions while handling unpredictable situations, and
this research corroborates their research and also takes the work
further by suggesting that it is the dimension of understanding of
others emotion that is positively related FLE adaptability.
FLE adaptability also includes adapting to various events in the
society or having a consciousness or concern for the society. As
pointed by Bar-On et al. (2004) there will be a positive relation
between emotional intelligence and social skills of individuals.
However this research speciﬁcally points out that others emotion
appraisal is positively related FLE adaptability. FLE adaptability
also comprises managing the demands of ruling and opposition
party. It involves handling conﬂicts. Maglio and Spohrer (2008)
proposed that emotional intelligence will help in handling con-
ﬂicts. Gruhl et al. (2007) while studying nurses proposes that
emotional intelligence helps nurses learn how to effectively han-
dle conﬂict in the work environment. They further stress that
developing the competencies of EI and understanding how to ef-
fectively handle conﬂict is necessary for nurses working in a highly
stressful occupation. This study has a relevance here as nurses are
also frontline employee (Belk, 2007). The present study takes the
work further by suggesting that in emotional intelligence, it is
others emotion dimension, which is related to handling or
managing conﬂicts. Once an employee apprise others emotion, it
removes the sting from the conﬂict and this leads to behaviors
which leads to solving the problem.
The Hypothesis H3 found a positive relationship between
Regulation of emotion and FLE adaptability. Regulation of emotion
in self relates to the ability of people to regulate their emotions,
which will enable a more rapid recovery from psychological
Estimated coefﬁcients in multi-group analysis.
Path Low Experience High Experience Test of χ
difference Moderating effect
Adap o–selemoapp 0.15 0.28 Signiﬁcant po0.05 Yes
Adap o–othremoapp 0.25 0.46 Signiﬁcant po0.05 Yes
Adap o–regofemot 0.29 0.31 Not Signiﬁcant p40.05 No
Adap o–useofemot 0.19 0.20 Not Signiﬁcant p40.05 No
Jobsatis o–Adap 0.51 0.52 Not Signiﬁcant p40.05 No
Job performance o–Adap 0.63 0.62 Not Signiﬁcant p40.05 No
Signiﬁcant at 5% level.
Model comparisons of direct, partial and completely mediating.
df GFI CFI RMSEA SRMR
Direct Model 52.11 1 0.896 0.872 0.0778 0.072
4.8 47.31 1 0.9 0.887 0.0712 0.073
26.46 25.65 9 0.918 0.909 0.0696 0.063
p-value o0.05 ( Δχ
M. Sony, N. Mekoth / Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services 30 (2016) 20–32 29
distress. This study ﬁnds that regulate the emotion in self posi-
tively related to the FLE adaptability. Previous research have re-
cognized that there will be psychological distress, while handling
customers,as they may vary from polite to abusive (Deery et al.,
2002). Similar sentiments can be said about the politicians as they
also tend to be at times abusive and threatening because they
want to grind their own axe (Tongia, 2003). Handling group
member has its own share of emotional labor as the group
members objectives is to maximize their task domain in respective
group or team activity (Thomas, 1976) leading to emotional pro-
blems (Yin, 2013). If an employee posses the skill to regulate the
emotions in self, it will act as recovery mechanism, from these
psychological distresses. Hirschman (1986) has, also proved a po-
sitive relationship between regulation of one's emotions and re-
silience from negative experiences. Hence, this research supports a
positive relationship between regulation of emotion and FLE
The Hypothesis H4 found a positive relationship between Use
of emotion and FLE adaptability. Use of emotion relates to the
ability of individuals to make use of their emotions by directing
them towards constructive activities and personal performance.
Use of emotion is found in this research to be related to FLE
adaptability. Previous research has acknowledged that use of
emotions leads to better verbal communications (Arora and
Stoner, 2009) non verbal communications (Rohm, 2006) and
emotional communications (Arnould and Wallendorf, 1994). FLE
adaptability encompasses all three forms of communication like
verbal, non verbal and emotional and hence, in lines with the
previous research, this study also delineates a positive relationship
between uses of emotion by individuals to be positively related to
The Hypothesis 5 found a positive relationship between FLE
adaptability and Job Satisfaction.. Job satisfaction is operational
zed in this study as collection of feelings that an individual holds
towards his or her job. A positive adaptability –Job satisfaction
link has been suggested by various researchers e.g. in Adapting to
change (Cullen et al., 2013), adapting selling (Park and Holloway,
2003) and career adaptability (Hirschi, 2009). This work deﬁnes
the seven dimensions of frontline employee adaptability and ex-
tends the work further by proving a positive relationship of all
dimensions of adaptability and Job satisfaction.
The Hypothesis 6 found a positive relationship between FLE
adaptability and Job Performance. Job Performance is studied, as
behaviors that are relevant to organizational goals and that are
under the control of individual employees (Babin and Boles, 1996;
Ellinger et al., 2008). A positive adaptability –Job Performance link
has been suggested by various researchers e.g. in Adapting as a
role ﬂexibility (Pulakos et al., 2002), task and contextual perfor-
mance (Borman and Motowidlo, 1997).
The impact of self emotion appraisal on FLE adaptability was
greater for high experience group than for low experience group.
Similarly the impact of others emotion appraisal on FLE adapt-
ability was greater for high experience group than for low ex-
perience group. Self emotional appraisal and others emotion ap-
praisal relates to an individual ability to appraise one's own and
other emotions. Ability to understand emotions improves as one
experiences life events over a period of time (Izard, 2013).
Therefore FLE's who are highly experienced can better understand
their and others emotions, hence exhibit better FLE adaptability
compared to low experienced FLE's.
6. Conclusion and limitation
Ultimately, this research explores the relationship between
emotional intelligence, FLE adaptability and Job outcomes. The
research conﬁrms the positive impact of emotional intelligence on
FLE adaptability. It is also found that frontline employee adapt-
ability completely mediates the relationship between emotional
intelligence and Job outcomes i.e. job performance and job sa-
tisfaction. The positive relationship between FLE adaptability and
job performances and job satisfaction is also conﬁrmed. Although
this study has provided relevant and interesting insights into the
understanding of FLE adaptability, it is important to recognize its
limitations. First, data in this study were obtained from ﬁrms in
Western India. Although it can be said that the samples represent
a cross-section of a large number of businesses, it would be useful
to obtain a broader and wider sampling frame from other coun-
tries. Since respondents' perceptions, attitudes, and behavior are
inﬂuenced by their cultures, it would be useful to test whether the
existing FLE adaptability scale can be generalized to situations in
other countries. The replication of this study on a wider scale with
different national cultures is essential for the further general-
ization of the ﬁndings
We are grateful to the anonymous reviewers for their con-
structive comments for comments that greatly improved the
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