Academy of Strategic Management Journal (Print ISSN: 1544-1458; Online ISSN: 1939-6104)

Research Article: 2021 Vol: 20 Issue: 5

A Strategy to Strengthen the Performance of Islamic Higher Educations Lecturer in Indonesia

Khoirotul Idawati, University of Tebuireng

Hanifudin Mahadun, University of Tebuireng

Citation Information: Idawati, K., & Mahadun, H. (2021). A strategy to strengthen the performance of Islamic higher education’s lecturer in Indonesia. Academy of Strategic Management Journal, 20(5), 1-13.

Abstract

This study aims to analyze the effects of emotional and spiritual intelligence on lecturers' performance, as well as the role of work motivation as an effect mediator. Furthermore, it explains the relationship between variables and the effect of mediation. The sample consists of 100 lecturers that were randomly selected from one of the private Islamic Higher Education in East Java. Data analysis was conducted using SMART-PLS and to explain the relationship between variables. The results showed that both emotional and spiritual intelligence have a direct effect on lecturer performance. Also, it was reported that work motivation mediates the effect of emotional and spiritual intelligence. Therefore, work motivation positively affects lecturer performance and plays an important role in mediating the effects of emotional and spiritual intelligence.

Keywords

Emotional Intelligence, Spiritual Intelligence, Lecturer, Performance, Higher Education.

JEL Classifications

C39, I23, J24, J29, L29

Introduction

Due to the rapid progress in the development of higher education, there has been an increased level of competition. However, the higher education sector continues to survive and thrive because of the existence of public trust. This condition means that this institution always demands a high level of professionalism by involving all elements of the academic community (Rumijati, 2018), which is considered as a major asset (Njotoprajitno et al., 2020). Therefore, maintaining their commitment to perform well is an institutional obligation (Lee & Kusumah, 2020) and ensures that they contribute to the success of the organization (Vosloban, 2012). Furthermore, lecturers and their achievements greatly determine the higher education quality (Zahraini, 2014). Their performance is measured by three components, namely education and teaching; research, and community service (Taruno et al., 2012; Supriyanto et al., 2020). The National Accreditation Board for Higher Education has the authority to evaluate the results on the basis of these three aspects.

One of the aspects to be taken into account is the management of human resources. Lee & Kusumah (2020) stated that effective human resource management can improve performance to achieve organizational goals. Therefore, higher education is required to promote their lecturers to provide optimal performance (Igwe, 2014) and increase reputation internally and externally (Rivai, 2011). Performance is the result of a process related to an increase in quality and quantity and measured over a period of time under given conditions (Mathis & Jackson, 2006). Organizational policies should affect and promote employee expectations positively to improve performance in accordance with the expectations (Vosloban, 2012). However, other abilities and intelligence, including the ability to manage themselves, and build relationships with others, as called emotional intelligence (EI) or otherwise known as emotional quotient (EQ), also affect the performance (Mudayat, 2017; Lee & Kusumah, 2020). Individuals with high EI have the ability of self-regulation and self-motivation to promote performance, improve interpersonal relationships, and are often considered more affectionate by their peers (Nguyen et al., 2020; Gong et al., 2019). EI properties appear to predict performance when performance is assessed through subjective and objective assessments (Udayar et al., 2020). One of the reasons put forward for the positive relationship between the EI trait and performance/outcome goals are the overall characterization of high EI individual traits as less implicitly prone to impulsivity and more self-control (Udayar et al., 2020). Chughtai & Lateef (2015) reported that emotional intelligence is an instrument used to determine the employees' success in an organization. Therefore, it is used adequately to increase efficiency by considering their work motivation (Alkahtani, 2015). Mohammad & Jais (2016) stated that emotional intelligence needs to be developed and improved through a systematic and consistent approach in order to maintain high performance and competitive advantage.

Similar to EI, spiritual intelligence, also known as spiritual quotient (SQ), has also received considerable attention (Ruvalcaba-Romero et al., 2017; Amram, 2009; Zohar & Marshall, 2000). For decades, studies conducted under social science and management has focused on these findings in order to develop, monitor and control organizational development. Human intelligence is rooted in the genetic code, controlled by the brain (Selman et al., 2005) and allows them to explore their capacity and ability of interacting with one another. Spiritual intelligence can be used to support others (Kulshrestha & Singhal, 2017) and can be defined as the ability to rely on the inner self related to wisdom outside the ego or soul of consciousness (Zohar &Marshall, 2007). It can encourage individuals to add value and foster positive values in the organization. Generally, people with higher SQ levels have healthier and more productive lifestyles at work (Tischler et al., 2002). Therefore, employees are expected to have a high SQ, since it guides them to do their best in the organization. SQ is considered one of the key factors for success, and its overall understanding motivates people to balance their performance (Saad et al., 2018).

Motivation is very important for employee success and plays an important role in other behaviors such as work performance and achievement (Ghaffari et al., 2017). It is the power to direct one's behavior towards the work completion based on the goals set. Therefore, motivation is an important issue and a determining factor in improving employee performance. However, each approach taken by each organization seems to be different in motivating its employees. Several studies have shown that work motivation comes from needs, perceptions, and emotions (Reeve et al., 2008). Furthermore, this represents the level, direction, and persistence of effort spent at work (Venkatesh & Sharma, 2015). Highly motivated people express themselves by developing a sense of curiosity and challenge to conduct work (Utman 1997; Vu et al., 2021). To ensure that lecturers achieve excellent performance, higher education should identify antecedents that lead to superior performance, such as motivation (Narasuci et al., 2018; Njotoprajitno et al., 2021; Lee & Kusumah, 2020), emotional (Molina et al., 2019; Castillo & Danvila Del Valle, 2017; Anwar, 2017) and spiritual intelligence (Jena, 2021; Anwar et al., 2020).

In contrast to the previous study, some reported that motivation has no effect on employee performance (Muogbo, 2013; Allah & Heryanto, 2018). There is also an opinion that emotional intelligence decreases (Bestyasamala, 2018), and spiritual intelligence does not affect performance (Selviyani & Wulansari, 2019; Sembiring et al., 2020). Various contradictory study results on the relationship between intelligence and employee performance provide an opening to examine the effect of multiple intelligences either directly or through mediating variables. The addition of a motivational mediating variable is believed can bridge the gap in the relationship between various intelligence and employee performance. This finding is in line with the suggestions put forward by Alkahtani (2015) & (Saad et al., 2018), where to achieve employee efficiency, emotional and spiritual intelligence can be used adequately by considering the work motivation on the employee concerned. The aim was to analyze the effects of spiritual and emotional intelligence on lecturer performance, as well as the role of motivation as an effect mediator.

Literature Review

Emotional Intelligence, Spiritual Intelligence and Performance

One of the most important concerns in the field of human resource management is to understand the individual characteristics that support optimal performance in the workplace. Emotional intelligence has been suggested as a factor contributing to performance (Van Rooy & Viswesvaran, 2003; Castilo & Valle, 2017). Therefore, it can contribute to increasing one's success beyond cognitive and personality intelligence (O'Boyle et al., 2011). Its higher levels allow people to better understand the emotions of themselves and others, and this knowledge may be useful for improving work behavior (Law et al., 2004; Castilo & Valle, 2017). People with good emotional intelligence are able to reason under pressure, act ethically, stand firm and have the drive to excel. This means using emotions effectively to achieve goals appropriately, building productive work relationships, and achieving success in the workplace (Sembiring et al., 2020).

Higgs (2004) stated that good emotional intelligence will be able to affects and improves employee performance. It is characterized by the ability to manage emotions, to think directionally, rationally and socio-ecological sensitivity will result in a conducive working environment which, in turn, can improve performance. Furthermore, Goleman (2002) defines emotional intelligence as the ability to identify motivates and control feelings of one. Also, five emotional intelligences, namely: personal awareness, control, self-motivation, empathy, and social skills were reported. Kruger (2008) states that this intelligence is a mental ability that helps others to recognize themselves. It leads to increased ideas and more creative actions. Moreover, Cooper & Sawaf (2000) describe it as the ability to understand and effectively apply emotional abilities as a form of energy source that affects humans.

Emotional intelligence is an individual factor that influences employee performance. This was also expressed by Kasapi & Mihiotis (2014), where people with higher emotional intelligence will have high creativity to achieve an effectiveness level in their work. It helps them to understand other people, and be able to influence as well as control others. Furthermore, Kaliannan & Adjovu (2015) reported that self-improvement to perform better is higher with good emotional intelligence. Boz et al. (2016) stated that empowerment as manifested by an increase in performance on the organization occurs because of the various intelligence possessed by employees. Similar result was also shared by Chughtai & Lateef (2015); Rodrigues et al. (2019) that emotional intelligence is an important tool for performance, which has been obtained in a certain period (Robbins, 2006). Robbins & Judge (2011) stated that it is a person's behavior that has been achieved following their responsibilities. It also relates to values or minimum standards in the workplace. A high level of performance is associated with an increase in work productivity. Furthermore, performance can be explained as employee contribution by providing added value to the organization. Most of the studies assess the aspects based on the work performed by each employee (Yang et al., 2021). Wu et al. (2014) proposed three alternative performance appraisal measurements, namely for evaluation, job selection and assignments to assist individuals in understanding their contribution to the organization, as well as providing information on involvement in its evaluation. This may include work schedule and human resource planning.

Zohar & Marshall (2000), spiritual intelligence places behavior and ways in one's life to assess action and culture. It is the intelligence used to face and solve problems; it places behavior and life in a broader as well as richer context of meaning. Also, it assesses an action or way of life and present results when valuable than others (Salehi et al., 2017). With this intelligence level, it may be realized that all activities are conducted in a positive direction to achieve better goals. Khavari (2000) stated that spiritual intelligence is a non-material dimension, like the human soul. This can be described as a very important gift possessed by all human beings. Therefore, this gift should be recognized and consistently polished to achieve success. People with spiritual intelligence are expected to be more tolerant, honest, and full of enthusiasm in conducting work activities.

According to Tischler et al. (2002), Chin et al. (2012), emotional and spiritual intelligence increase achievement. These results are very important to prove that they can improve performance because of their direct relationship. Tee et al. (2011) stated that spiritual intelligence can regulate one's behavior and performance. Similarly, increased level of spiritual intelligence can also affect performance. Sufficient emotional and spiritual intelligence in the workplace will make the environment more conducive to improve performance.

H1 Emotional intelligence affects lecturer performance

H2 Spiritual intelligence affects lecturer performance

Emotional Intelligence, Spiritual Intelligence, Motivation and Performance

People with higher emotional intelligence have high levels of creativity in reaching out to, understanding, and using them to influence and control others (Kasapi & Mihiotis, 2014). Shamsuddin & Rahman (2014) & Shooshtarian et al. (2013) stated that emotional intelligence has a significant correlation with performance. According to Tee et al. (2011), spiritual and emotional intelligence positively increase motivation to be involved in work implementation. Conversely, people with low emotional intelligence display counterproductive work behavior (Roshayati et al., 2014). Zohar & Marshall (2000) stated that spiritual intelligence promotes creativity in conducting the tasks for which they are responsible. Therefore, this motivation can be used as a foundation for effectively functioning emotional intelligence.

Motivation is the power to drive employees to achieve extraordinary results. Velnampy (2014) result reflects a willingness to make the best efforts in achieving organizational goals and meeting individual needs. Furthermore, Manullang (2015) explains that a person needs to achieve success accompanied by motivation from extrinsic and intrinsic factors. Sutrisno (2016) specifically cited motivational factors, namely extrinsic factors of a pleasant work environment, adequate compensation, effective management, job security, status and responsibilities, as well as flexible regulations. The intrinsic factor consists of the desire to live, have, gain respect, recognition, and rule over others. Highly motivated people always carry out the jobs they are assigned; however, this may depend on the requirements of their needs (Manullang, 2015).

Work motivation is an individual's drive to pursue work-related goals. Motivation is very valuable to the organization in its autonomous form, when the goal is pursued for its own sake or because the individual considers it important (Williams et al., 2002). Individuals are more likely to experience autonomous motivation when they feel competent (Ryan & Deci, 2000), because self-motivation involves the use of self-determined standards, such as: perceived self-efficacy, to assess a person's performance in certain activities (Berkovich & Eyal, 2017).

Ghaffari et al. (2017) reported that motivation plays an important role in other behaviors such as performance and job performance. Similarly, Vu et al. (2021) stated that people with intrinsic motivation express themselves by developing curiosity and being challenged to conduct work in the workplace. Highly motivated employees can cooperate, help, support, and inspire one another (Gibson et al., 2012; Njotoprajitno et al., 2020). Based on the theoretical and empirical studies that have been described, the hypotheses are:

H3 Motivation as a mediator of the effect of emotional intelligence on lecturer performance.

H4 Motivation as a mediator of the effect of spiritual intelligence on lecturer performance.

Methodology

This study was designed with a quantitative approach involving direct and mediation by analyzing the relationship between spiritual and emotional intelligence, motivation, and lecturer performance. In addition, the data collection technique used a questionnaire given to all lecturers of private Islamic higher education institutions in East Java. The sample was 100 lecturers and was obtained using the census sampling technique. The data collection uses a questionnaire distributed to all respondents. Spiritual intelligence adopts the opinion of Lee & Kusumah (2020); Anwar et al. (2020); Zohar & Marshall (2007): Consistency of honesty, openness, self-knowledge, focus on contribution: emphasize giving rather than receiving, patient, forgiveness. On the other hand, emotional intelligence adopts Zohar & Marshall (2007); (Agustian 2007); Molina et al. (2019) classify spiritual intelligence into 6 indicators: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship management, Self-actualization, Assertive. Work motivation adopted from Robbins (2006) includes the need for achievement, power, and friendship. Furthermore, performance indicators include quantity, quality, timeliness and are adopted from Robbins (2006); Diana et al. (2021); quantity, quality, timeliness. Data analysis using PLS to test the modified results of several models. Therefore, the model development results can provide an overview of the variables studied. Another reason is that the available indicators do not meet the reflective measurement model (Garson, 2016).

Research Results and Discussion

This stage examines the relationship between variables using SMART-PLS, measurement, and structural equation models. The results of the reliability test of each variable, namely spiritual and emotional intelligence, work motivation, and performance, have a Cronbach alpha value higher than the cut-off point of 0.60. Therefore, all variables can be accepted internally since the value is higher than α> 0.60 (Hair et al., 2014). Furthermore, the results of composite reliability are stated to be good when the value is above 0.70. The results of testing the composite reliability measurement model can be presented in Table 1. The results in Table 2 show that the square root of average variance extracted (√AVE) value of all variables designed is greater than the correlation between latent and other variables since the instrument is stated to be valid.

Table 1 Results of the Reliability
Variable Cronbach’s alpha Composite Reliability Conclusion
Emotional intelligence 0. 847 0.888 Reliable
Spiritual intelligence 0.887 0.916 Reliable
Work motivation 0.736 0.849 Reliable
Lecturer performance 0.760 0.861 Reliable
Table 2 Ave, √Ave Values and the Correlation Between Latent Variables
Research variable AVE √AVE Correlations of the latent variables
      EQ SQ M P
EQ 0.575 0.758 1.000      
SQ 0.649 0.806 0.662 1.000    
M 0.653 0.808 0.709 0.753 1.000  
P 0.675 0.822 0.756 0.657 0.642 1.000

The results of the direct effects described are shown in Table 3. The findings indicate that emotional intelligence affects) since H1 is accepted statistically. The influence of spiritual intelligence on lecturer performance was positive and significant (path coefficient=0.427, p <0.05), since H2 is accepted. Mediation hypothesis testing is needed to detect the position of the intervening variables in the model. This can be conducted with the Sobel Test using the free calculator software for the significance of mediation version 4.0. Table 4 shows the results of the Sobel Test analysis.

Table3 Hypothesis Testing for the Direct Effect
Independent Variables Dependent Variables Path Coefficient t statistics p-value Description
EQ P 0.315 4.978 0.000 Significant
SQ P 0.427 6.914 0.000 Significant

The analysis of EQ-M-P path coefficient is 0.329 and the p-value is 0.020 <0.05. Therefore, work motivation becomes a mediating variable (H3 accepted). Based on Table 4, the SQ-M-P coefficient is 0.575 with a p-value of 0.002 < 0.05. Therefore, there is sufficient empirical evidence since work motivation mediates the effect of spiritual intelligence on individual performance (H4 accepted). The results of the analysis can be seen in the following Figure 1.

Table 4 The Results of Sobel Test Analysis
Path A B SEA SEB t count sig Decision
EQ-M-P 0.329 0.279 0.111 0.075 2.318 0.020 sig
SQ-M-P 0.575 0.279 0.108 0.075 3.049 0.002 sig

Figure 1 PLS Test Results

Based on the analysis of the inner pattern path, emotional intelligence has a significant impact on the performance. The results in the field are consistent with Kasapi & Mihiotis (2014), where it was stated that people with higher emotional intelligence will have high creativity to achieve a level of effectiveness in their work. Furthermore, Kaliannan & Adjovu (2015) stated that by having good emotional intelligence, self-improvement to perform better is higher. These findings are in line with Boz et al. (2016) which states that an increase in a person's performance in an organization occurs due to the variety of intelligence. According to Van Rooy & Viswesvaran (2003); Mudayat (2017); Lee & Kusumah (2020), emotional intelligence has been proposed as one of the factors that contribute to performance.

The results support Mohammad & Jais (2016), where it was stated that emotional intelligence needs to be developed and improved through a systematic and consistent approach to maintaining high performance. Nguyen et al. (2020); Gong et al. (2019) report that individuals with high EI have the ability to promote performance and improve interpersonal relationships. Basically, it ultimately create high employee performance (Mohamad & Jais, 2016) and Kasapi & Mihiotis (2014) described it as a mental ability that helps individuals to recognize themselves and others which will lead to increased ideas and more creative actions. Therefore, emotional intelligence is the ability to understand and the source of energy that affects humans (Cooper & Sawaf, 2000). This is confirmed by Chughtai & Lateef (2015); Rodrigues et al. (2019), where it was stated that emotional intelligence is an individual factor, which affect performance and is an important tool in achieving organizational success.

Based on the inner model path analysis, spiritual intelligence has a direct effect on lecturer performance. This is consistent with Jena (2021) which states that a person with high spiritual intelligence will manifest better performance. According to Anwar et al. (2020), when spiritual intelligence is high, individuals are able to control and stimulate behavior manifested in the application of new ideas to support performance. The results confirm Chin et al. (2012) which states that spiritual intelligence has the potential to promote work behavior by motivating employees to develop creativity. Findings in the field support Tee et al. (2011), where spiritual intelligence is able to regulate one's behavior and performance.

The results are in line with Zohar & Marshall (2007), where spiritual intelligence can promote individuals to add value and foster positive values in organizations. It is basically the ability to rely on the inner self that is related to wisdom outside the ego or spirit of consciousness (Zohar & Marshall, 2007). Furthermore, it is a variety of intelligence possessed by individuals to think creatively in order to work much better (Kulshrestha & Singhal, 2017). This condition is supported by Tischler et al. (2002) which states that spiritual intelligence will help individuals to explore their capacity and ability to interact. People with higher levels of SQ are more productive at work.

Based on the path analysis results for emotional intelligence, work motivation, and performance, the t value is 2.318 > 1.96 and the significance value is 0.020 < 0.05. Therefore, it is reasonable to conclude that work motivation mediates the effect of emotional intelligence on performance. These results are consistent with Kasapi & Mihiotis (2014) which state that people with higher emotional intelligence possess high creativity to achieve a level of effectiveness in their work. It is a series of individual abilities to regulate their emotional life through emotional skills such as self-awareness, self-control, self-motivation, empathy, and social skills. This intelligence plays an important role in the workplace (Goleman, 2002). Berkovich & Eyal (2017); Ryan & Deci (2000) report that individuals are more likely to experience autonomous motivation when they feel competent, because self-motivation involves the use of self-determined standards, such as: perceived self-efficacy, to assess a person's performance in certain activities.

The results support Shamsuddin & Rahman (2014); Shooshtarian et al. (2013), where it was stated that emotional intelligence has a significant correlation with performance. According to Tee et al. (2011), it positively increases motivation to be involved in work implementation. Furthermore, the results support Velnampy (2014) which states that motivation is basically a willingness to achieve organizational goals. Therefore, success needs to be achieved accompanied by extrinsic and intrinsic motivation (Manullang, 2015). Chughtai & Lateef (2015) states that emotional intelligence is an instrument for viewing the success of employees in organizations. This intelligence is characterized by the ability to manage as well as think in a directed and rational manner. Environmental social sensitivity produces a conducive work environment to improve performance. Similarly, Goleman (2000) reported that emotional and spiritual intelligence has 80% of a person's success factors, while the other 20% is determined by IQ. Therefore, psychological factors influence a person in dealing with an organization. Some of which are how a person regulates emotions and makes decisions. Individuals with high EI have the ability to face people and situations with a positive attitude towards all aspects of life and have the ability to command respect by building relationships (Koohbanani et al., 2013). Emotional intelligence increases employee efficiency by considering the work motivation of those concerned (Alkahtani, 2015).

Based on the path analysis for spiritual intelligence, work motivation, and lecturer performance, the t value is 3.049 > 1.96 and the significance value is 0.002 < 0.05. Therefore, work motivation mediates the effect of spiritual intelligence on lecturer performance. These are line with Saad et al. (2018), where SQ is considered as one of the key success factors. Therefore overall understanding of SQ will motivate people to balance their performance. Furthermore, the findings support Ghaffari et al. (2017) which states that motivation is very important for employee success and plays an important role in supporting performance. Work motivation is the power to direct one's behavior towards the completion of work following the goals set. Therefore, motivation is an important issue and a determining factor in improving employee performance.

The results support Tee et al. (2011), where spiritual intelligence increases motivation to participate in the implementation of work. Furthermore, Zohar & Marshall (2007) stated that spiritual intelligence will promote a person to be creative in conducting their tasks. Therefore, motivation can be used as a foundation for effectively functioning emotional intelligence. A person with high motivation will be motivated to conduct their job. However, the motivation that will be used depends on how a person fulfills their needs (Manullang, 2015). This condition is supported by Vu et al., (2021) which state that people with intrinsic motivation express themselves by developing curiosity and being challenged to conduct work in the workplace. Highly motivated employees can cooperate, help, support, and inspire one another (Gibson et al., 2012; Njotoprajitno et al., 2020). The results in the field are in line with Nabi et al. (2017), where it was concluded that one of the factors influencing motivation is the psychological factor. Therefore, emotional intelligence can also be one of the factors that increase work motivation because it involves a person psychologically. Emotional intelligence helps prioritize the thoughts, behaviors, and lifestyles that contribute to performance (Malik & Shahid, 2016).

Conclusion

Emotional intelligence has a direct effect on lecturer performance, and it is the ability to recognize you. This will lead to increased ideas and more creative actions. Therefore, emotional intelligence is an individual factor that affects performance and is an important tool in achieving organizational success. Furthermore, it has a direct effect on lecturer performance and promotes individuals to add as well as foster positive value in the organization. Mental intelligence allows people to think creatively and work much better. Meanwhile, work motivation mediates the effect of spiritual and emotional intelligence on lecturer performance. They can be used adequately to increase efficiency by considering the work motivation of the employee concerned. Work motivation is the power to direct behavior towards a set goal.

This study is limited to the use of a survey research design; therefore, future research needs to use a longitudinal design to highlight the nature of the causal relationship between emotional intelligence, spiritual intelligence, motivation and performance. They also need to consider the possibility of other mediators and moderators in determining the relationship between intelligence and work outcomes.

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