Asia Pacific Journal of Management

, Volume 33, Issue 1, pp 1–28 | Cite as

Emotional stability: A new construct and its implications for individual behavior in organizations

  • Yan LiEmail author
  • David Ahlstrom


Despite being generally well studied, emotional stability (ES) has not yet been widely accepted as a satisfactory and solidly valid theoretical construct. Without a clearly defined and validated construct, it is difficult to infer what ES means for the behavior and decisions of individuals as well as the performance of groups and organizations. Based on self-organization theory, this study infers a two dimensional construct for ES (threshold and recovery) under the framework of dynamic change and complexity. Two studies were conducted in China to develop and examine the construct of ES in an organizational context. The psychometric examination indicated that the newly developed construct of ES has discriminant and convergent validity with respect to different though related constructs such as the Big Five personality model and emotional intelligence (EI). It also demonstrates incremental validity in predicting group leadership, job satisfaction, job self-efficacy, and commitment. The findings also demonstrate that ES moderates the relationship between individual commitment and group relationship conflict. The results indicate that self-ratings effectively reflect the theoretical construct, whereas peer ratings and supervisor ratings create different biases. Additional theory, empirical, and methodological contributions are also discussed.


Emotional stability Construct validity Self-organization theory Multi-trait-multi-methods (MTMM) Group leadership Commitment China 


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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Management and EconomicsBeijing Institute of TechnologyBeijingChina
  2. 2.School of Business AdministrationChinese University of Hong KongHong KongChina

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