What helps or hinders the emotional intelligence practice? A study of Vietnamese hotel workers



Drawing from emotional labour (EL) and emotion regulation (ER) theories, this paper aims to identifiy what helps and what hinders the emotional intelligence (EI) practice of Vietnamese hotel workers. Researching EI qualitatively from a novel context highlights the influence of culture on EI.


The critical incident technique (CIT) was adopted as the qualitative methodological approach using a self-administered form and semi-structured interviews to collect empirical data from a sample of 34 Vietnamese hotel workers in 19 different hotels.


The findings show that following Joseph and Newman’s (2010) cascading model of EI would help hotel workers in their practice. The research also found different factors hindering the EI practice from the individual and organisational levels. Vietnamese culture was believed to guide deep-acting and meditation. Language barrier and manager support emerged as significant factors that could help or hinder their EI practice.

Research limitations/implications

The research proposes a conceptual framework addressing the factors that could help or hinder the EI practice and provides implications for HR practices and management. Caution could be taken when applying the research implications because of the small sample as a nature of qualitative research.


To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is the first attempt to appraise the EI practice adopting the CIT as a qualitative methodological approach in an under-research context and add evidence to the theoretical links between EI, EL and ER

Nguyen, Q.Ladkin, A. and Osman, H. (2022), “What helps or hinders the emotional intelligence practice? A study of Vietnamese hotel workers”, International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, Vol. 34 No. 2, pp. 534-554. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJCHM-04-2021-0510