The development of a structural model reflecting the impact of emotional intelligence on transformational leadership

Beyers, Wilmarie
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Stellenbosch : University of Stellenbosch
In most organisations worldwide, the magnitude of change is ever increasing. In the midst of these uncertainties, there is an increasing need for leaders who can provide structure, meaning and security within their teams. Dynamic and transformational leaders become a sought after jewel in organisations. Emotional intelligence has gained immense popularity in the last few years. Extravagant claims have been made regarding the impact of emotional intelligence on transformational leadership, as some researchers claim that emotional intelligence accounts for up to 90% of leadership success. The primary goal of this study was therefore to research the influence of emotional intelligence on leadership, and to develop a structural model to determine the relationships between the dimensions of emotional intelligence and transformational leadership. If the dimensions of the emotional intelligence construct that have a positive influence on leadership could be established, this would provide a valuable tool to organisations. Recruitment, selection, training and development procedures could be structured in a way that focuses on identifying and developing these dimensions of emotional intelligence in leaders. A literature study of the theories and models of transformational leadership and emotional intelligence was conducted. A short overview has also been given of “Primal Leadership” – discussing the emotional role of a leader as the first and foremost function of any leader. Hypotheses, based on the theoretical background, have subsequently been developed in order to establish the relationship between the dimensions of emotional intelligence and leadership.The sample in this study is compiled of 118 managers within a financial institution in the Western Cape. A questionnaire consisting of three sections was compiled to collect information in order to provide an answer to the research problem. Section A of the questionnaire was designed to give an overview of the demographic variables of the participants. Section B measured emotional intelligence by making use of the Rahim/Minors emotional intelligence questionnaire. Section C employed the Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire by Bass & Avolio to measure transformational leadership. A detailed statistical analysis was conducted. Correlations between the constructs of emotional intelligence and transformational leadership were determined by means of Pearson product-moment correlation coefficients. Positive and significant correlations have been found for all hypotheses. Structural equation modelling (SEM) and the partial least squares (PLS) method were applied to test the hypothesised structural model. Although the model did not provide a good fit, most of the predicted hypotheses have been confirmed by the model. To investigate the unique contribution that each variable of interest makes to the dependent variable to which it is linked, standard multiple regression analyses have been performed on the data. A positive and significant relationship has been found between emotional intelligence and transformational leadership. Support has also been found for most of the hypotheses that have been developed in order to explain the relationship between the dimensions of emotional intelligence and the dimensions of transformational leadership. The study also succeeded in determining the emotional intelligence dimensions that are the best predictors of leadership success, and these criteria can be utilised for the selection, training and development of leaders. Conclusions are drawn from the results obtained, the implementation value of the study is discussed, and recommendations for future research are made.
Thesis (MA (Industrial Psychology))--University of Stellenbosch, 2006.
Dissertations -- Industrial psychology, Theses -- Industrial psychology, Organizational change -- Psychological aspects, Leadership, Leadership -- Psychological aspects, Emotional intelligence