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Multiple intelligences of transformational leaders: an empirical examination

Brian J. Hoffman (University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee, USA)
Brian C. Frost (University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee, USA)

International Journal of Manpower

ISSN: 0143-7720

Article publication date: 1 January 2006



To examine the impact of emotional, social, and cognitive intelligences on the dimensions of transformational leadership using both paper‐and‐pencil measures and assessment center dimensions.


Multiple measurement methodologies were used to conceptualize emotional, cognitive, and social intelligence. Subordinate ratings of three dimensions of transformational leadership were used as the criteria. Correlation analysis and a series of multiple hierarchical regressions were used to determine the relationship between the multiple intelligences and three dimensions of transformational leadership.


Results indicate that a multiple intelligences framework is a useful approach to predict transformational leadership. Correlation analyses and multiple regression results indicated that the multiple intelligence framework explained between 10 and 25 percent of the variance in perceptions of transformational leadership and that assessment center dimensions explained additional variance beyond paper‐and‐pencil measures in transformational leadership.


This paper extends previous research by examining the impact of cognitive, emotional, and social intelligences on transformational leadership using multiple measurement methodologies. The results of this study provide a useful framework for practitioners interested in assessing precursors to transformational leadership, with a focus on assessment centers as a useful tool for predicting transformational leadership.



Hoffman, B.J. and Frost, B.C. (2006), "Multiple intelligences of transformational leaders: an empirical examination", International Journal of Manpower, Vol. 27 No. 1, pp. 37-51.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2006, Emerald Group Publishing Limited