Emotional intelligence and leadership effectiveness

Robert Kerr (School of Business Organisation and Management, University of Ulster, Newtownabbey, UK)
John Garvin (School of Business Organisation and Management, University of Ulster, Newtownabbey, UK)
Norma Heaton (School of Business Organisation and Management, University of Ulster, Newtownabbey, UK)
Emily Boyle (School of Business Organisation and Management, University of Ulster, Newtownabbey, UK)

Leadership & Organization Development Journal

ISSN: 0143-7739

Publication date: 1 June 2006

Abstract

Purpose

This paper investigates the relationship between managerial emotional intelligence (EI) levels and a rating of leadership effectiveness (subordinate ratings).

Design/methodology/approach

The study involved administering the Mayer Salovey Caruso emotional intelligence test (MSCEIT) EI test to 38 supervisors within a large manufacturing organisation. Ratings of supervisory leadership effectiveness were assessed via subordinate ratings on an attitude survey detailing questions relating to supervisor performance. Altogether data were collated from a total of 1,258 survey responses.

Findings

The overall results of the data analysis suggest that half of the MSCEIT scores may act as a strong predictor of leadership effectiveness, particularly the branches within the experiential EI domain (r=0.50, p<0.001). Interestingly, the relationship between supervisor ratings and the reasoning EI domain (r=−0.12) was not as expected.

Practical implications

These findings endorse the validity of incorporating EI interventions alongside the recruitment and selection process and the training and development process of managerial personnel. However, they also question the conceptual validity of a key branch (managing emotions) of the MSCEIT.

Originality/value

Although EI is viewed as a key determinant of effective leadership within leadership literature there is a relative dearth of supporting research that has not used student sample populations or a conceptually suspect model of EI within their research methodology.

Keywords

Citation

Kerr, R., Garvin, J., Heaton, N. and Boyle, E. (2006), "Emotional intelligence and leadership effectiveness", Leadership & Organization Development Journal, Vol. 27 No. 4, pp. 265-279. https://doi.org/10.1108/01437730610666028

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Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2006, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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