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Enhancing employee outcomes: The interrelated influences of managers' emotional intelligence and leadership style

Cheok San Lam (International Graduate School of Business, University of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia)
Eleanor R.E. O'Higgins (School of Business, University College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland)

Leadership & Organization Development Journal

ISSN: 0143-7739

Article publication date: 2 March 2012

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the interrelated influences of managers' emotional intelligence, leadership styles and employee outcomes. In particular, this study aims to explore the potential mediating effects of managers' transformational leadership style on the relationships between managers' emotional intelligence and employee outcomes of: employee performance, job satisfaction, organisational commitment and job stress.

Design/methodology/approach

The study was conducted in two large organisations in Shanghai, China, on a sample of 323 participants, including both managers and subordinate employees. Emotional intelligence was measured by using the Wong Emotional Intelligence Scale (WEIS), and leadership style, using the Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ‐5x Short).

Findings

The results showed that managers' transformational leadership style fully mediates the relationship between managers' emotional intelligence and employee job satisfaction. However, no mediating effect of managers' transformational leadership style is found on the relationship between managers' emotional intelligence and employee performance, organizational commitment and job stress.

Originality/value

The results of this study contribute to current insights about the interrelationships on managers' emotional intelligence, leadership style and employee outcomes, showing that the power of managers' emotional intelligence on job satisfaction must be expressed through a third mediating variable, transformational leadership.

Keywords

Citation

San Lam, C. and O'Higgins, E.R.E. (2012), "Enhancing employee outcomes: The interrelated influences of managers' emotional intelligence and leadership style", Leadership & Organization Development Journal, Vol. 33 No. 2, pp. 149-174. https://doi.org/10.1108/01437731211203465

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited