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Emotional intelligence competencies in the team and team leader: A multi‐level examination of the impact of emotional intelligence on team performance

Elizabeth Stubbs Koman (The Stubman Group, LLC and US Navy, Chesapeake, Virginia, USA)
Steven B. Wolff (The Hay Group, Boston, Massachusetts, USA)

Journal of Management Development

ISSN: 0262-1711

Article publication date: 4 January 2008




The purpose of this research is to examine the relationships among team leader emotional intelligence competencies, team level emotional intelligence, and team performance.


It is argued here that the team leader's emotional intelligence (EI) will influence the development of group level emotional intelligence (GEI), which was measured by a team's emotionally competent group norms (ECGN). Second, it is hypothesized that the presence of ECGNs will positively influence group effectiveness. Data were collected from 422 respondents representing 81 teams in a military organization.


Results show that team leader emotional intelligence is significantly related to the presence of emotionally competent group norms on the teams they lead, and that emotionally competent group norms are related to team performance.

Research limitations/implications

Limitations of this research include a narrow sample with the teams not being highly interdependent.

Practical implications

This research provides implications for practice in three primary areas: development and sustainment of emotionally intelligent managers and leaders; development and sustainment of emotionally intelligent work groups; and establishment of organizational leaders at all levels to foster and support emotional competence throughout the organization.


This research contributes to the field by offering support for the effects the team leaders' emotional intelligence has on the teams they lead as well as by showing how team level emotional intelligence affects team performance. This study adds to the body of literature in what is considered a relatively new area of study. The four key contributions of this research are: this research shows that the leader's behaviors are important at the team level; this research further validates Wolff and Druskat's (forthcoming) ECGN theory by lending support for the ECGNs as well as offering alternative clustering ideas for the norms; ECGNs were shown to be related to performance; and lastly this research extends the knowledge base about emotions in groups.



Stubbs Koman, E. and Wolff, S.B. (2008), "Emotional intelligence competencies in the team and team leader: A multi‐level examination of the impact of emotional intelligence on team performance", Journal of Management Development, Vol. 27 No. 1, pp. 55-75.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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