The relationship of emotional intelligence and transformational leadership behavior in non -profit executive leaders

by Meredith, Cheryl L., Ph.D., CAPELLA UNIVERSITY, 2008, 191 pages; 3290654


What characterizes an effective leader? Are there qualities of effective leaders that could be used in developmental processes for new emerging leaders? This study seeks to address these questions by examining the relationship between emotional intelligence and leadership styles among executives leading in non-profit, faith-based organizations based in Colorado. A general questionnaire gathered demographic data related to the perceived importance of basic quality of life and leadership qualities. The Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ Form 5X) developed by Avolio and Bass examined the leader's self-reported leadership style. Transformational, transactional, and laissez-faire leadership styles were compared with scores on the BarOn Emotional Quotient Inventory Test (EQ-i). Statistical cluster analysis demonstrated a strong relationship between transformational leadership behaviors and emotional intelligence. In addition, linear regression analysis revealed that five components of emotional intelligence accounted for over half of the variation in transformational leadership behavior. The five were: optimism, self-actualization, empathy, problem solving, and assertiveness. All but empathy scored higher than the general population. The study findings suggest that developing these five areas in executive leaders could increase the likelihood of the use of transformational leadership behaviors. Transformational leadership has been studied extensively and been shown to positively affect organizations. Further study would be needed to demonstrate the breadth of possible application, but it is worthy of consideration that a focus on developing emotional intelligence could result in increased transformational leadership behaviors, positively influencing an organization.

AdviserClifford Butler
Source TypeDissertation
SubjectsManagement; Organizational behavior
Publication Number3290654

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