The objective of this study was to investigate how effective managers handled organizational rumors, and whether Emotional Intelligence (EI) played a role in rumor control. This study used a general qualitative inquiry approach, and used the Lominger Leadership Architect® Competency sort to compile the competencies used to assess whether EI played a role in their abilities to successfully handle organizational rumors. The criteria used to define management effectiveness, as it pertained to their ability to successfully handle organizational rumors, is provided within the literature review conducted for this study. Using the Lominger Leadership Architect ® Competency Sort Cards and personally structured interviews, the study examined eleven males and three females within the Western Massachusetts region with leadership roles in civil services, the automotive industry, sales, insurance, finance, and the health industry. Interview results revealed that managers who relied on systematic processes, such as performance monitoring tools (i.e., employee evaluations and performance ratings), team meetings, and the inclusion of other department heads were better at handling organizational rumors. Interviews results also revealed that these managers were more aware of the variables that create rumors, and understood how ambiguity and uncertainty created higher anxiety levels among staff. Additionally, it was discovered that having an active Human Resource (HR) department is a critical component in the system. However, based on the card sorts, the study could not confirm whether managers who handled rumors effectively shared common EI competencies. The study closes a gap in the research that takes into account how organizational leaders manage rumors effectively, as well as understanding whether certain skills or traits play a role in their abilities to successfully handle organizational rumors. Studies on rumors over the last century focus more on understanding the factors that create high rumor activity. This study focused on management awareness of these factors, and their abilities to understand how to navigate effectively through such factors. The study concludes with a discussion on implications and recommendations about management training as it regards organizational rumors, and the development of greater awareness in managing rumors.
|Subjects||Educational leadership; Management; Organizational behavior|
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