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The Relationship between Emotional Intelligence, Transformational Leadership, and Leadership Effectiveness of County Government Leaders

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TITLE The Relationship between Emotional Intelligence, Transformational Leadership, and Leadership Effectiveness of County Government Leaders
 
RESEARCHER Debra Ruth Whatley
College of Business
Argosy University (Atlanta)
Unpublished doctoral dissertation: September 2016

OBJECTIVE
The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between emotional intelligence, transformational leadership, and leadership effectiveness of county government leaders.

METHODOLOGY
Invitations to participate in the study were emailed to 30 leaders in each of the 30 departments within one county in northwest Georgia, and 16 participated (53% return rate). They completed the Leadership Practices Inventory and the Assessing Emotions Scale (Schutte et al. 1998). Three-fourths of the respondents were women, and 38 percent had graduated college and the same percentage had a post-graduate degree. Five were 35-44 years old, five were 45-54 years old; and most had more than six years of leadership experience (94%). Cronbach alpha for the total LPI was .948 in this study.

KEY FINDINGS
Enable was the leadership practice most frequently used, followed by Model and Encourage, and then Inspire and Challenge. Emotional intelligence (AES) and the overall LPI score (as a measure of leadership effectiveness) were significantly correlated (r = .63), and were each of the five leadership practices.

The author notes:

Leaders who scored high on the AES instrument also scored high on the LPI instrument. This means that leaders with high EI are also high in transformational leadership and more effective as leaders (p. 56).

Including the components of transformational leadership behaviors as part of leaders’ training and development programs will empower employees and stakeholders to be key players in the success of government. It is commonly assumed that public service organizations could not benefit from transformational leadership because these types of organizations are bureaucratic in structure. In particular, the pure nature of these organizations may hinder the emergence of transformational behaviors. However, Wright and Pandey (2010) suggested that several studies have consistently found public- sector organizations are not as bureaucratic as expected, and thus, conducive to transformational leadership” (p. 61).

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