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A Critical Examination of the Relationship between Emotional Intelligence and Transformational Leadership

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  • Dirk Lindebaum
  • Susan Cartwright

Abstract

The buoyant research interest in the constructs emotional intelligence (EI) and transformational leadership (TFL) is a testament to the crucial role of emotional skills at work. EI is often described as an antecedent of TFL, and several empirical studies report a positive relationship between these variables. On closer inspection, however, there may be methodological factors, such as common method variance, that potentially undermine the validity of findings. Using a multi-rater assessment (N = 227), this study sought to overcome the problem of method variance, whilst at the same time evaluate its potential presence by comparing same-source and non-same-source data. Findings suggest that, when using a strong methodological design, no relationship between EI and TFL is found. Thus, these findings renew the demand for scientific rigour in the design of studies to enhance their validity. The theoretical ramifications of this study are such that management scholars need to re-conceptualize the relationship between EI and TFL. Copyright (c) 2010 The Authors. Journal of Management Studies (c) 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd and Society for the Advancement of Management Studies.

Suggested Citation

  • Dirk Lindebaum & Susan Cartwright, 2010. "A Critical Examination of the Relationship between Emotional Intelligence and Transformational Leadership," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(7), pages 1317-1342, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jomstd:v:47:y:2010:i:7:p:1317-1342
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    1. Russ Vince, 2006. "Being Taken Over: Managers' Emotions and Rationalizations During a Company Takeover," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 43(2), pages 343-365, March.
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    3. Dean A. Shepherd & Melissa S. Cardon, 2009. "Negative Emotional Reactions to Project Failure and the Self-Compassion to Learn from the Experience," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 46(6), pages 923-949, September.
    4. Sally Maitlis & Scott Sonenshein, 2010. "Sensemaking in Crisis and Change: Inspiration and Insights From Weick (1988)," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(3), pages 551-580, May.
    5. Guinevere Smithers & Derek Walker, 2000. "The effect of the workplace on motivation and demotivation of construction professionals," Construction Management and Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 18(7), pages 833-841.
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