Academic journal article Academy of Strategic Management Journal

Leadership in the 21st Century: The Effect of Emotional Intelligence

Academic journal article Academy of Strategic Management Journal

Leadership in the 21st Century: The Effect of Emotional Intelligence

Article excerpt


We developed a model in which transformational leadership mediated between emotional intelligence and workplace performance. This paper states the effect of emotional intelligence on transformational leadership style in the 21st century. It is proposed that the emotional intelligence concepts of self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and relationship management contribute to enhance a leader's sense of self and others in order to accomplish organization's goals. Transformational leadership characteristics are also reviewed to understand how leaders can aim their efforts towards specific objectives. Moreover, a leaders and managers' overview in the current millennium is also included in this paper to obtain links between transformational leadership and emotional intelligence. A discussion of research issues and future direction is also reviewed for new analyses, as well as conclusions.


The purpose of this paper is to propose relationships between emotional intelligence and transformational leadership. In the current millennium, companies need leaders who are able to operate in multicultural environments, are aware of global marketing issues, and recognize the need for diversity because these will allow organizations to remain competitive and survive in multicultural environments (Pool & Cotton, 2004). Leaders around the world need to consider personal, social, business, and cultural aspects of global literacy (Rosen & Digh, 2001) as well as social literacy issues such as, trust, listening, constructive impatience, connective teaching, and collaborative individualism (Pool & Cotton, 2004). In addition, Rosen and Digh (2001) state that business literacy must include, among other skills, the ability to create leaders, manage difficult situations, and be a real link between leaders and followers. In short, global literacy and social literacy relate to emotional intelligence through motivation, adeptness in relationships, and self regulation of emotions.

Burns (1978) first proposed that transformational leaders demonstrate high levels of moral conduct, ethical conduct, self-sacrifice, determination, and far-sightedness. Transformational leadership behaviors consist of four dimensions: idealized influence (TLii), individualized consideration (TLic), inspirational motivation (TLim), and intellectual stimulation (TLis). Transformational leaders give individualized consideration through developing and mentoring followers (Bass & Avolio, 1994). They provide inspirational motivation (TLim) by giving meaning to work, encouraging pro-social behavior, and emphasizing social goals instead of individual goals. They also promote intellectual stimulation (TLis) by encouraging innovation and creativity in approaching old situations in new ways. Transformational leadership is based on the perception of subordinates, therefore the more that subordinates feel that the leader is a transformational type, the more that the leader's vision is ingrained in followers. Emotional intelligence plays a crucial role here. Leaders with high EI help organizations create and maintain competitive advantage through increased performance, enhanced innovation, effective use of time and resources, restored trust, teamwork, and motivation (Goleman, 2000) Transformational leadership theory provides a model where leaders can develop their skills to coach, mentor, and facilitate in the workplace in addition to the traditional leadership functions of planning, directing, organizing, and controlling.

Emotional intelligence (EI) is defined as one's ability to manage and monitor one's own emotions; recognize different types of emotions in others; distinguish the difference between one's emotions and those of others; and possess the ability to direct information towards one's decision making actions (Mayer & Salovey, 1993). In fact, EI has been identified as a real measure for distinguishing superior leadership skills and abilities (Pool & Cotton, 2004), and in recent years has become an important topic in social and organizational science (Fineman, 1993; Mayer & Salovey, 1997). …

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