The Significance of Emotional Intelligence and Leadership Styles of Senior Leaders in the South African Government

By Mfikwe, N. M. G.; Pelser, T. G. | Management : Journal of Contemporary Management Issues, December 2017 | Go to article overview

The Significance of Emotional Intelligence and Leadership Styles of Senior Leaders in the South African Government


Mfikwe, N. M. G., Pelser, T. G., Management : Journal of Contemporary Management Issues


1.INTRODUCTION

The presence of women in senior management roles, especially in the South African context, has changed management cultures in most organisations. Leaders in every organisation need high emotional intelligence because they represent the organisation to the public, to those they lead and those they interact with on behalf of the organisation. Most of all, leaders in the organisation set the tone for employee morale-their influence often rubs-off on those they lead in their teams both negatively and positively, depending on the leader's leadership style. Naidoo and Xollie (2011) explain that the South African public sector is reeling from the barrage of new initiatives with respect to the government's transformation agenda, and from a plethora of targets that need to be achieved in the public sector.

Unlike few other business concepts, the notion of an emotionally intelligent leader has caught the interest and stirred the imagination of scholars and practitioners alike (Walter et al., 2012). According to Hur et al. (2011) the study of emotions in the context of leadership has become a key topic of interest among organisational behavioural researchers over the past decade. A significant body of research has been built over the past two decades that has found the emotional intelligence abilities to be associated with a range of important work-related behaviours. Particularly significant from a project's perspective have been associations found between emotional intelligence (EI) and leadership, team effectiveness and work group effectiveness (Clarke, 2010).

Goleman (1998) explains that emotional intelligence means managing feelings so that they are expressed appropriately and effectively, enabling people to work together smoothly toward their common goal. Goleman (1998) further argues that women are not 'smarter' than men when it comes to emotional intelligence, nor are men superior to women. An analysis of emotional intelligence in thousands of men and women found that women, on average, are more aware of their emotions, show more empathy, and are more adept interpersonally. Men on the other hand, are more self-confident and optimistic, adapt more easily and handle stress better (Goleman, 1998).

In his most recent study, Goleman (2014) explains that not all emotional partners are equal and that a power dynamic operates in emotional contagion determining which person's brain will more forcefully draw the other into its emotional orbit. Related to the above notion, global research conducted by the Hay Group (2012) shows that successful women leaders often display versatility in management styles. They tend to adapt their style to the demands of the situation and are less inclined to adhere to one particular style. As a result they create better performance-driven climate than their male counterparts which is the essence of Emotional Intelligence (EI) in a management context.

According to Thornton (2014), women currently hold only 26% of senior management positions in South Africa and 21% of local businesses have no women at all in senior management positions. This is in stark contrast to emerging countries like Russia and China, where a much higher number of women feature in leadership positions in organisations. The number of women in senior positions in businesses throughout South Africa has decreased by 2% since 2014, but has remained fairly fixed between 26% and 28%. Nonetheless, a total of 34% of South African businesses employed female human resource directors and the same percentage had female Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) which show an increase of 2% since 2014 and 7% since 2013. Despite the drop of women in senior positions since 2014, the leadership quotas remained a clear directive for business and the public sector to allow for equal opportunities for women in the workplace (Thornton, 2014).

2.PROBLEM STATEMENT

The presence of women in senior management roles, especially in the South African context, has changed management cultures in most organisations. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

The Significance of Emotional Intelligence and Leadership Styles of Senior Leaders in the South African Government
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.