The Emotional Intelligence and Leadership Behavior Among IT Executives

Subject: Leadership Styles
Pages: 20
Words: 10265
Reading time:
35 min
Study level: PhD


This study is a quantitative one concerning the relationship of transformational leadership and emotional intelligence in an Information technology organization.

How much the two influence the work performance of the individual and how they contribute to the performance of the organization is the key topic of interest. Increased competition in the workplace and the need to individually contribute to the success of an organization has become a significant problem. Competence and innovation are required in all IT management positions. The focus of this study is on transformational leadership as this is the most accepted leadership style evidenced by an in-depth literature review. Among the various schools of thought on leadership in Information Technology, the individuals emphasizing transformational leadership appear to be the current trend. Hence this study has been devoted to the study of the relationship between transformation leadership and emotional intelligence along with their contribution to organization output. The literature search has revealed the vast amount of discussion salient to this topic.


Challenges facing Information technology executives include global competition, economic constraints, and increased demands for service and quality (Harris et al, 2008, p.209). IT executives are expected to implement innovative and creative techniques to usher in new technologies, diminish costs, and improve strategic initiatives. The strategy to remain competitive and successful requires a dynamic change in the IT organizations. Change management is in itself new to many executives. Managing change effectively contributes to the alignment of the human capital, culture, behavior, and values (Harris et al, 2008, p.209). The burden of getting people to change work habits falls on the shoulders of the leaders in an organization.

Organization change is a strategic response to some outside force requiring IT to meet shifting market demands, introducing a new product or services, and making dramatic but realistic cuts in costs in resources or funding (Harris et al, 2008, p.210). The leaders happen to be at different rungs of the hierarchy of Information Technology. They are the people who share the responsibility of leading and motivating key contributors within the organization.

The CIO and the senior managers must be united in their support of methods of change. The middle tier of management though essentially being in charge of projects is a significant leadership group that must participate in all the initiatives of the CIO and senior managers. Change leaders need to be identified and the process of change managed as one (Harris et al, 2008, p. 210). This chapter will be elaborating on some aspects of leadership, theories of leadership, emotional intelligence, the study method, problem statement, purpose of the study and give a brief description of the study in general.

Keeping the best quality workforce

The current reality is business often becomes an e-business in that information technology is required for day-to-day activities (Altman, 2006, p.798). Retaining the best technology workers is the practice for organizations like IBM, HP, Microsoft, and Apple. Technology and business challenges require constant change and innovation. Retaining good quality workers is the dictum. Providing the right compensation for these high-tech workers is an accepted strategy where compensation is comprised of different benefits outside of the traditional base salary. The commitment of the senior leaders will provide for a flexible system whereby the best employees are further compensated with perks that improve the quality of life (Altman, 2006, p.799). For instance, telecommuting, professional development programs, and clear executive communication are essential for maintaining a high-quality modern workforce.


As organizations grow and expand, the technology infrastructure must be changed to meet the requirements. Only enterprising leaders and managers can take the workers on the journey through expansion. Hands-on skills may have to be replaced by supervisory skills. Entrepreneurship, innovation (start-up phase), operational organization (family business style of operations), creation of teams and development of the leadership style (stage of growth), being in the main command and as control decision-maker are the various roles of the effective leader (Altman, 2006, p. 802). The expansion could break down in any of the stages. Maladaptation of leadership is the main reason for ineffective performance and failure. An IT organization must be able to support expansion to be successful.


The leader in the start-up phase is enterprising and likely to be a risk-taker (Altman, 2006, p.802). The growth of an organization is based on the vision of such leaders and founders. In the small business phase, the leader requires more entrepreneurial skills. It is the leader’s decisions that determine the growth of the organization. The leader is expected to single-handedly deliver growth. Transition then occurs to shift the focus on entrepreneurial leadership to more effective team leadership. Further growth occurs through strategic ability in a planned and focused manner and carrying the teams alongside (Altman, 2006, p. 806). The aim is to bolster the ambitious plan of the organization. An efficient leader commands respect in his organization and the industry. Opening new markets, building strategic relationships in operations, finance, and business development and finally becoming the spokesperson of the organization all are in the hands of the effective leader.

Effective leadership

The quality of a leader is essential for the success of an organization. Effective leadership has been the subject of significant research. Leaders could be autocratic, coercive, transactional, transformational, and/or servant leaders (Pierce and Newstorm, 2003). Adaptability, intuition, listening, perception, resilience, and understanding are typical leadership qualities (Marques, 2004). Various theories of leadership have been discussed in the 20th century (Turner and Muller, 2005, p.50). Within the discussion of leadership, the idea that emotional intelligence might have a significant impact on the leader’s success and the team performance, much greater than the leader’s intellectual capacity has gained significant attention (Goleman, Boyatzis, and McKee, 2002). Understanding domains of personal competence and social competence in emotional intelligence has given rise to various leadership styles (Turner and Muller, 2005, p.52). Transformational leaders contribute most to the six: visionary, coaching, affiliative, democratic, pace-setting, and commanding styles. If emotional intelligence is linked to transformational leadership behavior, it may be possible to identify effective leaders through the assessment of emotional intelligence. This is especially true in the IT field where all personnel becomes potential leaders with special skills (Hayashi and Ewert, 2006, p.223). With the high level of competition between industries and businesses, it is essential to get human resources who are most capable of becoming leaders.

The IT workforce

The IT field is fast flourishing since most businesses rely on computer technology. The workforce of the IT field requires a significant degree of intelligence.

The individuals with the highest IQ (Intelligence Quotient) are without doubt the best technical performers. However, the stars seem to be the ones with good emotional intelligence (Stein, 2006). The emotionally intelligent employees use their interpersonal skills to acquire more information, to solve problems with help, and appear to be better-liked (Stein, 2006). Emotional intelligence is a particularly special requirement of the IT field as Information technology concerns relationships rather than mere technical knowledge (Dewey and DeBlois, 2006).

Problem Statement

Information technology executives have the task of leading an intelligent workforce in their organizations. The success of the organization projects depends on the leaders with the cognitive ability to guide, direct, constrain choices while taking action

and effectively setting goals that result in emotional and motivational attachment to the organization (Turner and Muller, 2005, p. 50). Better results are obtained with appropriate leadership style, competence, and emotional intelligence. If emotional intelligence is the factor that governs transformational leadership, taking steps to ensure recruitment of the workforce by the screening of their emotional intelligence would strengthen the leadership of the executives. Looking for emotionally intelligent executives after recruitment may not be so productive. The IT workforce can become leaders at any stage of their profession. Training of emotionally intelligent employees can further catapult success. The growth and expansion of an Information Technology organization may be directly related to the emotional intelligence of its leaders.

Study Purpose

The present study will evaluate the potential relationship between emotional intelligence and transformational leadership behaviors for IT Executives. The participants for the present study will include IT executives and their subordinates from some national for-profit IT organizations. The results from this study can be leveraged for executive placement, executive training, or career advancement training. At the heart of the present study rests a single issue: is there a relationship between emotional intelligence and transformational leadership? Furthermore, the present study will be the only study of its kind to evaluate the transformational leadership behavior of executive leaders based on the feedback of direct-report employees instead of perceived leadership behavior as reported by the executive. The distinction is significant because actual leader behavior and the behavior reported by the leader may not be the same. Therefore, the present study will provide unique insight into executive behavior in information technology organizations. As with any organization, IT organizations have struggled to identify leaders who can propel the organization to the next level. This quantitative research will use 2 instruments to research the variables of transformational leadership and emotional intelligence. The independent variable is emotional intelligence and the instrument used to assess it is the MCSEIT or the Mayer-Caruso-Salovey Emotional Intelligence Test (2002). The MLQ (Multifactorial Leadership Questionnaire Test) is being used for assessing transformational leadership. More details are provided in Chapter 3.

The study is being conducted in a setting of Information Technology workers and executives. With the fast-changing trends in business, there is no place for doing half-hearted jobs. The human resources capital has to be well selected after the adequate screening to increase the opportunity for success. All successful candidates must be viewed as potential leaders. Leadership is not an easy thing to fulfill. The combination of factors that contribute to good leadership with different strategies and qualities vary according to the situation, discipline, industry, and the followers (Marques, 2007, p. 644). Among the qualities, it has been suggested that emotional intelligence could be the single most important characteristic of transformation leaders. The IT industry has various project groups each with its leaders and the workforce is completely immersed in project-based work which contributes to the complexity of leadership requirements.

Theoretical Base

Theories have a bearing on leadership qualities (Dulewicz and Higgs, 2003). The trait theory was popular in the 1940s and states that common traits are found ineffective leaders (Turner and Muller, 2005, p.50). “Drive and ambition, the desire to lead and influence others, honesty and integrity, self-confidence, intelligence, and technical knowledge” are the traits according to Kirkpatricke and Locke (1991). Turner indicated seven traits of “problem-solving ability, results orientation, energy and initiative, self-confidence, perspective, communication and negotiating ability”. The behavior style school of thought was in vogue till the 1960s (Turner and Muller, 2005, p.50). Concern for others and relationships, concern for production, use of authority, formulating decisions by the involvement of the team, choosing options with the team involvement, and flexibility against rules are some of the behaviors recognized to be those of effective leaders. All the behaviors have not been investigated totally. The contingency school of thought says that a leader is what a situation makes him.

The path-goal theory of House (1971) identifies directive leaders, supportive leaders, participative leaders, and achievement leaders. (Turner and Muller, 2005, p.51) These are matched against environmental factors and subordinate factors. Fiedler has used three variables to determine the favorability of leadership. The relationship between leaders and members, task structure, and rank of the leaders in the hierarchy are the deciding variables. Fielder suggests that task-oriented leaders (having a low least preferred co-worker or LPC score) can use a directive and controlling style to achieve effectiveness. Participative leaders with high LPC scores reach high effectiveness through interpersonal orientation.

The visionary theory was popular in the 1980s and 90s. Bass (1990) identified transactional and transformational leadership. Transactional leadership provides incentives for followers to meet targets and takes action only when things are going astray (Turner and Muller, 2005, p.51). Transformational leaders lay their stress on boosting an employee’s work performance by raising their consciousness levels above the value of designated outcomes and encourage them to achieve more (Hayashi and Ewert, 2006, p. 225). Achieving beyond what was originally set as the outcome is what is taught the workers (Sivanathan and Fekken, 2002). Transformation leaders bring about change and movement. They cause innovative changes in their organizational structure (Davidhizer and Shearer, 1997). A new vision and new possibilities are introduced to their subordinates. (Tucker, 2004, p. 103). This leadership motivates people by appealing to their higher ideals and moral values (Tracey and Hinkins, 1998). The transformation leader is a leader of innovation (King, 1994). New pathways are created by the transformational style (Mink, 1992). Transformational leadership increases the quality of life of the people and organization by generating energy-producing features (Schuster, 1994). Administration, management, and leadership are the essential ingredients of a leader (Ackoff, 1999). Ackoff defined a transformational leader as one “who formulates an inspiring vision, facilitates the vision, encourages short term sacrifices and makes pursuing the vision a fulfilling venture”. Organizations are to move towards more transformational qualities of cultures. (Bass and Avolio, 1993). The features of transformational leaders are believed to have obvious themes (Tracey and Hinkin, 1998).

The Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire is the most popularly used leadership assessment tool (Turner and Muller, 2005, p. 52). Environmental risk, level of the leader in the hierarchy, and gender have been identified as the contextual factors (Antonakis, Avolio, and Sivasubramaniam, 2003). The contextual concepts of the MLQ have been strengthened with the scales of the Organizational Commitment and Organizational Context (Dulewicz and Higgs, 2004). Dulewicz’s questionnaire includes job satisfaction, realism, commitment to a required change in the organization, understanding the requirement for change, and the actual change being faced by the organization (Dulewicz, 2003). This modified questionnaire assesses leadership and context simultaneously and eliminates the weaknesses of the original MLQ (Turner and Muller, 2005, p. 52). A project manager’s leadership should be preferably transformational (Keegan and Den Hartog, 2004). However, the relationship they found was more for line managers. The leadership of IT leaders has not been considered.

The emotionally intelligent school of thought has been prevalent since the 1990s. It has been suggested that the leaders’ success depends on his emotional intelligence rather than intellectual capacity (Goleman, Boyatzis, & McKee, 2002). The intellect of an individual is measured by IQ tests. However cognitive intelligence is not sufficient in predicting success for most matters (Andersen, 1999, p.3). Had this been true, all CEOs and politicians would have been the most intelligent people on the planet. Having intelligence can certainly help them accumulate more facts but does not translate into the ability to respond to data. Emotional intelligence on the other hand grows with maturity (Andersen, 1999, p. 3). Four dimensions of emotional intelligence and six leadership styles have been identified (Goleman, Boyatzis, & McKee, 2002). Visionary, democratic, coaching, and pace-setting lead to better performance. Goleman, Boyatzis, and McKee have demonstrated a relationship between emotional intelligence and leadership and the performance of the organization. Three schools of thought exist for emotional intelligence. Goleman, (1998), assimilates personal characteristics like initiative, self-confidence, and the drive to produce results to emotional intelligence. Bar-On considers emotional intelligence to be a part of personality just like extroversion, agreeableness, and emotional stability (1997). Another school believes that emotional intelligence is a set of abilities (Mayer, Caruso, and Salovey, 1999). These include the capacity to reason, understand and use emotions in thinking and action which are all abilities forming a natural part of daily life.

The Ability Model of Emotional Intelligence

This ability model is believed to have four sub-components: emotional perception, emotional facilitation of thought, emotional understanding, and emotional management (Mandell and Pherwani, 2003, p.389). The ability to recognize emotion in oneself and other external targets like people, music, and visual art is emotional perception. The ability to link emotions to other objects and use emotions to help reasoning and problem solving is the emotional facilitation of thought. Being able to analyze anger is an ability based on emotional facilitation of thought. The ability to understand emotions and how they relate to each other is emotional understanding.

The Mixed Model of Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence is thought of more comprehensively by some researchers. It is defined as ability with ‘social behaviors, traits, and competencies (Mandell, 2003, p. 389). Goleman (1998) and Bar-On (1997) have spoken about this model. Bar-On defined emotional intelligence as “an array of non-cognitive capabilities, competencies, and skills that influence one’s ability to succeed in coping with environmental demands and pressures” (1997, p.14). Mandell and Pherwani examined the relationship between emotional intelligence and transformation leadership (2003, p. 387).

Discussion of the two models

Emotional intelligence was considered a unique ability until a measurement was made possible. The Multifactor Emotional Intelligence Scale for the ability model was developed by Mayer, Salovey, and Caruso (1997). The more recent version is the Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test (1999). Bar-On developed the EQ test for the mixed model (1996). The EQ Inventory has five components and reliability tests have shown that all the 3 scales have good internal consistency and test-retest reliability.

Emotional intelligence considers both personal and social competence. Personal competence involves self-awareness and self-management. Social competence involves social awareness and relationship management (Turner and Muller, 2005, p. 52).

The competency school of thought for effective leadership has been attempting to identify the competencies of leaders since the late 1990s (Turner and Muller, 2005, p. 53). Different combinations of competencies have been considered here. Low complexity situations may just require transactional leaders. Situations of high complexity may require transformational leaders. Competencies could also be technical or intellectual when Barnard’s cognitive roles are required or emotional requiring the cachectic roles and emotional intelligence. Dulwich and Higgs have overviewed the competency school (2003). Studies have shown an association between emotional intelligence and leadership (Sosik and Megerian, 1999). Transformational leadership and transactional leadership have been proposed by Burns (1978) as factors for successful leadership and are being focused on by current developments (Hackman, Hills, Furniss, & Peterson, 1992). Burns (1978) and Bass and Avolio (1994) elaborated on these two leadership styles. Many researchers are seen to have done diverse studies on transformational and transactional leadership. Later the focus came to be on the types of intelligence associated with leadership (Bass, 1990b). Eventually, a relationship between transformational leadership and emotional intelligence started to be considered. Emotional intelligence is a strong predictor of transformational leadership, self-efficacy, and spirituality (Harstfield, 2003). According to most authors competencies that relate to leadership performance can be categorized in four ways: cognitive, behavioral, motivational, and emotional (Dulewicz and Higgs, 2003). However, Dulewicz and Higgs have identified three competencies: intellectual, managerial, and emotional. In 2000, Dulewicz and Higgs showed that 27% of leadership performance is accounted for by Intelligent Quotient (IQ), 16% by managerial competence (MQ), and 36% by emotional competence (EQ).

Organization themes have been found in transformation leadership. Questioning assumptions and promoting non-traditional thinking is the first theme and it is compared to the intellectual stimulation focus of Bass and Avolio. The second theme is focused on follower development. Self-development is encouraged by the leader. Associates are molded into leaders (Bass and Avolio, 1997, p. 17). Minute actions by leaders can have a dramatic effect on the performance and functioning of the organization (Finkelstein and Hambrick, 1996, p.71). Behaviors are external, internal, and relational in context. The internal context forms the foundation for transformational behavior (Herrington, Bonem, and Furr, 2000). The leader must be able to change (Herrington, Bonem, and Furr, 2000) for him to have emotional links with his followers to initiate changes in them (Popper and Zakai, 1994). Self-confidence, “integrity, honesty, and personal values” influence the transformational leader who relates his behavior to his life experiences (Avolio, 1994). The behavior of the higher-level leaders to lower-level officers is seen as a cascading effect as leaders tend to influence their followers to adopt their modeled behaviors. The organization becomes reinforced. The followers are impressed by the leader’s competence and vision for achieving success. Culture is changed by behavioral changes (Trahant, Burke, and Koonce, 1997). An organization is influenced by the relational behavior of the leader (Tucker, 2004, p. 105). Transformational leaders influence the followers’ thinking through their hearts in a relational context. Internally motivated workers understand the feelings of the leader when he empathizes with them and provides assistance in their development and shares power with them (Davidhizer and Shearer, 1997). Transformational leaders inspire them with a mission and trigger new ways of thinking (Keller, 1995). The goals of the leader need to be clear-cut and transparent to the followers (Tucker, 2004, p. 105). ‘Passionate inspiration’ is exhibited by transformational leaders (Hersey and Blanchard, 1996).

Transformational leadership is the most acceptable when compared to transactional and laissez-faire leadership in an Information Technology environment (Turner and Muller, 2005; Hayashi and Evert, 2006; Sivanathan and Fekken, 2002; Tucker, 2004; Bass and Avolio, 1993; Tracey and Hinkin, 1998; Ackoff, 1999; Schuster, 1994 and King, 1994). MLQ appears to be the most popular among the instruments to measure transformational leadership. Transformational leadership can be assessed using 24 items, 12 for charisma, 4 for inspiration, 4 for intellectual stimulation, and 4 for individual consideration.

A predictive relationship was discovered between emotional intelligence and transformation leadership (Mandell and Pherwani, 2003). The emotional intelligence school of thought appears to be another accepted idea in leadership. Two models of thought are spoken of in emotional intelligence: the ability model and the mixed model.

The MSCEIT has been adopted for this study to assess the ability-based model of emotional intelligence. It has 8 tasks, 2 each for the four branches of emotional intelligence (Mayer, Salovey and Caruso, 2004, p. 200).

Operational definitions

Information technology organization. An IT organization is composed of many steps of management in the hierarchy of the organization which deals with information technology. The senior management, middle management, and the highly skilled executives are all equally important in the IT organization with specific job responsibilities and the scope to become leaders in their rights. Highly intellectual persons are the backbone of the IT industry (Bresnahan, 2000).

Emotional Intelligence is a form of intelligence that involves the ability to monitor one’s own and others’ feelings and emotions that focus on an array of emotional and social abilities, including the ability to be aware of, understand, and express oneself, the ability to be aware of, understand and relate to others, the ability to deal with strong emotions, and the ability to adapt to change and solve problems of a social or personal nature (Bar-On, 2002).

Emotional Quotient Inventory is a diagnostic questionnaire that has 5 composite scales of Intrapersonal, Interpersonal, Adaptability, Stress Management, and Mood and 15 subscales. The Intrapersonal subscale includes emotional self-awareness, self-actualization, self-regard, independence, and assertiveness. The Interpersonal subscale includes empathy, social responsibility, and interpersonal relations. The Adaptability subscale includes flexibility, reality testing, and problem-solving. The Stress Management subscale includes impulse control and stress tolerance, and the Mood subscale includes optimism and happiness (Bar-On, 2002).

Leadership is the process of influencing others to understand and agree about what needs to be done, how it can be done effectively, and the process of facilitating individual and collective efforts to accomplish the shared objectives (Yukl, 2002).

Transformational Leaders are charismatic, visionary, inspirational, and intellectually stimulating leaders who develop followers by creating a direction for them to follow but giving them the freedom to control their behavior (Bradberry, 2007, p.1).

Transactional leaders take a conventional highly structured approach to employee motivation, tend to point out mistakes, take action when things are not up to the mark, promise incentives for performance sometimes, do not give due to praise or affirm interpersonal relationships and rely on systems and rules of organizations, thereby contrary to the use of emotional intelligence (Bradberry, 2007, p. 2).

Laissez-faire leaders avoid making decisions, abdicate responsibility, and do not use authority (Turner and Muller, 2005, p. 52).

Limitations and Implications for future studies

The MLQ leadership form did not differentiate between transactional and transformational leadership. This instrument showed 3 different scores for the different leaders.

Significance of the study

The relationship between transformational leadership and emotional intelligence will be reviewed here. If the performance of an organization could be improved by a transformational leader with increased emotional intelligence, organizations could in the future resort to screening candidates for recruitment by assessing their emotional intelligence. Information technology organizations have the scope of turning all their employees into leaders on a project-by-project basis. The study serves to improve the performance of the Information technology organizations which have become essential to this era. A positive social change is possible with the IT companies improving their Human Resources recruitment style.

Organization of the remainder of the study

The Literature Review in the next Chapter will be based on the special nature of the Information Technology industry, its leadership possibilities, the significance of emotional intelligence in leadership, and the theoretical relationship between the two.

Chapter 3 will outline the methodologies for conducting the research and measuring the results.

Literature Review

The literature review will evaluate the literature dealing with emotional intelligence and transformational leadership obtained from an in-depth search through ProQuest Educational Journals, Academic Source Premier, and the Springerlink articles. However, historically significant articles have also been discussed. The chapter has shifted through the competencies of the 21st century after having laid down the research hypotheses. The chapter has gone onto highlighting the challenges of the Information technology sector. The IT field has very many leaders at various stages of the hierarchy. The necessity to recruit quality staff with features of both transformational leadership and emotional intelligence for the IT field has been explained. A few studies which have combined the two are being elaborated. The transformation leaderships and the emotional intelligence separate studies have been picked for further detailing and significance. The instruments being used for this study have been discussed highlighting their reliability and internal consistency. The reasons for selecting the two for this study would be understood from this chapter. Review of related research literature is related to the problem statement as in the research question and hypothesis in Chapter 1.

Research Hypotheses

The following null hypotheses will be researched:

  1. Leadership behavior will not be correlated to emotional intelligence
  2. Intellectual stimulation is not related to transformational leadership.
  3. Inspiration is not related to transformational leadership
  4. Individual consideration is not related to transformational leadership
  5. Charisma is not related to transformational leadership
  6. Identifying emotions, using emotions, understanding emotions, and managing emotions will not be related to the idealized influence
  7. Identifying emotions, using emotions, understanding emotions, and managing emotions will not be related to inspirational motivation
  8. Identifying emotions, using emotions, understanding emotions, and managing emotions will not be related to intellectual stimulation
  9. Identifying emotions, using emotions, understanding emotions, and managing emotions will not be related to individualized consideration

Competencies in the 21st century

David McClelland first proposed human resources as a new technique and important “differentiator of performance” (Boyatzis, 2007, p. 5). It has become a foregone conclusion in every establishment of over 300 employees to have competency-based human resources management. The emotional, social, and cognitive intelligence competencies and performance in various establishments provide the impetus for other similar ones to pick up. The competencies are behavioral expressions of talent. Emotional competence depends on the ability to learn depending on emotional intelligence and meriting good and effective performance at work (p. 8).

A personality theory whereby a person exhibits influence, inspirational leadership, or change catalyst, and the competencies may be assessed (p. 10). The use of one’s competencies becomes arousal that can create a changing personality with better leadership and emotional intelligence. Human talent can be developed in the adult stage by changing behavior, moods, and self-image. Research on psychotherapy, self-help programs, and cognitive behavior therapy has indicated this. However, the endurance of the effects of training is questionable (p. 10).

Information technology

Information technology is a field where both technical and social skills are equally crucial to success (Joshi and Kuhn, 2007, p. 401). IT competencies are related to IT leadership. The critical skills and knowledge of the employees keep changing depending on the needs. Based on this, recruitment is changed accordingly and the attributes to successful performance are looked out for. Research has however concentrated on the general skills of the employees. Leadership has been hardly investigated for skills and performance (Joshi and Kuhn, 2007, p. 401). The skills and traits required for the top consultant or leader need to be constructed. Absorbing top performers is essential for an IT organization (Robinson, 2005). Appraisals after watching for a few months in certain specific job locations may not provide a proper total picture of a top performer. The judgment of a person’s real value should exclude biases of social perception. Personality traits and skills vary between male and female employees. Women are more nurturing and concerned while men are more instrumental or focused on a job. Leadership is seen more in men. Women and men have different attributes by researchers. The women in the IT field are believed to be better workers than women elsewhere. A study assessed qualitatively the attributes of IT consultants at entry-level, middle level, and upper level in a large IT consulting firm with 60 % males and the remaining 40% females. (Joshi and Kuhn, 2007, p. 415). The top consultants were needed to be possessing hard skills like technical and leadership qualities and skills for building relationships and extra-role behaviors. The hard skills were attributed to the males and the other skills to the females. The hard skills could be assimilated to leadership qualities and the other skills emotional intelligence. Top IT consultants need to balance the two sets of skills to avoid experiencing role conflict (p. 415). Experience, mentoring, and training could help all leaders or potential leaders to become top consultants. The IT curriculum needs to hone the ability to become leaders and to form relationships apart from the emphasis on technical, analytic, and problem-solving skills (Joshi and Kuhn, 2007, p.417). Project management activities help students develop their soft skills and evaluate their leadership skills. A system development course with group projects would provide the opportunity to build credible relationships with their peers and clients.

Leadership and Emotional Intelligence

Leadership and emotional intelligence are hotly debated and researched topics for organizations and management (Dulewicz, 2005, p. 71). The defining features of effective leadership have not been finalized yet. However, Dulewicz’s study found that the emotional quotient does contribute to overall performance and officer leadership appraisal more than the intellectual and managerial competencies and contributes to predicting leadership (Dulewicz, 2005, p. 83).

Transformational Leadership

Positive transformation leadership which is characterized by “intellectual stimulation, individualized consideration, inspirational motivation, and idealized influence, achieves greater employee performance, effort, satisfaction, and organizational effectiveness (Barbuto and Burbach, 2006, p. 51). One gap that had been noticed in literature is the means for predicting the behaviors of transformational leadership. The dispositional and situational antecedents were essential but missing in literature (p. 52). Personality (Atwater and Yammarino, 1993), motivation (Barbuto, Fritz, and Marx, 2000), and contextual aspects (Hunt, 1999) had been the focus for transformational leadership. A study was conducted by Barbuto and Burbach (2006) to investigate the relationship between transformational leadership and emotional intelligence among 80 elected public officials (p. 51). Emotional intelligence was found to show a variation with self-perceptions and rater perceptions of transformational leadership. The predictive value of emotional intelligence in leadership field research is supported here. The positive and significant relationship of emotional intelligence with transformational relationships coincided with previous studies (Barling et al., 2000; Gardner & Stough, 2002). One difference from previous findings noted here was that rater perceptions did not support the relationship. However empathetic response had a significant relationship with transformational leadership as in some previous studies (Kellett et al, 2002, Wolfe et al, 2002).

Competencies of Transformation Leadership

Competencies of transformation leaders in the motivation of employees to improve work performance have been studied. The enhancement of the competencies of the transformation leaders is a criterion that can ensure the heightened work performance and success of an organization. Emotional intelligence competencies and empowerment tools are to be concentrated upon for the aim of ultimately producing motivational strategies (Panagiotis, 2008, p. 9). The organizational culture of an establishment determines the role of leadership. The style of leadership is influenced by the beliefs, values, and assumptions of the managers. Different leadership styles with their own set of characteristic features exist. Organization goals may be achieved if all employees have the empowerment to do their jobs well (Latham, 2004). If authority and responsibility are restricted, the employees may lower their commitment. Performance may be satisfactory but that extra enthusiasm for enhancing quality and productivity would be missing (Steers, 2004). Regular meetings of leaders and employees allow joint decision-making and participative management. Appropriate task allocation and the absence of role conflict are extremely important in teamwork. Costs need to be minimized but job satisfaction must not be compromised for it (Panagiotis, 2008, p.9).

The transformational leader inspires the followers to think of problems in innovative ways by showing them their moral values and ideals. They could be directed to become more aware of the importance and significance of their tasks which should be placed before their self-interests. The ability to inspire followers through words, visions and exemplary actions may help the followers to achieve their dreams (Hellriegel, 2004). After Burns and Bass, transformational leadership has become related to the four dimensions elaborated below.

Charismatic leadership

Transformational leadership influences follower motivation through charisma (Ilies, 2006, p.1). “Charisma is a form of interpersonal attraction that inspires support and acceptance”(Panagiotis, 2008, p.9). Everything else being the same, a charismatic leader has more influence on his followers than a non-charismatic leader. He produces an emotional response in the followers which makes them do more than what they normally do. The follower is induced into thinking about a large vision of a pictured future. The value of the corporate system for which all stand together is highlighted emotionally touching the heart of the follower and getting plenty of trust in return (Daft, 2003). The subordinate’s consciousness about innovative outcomes is raised. He is to sacrifice his interests in the name of the company. An atmosphere of exciting change kindles the passionate response of the follower who may become even obsessed by the looming vision. The emotional impact is huge (Panagiotis, 2008, p. 9). The charismatic leader usually is a social leader rather than a leader of an organization (Hellriegel, 2004). Leaders who are likely to have empathy for followers are more prone to understand their emotional needs and respond better (Rahim, 2006). Empathy happens to one aspect of emotional intelligence and is associated with individualized consideration. The social skills aspect of emotional intelligence is associated with intellectual stimulation (Rahim, 2002). Both are being considered in this study.

Work motivation

Motivation is defined as the contemporary (immediate) influence on direction, vigor, and persistence of action (Atkinson, 1964). It must have a goal of achieving merit “the capacity for organizing our feelings and those of others, for motivating ourselves and for managing emotions well in ourselves and our relationships.” (Goleman, 2001). Emotional intelligence is the most important component and of equal importance as technical skills and IQ jobs. Weber first associated charisma with organizational leadership (1947). House’s was the first theory linking charisma to leadership (1977). In 1978, the concept of transformational leadership came into existence following a study on political leadership (Burns, 1978).

Bass then spoke about the four dimensions of transformation leadership which comprised idealized influence (charisma), inspirational motivation, intellectual stimulation, and individualized consideration (1985). Idealized influence is the vista of pride, trust, and respect caused by emotional identification with the leader. Intellectual stimulation is how the leader guides the followers to question their method of doing things and seek innovative techniques to get things done. Individualized consideration is the attitude of the leader in providing personal attention to the development of the followers. Many kinds of research have been done on transformational leadership but the main ones were by Bass and Avolio. Meta-analysis has been done by Lowe, Kroeck, and Sivasubramaniam (1996). There has been an argument over which is more in tune with leadership, the word charismatic or transformational. There have been takers for both (Ilies, 2006, p. 2). Ilies and his team studied transformational leadership on follower motivation using a hypothetic model rather than use the MLQ. This theory is known as the Reinforcement Sensitivity Theory (Gray 1981, 1990) uses the two neurobehavioral systems, the Behavioral Activation System and the Behavioral Inhibition System which regulate the approach motivation and avoidance motivation respectively. The model of motivation has “affective and cognitive processes that influence the effort variables of direction, amplitude, persistence and a self-regulation process” (Ilies, 2006, p. 4). Charismatic leaders have more positive emotional expressions and transmit more positive feelings to their followers than non-charismatic leaders. The mechanism through which charismatic leaders transmit their emotions to their followers is through emotional contagion. The capacity to transmit emotions is measured by the Affective Communicative Test (ACT) or the Facial Expressiveness Scale (FES). Followers of charismatic leaders reported more emotional communication than followers of non-charismatic leaders. The amplitude of effort by employees would depend on the leadership (Ilies, 2006, p. 8). Exploration, risk-taking, creativity, task-persistence, perceptions of self-efficacy, and the capacity to self-set goals are all enhanced by the positive emotion transference (p. 9).

A mission with a vision

Leadership is therefore a method by which others are influenced by creating a vision for them and then turning this vision into reality (Panagiotis, 2008, p. 11). They need to express themselves as transformation leaders by using empathy and social skills. The greatest challenge for organizations is to enhance the emotional intelligence of their top executives and managers. Interventions like education and job-related training and continuous self-learning help to enforce leadership skills. Manager’s emotional competencies, motivation, and tools which empower certain jobs must be strengthened through training (Panagiotis, 2008, p. 11).

Specific job-related training could enhance their skills. Recruitment of managers with vision and charisma and high emotional intelligence would prove useful to the organization in the long run. Changes need to be made in the organization to make it more decentralized and less complex and develop a culture that rewards “learning, new competence, continuous questioning and inquiry” (Panagiotis, 2008, p. Developing emotional competencies would help the managers motivate their subordinates. Employee motivation is an essential part of effective management practice which is the building block in an organization.

The Seat of thought

The seat of thought is the neocortex of the human brain (Levinson, 2008, p. p.244). This region helps us to integrate and understand what our senses perceive. Feelings and symbolic images of art and literature are possible through the neocortex. A person feels angry and wishes to strike someone as some incident has hurt him. However, the action may be adjusted by rational thought in the neocortex which intervenes and keeps him from carrying out the negative act. However, not all people react rationally. This is seen when the amygdala reroutes transmissions from the thalamus to itself. The neocortex is then not called into play (Levinson, 2008, p. 245). This is called emotional hijacking. The rationale thought will not be expressed also when a person has not been taught the method of thinking rationally under pressure or is taught to use irrational ways to react to a situation. However, people may be taught to overcome the situations and behave in a rational manner or an emotionally intelligent one. An emotional response is the “end product of complex psycho-neuro-physiological reactions to internal and external stimuli” and is also known as an evaluation reaction (Levinson, 2008, p. 245). Dysfunctional evaluation reactions may be improved through semantics like “knowing one’s emotions, managing emotions, motivating oneself, recognizing emotions in others (empathy) and handling relationships” (Levinson, 2008, p. 246).

Domain abilities

Individuals may have different domain abilities. Some may believe in interpersonal relationships more than self-awareness while others may be just the opposite. People who are exposed to certain negative forces can contemplate and decide how to respond. Semantic relaxation can ease tensions and sensory awareness. The individual can understand his emotions as they occur. Existential orientation helps one to analyze situations rather than dispute their existence. Here one can stay tuned to ones’ emotions. The founder of Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy, Albert Ellis, advises existential orientation to overcome fears.

Managing Emotions

Managing one’s emotions may help tolerate frustration and stress better. Long-term projects and getting along with others may be the advantage secured. The delayed reaction technique allows one to investigate matters before taking action. This may turn out to be a useful tactic to manage emotions in that potentially adverse reactions may be prevented (Levinson, 2008, p. 247). Signal reactions are those that are done quickly and unthinkingly. Another method of self-management is multi-valued reasoning. The complex emotions that we feel could be analyzed through this reasoning of emotions into positive or negative or combinations of both. Love may be positive, anger may be negative and other emotions may be combinations. All negative emotions are not undesired ones. The occasion may require them. Understanding that emotions are not all simply good or bad but complex and require reasoning to evaluate would help a person to manage his emotions well (Levinson, 2008, p. 247).

Achievements and life successes may depend on how well a person can manage their emotions or motivating themselves in servicing an aim. Desired outcomes may be reached through the happiness formula of Alfred Korzybski which says that the sum of realistic goals and hard work equals happiness (Levinson, 2008, p. 247). The cultivation of useful habits like patience

when things do not work out the way you want helps one avoid the IFD Disease (Idealization to frustration to demoralization). Once the demoralization end has been reached, managing emotions and motivation becomes difficult. Starting a day with happiness by having an achievable goal may keep the emotions on that day within control and more positive.


Empathy is the access code to a person’s brain. One who has this is good at interpersonal communications. He would be a well-understood person and able to evoke similar emotions in another. The tone of voice, facial expression, and posture allow one to communicate interpersonally without verbal cues 80% of the time. Human reactions are complex and finding common emotional ground is a task. One’s empathy skills depend on the ability to understand the complexity. If common ground is not reached early, perseverance should do it (Levinson, 2008, p. 248).

Managing relationships

Handling relationships is a skill that can find solutions to conflicts and negotiation of disagreements more effectively. Human beings and relationships change over time. This would imply that attaching dates to the evaluation of persons can help one become more skilled in dealing with people. Thinking and behavior must be modified to the current situation. Indexing or putting people into different categories with different personalities so that different approaches for interpersonal relations may be used is a valuable technique. Respect for another’s feelings may also be handled by using a “to me” attitude whereby you use the expression of your feelings to get others to respond (Levinson, 2008, p. 249).

The MLQ for Leadership

The Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire has been developed by Bass to measure transformational, transactional, and laissez-faire leadership concepts (Den Hartog, 1997, p. 21). This questionnaire has undergone modification at the hands of researchers. Eight dimensions form the questionnaire. Transformational leadership has four dimensions: charisma, inspiration, individual consideration, and intellectual stimulation. The transaction dimensions are contingent reward, active management-by-exception, and passive management-by-exception. The nonleadership dimension has only one item. All the subdimension scales have an alpha of more than 0.70 except for the passive management-by-exception and the laissez-faire dimension (Den Hartog, 1997, p. 26). The two together correlate 0.26 and 0.21.

The charismatic leader has a mission and vision. This leader instills pride, gains respect, and increases optimism (Bass and Avolio, 1989). Inspiration is the second dimension. The leaders must have the capacity to inspire. Individual considerations contribute to subordinate’s information through part coaching and part mentoring. It provides a continuous flow of new ideas and feedback (Den Hartog, 1997, p. 22). Conceptualization, comprehension, and analysis are the features of intellectual stimulation. When Bass’s transformational scale is compared to the rational objective the correlation is 0.66. This is higher than the correlation of 0. 62 between inspirational and rational objective leadership. The correlation between transformational leadership and inspiration is 0.99.

The MSCEIT as the measure of choice for Emotional Intelligence

The Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test (MSCEIT) (Mayer, Salovey, & Caruso, 2002a), the Emotional Quotient Inventory (EQ-I) (Bar-On, 1997a), and Schutte et al.’s (1998) Self-Report EI Test (SREIT) are three tests used for evaluating intelligence. A controversy exists as to what these tests predict and what they measure. The MSCEIT is different from other measures in that it predicts important life criteria (Brackett, 2003, p. 1). It measures emotional intelligence as a mental ability. The other two are self-report tests whose accuracy very much depends on the person’s ability to endorse an accurate assessment.

The MSCEIT measures emotional intelligence as “the capacity to reason regarding emotions and the capacity to use these emotions to assist in cognition” (Brackett, 2003, p. 2). The EQ-i measures the noncognitive capabilities, competencies, and skills that influence one’s ability to succeed in coping with environmental demands and pressures” (Bar-On, 1997b, p. 14). The SREIT is based on Schutte et al.’s (1998) understanding of Salovey and Mayer’s (1990) original model of EI, which broadly defined EI as an ability. The three tests are full-scale ones.

The MSCEIT measures the four abilities of perception of emotion, emotional integration to facilitate thought, the understanding of emotions, and the regulation of emotions to increase personal growth. The perception of emotions is rated according to how much of the emotion is expressed in a face or picture or design or landscape. The facilitation of thought is measured by the description of sensations and the comparison to other sensory modalities by introducing a predetermined mood into the thought processes. The understanding of emotions is measured by a discussion of complex emotions and how they change over time. Management of emotions is measured by asking the test-takers how they would manage private emotions and others’ emotions in imagined circumstances (Brackett, 2003, p. 2). The MSCEIT is similar to the four-part EI test and is reliable and valid.

The MSCEIT Version 2

The MSCEIT Version 2 is a 141 item test (Mayer et al, 2002a). Eight tasks with four branches of abilities in EI are included in the test. The measurement of how well people perform tasks and solve emotional problems is made. The answers are compared to the consensus. Scores for the different sections and one for the EI are five in number. The split-half reliability coefficients for the four branches range from r =.80 to.91, and for the entire test, r = 0.91 (Brackett, 2003, p. 4). The general scoring gave full-test split-half reliability of 0.93 and the expert consensus scoring gave 0.96 in another study (Mayer et al, 2003, p. 101). Here the branch scores ranged from 0.76 to 0. 91 (r).

EQ-i test

The EQ-I test answers the question as to why some people are psychologically better than others to handle emotions and why some people survive better. Five factors in 15 subscales form the test. The intrapersonal EQ tests self-awareness, assertiveness, self-regard, self-actualization, and independence (Brackett, 2003, p. 3). Empathy, relationship skills, and social responsibility provide a picture of the interpersonal EQ. The subscales of problem-solving, reality-testing and flexibility contribute to the factor of adaptability. Stress management is measured by stress tolerance and impulse control. These four scales are totaled for the EQ-i scores. The general mood is measured by happiness and optimism and is considered a facilitator of EI. The subscales have high internal consistency but the reliability has not been done. This is a 133 item self-report measure.

(Brackett, 2003, p. 4). A five-point Likert-type scale is used to measure the EQ. The reliability coefficients for the 15 subscales come to lie between 0.69 to 0.86 across 10 studies (Bar-On, 1997b).


The 33 self-report item SREIT test has good internal consistency and high test-retest reliability. However, this test is not considered a true representation of Salovey and Mayer’s model of EI. The results of the exploratory factor are more acceptable to researchers but the reliability and validity of the subscales of this factor have not been done. A 5 point scale with strongly disagree at 1 and strongly agree at 5 is applied. The reliability in the study was high and the coefficient alpha is 0.93.

Comparison of the three measures

In a study by Brackett and Mayer comparing the three measures for EI, it was found that the MSCEIT was the most distinct (Brackett, 2003, p. 6). When compared to the Big Five factors and Psychological Well-Being factors it was found that where MSCEIT was concerned, only agreeableness and openness to experience were similar. The EQ-I and the SREIT tests on the other hand shared a greater variance with the Big Five factors. It has become evident that the MSCEIT is separable from personality and well-being while the other two are not easily distinguished. The MSCEIT also correlated to some of the living space criteria just like the EQ-I but SREIT was unrelated to any criteria. MSCEIT showed a high prediction for social deviance. It was concluded that based on Mayer and Salovey’s model, MSCEIT is the measure of choice for emotional intelligence (Brackett, 2003, p. 9).

Managers and Emotional Ignorance

Bad executive decisions have become the rule but for the exception of many offices recently (Tasler et al, 2009). Several reasons like flawed logic, inadequate skills in maths, or a reduced understanding of business flows are spoken of. However emotional ignorance is the essential reason for bad decisions. Talent Smart has surveyed a cross-section of industries. 22 leadership skills were included for the survey including “strategic thinking, focus on results, character, and the ability to communicate and articulate vision” (Tasler et al, 2009). The good decision-makers were found to be high on one skill: emotional intelligence. Managers or leaders understand emotions, regulate their feelings, and respond suitably to the emotions of others. 70 % of the leaders who scored high on emotional intelligence were found to be among the ones who made highly skilled decisions. The leaders who were especially proficient in understanding the emotions of the others were also the ones who were influenced most by the subordinates. These leaders could make the most of difficult situations and react efficiently to make sound decisions in time (Tasler et al, 2009). 69% of the emotionally ignorant leaders occupied the lowest 15% in decision-making skills. The leaders who could not handle conflict efficiently were the same ones who could not shoulder responsibility for their actions. They also were least adept in making decisions and were further unaware of their drawbacks of fear, anger, or excitement. Emotional intelligence is more in leaders in higher ranks as they get promoted up to middle managers. From then upwards the journey is in the other direction (Tasler et al, 2009). It happens that people in the highest rungs are those with the most emotional ignorance. This may be the reason for some large businesses floundering. Thankfully emotional ignorance can be corrected with appropriate training.

This next chapter would be dealing with the methodology adopted for this study and the method of collecting the results and the analysis that follows.


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