The Relationship Between Emotional Intelligence and Leadership Styles of Managers in Small and Medium Enterprises

The Relationship Between Emotional Intelligence and Leadership Styles of Managers in Small and Medium Enterprises

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-6684-8822-5.ch017
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This study investigated the relationship between emotional intelligence and leadership styles of managers in small and medium enterprises at Dog Forces Security Services (DFSS), Namibia. The study used a quantitative correlation research design and a case study strategy. The results show a positive correlation between emotional intelligence and transformational (SD=2.06), transactional (SD=1.59), and laissez-faire leadership styles (SD=0.49). Further confirmation was done using Structural Equation Modelling (SEM) by creating a path analysis, and to confirm the hypotheses where a comparative fix index of .748 between emotional intelligence and transformational, .770 between emotional intelligence and transactional, .183 between emotional intelligence and laissez-faire was found resulting in the acceptance of all hypotheses. The study recommended that DFSS management should strengthen leadership initiatives that promote emotional intelligence and leadership styles in order to achieve their goals and intentions.
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Over the years, several studies on emotional intelligence and leadership styles were conducted (McCleskey, 2014). This can be traced back to Galton's Hereditary Genius, which was published in 1869 (Zaccaro, 2007). Galton placed an emphasis on two fundamental notions that have contributed to contemporary conceptions of leadership. The first notion is that leadership is an exceptional skill that can only be possessed by very exceptional people, whose choices, as a result, have the potential to significantly impact the way our past unfolds. The second idea establishes a connection between the unique characteristics of these people and their genetic makeup. This notion of leadership, which is often referred to as the Great Man theory, held that the characteristics that determine successful leadership were naturally bestowed and handed down from generation to generation (Zaccaro, 2007).

Researchers from a wide range of disciplines have investigated and documented the correlational effects that exist between emotional intelligence and leadership styles in a variety of organisational contexts and situations (Badri-Harun et al., 2016; Batool, 2013; Chepng’eno & Ngui, 2017). Also, several studies so far have been conducted on emotional intelligence in relation to organisational leadership (Singh, 2007); emotional leadership theory (Bataeva & Vavilina, 2018); transformational leadership; Pillay et al. (2019), leader-member exchange (LMX) (Erdogan & Bauer, 2015); and leadership emergence in small groups (Goleman et al., 2013).

Thus, findings from the above studies were that Singh (2007) indicated a positive and significant correlation of emotional intelligence with organisational leadership for both genders. Bataeva and Vavilina (2018) revealed the essence of emotional intelligence and emotional competence which indicated a correlation between the level of managers’ emotional intelligence and their business performance. It further considered specific features of emotional leadership of various styles, namely resonant, dissonant, demagogue, and ignorant. Spano-Szekely et al. (2016) focused on emotional intelligence and transformational leadership of managers in the medical field. Their findings revealed a positive correlation between EI and transformational leadership.

Pillay et al. (2019), conducted a study on the relationship between EI and leadership styles in the South African petrochemical sector. It was revealed that a correlation exists between emotional intelligence, transactional and transformational leadership styles. In contrast to the foregoing, Weinberger (2009) discovered that there is no association between emotional intelligence and perceived leadership effectiveness amongst a sample of managers of a manufacturing business in the United States. However, the above studies did not focus more on the constructs of emotional intelligence and leadership styles which lives a gap that this study intends to cover and non-was from the security industry.

Researchers in this study did not find any trace of a study done on Emotional Intelligence and leadership styles within the setting of private security SMEs in Namibia or within the SME fraternity as a whole. As a result, a study is required to ascertain whether there is a relationship between emotional intelligence and leadership styles within the context of SMEs in Namibia, particularly within the private security industry.

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