• ISSN(P) : 2708-2474
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Emotional Intelligence Supports Transformational LeadershipStyle: A Survey of Local Government District D.I. Khan Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Pakistan

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Abstract

In the contemporary world of stress and insecurity in developing countries like Pakistan, emotional intelligence has earned critical importance as an effective tool for organizational leadership. Literature suggests that when human devotion, motivation and commitment are the keys to organizational success, transformational leadership with sufficient command over emotional intelligence is the only package that can help successful operations of the organization. This study tests the same model of positive relations between EI & TRFLS and negative links of EI with TRSLS in the ‘local government’ work environment using local government leaders as the unit of analysis. Literature and field surveys for data collection and statistical tools for data analysis have been applied to serve the purposes of this study. The results confirm the hypothesized relationships between predictor and criterion variables with specific ‘statistics’ warranting further work on strengthening the interactions between TRFLS and EI.

 

Key Words

Emotional Intelligence (EI), Transformational Leadership Style (TRFLS), Transactional Leadership Styles (TRSLS)

 

Introduction


Current emotionally disturbed work environments demand emotional intelligence from every single employee working, particularly in Pakistani public or private organizations. Emotional intelligence is a critical issue in management and organization studies for the last couple of decades, thereby catching the attention of researchers, academia, and practitioners (Taylor, 1990; Kunnanatt, 2004). Human has a set of emotions, including joy, surprise, anger, fear, sorrow, and disgust (Mayer et al., 2008). Emotions are the integrated feelings containing physiological, cognitive and psychological contents. Emotional intelligence is divided into personal and social-emotional intelligence, which collectively forms the emotional capabilities of an individual or employee (Obradovic et al., 2013). Given the contemporary international and national conditions of insecurity and turmoil, the role of emotional intelligence becomes indispensable and decisive in defining the work environments (Coetzee & Harry, 2014). In this study, the researchers have computed the impacts or relations of EI with transactional and transformational leadership styles in the workplace of the Local government in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan.

Transactional (TRS) leadership is the traditional style for developing countries like Pakistan. It is closer to the legacy models of past leadership of Mughal kings and then British colonial powers. Hard and fast rules and regulations characterize the TRS where managers/leaders have to work as per documented guidelines for every possibly identifiable piece of work in the organization. Formal work environment, formal relations and formal performance are leading attributes of working under a TRS type of leadership. Contingent-rewards, active and passive management by exception are the major tools for employee motivation. The focus is on the group and organizational performance at the cost of individual consideration for each and every employee. The relations between leaders and subordinates are robotic and rigid, which is defined by rules and regulations first and then anything else (Odumeru&Ifeanyi. 2013).

Transformational (TRF) leaders also follow the rules but keep humans on the top. They depend more on collective intelligence than on established rules and regulations. The leader works as a part of the team but plays the part of a role model, motivator, stimulator and friend/mentor of every single employee individually(Bass &Riggio 2006). As a role model, a leader exhibits a quality before the subordinates first and then inspires them to command it, like, creativity, innovation, doing old things in new ways, and always coming up with the new idea to add to the collective knowledge (Bass 1985: 22). The leader makes all-out efforts to create such a work environment that excites the workforce to play their organizational roles with full devotion and in the direction specified by their inspiring, cooperative and encouraging role model or leader (Uusi-Kakkuri, Paii, 2017).

EI is a human capability that makes his/her stronger in managing personal behavior (personal-EI) as well as group behavior (social-EI). Likewise, TRF is obviously more oriented to capitalize on the human attributes in the organizational interest rather than the non-human resources; therefore, there seem greater connections between EI and transformational leadership style (assumption-1). Further, the TRS is more task-oriented and uses rules and regulation as the only guide to perform organizational work and reward or punishment as the only tool for motivation; therefore, the role of EI in such situations seems downplayed or discouraged (assumption-2). This study verifies these assumptions through first-hand data collected through a field survey. 

Literature Review

Emotional Intelligence

EI has become a widely researched area of study in the background of the organizational behavior in almost every type of organizations as well as everywhere on the planet, particularly in developing countries like Pakistan, which has recently come out of anti-terrorism war. EI is the ability of an individual to understand and manage his/her emotions and that of others in social interactions or work environments (Salovey & Mayer, 1990; Karimi, 2012). Researchers are working on the emotions, their nature and types, control and management in organizational behavior (Alavi et al., 2013). Researchers are also investigating the impact of EI on the decision making processes and dynamics in the work environment (Kashif, M. et al., 2016). Emotional intelligence is characterized (Goleman (1998:317) by the following two groups of attributes/abilities:

 

Personal Emotional Intelligence

1.        Self-awareness: Awareness of experiencing emotions, moods, impulses, and Why and their effects on others(Srivastava, 2013).

2.        Self-regulation: Keep emotions and impulses in check, remain calm in a crisis, and maintain composure irrespective of emotional experiences(Baesu & Bejinaru, 2013).

3.        Motivation: Remain focused on goals despite setbacks, Operate from the hope of success, not fear of failure, delaying gratification, and accepting change to attain goals (Taylor, 1990).

 

Social-Emotional Intelligence

         Empathy: Understand feelings transmitted through verbal and nonverbal messages, Emotional support to people when needed. Understand links between others’ emotions and behavior (Ayranci, 2011).

         Social skills: Deal problems without co-workers, don’t allow own or others’ negative feelings to inhibit collaboration, Handle affective conflict with tact & diplomacy (Thorndike, E.L. (1920).

 

Transactional Leadership Style

As the title shows, transactional leadership is based on ‘transactions’ between the leaders and followers. Transaction characterizes ‘exchange’ behavior between the leaders and subordinates where codes and modes of interrelationships are already well-explained and documented in the form of rules and regulations and modus-operandi. Transactional leaders work on the basis of existing patterns of work, and there is no desire to change or innovate the work culture or environment. Everybody has to play his/her role as per cook-book which assigns duties to every single employee. Such leadership keeps focus on the performance of the workforce and pays them as per their output. Workers performing as per rules are rewarded, while those who fall short of the required standards of work, earn punishment and penalties. The only way to motivate the employees is the ‘contingent rewards meaning that one is paid according to his/her performance. Transactional Leaders are characterized by:

1.        Contingent Rewards and Punishments: Reward for good performance and penalty or punishment for unwanted output. It is reciprocal and a kind of exchange between the leader and followers.

2.        Passive management by exception: When employees are rewarded or given punishment for bad performance, the leader stays passive during the performance and depends on contingent rewards or penalties at the end of the task or job.

3.        Active management by exception: When the manager observes subordinates when they are on the job and suggests them corrections during the process to incorporate in performance, this management is called active management by exception. By exception means managing not continuously rather as and when required.

 

Transformational Leadership Style

Transformational leaders are more human-oriented than organizational rules and regulations. They trust more in employees as human beings than just a spare part of a big machine called an organization. These leaders connected with all individuals and groups of employees or followers (Kouzes & Posner 2002; Posner & Kouzes 1988). Obviously, this kind of leader has several distinctive qualities in his/her personality, which are then tried to be communicated or injected into the followers or subordinate (Arnold & Loughlin 2013). The leader works as a role model, motivator, intellectual stimulator and mentor for every single employee through contact with every individual employee(Uusi-Kakkuri, Piia, 2017).

Unlike transactional leaders who stick with the cookbook to run the organization, including human resources, transformational leaders rather invest in the human resource of the organization by depending on their energies of creativity and innovations (Kouzes & Posner, 1988; 2002). The leader plays his/her role as one of the members in decision making and choosing strategies to undertake a specific task or assignment. Employees are listened to by the leader, and genuine ideas are respected and uploaded into the decision making process and outputs. In general, transformational leaders use the following tools (Bass&Riggio, 2006) to manage their employees/subordinates in favor of the organization:

1.        Idealized influence: The leader is capable enough to play a role model for the subordinates. The followers get inspired by the confidence, determination, rigorousness, sharing of their role model and thereby try their best to perform (Northhouse, 2013).

2.        Inspirational motivation: Transformational leaders do not motivate by contingent rewards rather inspire the subordinates by believing in them and taking care of their needs beyond the rules and regulations. They are inspired to get motivated by being given the opportunity to participate in decision making. They motivated by getting separate and individual attention and care from the leader (Uusi-Kakkuri, Piia, 2017).

3.        Intellectual stimulation: The employees are encouraged to participate at every level of work by thinking creatively and innovating new methods for doing old things. Employees are not used as followers rather empowered to feel ownership of the organization (Arnold & Loughlin 2013).

4.        Individual consideration: The leader tries to keep in contact with every single employee individually for listening to his/her concerns as well as motivating the employees to work with internal and external energies. There is a relation of trust between the leader and every employee (Rehman, &Waheed, 2012).


Figure: Theoretical Framework

 


Research Design

Philosophy of Research

Positivism has been used as the philosophy behind the research design of this study. In positivism, knowledge is considered as something which can be verified through observations (Ontology), and it can be recorded and expressed through observable terminologies or concepts (Epistemology). For this purpose, tools and techniques of the ‘scientific method’ have been applied to fulfil the requirements of positivism, thereby qualifying for scientific data collection, analysis and output.

Data Collection & Analysis

As per the guidelines of positivism, data was collected from literature as well as the field. The research model has been extracted from literature through the application of ‘thematic-analysis.’ This model has then been used as a guide to conduct a field survey to collect first-hand data, which was used to ‘verify the hypothesis emerging from the literature-based research model extracted from the literature. Correlation and regression procedures were applied to undertake the verification of hypotheses.


 

Table 1. Reliability & Validity Analysis

Reliability Statistics on Research variables

 

Variables

Items

Cronbach Alpha

1

Emotional Intelligence

11

0.833

2

Transformational Leadership Style

10

0.907

3

Transactional Leadership Style

10

0.940

4

Questionnaire

31

0.826

Table 2. Validity Statistics on Emotional Intelligence

KMO (Kaiser-Meyer-Olkin) and Bartlett's Test

Component Matrix

Qs

Score

Measure of Sampling Adequacy.

.818

EI1

.698

Bartlett's Test of Sphericity

Approx. Chi-Square

708.354

EI2

.685

Df

55

EI3

.484

Sig.

.000

EI4

.548

Required Statistics

KMO

Bartlett’sTest

Factor Loading Cutoff

0.6

0.05

0.4

Computed Scores

0.818

0.000

0.481 to 0.795

EI5

.617

EI6

.652

EI7

.795

EI8

.761

EI9

.492

EI10

.542

EI11

.481

 

Table 3. Validity Statistics on Transformational Leadership Style

KMO (Kaiser-Meyer-Olkin) and Bartlett's Test

Component Matrix

Qs

Score

Measure of Sampling Adequacy.

.893

TRS1

.948

Bartlett's Test of Sphericity

Approx. Chi-Square

2132.068

TRS2

.750

Df

45

TRS3

.674

Sig.

.000

TRS4

.867

Required Statistics

 

KMO

Bartlett’s Test

Factor Loading Cutoff

 

 

0.6

0.05

0.4

Computed Scores

 

0.946

0.000

0.575 to 0.903

TRS5

.883

TRS6

.786

TRS7

.775

TRS8

.681

TRS9

.849

TRS10

.862

 

Table 4. Validity Statistics on Transformational Leadership Style

KMO (Kaiser-Meyer-Olkin) and Bartlett's Test

Component Matrix

Qs

Score

Measure of Sampling Adequacy.

.946

TRF1

.947

Bartlett's Test of Sphericity

Approx. Chi-Square

1235.984

TRF2

.850

Df

45

TRF3

.737

Sig.

.000

TRF4

.852

Required Statistics

 

KMO

Bartlett’s Test

Factor Loading Cutoff

 

 

0.6

0.05

0.4

Computed Scores

 

0.946

0.000

0.575 to 0.903

TRF5

.800

TRF6

.822

TRF7

.903

TRF8

.723

TRF9

.122

TRF10

.575

 

Empirical Evidence

Descriptive Results

Table 5.

Qualification/Experience Cross-tabulation

 

Experience

Total

<15

>15

Qualification

Postgraduate

74

23

97

Graduate

27

59

86

Total

101

82

183

 

Table 6.

Descriptive Statistics

 

N

Min

Max

Mean

Std. Deviation

Emotional Intelligence

183

3.00

7.00

5.9861

.64634

Transformational Leadership Style

183

3.20

5.10

4.3557

.49642

Transactional Leadership Style

183

2.00

6.60

2.8508

.79758

 

Testing of Hypotheses

Association Analysis

H1. Predictor is Significantly Associated with Criterion Variables

 

Table 7.

Correlations (n=183)

 

EI

TRF

Transformational Leadership Style

Pearson Correlation

.445**

1

Sig. (2-tailed)

.000

 

Transactional Leadership Style

Pearson Correlation

-.406**

.105

Sig. (2-tailed)

.000

.159

**. Correlation is significant at the 0.01 level (2-tailed).

 


Analysis

1.        EI is significantly and ‘positively’ associated with TRF

2.        TRS has significant and ‘negative’ relation with EI.

3.        TRS and TRF are ‘insignificantly’ linked with unacceptable R-value = 0.105

4.        Hypothesis # 1 is, therefore, significantly accepted established on hypothesized associations between the variables in the research model.


 

Prediction Analysis

H2: EI supports TRF

 

Table 8.

Model Summary

R

R Square

Adjusted R Square

Std. The error of the Estimate

F

Sig.

.445a

.198

.193

.44586

44.620

.000b

Coefficients

Model

Unstandardized Coefficients

Standardized Coefficients

t

Sig.

B

Std. Error

Beta

1

(Constant)

2.311

.308

 

7.507

.000

Emotional Intelligence

.342

.051

.445

6.680

.000

a. Predictors: (Constant), EI; b. Dependent Variable: TRF

 


Analysis

EI is responsible for 20% (R2=0.198) variation in Transformational leadership style (TRF) with a Beta-weight of 0.342 and a p-value of 0.000, meaning that an increase in EI increases the popularity of TRF. Hypothesis # 2 is therefore accepted as true with significant results.

H3: TRS is negatively explained by EI


 

Table 9.

Model Summary

R

R Square

Adjusted R Square

Std. The error of the Estimate

F

Sig.

.406a

.165

.160

.73098

35.676

.000b

Coefficients

Model

Unstandardized Coefficients

Standardized Coefficients

t

Sig.

B

Std. Error

Beta

1

(Constant)

5.848

.505

 

11.587

.000

Emotional Intelligence

-.501

.084

-.406

-5.973

.000

a. Predictors: (Constant), EI; b. Dependent Variable: TRS

 


Analysis

EI is significantly and ‘negatively’, explaining the 17% variation (R2 = 0.165) in Transactional leadership style (TRS). It shows that an increase in EI decreases the role of acceptance of TRS (Beta-weight = -0.501). The relationship is significant with a p-value of 0.000.

 

Discussions

Given the fact that transformational leaders are those who are more ‘human or person’ oriented rather than the ‘organization or task’ orientation. To successfully create a team workforce, transformational leaders use all possible tools and techniques to motivate their team members. Emotional intelligence is the best and most powerful weapon in the hands of such leaders who can apply different methods based on the components of emotional intelligence and thereby prepare their teams to take maximum interest in their work and thus give the best possible performance. On the contrary, transactional leadership capitalizes on the formal methods and use rules and regulations to prepare their workforce to behave as per organizational requirements. They are less inclined to use human methods like emotional intelligence as a weapon to motivate their team members. Formal methods are more task-oriented; therefore, transactional leaders make maximum use of documented procedures to manage task through managing the employees.

The hypotheses regarding the role of emotional intelligence for a transactional and transformational leader have been verified with strong statistics in the current study. There is a significant positive relationship between EI and transformational leadership, and there is a negative link between EI and transactional leadership practices. Further, transformational and transactional leadership styles have an insignificant association with each other showing their isolated roles in the organizational work environments.

 

Conclusions

After verifying the hypotheses emerging from the model extracted from the analysis of existing research on the relations of EI with TRF and TRS, the following conclusions can be drawn:

1.        An increase in EI capabilities is supportive of the transformational leadership style.

2.        Transactional leadership is negatively connected with EI showing that transactional leaders cannot use EI more effectively as compared to transformational leaders.

3.        The insignificant connection between transformational and transactional leadership modes also suggests that both styles are good for different work environments.  They cannot be used at the same time. Both leadership styles are good in altogether different work environments. When human management is more critical than transformational leadership, tools are effective, but transactional leaders are needed when task orientation is demanded.


 


 


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