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Developing Emotionally Intelligent Leadership in Higher Education

Dominique Rene Parrish

It is widely accepted that the success of higher education institutions is dependent on effective competent leaders and leadership. There is also growing evidence to support the proposition that emotional intelligence is strongly linked to effective leadership in the higher education setting. Additionally, the premise that emotional intelligence can influence an individual’s job satisfaction is well supported. This book details the findings from an explicit examination of the relevance and interrelationships between emotional intelligence, leadership practice and job satisfaction in a higher education context. A mixed mode case study approach comprising eleven cases was used to investigate four research questions. Qualitative and quantitative data was collected through interviews, surveys and a parametric test designed to assess individuals’ emotional intelligence. Twelve emotional intelligence capabilities articulating the relevance of emotional intelligence for effective leadership in higher education is presented as is a model illustrating the specific elements and interelationships between job satisfaction, emotional intelligence and effective leadership. Finally, a framework for developing emotionally intelligent leadership capacity in higher education is outlined.


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CHAPTER 5 Data Analysis 167


Chapter 5: Data Analysis A multiple case study design was adopted for this research study to avail the possibility that a replication of phenomenon across the cases would enable the development of justifiable hypotheses to address the research questions. This chapter analyses and synthesizes the collected data and presents the results in response to each of the four research questions. RQ1: What is the Relevance of Emotional Intelligence for Leadership in a Higher Education Context? Emotional intelligence was recognised by all of the case study partici- pants to be highly relevant and an important requirement for leader- ship in a higher education context. The general feeling expressed by the case study participants was that leaders in higher education who possessed emotional intelligence were more respected by peers, col- leagues and subordinates and performed more effectively as leaders. The respect and effectiveness that an emotionally intelligent leader possesses was seen to be a consequence of the fact that they would be more sensitive and responsive to the emotional needs and actions of others. Comments articulating this included: I think it is important for leaders to have these [emotional intelligence] qualities because you have to tap into what makes people think and do the things they do and how do their goals and visions relate to their work and productivity. A lead- er often needs to look below the surface into what makes a person tick and what the expectations of people are. (Roger, Pre-Intervention Interview) I would argue they [emotional intelligence...

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