Emotional intelligence and leadership effectiveness of Georgia's technical college department chairs
Reddick, Mark Gibson
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The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between the self-perceived emotional intelligence (EI) and the self-perceived leadership effectiveness of department chairs in Georgia’s technical colleges. Both emotional intelligence and leadership were categorized into more specific aspects for comparison purposes. The researcher administered a pencil-and-paper version of the Emotional Intelligence test by Jerabek (2001) to 60 department chairs in the state of Georgia. The test measured the six dimensions of the EI framework including behavioral aspect, knowledge aspect, emotional insight into self, goal orientation and motivation, ability to express emotions, and social insight and empathy. In addition, the department chairs completed the Leadership Practices Inventory by Kouzes and Posner (2003) measuring a broad range of leadership styles including model the way, inspire a shared vision, challenge the process, enable others to act, and encourage the heart. Prior research has suggested that leadership at all levels of an organization is important. The department chair holds a unique position, one that is often referred to as being caught in the middle between upper-level administrators and the faculty. The dual role of being an advocate for the department and an agent of the administration is made more difficult because of the various internal and external constituencies who tend to hold “simple perceptions of the department chair’s role” (Hecht et al., 1999, p. 24). Chairs must be managerial leaders, possessing both strong managerial and strong leadership skills (Yamasaki, 1999). The focus on one role to the exclusion of the other jeopardizes trust, support, and the effectiveness of the position (Hilosky & Watwood, 1997). As the department manager and leader, the chair position is crucial to the day-to-day operation and the institutional and department planning, policy, and outcomes. This requires setting the department direction, inspiring and cultivating relationships, and developing collaborative initiatives on many levels.
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