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Title: A study of emotional intelligence in leadership from the perspectives of educational leaders in a UK university
Authors: Ganesh-Harikrishna, Kalaivani
Issue Date: 2009
Publisher: Newcastle University
Abstract: This thesis aims to make a contribution to the academic leadership literature. The study presents a unique approach to a psychoanalytic study of emotional intelligence (EI) in leadership from the perspectives of educational leaders in a UK University. In view of the challenging issues facing leaders in higher education (HE) that may impact the role of leaders, in turn affecting the emotional life of an organization, the study aims to identify how educational leaders perceive `EI as a leadership quality' in HE in order to identify the hidden dynamics, gain new insights and add to the literature in the field of leadership and EI. The study uses a phenomenological form of inquiry against the backdrop of a psychoanalytic framework to identify the overt and covert meanings leaders attach to this phenomenon. Three-levels of in-depth semi-structured interviews were conducted on 26 Heads of School to explore their perception of EI in leadership. A personal observation method was also used to observe leaders' non-verbal cues, which revealed their covert expressions, and documented in private reflective journals. Eight key themes emerged: Inspiration, understanding and motivation; general lack of awareness of EI; interpersonal skills and qualities; emotions and cognition: balance; traits and personality development; nature versus nurture; personal insight and reflection; and strategic vision and direction. Through the use of psychoanalytic concepts, findings revealed that EI among leaders provided them with the ability to tackle some of the most challenging issues facing HE leaders today, however, there was some evidence to show that the use of, and the demonstration of emotions are still met with some resistance by some leaders. Findings also indicated that leaders displayed more of a charismatic and transformational type of leadership in the university with some evidence of spiritual leadership. Implications of study are discussed and the thesis concludes by outlining the future directions and challenges for research in this field.
Description: PhD Thesis
Appears in Collections:School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences

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