Critically discuss this statement with reference to academic literature


An Emotionally Intelligent person is believed to possess a set of abilities that enables that person to perceive their own and others’ emotions, express them properly, use these emotions to expedite performance, and regulate them in self and others (Miao, Humphrey & Qian, 2018). It is believed that emotionally intelligent leaders can create a conducive environment that awakens their employees’ creativity, as proved by several studies (Kiyani, Saher, Saleem, & Iqbal, 2013).

In an organisational context, the High emotional intelligence of leaders is a key factor contributing to creativity enhancement by generating open-mindedness, motivation, and a sensational working environment to yield inspired views that support organisational growth. Researchers have further indicated that emotions can boost or block creativity (Duncan, Green, Gergen & Ecung, 2017). This has been proven in different industries such as advertising agencies (Kotzé & Nel, 2015), travel agencies, and education (Alshammari, Pasay-An, Gonzales & Torres, 2020).

Consequently, when clarifying leadership performance, emotional intelligence (EI) is vital (Shapira-Lishchinsky, & Levy-Gazenfrantz, 2016), and through its effect on the environment and its surroundings, the nature of leadership can be affected. For example, an enthusiastic, information sharing and motivational environment in which individuals show exceptional performance is established by leaders who positively drive emotions (Adigüzel, & Kuloğlu, 2019). On the other hand, when leaders portray negative emotions, the environment is characterised by fear, anxiety, anger and lack of bonding, thus, impeding individuals’ creativity.

Moreover, extant leadership scholars have considered the concept of emotional intelligence from different leadership perspectives. These include charismatic leadership, transformational leadership (Kotzé & Nel, 2017;), collective leadership (e.g. Gardner et al., 2011), and leader-member exchange (Erdogan, & Bauer, 2015). However, the two popular and most researched leadership styles are the transactional and transformational leadership styles. In their work, Gardner et al. (2011) considered transformational leaders to be more emotionally intelligent than transactional leaders. according to Gardner et al. (2011), while transactional leaders focus on meeting the set organisational target through leader-member exchange relationships, transformational leaders focus more on motivating their subordinates to perform beyond set targets and goals. There is, however, the chances that a leader can possess both the qualities of transactional and transformational leadership styles, according to Gardner et al. (2011) this is referred to as “Transfor-sactional” Leadership (i.e. a mixture of transformational-transactional leadership).


Beyond the conventional leadership styles, this essay focuses on the significance of emotional intelligence in leadership behaviours, particularly authentic leadership. This write up is based on the premise that for a leader to be genuine, there need to exists a basis for the emotions and reason for interaction; this would keep such a leader in check when acting unfair or doing something right. This feeling stems from one’s values as a leader, a leader that is true to their value stands out and instils change in their subject. According to Berardi (2015), a leader’s behaviour is observed more by their followers than by the things they say.

For a leader to develop inspiring behaviour, there is a need for self-actualisation; this helps a leader to be able to maximise their ability in terms of strength and weaknesses that would translate into the influence of those that are in following (De Luna, 2021). An authentic leader is one worth following because they have a strong sense of direction of where they are headed and purpose for undergoing the activities that are being undertaken; in tasks presented before them, whatever suggestions are made are considered based on the benefits on the project rather an egotistical approach (Berardi, 2015). To further analyse the extent of the impact of emotional intelligence on authentic leadership, this essay will provide a fundamental explanation of the concept of emotional intelligence on authentic leadership, then provided evidence on the relationship between both concepts.

Emotional Intelligence

A person’s ability to recognise the right moments and how to voice out and manage his/her emotions is termed emotional intelligence (EI). Darwin’s previous findings on emotional expression importance for survival were found to be the origin of emotional intelligence. Mayer and Salovey later developed their explanation of EI with a concept involving four branches (Mayer and Salovey, 1997), which contained three abilities: (1) the individualistic skill to comprehend self and others’ emotions; (2) the capability to use emotions for mental acceleration; (3) the individualistic capacity to recognise emotional information. Jasso (2016) also defines EI as a multiplex system of intelligence, including recognition and intellectual abilities, and a core element of workers’ performance and progressive organisational results.

From Eyong & Rathee (2017) review on the definition of EI, he concluded that on a conceptual basis, the definition of emotional intelligence differs from personality. In defining EI construct such as self-emotional evaluation, evaluation of others’ emotions, adjustment of emotions, and using emotions are viewed as the basis for measurement (Eyong & Rathee, 2017). They noted that job performance ratings were significantly affected by EI. For instance, employee creativity improves in an atmosphere of sufficient emotional intelligence (Eyong & Rathee 2017).

For Wouters, Brüll, & Zafra (2017), once’s ability to manage emotion and utilise emotional management skills to recognise self and others’ emotions is dependent on the individual’s emotional intelligence. Thus people who possess a high ability to manage emotions, because of their emotion-related knowledge and skills, can in a manner that is conducive for strategically rapidly organise their emotions when confronted with frustration or for problem-solving in a sustained negative emotional state.


Authentic Leadership

According to Gardner et al. (2011), drawing from both organisational and psychological context, authentic leadership is characterised by positive behaviours in leadership that depict great self-awareness and a self-regulated attitude towards fostering positive self-development. This definition was later developed by Kotzé & Nel (2017) in a more specific manner with respect to the context within which the leader-follower influence occurs. Kotzé & Nel (2017) described developed organisational contexts in this definition as organisations having positive ethical climates and went further to operationalise authentic leadership to have four components (internalised moral perspective, self-awareness, balanced processing and relational transparency) from the definition.

Self-awareness refers to how well a leader knows his strengths and weaknesses and thus perceives him or herself in the real world (Kotzé & Nel, 2017). It also implies the demonstration of understanding of one’s emotions and the other attributes that conflict internally. Internalised moral perspective refers to internal moral standards that guide and regulate the behaviour of an individual. Balanced processing refers to how information is objectively analysed and the relevant aspect of the information extracted for making decisions to avoid bias.

Relational transparency is that component of authentic leadership that describes the leader who is transparent in sharing information and avoids distorting information or emotions to present a fair and true view of both positive and negative effects. It involves a display of sincerity and transparency in the communication of information and emotions.

authentic leadership explains the notion of the dignity of leaders because authentic leaders often have moral values ​​and beliefs that are strongly entrusted to them (Lloyd-Walker & Walker, 2011). These leaders therefore always act according to these moral values ​​in order to remain authentic. Gardner et al. (2011) considered this behaviour as a self-directed behaviour that is reflected in core values, beliefs, thoughts and feelings, as opposed to tensions or pressure from others ( Gardner et al., 2011, pp. 347). While the definition of authentic leadership must be defined as working consistently with a code of conduct, the actual conduct of a leader in a satisfactory manner provides a theoretical basis for considering the notion of integrity. Integrity in turn is defined as a person who has moral standards and always does things accordingly. Self-guided theory contributes to the idea that the basis of behavior is the idea of ​​self or identity.

Nexus of emotional intelligence and Authentic Leadership

Emotional intelligence theory has established the fact that intellectual adaptive process are linked to emotional intelligence as they form the basis for people to think judiciously regarding emotions. The thinking and performance can be associated with their measurable emotional abilities and wide range of intellectual abilities (Rodriguez, 2016). For instance, if individuals become aware of the relationship between performance and mood and attitude, maintaining a positive attitude, authentic leadership behaviours such as authenticity, truthfulness, and credibility can be developed indirectly. Other studies have demonstrated that EI plays an important role in the general ethical conduct of leadership behaviours (Adigüzel, & Kuloğlu, 2019; Shapira-Lishchinsky, & Levy-Gazenfrantz, 2016).

In that study by Adigüzel & Kuloğlu (2019) examined the effect EI has on managers and employees behaviour and how explanatory mechanism such as environmental uncertainty (EU) can aid the understanding of EI when viewed as a mediator. They found that EI has a positive effect on the moral behavior of managers. Their findings also strengthen the EU’s role in the relationship between EI and leaders’ trust. Similarly, Duncan et al. (2017) also examined the relationship of emotional intelligence to basic moral values and principles, especially the nature of active people and the organizational climate of the relationship between intelligence and employee values. The results showed a positive and significant relationship.

They also found that active employee behavior and organizational climate affected the relationship between employee intelligence and creativity (Duncan et al., 2017). Also, Miao et al. (2018) investigated emotional intelligence and leadership using a meta-analysis and observed that employees extensive use of those emotions in a regulated environment is to some extent a display of substantial leadership traits.

Berardi (2015), in his dissertation, investigated the relationship between creativity, self-efficacy and emotional intelligence among employees and observed that creativity, self-efficacy and emotional intelligence were positively related to each other among employees. Moreover, emotional intelligence was found to be a significant predictor of leadership characteristics (Berardi, 2015). Based on the literature, EI can be described as a significant element for awakening authentic leadership characteristics, specifically for leaders who are in constant interactions with their subordinates from different walks of life.



Again, the concept of authentic leadership is sufficient in theorising leader integrity due to its composition of other leadership theories such as the transformational leadership theory and ethical leadership constructs that have been used to explain the concept of leader integrity in some past literature. Rodriguez (2016) explains that transformational leaders have been described as having strong moral values upon which they dwell to influence their followers.

Therefore, this aspect of change leadership has been further developed to reflect a more ethical dimension of this theory known as real change leadership, different from other aspects of change leadership that reflect the appearance of governance. best known as pseudo-transformational leadership. The role of emotional intelligence in this area is to ensure that the experience has a variety of emotional experiences, openness, strong motivation, willingness to invest in a long-term goal. longevity, the ability to limit impulses and the ability to delay the satisfaction of focusing. in achieving their goals. Because of the existence of this relationship, satisfaction with work, safety and clean conduct in the field of work, innovation, service effectiveness. , profit and creativity.


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