Are women better emotionally intelligent leaders

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The idea that women are better leaders than the men is gaining ground. Post - heroic leadership is about collaboration, relationships and is an act of providing care or sustenance talent. Men, it is explained, are more individualists, competitive and aggressive, which is lacking in feminine interpersonal skills to lead in this new arena.

The argument that women are better leaders than men explains the need for executives to foster relationships with employees and other stakeholders. There is also a growing focus on followership recognizing the greater need for team work.

Some scholars determine the leadership in relational terms. The claim is that because the leadership is necessity a relationship between leaders and followers, relationship skills have greatest influence. This is consistent with the current emphasis on emotional intelligence as well as the shift from heroic to post-heroic, engaging models of leadership.

Barbara McMahon states: "In the new form of leadership, it is no longer doctrine that creates a following; it is a dialogue. It's more valuable to be able to engage than to influence. Command and control has shifted to collaboration and empowerment."

Further: "You must go directly to your team and ask them for their perspective. How do they see themselves in this change? What might hold them back? What would make them willing to move forward?"

No one can argue with the value of relating in a more engaging fashion, but making feminine relational skills so central to leadership overlooks the competitive environment in which businesses operate. To succeed in this context, companies and their employees need to be competitive, to have a drive to win.

Emotional intelligence, more popularly known as the Emotional Quotient (EQ), is the capability of effectively identifying and controlling emotions that are your own and the emotions of others. Emotions have the potential to get in the way of the most important business relationships. This is why it is imperative that managers have a high EQ. A lack of EQ is one of the main reasons promising careers derail. A critical level of EQ is the primary reason leaders, managers and employees are more successful in their endeavors compared to the average employees.

As reported in the Oprah Magazine, by Katie Arnold - Ratliff,  in 2001, marketing professor Roy D. Adler of Pepperdine University found that of the more than 200 Fortune 500 companies tracked for profitability over 19 years, the 25 organizations that most aggressively promoted women to executive positions had 34 % higher profits as a share of revenue than the industry median. The 10 firms with excellent records of promoting women realized much higher profits than those whose records were considered very well.

Studies have shown that emotional management can be used to help leaders to become better managers. Research tracking many high performing individuals in a variety of industries and work levels revealed that EQ was twice more important in contributing to excellence than intellect and expertise alone. Emotional development can be achieved through providing a book of emotional competence for the managers, articles on emotional leadership and leadership training. You can find emotional intelligence leadership management training that can help your company and your managers to gain higher levels in their emotional quotient.

The argument that women might be better leaders than men over-emphasizes feminine relationship - building skills to the exclusion of masculine competitive instincts. As with most either - or pendulum swings, the truth falls somewhere in the middle.

In any case, this issue should focus, not on men versus women, but on organizational culture. At that level, mixtures of feminine and masculine traits are required. But there is no doubt that we are in the midst of an unstoppable shift to more feminine cultures.

Women leadership in business is not simply about what the business is about 'getting the job done'; it equally emphasizes 'how' the job is done.

All these eventualities lead one to wonder whether there is a likelihood of there being a link between how women leadership is contextualized by various shareholders and trough what type of leadership means, a business delivers; whether, in order to work effectively in a positive manner, it is essential to act responsibly and to ensure that the comprehension of what 'leadership responsibility' means is shared within all shareholders, to eliminate any scope for ambiguity.

By means of a thorough literature review and qualitative data collection, the proposed research will attempt to explore whether or not three different share holder groups, namely, leaders, staff, and students, share an understanding of women leadership, not only within the individual group but also when compared to the other groups.

Research Aims:

The aim of this research is to explore the nature of women leadership within a business context.

Goals and Objectives

To search how emotion and rational thought interact in the human psyche

To explore what emotional intelligence is and its importance in the workplace

Determine which EI quality these women possess

To find out what does Emotional Intelligence and Gender Have to Do with Leadership Effectiveness… Or Does It?

To explore the views and practices of different shareholders groups regarding to 'emotional intelligence leadership'. In general

To conduct a literature review and investigate what previous research has been conducted on ' women leadership'

To highlight the importance of a shared understanding of 'women leadership amongst different shareholders groups

To Examine the probable difference between men and women in general

Conclusions about EI qualities women leadership success

Literature Review and Conceptual Framework:

Effective management of organizations and human resources is facing great challenges. Organizations are downsizing, reconstructing themselves to compete in the global market and facing extensive available information (Luthans, 1998). Max Messmer (1999), CEO of Robert Half, said in a recent survey of 150 executives from some of the nation's largest companies, that leadership skills were identified as the most important assets of managers. James E. Perrella (1999), Chairman, President and CEO, Ingersoll - Rand Company, stated

"America is moving from a manufacturing economy to a value - added, service - oriented economy. And at the heart of service are relationships: interpersonal relationships; intergroup relationships; and interdepartmental relationships. The ascendance of work teams in large organizations puts a new premium on relationship team skills. Among others, this set of skills includes the following competencies:

Communicating or listening openly and sending convincing messages,

Managing conflict, which entails negotiating and resolving disagreements,

Inspiring and guiding individuals and groups as a leader,

Initiating and managing change, and collaborating and cooperating with others toward shared goals (Perrella, 1999, p. 437)."

In popular perception, Thorndike (1920) was considered as the first to identify the conception of emotional intelligence. He takes the term social intelligence as "the ability to understand and manage men and women, boys and girls to act wisely in human relations" (Thorndike, 1920, p. 228). He also noted that interpersonal effectiveness was of vital importance for success in many fields. "The best mechanic in a factory may fail as a foreman for lack of social intelligence". (Thorndike, 1920, p. 229).

These three examples indicate the growing importance of finding, hiring, training, and retaining leaders with high emotional intelligence.

Firstly this study examines women's access to leadership roles and how these roles are perceived in society. Topics include the changing conceptions of leadership, women leaders in history, contemporary leadership theories, barriers to women's leadership, and women leaders worldwide. Secondly the aim of this research is to explore the nature of emotional intelligence in women leadership within a business context and to examine the probable differences between men and women in general, the leadership behaviors of men and women in business sector and if there any, the differences between their leadership behaviors. In this context, in the first part of our study, varying definitions of leadership were classified and different leadership theories and emotional intelligence were examined.

Moreover, modern theories of leadership were mentioned. In the second part, the historical development of working women in general was viewed. Women in management and women leadership in literature were examined. Furthermore, the barriers to women in working conditions, and related to this, the glass ceiling concept were discussed. In the last part of the study, a study on the managers in the business sector was performed to analyze the leadership behavior of men and women managers, and if any to determine the differences between their leadership behaviors.

Definitions of emotional intelligence

Emotional intelligence is a relatively new and growing area of behavioral research. Psychologists and academics have assigned variou definitions to the concept. Quite simply, "emotional intelligence is the ability to make your emotions work for you by using them in ways that produce the results you want" (Weisinger, 1998).

Emotional intelligence emphasizes the importance of self-awareness and redresses the imbalance between intellect and emotion (Zeidner, Matthews, and Roberts, 2004). Mayer, Salovey and Di Paolo argue that EI incorporates a set of conceptually related psychological processes involving the processing of affective information (1990). These processes include the appraisal and expression of emotions; assimilation of emotions in thoughts; understanding emotions and the regulation and management of emotions (Zeidner, Matthews, and Roberts, 2004). Daniel Goleman assigns four factors to EI:

Awareness of emotions in self;

Awareness of emotions in others;

Management of emotions in self; and

Management of emotions in others (2005). Perhaps the most widely accepted scientific definition of EI is "the ability to monitor one's own and others' emotions, to discriminate among them, and to use the information to guide one's thinking and actions" (Salovey, Mayer and Caruso 1998).

Goleman asserts emotional intelligence includes such characteristics as being able to motivate oneself, being persistent in accomplishing goals and completing tasks, controlling impulses and delaying gratification, controlling one's mood and empathizing with others (1995). Similarly, Mayer and Cobb, (2000) defined EI as the ability to accurately process emotional information such as perception, assimilation, understanding and the management of one's emotions. Mayer, Salovey and Caruso suggested EI provides a more accurate understanding of emotions, which often helps people solve problems in their emotional lives (Liptak, 2005).

They defined EI as "the ability to perceive and express emotion, assimilate emotion in thought, understand and reason with emotion and regulate emotion in the self and others" (Liptak, 2005). Emotional intelligence can be used both interpersonally (recognizing and empathizing with emotion in other people) and interpersonally (identifying and managing emotion within oneself) (Weisinger, 1998). Goleman (1995) describes EI as the abilities, skills and competencies that, unlike IQ, can be learned by anyone. IQ and personality are primarily set at birth and largely outside a person's control. However, emotional intelligence can be changed and enhanced. Goleman (1995) suggested that "emotional life is a domain that, a surely as math or reading, can be handled with greater or lesser skill, and requires its unique set of competencies."

The effectiveness of EI on a person's success and well-being is well:

Documented (Liptak, 2005). Coleman said that "people with well - developed emotional skills are more likely to be content and effective in their lives and that evidence verifies that people who are emotionally intelligent are at an advantage in any area of life, whether it is dealing with intimate relationships or recognizing and following the unspoken rules of organizational politics" (1995). Salovey, Mayer and Caruso (2002), concluded that "the person who is able to understand emotions - their meanings, how they blend together, how they progress over time - is truly blessed with the capacity to understand important aspects of human nature and interpersonal relationships.

"Liptak defines emotional intelligence as intentionally making your emotions work for you by using them to help guide your behavior and thinking ways that enhance your results (2005). Weisinger (1998) uses the following illustration: Imagine you must deliver a presentation at work and you are feeling extremely anxious. Your self - awareness element of emotional intelligence) alerts you to your heightened anxiety level and your emotional intelligence leads you to undertake a number of actions, such assuming relaxation techniques to calm your nerves or ceasing counterproductive behaviors like pacing the room. Applications of emotional intelligence at work are almost limitless (Weisinger, 1998). Resolving a conflict with a co - worker, staying on top of a task until it is complete or dealing with a difficult customer are all instances in which emotional intelligence is instrumental (Weisinger, 1998).

Models of emotional intelligence

Mayer, Caruso and Salovey introduced the "mental ability" model, which focuses on aptitude for processing affective information, and the "mixed" model, which conceptualizes EI as a diverse construct including areas of personality as well as the ability to perceive, understand, assimilate and manage emotions (Zeidner, Matthews and Roberts, 2004). The "mixed" model approach takes into account affective dispositions such as self concept, assertiveness, confidence and empathy (Zeidner, Matthews and Roberts, 2004).

Ayman Sawaf and Dr. Robert Cooper (1997) created the Four

Cornerstone Model also referred to as the Four Branch Model. According to the Four Cornerstone Model, the first cornerstone of EI is emotional literacy, which builds a locus of personal efficacy and confidence through emotional honesty, energy, awareness, feedback, intuition, responsibility and connection. The second cornerstone is emotional fitness, which builds authenticity, believability and resilience, expanding one's circle of trust and capacity for listening, managing conflict and making the most of constructive discontent. Emotional depth, the third cornerstone, explores ways to align a person's life and work with their unique potential and purpose, and to back this with integrity, commitment and accountability, which, in turn, increases one's influence without authority. The fourth cornerstone is emotional alchemy, which extends one's creative instincts and capacity to flow with problems and pressures and to compete for the future by building one's capabilities (Sawaf and Cooper, 1997).

Daniel Goleman has emerged as a leading expert in emotional intelligence theory. His book Emotional Intelligence (2005) elevated emotional intelligence to a major topic of interest in scientific circles, corporations and the lay public (Bar - On, 2006). Goleman founded the Consortium for Research on Emotional Intelligence in Organizations to "advance research and practice of emotional and social intelligence in organizations through the generation and exchange of knowledge" (Goleman, 1998). The Consortium was founded in the spring of 1996 with an initial mandate to study all that is known about emotional intelligence in the workplace. Through his research and work with the EI Consortium, Daniel Goleman (1998) developed the Emotional Competence Framework to categorize elements of emotional intelligence. Daniel Coleman's Emotional Intelligence Framework

3. Research Design and Methodology:

Research methodology for the proposed research will be planned in accordance with the research process 'onion', introduced and developed by Saunders et al. (2003). In this regard the 'Research Methodology' section will be divided into five sub - headings, each of which aims to provide a detailed explanation of the research process.

Figure 2

3.1 Research Philosophy:

Knowledge is a complex phenomenon influenced and developed by various contextual variables. In this respect, a research philosophy represents a researcher's perception of the way knowledge is constructed (Saunders et al., 2003).

There are three research philosophies recognized in the literature - positivism, interpretive and realism. Each of these philosophies provides a distinctive view on the way knowledge is developed. It is important for a research process to clearly establish its research philosophy as it has a significant impact on the methodological framework applied.

The proposed research will use interpretive, anti - positivist research paradigm approach. This approach emphasizes that social reality is viewed and interpreted by the individual herself according to the ideological positions she possesses. Therefore, knowledge is personally experienced rather than acquired from or imposed from outside. The anti-positivists believe that reality is multi - layered and complex (Cohen et al, 2000) and a single phenomenon have multiple interpretations. They emphasize that the verification of a phenomenon is adopted when the level of understanding of a phenomenon is such that the concern is to probe into the various unexplored dimensions of a phenomenon rather than establishing specific relationship among the components, as happens in the case of positivism.

3.2 Research Approach

Literature indicates two distinct research approaches - deductive and inductive. A deductive research approach is suggested to be suitable for scientific research, where the researcher develops a hypothesis, which is tested and examined to establish a theory (Hussey and Hussey, 1997).

As the literature review was conducted in relation to the proposed research, the inadequacy of literature available for the specific context of the research was persistently sensed. As such, deductive approach would be inappropriate for this case. Instead, the proposed research will aim at gradually formulating the research theory through the critical evaluation of different research variables. Since inductive research approach allows data to lead and construct theory, it will therefore be employed. Additionally, the inductive research approach provides greater flexibility and presents the researcher with the prospect to modify the research emphasis depending on the accumulated findings throughout the research process (Easterby - Smith et al., 2002).

3.3 Research Strategy

A research strategy can be explained as the tools employed by the researcher for addressing the research question. Literature identifies six research strategies: experiment; survey; grounded theory; ethnography; action research and case study (Saunders et al., 2003).

The proposed research will employ grounded theory research strategy. The principal focus will be on extracting knowledge through research employing phenomenological methods. This strategy is most suited for the given case, because literature depicts it to be suitable for inductive reasoning. (Husey and Husey, 1997).

Although the present dissertation is influenced by the research strategy of grounded theory, the researcher will eventually employ primary research strategy of semi - structured interviews to collect data. This method is further explained in the 'Data Collection' section.

3.4 Time Horizon

Literature recognizes two types of time horizons - longitudinal and cross-sectional. A longitudinal research process examines particular phenomenon over a given period of time, whereas cross - sectional is focused on a particular moment.

The proposed research will employ cross - sectional time horizon as it is recognized to be appropriate to the research aim and the researcher's resources. This is due to two reasons. Firstly, the research is required to be completed within a limited period of time which will certainly constrain the ability to conduct a longitudinal examination. Secondly, the proposed research is focused on exploring and revealing the current perspectives of the subjects and not their perspectives over a period of time (Robson, 2002).

3.5 Data Collection Method

The proposed research process will be exploratory. As highlighted earlier, there is adequate relevant literature relating to research that has previously been conducted on women leadership in the aforementioned specific context. This research will aim at revealing new insight to an understanding women leadership via a specific context of the case study.

The proposed research will incorporate the research strategy of grounded theory and semi - structured interviews.

Primary Data:

The primary data contributes to the researcher's ability of addressing important issues in the present context (Robson, 2002). Primary data is extracted through the conduction of interviews.

Semi structured interviews are recognized as an appropriate data collection method. The information they reveal corresponds to the researcher's aim of analyzing, interpreting and responding to new contextual insight rather than reaching any generalizations.

For the purpose of this research, each subject will be interviewed for approximately 30 - 45 minutes with only a general idea of what the topic of discussion would be. By not pre - divulging the in - depth purpose of the research it will be ensured that the data collected is pure, unadulterated and free from pre - thought responses.

The format employed will be that of a casual conversation in order to make the interviewee feel at ease with the interviewer. This is especially important for this research as it must be ensured that the interviewee is at perfect ease with discussing as precisely and honestly as possible, their views and thoughts on the questions. This is one of the reasons why the interviewee's names will remain anonymous.

3.6 Research Limitations

Although it will be sincerely attempted that the literature review contains all the relevant literature relating to the research topic yet the list is non - exhaustive. Also, availability of literature specifically on the nature and genre of leadership in business schools and higher education institutions is quite dispersed.

Time constraint implies that the timeframe allotted to this research might be less than the ideal for completely comprehending the issue in greater depth.

It is a well known fact that gaining an access to data can be time consuming and complicated. Bearing this in mind, a likelihood of such an occurrence has been minimized by negotiating confirmed appointments for interviews well ahead of time.

3.7 Ethical Issues:

3.7.1. Informed consent:

As it is undesirable that the responses of the participants be influenced by pre - informing them on the details of the topic, they will not be informed about it in detail beforehand. This has duly been made clear to the participants beforehand.

3.7.2. Responsibility towards the participants:

It will be the researcher's prime ethical duty to ensure confidentiality, avoidance of harm, reciprocity and feedback of results.

In ensuring confidentiality the researcher must not report private data that identifies participants. To ensure this, the names of the participants will not be recorded at all.

Ideally there should also be reciprocity between participant's input and the output they receive from the research project. As a researcher, one is indebted to participants for sharing their experiences and time. It will be ensured that all participants receive feedback on research results, as this would be the most fundamental means of thanking them for their participation and recognizing their effort towards the research.

Timetable and References (400):

The proposed research has been drafted to be completed over a period of two months. In addition to this 15 days extra will be reserved for the case of any unforeseen postpones.

Primary List of References:

Anna Marie Valerio (2009). Developing Women Leaders (John Willey & Sons).

Marilyn Davidson, Ronald S. Burke, (2004), Women in management Worldwide, (Ashgate Publishing).

Garry, N. Powell, Laura M. Graves (2003), Women and Men in management (Sage Books)

Caroline Sweetman (2000), Women and Leadership, (Oxfam Publications)

Linda Coughlin (2005), How Women are Transforming the Practice of Leadership, (John Willey & Sons)

Michael Gurian, Barbara Annis (2008), Leadership and the Sexes, (John Willey & Sons)

Deborah L. Rhodes (2003), the Difference "Difference" makes Women and Leadership (Stanford)

Jean Louis Chin (2007) Women and Leadership (Willey - Blackwell)

Michael Massey (2003), The Knowledge: How to be an Effective and Emotionally Intelligent Leader (Troubadour Publishing Ltd.)

Patricia Hague Werhane (2007), Women in Business: Changing Face of Leadership, (Greenwood Publishing Company)

Gayle Avey, Andrew Bell, Martin Hilb, Anne E. Witte (2004) Understanding Leadership (Sage Publishing)

Barbara K. Currey (2000), Women in Power (Teachers College Press)