Perceptions of the way leaders' emotional intelligence influences teamworking and shared vision

Stavrou Theodotou, Stella (2020). Perceptions of the way leaders' emotional intelligence influences teamworking and shared vision. EdD thesis The Open University.



This study explores head teachers’ use of emotional intelligence (EI) in the context of three Cypriot primary schools. EI is a controversial issue because so many different models explain it and the literature includes heated discussions regarding the impact of leaders’ EI on leadership activity. A case study approach was chosen to gain a close understanding of both head teachers’ and staff’s perceptions of EI and leadership. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with head teachers to gather detailed evidence about school leadership and emotion. Semi-structured interviews were also conducted with deputy head teachers, while teachers were asked to complete a questionnaire. The interview schedule for deputy head teachers and the questionnaire for teachers were derived from the Leadership Questionnaire developed by Pashiardis and Brauckmann (2009). Policy documents, such as those concerning the school’s goals and the allocation of responsibilities to staff, students and parents (where applicable) as well as the schools’ timetables were carefully examined. Data were collected and analysed in Greek. Once the data were gathered, themes were generated from the EI ability model which consists of four abilities (Mayer and Salovey, 1997), and their impact on teamworking and/or shared vision with staff, parents and local authorities was evaluated. Key findings from the study indicate that the head teachers who participated in the study perceived and used EI differently. Their different EI perceptions do have an impact on teamworking and shared vision. The findings also demonstrate that shared vision is accomplished through teamworking, but the strict centralised educational system in Cyprus may restrict the effect of leaders’ EI on teamworking and vision sharing. Moreover, the findings show that teachers perceive EI differently than head teachers. These findings are the first in the Cypriot context. They are not generalisable but offer useful suggestions for further research in educational leadership.

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