Administrative Issues Journal


One of the newest theories to gain widespread interest is authentic leadership. Part of the rationale for developing a model and subsequent instrument to measure authentic leadership was a concern that the more popular theory, the full range model of leadership and its instrument, the Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ) (Bass & Avolio, 1985), did not sufficiently emphasize aspects of leader emotional intelligence (EI), such as self-awareness (Avolio & Gardner, 2005).

In its current configuration, the Authentic Leadership Questionnaire (ALQ) (Walumba, Avolio, Gardner, Wernsing & Peterson, 2008) measures four dimensions of leadership: relational transparency, internal moral perspective, balanced processing, and self-awareness. In a recent meta-analysis of authentic leadership, Banks, McCauley, Davis, Gardner, and Guler (2016) found that, overall, authentic leadership is highly correlated with transformational leadership (k = 23, N = 5,414, rho = .72). The Banks et al. study, however, reported no meta-analytic analyses between emotional intelligence and authentic leadership. In a meta-analysis performed in 2010 by Harms and Crede, self-ratings of emotional intelligence and transformational leadership were highly correlated (k = 47, N = 4,994, rho = .56). Given that a) EI is strongly related to transformational leadership, b) authentic leadership is very strongly related to transformational leadership, and c) part of the original rationale for creating a model and instrument to measure authentic leadership included a need to include more self-awareness in a leadership model, exploring the degree to which emotional intelligence is related to authentic leadership is important.

In this study, 1,028 working adults completed the Schutte Self-Report Emotional Intelligence Test (SSEIT) (Schutte, 2009) and the Authentic Leadership Questionnaire (Walumba et al., 2008). The sample was 61% female, 30% held a college degree or higher, and the mean age was 29.6 years. An exploratory factor analysis using the principal components method with varimax rotation resulted in a 2-factor solution. While exploratory in nature, this study indicates that the components of the Authentic Leadership Questionnaire seem to be measuring something different than emotional intelligence measured by the Schutte Self-Report Emotional Intelligence Test.



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