Literature Review on Leadership Emotional social and cognitive Intelligence Research Proposal

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[. . .] 2.1 Trait Theories

Trait theories highlight that some unique qualities have proven to be useful when an individual is in a position of leadership. These traits include likability, assertiveness, integrity, decision-making skills, and empathy (Groves, 2005a). These are just sample traits and do not necessarily guarantee that an individual who possesses them will be a successful leader. Traits are external behaviors that exude an individual’s internal beliefs and processes. Leaders who possess traits such as empathy and assertiveness illustrate a high level of emotional and social intelligence. Good decision-making ability can be attributed to a high level of cognitive intelligence (Nahavandi, 2016). Similarly, leaders who lack these leadership traits are likely to have a low social, emotional, and cognitive intelligence. Such leaders are unable to influence their organizations in a positive manner. These intelligence constructs are an indication of the leadership outcomes of an individual or organization.

3.2.2 Behavioral Theories

These theories focus on the behavior of leaders with the focus being on Lewin’s framework for leadership. He highlighted that leadership could be autocratic, democratic, or Laissez-faire leaders. Social, emotional, and cognitive intelligence illustrate the leadership options and their response to the managerial issues that affect them (Bass & Stodgil, 1990).

Subsequently, autocratic leaders in most cases make autonomous decisions without team consultations. This leadership style requires a situation whereby fast decision-making is required. An evaluation of the leadership style and the intelligence can be two-fold. Firstly, a leader with a high level of emotional intelligence can use this type of leadership style and achieve success with inexperienced staff. Secondly, a leader with a low level of emotional intelligence can use this style against a team of experienced and mature followers (Dinh et al., 2014). In the latter case, the leadership style may be detrimental to an organization’s performance.

Democratic leaders are leaders who allow members of their team to provide their views before he or she makes a decision. The degree of contribution may be limited depending on the nature of the leader (Dinh et al., 2014). This style is important in the setup whereby team input is crucial. Leaders with a high level of EI, SI, and CI may opt for this type of leadership within the organization setup.

Laissez-faire leaders are flexible leaders who allow their followers to come up with most of the decisions particularly when the team is highly experienced and self-motivated. Laissez-faire leaders exhibit a high level of social and emotional intelligence when interacting with one’s followers. However, this style may prove to be a failure for leaders who have low social and emotional intelligence. The behavior of leaders has a big influence on their performance. Depending on a leader’s social, cognitive, and emotional intelligence competencies, one chooses the style that will best suit the leader’s personality and that of the team.

3.2.3 Contingency Theories

They hold that the style of leadership adopted should depend on the situation and the circumstances influence the person in charge. Therefore, leaders with high levels of cognitive intelligence know which style is best suited when quick decisions need to be made. Leaders who are people oriented exhibit high levels of social and emotional cognitive intelligence and use a leadership style, which reflects the situation on the ground for his or her followers.

3.2.4 Power and Influence Theories

The approach undertaken by power and influence theories is different from the others. In this approach, leaders use their power to varying degrees to achieve their goals. Transactional leadership is one of the power and influence style used. In this approach, the leader rewards or punishes followers depending on their achievements (Groves, 2005a). Transactional leaders are known to have low social intelligence competencies as they focus on purely work-related activities to get things done. From the leaders’ perspective, three positional powers and two personal powers exist as options that managers or people in power should strive to achieve. Overall, individuals with high levels of SI, CI, and EI exhibit high levels of personal power, which helps to drive organizations forward.

3.3 The Social Capital Theory

The social capital theory is the primary theoretical foundation for the study based on Bourdieu’s (1986) social capital theory. Social capital refers to resources naturally occurring to social relations and facilitates collective action with trust, networks, and norms being the main sources. With this concept, a norm is a culture that promotes compromise and bargaining. The social culture according to Bourdieu, an individual’s social relations determines his or her connection to social capital. Lastly, the flow of information relies on social capital and in modern-day, management is linked to competitive advantage (Bolino et al., 2002). The social capital concept attracts various hypotheses. For instance, greater the level of voluntary associations results in higher the social capital. Increased social capital leads to an increase in government institutions (Pearson, Carr, & Shaw, 2016). Additionally, the more an individual participates in voluntary work, the greater the social capital. These are but hypotheses from different authors that influenced social theory.

Regarding the organization, firms can cultivate social capital for the betterment of the organization in three ways. Firstly, social capital is promoted successfully when employees feel they contribute to the dynamism of the workplace. Managers in an organization should view employees as individuals and create a working environment where the latter can thrive and gain a sense of purpose. Social capital in an organization is enhanced by creating better communication tactics achieved through meetings, communication via emails, or phone calls for managers and employees to relate appropriately. Communication creates a better social capital by strengthening networks at the workplace.

Thirdly, small actions at the organization should determine the culture of the team. Managers have the role of creating a team identity to improve an organization’s social culture. Such small actions in an organization referred to the actions undertaken by employees which the management should recognize (Lin, 2002). Therefore, social capital at the workplace is an essential tool for improving employee engagement at the workplace. It also sets the foundation for analyzing social, emotional, and cognitive intelligence and how the influence leadership at the workplace

4 Literature Review

4.1 Introduction to Leadership

Since the dawn of man, leadership has been a topic of interest with leadership studies and the development of leadership theories taking shape in the 20th century. For decades, these theories have sought to define authentic leaders and show the factors that make them unique (Holt, 2015). As such, many researchers, philosophers, and professors have taken a keen interest in developing and analyzing leadership theories. Leadership does not have single definition since it is a process of influence. The role of the leader is to mobilize followers by arousing, satisfying, and engaging their motives. A leader is defined by the quality that one possesses. However, it is impossible for one leader to possess all the qualities required for one’s position.

Leadership qualities are diverse, and one cannot bear them all. However, modern leaders are required to possess a good number of these qualities at the workplace to discharge their duties with ease (Holt & Seki, 2012). These qualities have a great influence on the social, cognitive and emotional intelligence levels of a leader in today’s contemporary society.

A good leader shows awareness. Leaders should have the ability to distinguish between workers, bosses, management, and employees. Understanding the differences between these groups helps a leader to conduct one’s self in full awareness of their role in the organization. Leaders are expected to make tough decisions within the organization. Some decisions may require consultations while others may need autonomous decisions. Regardless of the option at hand, good leaders are expected to come up with decisions that are sound and made with the interests of the organization in mind. Extraordinary leaders thrive in such situations in most cases through a collaborative decision-making process (Holt, 2015). Notably, decision-making is greatly influenced by one’s cognitive intelligence. As such, a leader with a low cognitive intelligence may not be decisive. The reverse is also true.

Good leaders can be identified by the level of empathy that they have towards senior and junior employees. Empathic leaders use their emotional intelligence to praise their followers in public and rebuke them in private. Such leaders guide an employee facing challenges at the workplace and help them to look for long-lasting solutions. Instead of taking a personal action, they look for constructive solutions together with the followers. Therefore, an empathetic leader uses his or her emotional and social intelligence appropriately for the good of the organization. These two types of intelligence if coordinated well help to create a leader who understands the workplace better.

Accountability and good leadership go hand in hand. As such, good leaders take responsibility for an organization’s performance and understand their position whether the organization is doing well or facing problems. As such, responsible leaders monitor company employees, policies, and procedures to ensure that everything runs smoothly. When problems arise, they identify these problems and look for quick solutions (George, 2000). Leaders who are accountable… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Literature Review on Leadership Emotional social and cognitive Intelligence.  (2017, September 7).  Retrieved January 18, 2020, from

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