Emotional intelligence and leadership in organizations: A meta-analytic test of process mechanisms

Daniel S Whitman, Florida International University


The present study—employing psychometric meta-analysis of 92 independent studies with sample sizes ranging from 26 to 322 leaders—examined the relationship between EI and leadership effectiveness. Overall, the results supported a linkage between leader EI and effectiveness that was moderate in nature (ρ = .25). In addition, the positive manifold of the effect sizes presented in this study, ranging from .10 to .44, indicate that emotional intelligence has meaningful relations with myriad leadership outcomes including effectiveness, transformational leadership, LMX, follower job satisfaction, and others. Furthermore, this paper examined potential process mechanisms that may account for the EI-leadership effectiveness relationship and showed that both transformational leadership and LMX partially mediate this relationship. However, while the predictive validities of EI were moderate in nature, path analysis and hierarchical regression suggests that EI contributes less than or equal to 1% of explained variance in leadership effectiveness once personality and intelligence are accounted for. ^

Subject Area

Business Administration, Management|Psychology, Industrial

Recommended Citation

Whitman, Daniel S, "Emotional intelligence and leadership in organizations: A meta-analytic test of process mechanisms" (2009). ProQuest ETD Collection for FIU. AAI3394823.