Document Type



Doctor of Education (EdD)


Educational Administration and Supervision

First Advisor's Name

Peter J. Cistone

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Delia C. Garcia

Third Advisor's Name

Thomas G. Reio

Fourth Advisor's Name

Linda A. Spears-Bunton

Fifth Advisor's Name

Joan Wynne


Emotional Intelligence, Leadership Style, School Culture, Transformational Leadership, Transactional Leadership, Elementary School Principals

Date of Defense



The role of the principal in school settings and the principal’s perceived effect on student achievement have frequently been considered vital factors in school reform. The relationships between emotional intelligence, leadership style and school culture have been widely studied. The literature reveals agreement among scholars regarding the principal’s vital role in developing and fostering a positive school culture. The purpose of this study was to explore the relationships between elementary school principals’ emotional intelligence, leadership style and school culture.

The researcher implemented a non-experimental ex post facto research design to investigate four specific research hypotheses. Utilizing the Qualtrics Survey Software, 57 elementary school principals within a large urban school district in southeast Florida completed the Emotional Quotient Inventory (EQ-i), and 850 of their faculty members completed the Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ Form 5X). Faculty responses to the school district’s School Climate Survey retrieved from the district’s web site were used as the measure of school culture.

Linear regression analyses revealed significant positive associations between emotional intelligence and the following leadership measures: Idealized Influence-Attributes (β = .23, p = < .05), Idealized Influence-Behaviors (β = .34, p = < .01), Inspirational Motivation (β = .39, p = < .01) and Contingent Reward (β = .33, p = < .01). Hierarchical regression analyses revealed positive associations between school culture and both transformational and transactional leadership measures, and negative associations between school culture and passive-avoidant leadership measures. Significant positive associations were found between school culture and the principals’ emotional intelligence over and above leadership style. Hierarchical linear regressions to test the statistical hypothesis developed to account for alternative explanations revealed significant associations between leadership style and school culture over and above school grade.

These results suggest that emotional intelligence merits consideration in the development of leadership theory. Practical implications include suggestions that principals employ both transformational and transactional leadership strategies, and focus on developing their level of emotional intelligence. The associations between emotional intelligence, transformational leadership, Contingent Reward and school culture found in this study validate the role of the principal as the leader of school reform.





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