Measuring perceptions of emotionally intelligent leadership behaviors of nurse administrators

WCU Author/Contributor (non-WCU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Benia LaMerle Duckworth (Creator)
Western Carolina University (WCU )
Web Site:
Sharon Metcalfe

Abstract: The purpose of this research was to measure perceptions of emotionally intelligent leadership behaviors of nurse administrators. Goleman defines EI as how leaders manage themselves and their relationships and it is a key attribute of exceptional leaders (Goleman, Boyatzis, & McKee, 2002). Morrison (2008) concluded that it is necessary for nurse leaders to develop EI competencies in order to decrease stress in the workplace and enhance teamwork. In a qualitative study, Vesterinen and colleagues found that resonant leadership styles, those with strong EI components, had a positive impact on nurse manager job satisfaction, professional development, and retention (Vesterinen, Isola, & Paasivaara, 2009). This study was a non-experimental, quantitative, descriptive survey using a convenience sample of nurse administrators. Upper level nurse administrators at a tertiary care hospital were requested to complete the Emotional and Social Competency Inventory, ESCI 360º. The ESCI 360º was administered with permission of The Hay Group, Reliability analysis of the ESCI 360º with large samples has shown very high internal consistency. The tool is supported by robust reliability and validity evidence from research in a variety of organizational contexts worldwide (Boyatzis & Goleman, 2007, The Hay Group, 2005). The surveys were provided to participants through Outlook™ e-mail utilizing SurveyMonkey™ links. Completed surveys were graded per instructions from The Hay Group. The anonymous survey results were retrieved from SurveyMonkey and graded according to instructions in 4 groups; self reports, supervisor reports, peer reports, and direct reports. Survey results had no participant identifiers. Results relating to the 12 specific competencies were reported in aggregate among those groups. None of the participants were provided their individual ESCI reports. The data was aggregate and not associated with individual nurse administrators. There are 12 specific competencies listed below which are the constructs of the personal and social competencies which reflect emotionally intelligent behavior measured in this study. Self-awareness: Emotional self-awareness. Self-management: Emotional self control, Adaptability, Achievement orientation, Optimism. Social awareness: Organizational awareness, Empathy. Relationship management: Coaching and mentoring, Inspirational leadership, Influence, Conflict management, Teamwork and collaboration. Though the ESCI 360° provides supervisor report, self report, peer report, and direct report information, the focus of this study was the direct report results. The results provided insight into how direct reports perceive emotionally intelligent (EI) behaviors of nurse administrators at the facility. Previous studies have provided information on manager EI behaviors with direct reports being staff nurses. This study is unique in that rather than staff nurses, the direct reports were nurse managers, nurse educators, performance improvement specialists, program coordinators, and other nurses working in advanced practice roles. The study provided insight related to leadership strengths and leadership development needs for current and future nurse administrators.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2011
Emotional Intelligence, leadership, perceptions
Nurse administrators
Emotional intelligence

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