Emotional intelligence training model for executive leadership in South Africa
Author(s)Els, Deon André
KeywordsDevelopment leadership -- South Africa
Executives -- Training of -- South Africa
Emotional intelligence -- South Africa
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AbstractGlobal leadership crises and increasing executive leadership failures necessitate a new approach to executive leadership development. Globalisation results in new leadership challenges that affect people, the planet and peace across the world. Critical issues include increasing extremism and terrorism, displaced migrants fleeing to stable countries, earth warming and economic decline. The role of the individual executive leader cannot be isolated from human development challenges. Various executive leadership failures and examples of unethical leadership practises, both internationally and in South Africa, place the focus on ethical governance and emotionally matured leadership development. This study follows a nexus, based on a three-stranded cordial link between human development, emotional intelligence and executive leadership. The central themes of the United Nations Human Development’s (UNDP) reports of 1990 to 2009 as well as the Post-United Nations Human Development Report of 2015 form a framework for evaluating the relationship between human development and executive leadership. Although economic growth is central to human development, the development of people through building human capabilities and active participation to improve their lives, are the main goals of the UNDP-2015. The role of executive leadership, leadership derailment and required executive proficiencies and attributes are investigated by evaluating traditional leadership theories and approaches as a lens for investigating leadership development. The positive effect of globalisation is that it affords new approaches and opportunities for executive leadership development. Emotional intelligence-based leadership, including the role of neuro-leadership, is evaluated and an integrative approach that involves the new paradigm of leadership as a response to human development challenges and globalisation is presented. The new paradigm of integrative leadership approaches includes empirical-based authentic leadership, shared leadership and gender-based leadership. The integrative leadership models of Hatala and Passmore are selected as a framework to propose a theoretical emotional intelligence leadership model for this study. New opportunities to develop emotionally intelligent executive leaders include technology-based training, iLeadership and eLeadership in an environment without boundaries. Time constraints are identified as a key obstacle for leadership development. Various training and executive coaching strategies are evaluated and proposed to accelerate leadership development. The link between human development and executive leadership development is proposed by collective leadership approaches towards Corporate Social Responsibilities (CSR) above entrepreneurial acumen and stakeholder involvement. A positivist approach based on quantitative research using Structural Equation Modelling (SEM) is used. The primary research problem is formulated to investigate the multidimensional and complex nature of factors that influence the success of developing emotionally intelligent executive leaders in South Africa. A conceptual theoretical model comprising of factors that influence Human Development and the perceived success of Emotional Intelligence Training is developed. A total of ten independent variables that influence the two mentioned dependent variables are identified. The proposed model and envisaged hypotheses are empirically tested. The study consists of a 73-itemed questionnaire with 360 participants. The sourced data are statically analysed by means of the exploratory factor analysis (EFA) to assess the discriminate validity of the research instrument and to confirm underlying dimensions of the constructs. Cronbach-alpha coefficients are calculated for each of the identified factors by using SEM. The significance of the hypothesised relationships in the revised model is tested. The value of this study’s contribution to the body of knowledge lies within the findings, the proposed Integrative Emotional Intelligence Leadership Model and recommendations for future research. The proposed model identifies practical training approaches to accelerate executive leadership against a background of serious leadership failures in South Africa.