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Ohio State Finding the Emotional Intelligence to Be a Real Leader Case Discussion

Ohio State University

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CaSe StuDy 4.2 – “Finding the Emotional Intelligence to be a Real Leader”

Finding the Emotional Intelligence to Be a Real Leader Recently, Kathy Smith, a project manager for a large industrial construction organization, was assigned to oversee a multi million-dollar chemical plant construction project in Southeast Asia. Kathy had earned this assignment after completing a number of smaller construction assignments in North America over the past three years. This was her first overseas assignment and she was eager to make a good impression, particularly given the size and scope of the project. Successfully completing this project would increase her visibility within the organization dramatically and earmark her as a candidate for upper management. Kathy had good project management skills; in particular, she was organized and highly self-motivated. Team members at her last two project assignments used to joke that just trying to keep up with her was a full-time job.

Kathy wasted no time settling in to oversee the development of the chemical plant. Operating under her normal work approach, Kathy routinely required her staff and the senior members of the project team to work long hours, ignoring weekend breaks if important milestones were coming up, and generally adopting a round the-clock work approach for the project. Unfortunately, in expecting her team, made up of local residents, to change their work habits to accommodate her expectations, Kathy completely misread the individuals on her team. They bitterly resented her overbearing style, unwillingness to consult them on key questions, and aloof nature. Rather than directly confront her, however, team members began a campaign of passive resistance to her leadership. They would purposely drag their feet on important assignments or cite insurmountable problems when none, in fact, existed. Kathy’s standard response was to push herself and her project team harder, barraging subordinates with increasingly urgent communications demanding faster performance. To her bewilderment, nothing seemed to work.

The project quickly became bogged down due to poor team performance and ended up costing the project organization large penalties for late delivery.Although Kathy had many traits that worked in her favor, she was seriously lacking in the ability to recognize the feelings and expectations of others and take them into consideration.

Questions

1. Discuss how Kathy lacked sufficient emotional intelligence to be effective in her new project manager assignment.

2. Of the various dimensions of emotional intelligence, which dimension(s) did she appear to lack most? What evidence can you cite to support this contention?

Note:

1.Every paper typed in this course should be in APA formatting (title page, reference page, NO abstract page, in-text citations, running head, page numbers, Times New Roman 12 font, 1 inch margins, double-spacing, etc…).

2.Your research papers should include only these types of sources, the textbook and all the scholarly case/articles(as attached along with the question). Do not use outside resources.

3.References (this does not count toward the required paper length).Use only the attached material.



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PAPERS 05-20PMJ0312.qxd 3/12/10 12:21 PM Page 5 Emotional Intelligence and Its Relationship to Transformational Leadership and Key Project Manager Competences Nicholas Clarke, School of Management, University of Southampton, Southampton, United Kingdom ABSTRACT ■ INTRODUCTION ■ Key dimensions of project manager behaviors considered to be associated with successful project outcomes have included both appropriate collaborative behaviors and transformational leadership. More recently, emotional intelligence has been suggested as a unique area of individual differences that is likely to underpin sets of behaviors in this area. Based on a sample of 67 UK project managers, it was found that emotional intelligence ability measures and empathy explained additional variance in the project manager competences of teamwork, attentiveness, and managing conflict, and the transformational leadership behaviors of idealized influence and individualized consideration, after controlling for cognitive ability and personality. iven that the interest in the concept of emotional intelligence is a rather recent phenomenon, it is surprising that the importance of emotionally associated abilities or skills in project management was recognized over three decades ago. Hill (1977) identified how high-performing project managers were more likely to adopt greater listening and coaching behaviors, as well as facilitate openness and emotional expression. More recently, these skills or abilities have again resurfaced as a major focus of attention within project management, driven by the wider research in emotional intelligence (EI) and the increasing literature that voiced concerns over the appropriate knowledge and skill base required for project managers to be effective (Crawford, Morris, Thomas, & Winter, 2006; El-Sabaa, 2001; Sizemore House, 1988; Zimmerer & Yasin, 1998). Writers such as Winter, Smith, Morris, and Cicmil (2006), for example, have suggested that emotional competences are associated with the intuition and skills necessary for project managers to become reflective practitioners. As a result, project managers with high emotional intelligence should be better equipped to solve the new challenges and problems that each new project brings. Salovey and Mayer’s (1990) initial paper on emotional intelligence identified EI as a subset of social intelligence and characterized the concept as consisting of a set of four interrelated cognitive abilities associated with the processing of emotional information. Similar to the broader notion of intelligence, EI is described as the ability to reason about a particular type of information as follows: “The ability to perceive accurately, appraise, and express emotion; the ability to access and/or generate feelings when they facilitate thought; the ability to understand emotion and emotional knowledge; and the ability to regulate emotions to promote emotional and intellectual growth” (Mayer & Salovey, 1997, p. 10). A significant body of research has been building over the past two decades that has found these emotional intelligence abilities to be associated with a range of important work-related behaviors. Particularly significant from a project’s perspective have been associations found between EI and leadership (Barling, Slater, & Kelloway, 2000; Rosete & Ciarrochi, 2005), team effectiveness (Jordan, Ashkanasy, Hartel, & Hooper, 2002), and workgroup effectiveness (Druskat & Wolff, 2001). Druskat and Druskat (2006) suggested that the nature and characteristics of projects place a particular emphasis on the need for project managers to KEYWORDS: emotional intelligence; project competences; leadership. Project Management Journal, Vol. 41, No. 2, 5–20 © 2010 by the Project Management Institute Published online in Wiley InterScience (www.interscience.wiley.com) DOI: 10.1002/pmj.20162 G April 2010 ■ Project Management Journal ■ DOI: 10.1002/pmj 5 05-20PMJ0312.qxd 3/12/10 12:21 PM Page 6 PAPERS Emotional Intelligence and Its Relationship to Transformational Leadership possess emotional intelligence. They put forward four key arguments in this respect. First, the temporary nature of projects means that trust and commitment, which arise through interpersonal interaction, need to be quickly established (Kloppenborg & Petrick, 1999; Sweeney & Lee, 1999). Emotional competences that underpin effective communication and social skills are therefore likely to assist project managers to more easily form good interpersonal relations. Second, and related to the former, emotional intelligence that facilitates interpersonal relationships should also support greater knowledge exchange, thus enabling project managers to deal with the uniqueness of differing projects (Frame, 1995). Next, the complexity associated with projects often involves dealing with considerable ambiguity and change (Briner, Geddes, & Hastings, 1990; Slevin & Pinto, 1991), and emotional intelligence should play a role in enabling project managers to inspire fellow project workers and generate higher levels of motivation and commitment toward change. Finally, emotional intelligence and empathy are likely to be key strengths in helping project managers to successfully manage conflict, especially where there is scope for misunderstanding and miscommunication arising from cross-cultural projects. Findings from recent studies examining emotional intelligence within a project management context have found emotional intelligence to be a significant area of individual difference associated with effective leadership, and transformational leadership more specifically (Butler & Chinowsky, 2006; Leban & Zulauf, 2004; Muller & Turner, 2007; Sunindijo, Hadikusumo, & Ogunlana, 2007). However, a significant limitation of these studies is that in neither instance was there an attempt to control for personality effects. In addition, as yet no studies have examined relationships between emotional intelligence and those specific project management competences posited to be 6 important for successful project outcomes, as discussed by Druskat and Druskat (2006) earlier. This study therefore aims to build on this previous literature by presenting findings from a study that examined relationships between emotional intelligence, project management competences, and transformational leadership. Based on a sample of project managers in the United Kingdom, the findings suggest that emotional intelligence abilities and empathy may be a significant aspect of individual difference that contributes to behaviors associated with project manager competences in the areas of teamwork, attentiveness, and managing conflict, as well as dimensions of transformational leadership. Importantly, these findings add to the growing body of literature that suggests emotional intelligence may be a new and independent area of individual difference that may predict sets of project manager behaviors that are increasingly recognized to be associated with successful outcomes in projects. Previous Findings Examining Emotional Intelligence in Projects Five studies have appeared in the literature specifically investigating emotional intelligence in project contexts. Four of these examined the relationship between emotional intelligence and leadership in projects. Leban and Zulauf (2004) conducted a study of 24 project managers from six different organizations drawn from a wide range of industries. Data on the project manager’s leadership style was obtained from team members and stakeholders, while the Mayer-Salovey-Caruso-Emotional Intelligence Ability Test (MSCEIT) (Mayer & Salovey, 1997) was used to assess the emotional intelligence of project managers. Overall emotional intelligence scores and the ability to understand emotions were found to be significantly related with the inspirational motivation dimension of transformational leadership. April 2010 ■ Project Management Journal ■ DOI: 10.1002/pmj Butler and Chinowsky (2006) investigated the relationship between emotional intelligence and leadership among senior-level (vice president or above) construction executives; however, this study used Bar-On’s (1997) model of emotional intelligence, the EQ-I. This is a multifactorial model of emotional, personal, and social abilities that includes the five EI domains of interpersonal skills, intrapersonal skills, adaptability, stress management, and general mood. Collecting data from 130 executives, they found a significant relationship between the total EQ-I score and transformational leadership. Of significance, this accounted for 34% of the variance of transformational leadership behavior. Of all of the emotional intelligence dimensions that they examined, interpersonal skills were found to be the most significant. Muller and Turner (2007) sought to determine whether different types of leadership were more important depending upon the type of project. In a survey of 400 project management professionals, they identified which sorts of leadership competences were associated with success in different project types. Their overall results point to the variegated nature of leadership and how different sets of competences are appropriate for leadership in projects depending upon its degree of complexity (high, medium, or low), and the application area (e.g., engineering and construction, information systems, business). However, here they used a further model of emotional intelligence to underpin their study, drawing upon Dulewicz and Higgs’ (2003) 15 leadership competences. Within this EI model, 15 leadership competences are identified. Seven of these competences are categorized as emotional leadership competences that encompass (1) motivation, (2) conscientiousness, (3) sensitivity, (4) influence, (5) selfawareness, (6) emotional resilience, and (7) intuitiveness. Among their results, they found that the leadership competences of emotional resilience 05-20PMJ0312.qxd 3/12/10 12:21 PM Page 7 and communication accounted for the most success in projects of medium complexity, while the emotional competency of sensitivity was found to be most important for high-complexity projects. Different competences were also found to be associated with greater success, depending upon the application area in which the project was based. Finally, Sunindijo et al. (2007) investigated the relationship between emotional intelligence competences and leadership styles in 54 projects based in Bangkok, Thailand. They identified 13 leadership behaviors from the literature and collected usable data on four dimensions of emotional intelligence from 30 project managers and engineers (PMEs). They also collected data on their leadership behaviors from their supervisors. This time they used a fourth differing model of emotional intelligence to underpin their study, an instrument they obtained commercially that they suggest was based on Goleman’s (1995) EI competency model. Their results showed that those PMEs with higher EI mean scores demonstrated a greater frequency in the use of key leadership behaviors compared to PMEs with low EI scores. This included behaviors such as stimulating, rewarding, delegating, leading by example, open communication, listening, participating, and proactive behavior. However, it is important to note that statistically significant differences were found only for the leadership behaviors of open communication and proactive behavior, and these were both at the 10% level of significance. The final study focused instead on examining relationships between emotional intelligence and project management competences. Mount (2006) presented results from a study that was designed to identify the job competences that were associated with superior performance in a major international petroleum corporation. Using a range of data-collection techniques including focus groups, interviews, and surveys, as well as data from critical incidents, data was collected on job roles performed by, among other staff groups, 74 asset construction project managers. The roles these project managers occupied was under transition, moving from a traditional engineering role to one that was more strategically aligned to individual business units. Using Goleman’s (1995) set of emotional competences, they found that seven emotional competences (influence, self-confidence, teamwork, organizational awareness, adaptability, empathy, and achievement motivation) accounted for 69% of the skill set that these project managers considered most significant for their success on projects. Together these studies suggest a significant role for emotional intelligence in terms of underpinning both leadership and important project manager behaviors. However, these studies suffer from a number of limitations. The first of these relates to criticisms associated with the validity of the particular EI measures used. Two studies used either Goleman’s (1995) and Bar-On’s (1997) measures of emotional intelligence. These contain a number of dimensions (such as achievement motivation and organizational awareness in relation to the former, and assertiveness, stress management, and general mood in relation to the latter) that have been argued as technically not falling within the EI domain. The use of such measures to capture emotional intelligence has led a number of authors to raise serious doubts as to whether these conceptualizations and measures of EI are able to offer anything new over other existing measures already well known in the literature (Conte, 2005). Instead, the ability model of emotional intelligence and its associated measure has received far greater support as offering a more valid and conceptually distinct approach to considering the EI construct (Brackett & Mayer, 2003; O’Connor & Little, 2003). Studies using this measure of EI within the project management field may therefore be able to more clearly delineate the specific contribution that emotional intelligence may make in actually explaining key project manager behaviors. Focus of the Current Study This study builds on the current literature in two major ways. First, it investigates whether emotional intelligence is associated with a number of behaviors posited as key for successfully working in project contexts. Druskat and Druskat (2006) have previously suggested that the specific characteristics of projects are unique from other forms of work organization that place an additional premium on the importance of emotional intelligence. They identified four specific characteristics alongside specific project manager behaviors that are necessary for successful project management. However, much of this has yet to receive any empirical support based upon research in projects. Second, the study examines the relationship between emotional intelligence and the project manager’s transformational leadership style through using an ability-based model of emotional intelligence and importantly controls for both cognitive ability and personality. Five specific hypotheses were tested in the study. Each of these and their rationale are as follows. Teamwork skills have been identified in a number of studies as among the “critical success factors” of projects (Rudolph, Wagner, & Fawcett, 2008; Tisher, Dvir, Shenhar, & Lipovetsky, 1996). Many authors have suggested that emotional intelligence is either responsible for or underpins an individual’s ability to engage in social interactions (Caruso & Wolfe, 2001; Lopes, Salovey, & Strauss, 2003) such that it may well be an underlying construct of social skills (Fox & Spector, 2000). Supporting this proposition have been a number of studies that have demonstrated significant relationships between EI measures and a range of social interaction indices, including more positive social interactions with peers and friends (Brackett, Mayer, & Warner, April 2010 ■ Project Management Journal ■ DOI: 10.1002/pmj 7 05-20PMJ0312.qxd 3/12/10 12:21 PM Page 8 PAPERS Emotional Intelligence and Its Relationship to Transformational Leadership 2004). Individuals scoring higher on emotional ability (e.g., managing emotions) have reported more satisfying interpersonal relationships [Lopes et al., 2003; Lopes et al., 2004]). Elsewhere, research examining emotional intelligence within a team context has found positive relationships between EI and a propensity for teamwork (Ilarda & Findlay, 2006). This therefore leads to the first hypothesis: Hypothesis 1: Emotional intelligence abilities and empathy will be positively associated with the project management competence of teamwork. Differences in individuals’ emotional skills have long been suggested as accounting for variations in the extent to which they are able to decode nonverbal and emotional communication (Hall & Bernieri, 2001). Both emotional intelligence abilities and empathy have been identified as underpinning more effective communication (Riggio, Riggio, Salinas, & Cole, 2003). Previously, Sunindijo et al. (2007) found a positive relationship between emotional intelligence competences and project manager competences that included communication. This gives rise to the second hypothesis: Hypothesis 2: Emotional intelligence abilities and empathy will be positively associated with the project management competence of communication. Addressing the individual needs and concerns of team members and involving them in decisions have long been recognized as important behaviors associated with effective leadership of teams (Fleishman, 1974). These attentiveness behaviors have been identified as important for relationship building, social integration, enhancing group identification, and developing commitment and trust, all seen as key elements associated with the effectiveness of teams (Bishop & Scott, 2000). More recently, these behavioral dimensions 8 of project managers have also been suggested to be important to success in projects (Dvir, Ben-David, Sadeh, & Shenhar, 2006; Taborda, 2000). These attentiveness behaviors are likely to assist project managers in building high-quality interpersonal relationships within short periods of time important given the unique and temporary nature of projects (Druskat & Druskat, 2006). Emotional sensitivity and emotional expression are key aspects associated with emotional intelligence and empathy that have been suggested to be associated with performing attentiveness behaviors (Rapisarda, 2002; Riggio & Reichard, 2008). This gives rise to the third hypothesis: Hypothesis 3: Emotional intelligence abilities and empathy will be positively associated with the project management competence of attentiveness. Relationship conflict between partners and members has often been cited as a major factor undermining effectiveness or contributing to failure in projects (Nordin, 2006; Terje & Hakansson, 2003). Previous research has found relationships between emotional intelligence and better conflict management strategies in team settings (Ayoko, Callan, & Hartel, 2008; Jordan & Troth, 2004); however, these studies used team-level measures. Rahim and Psenicka (2002) reported findings examining emotional intelligence and conflict management strategies at the individual level using Goleman’s model (1995) of EI. They found that self-awareness was associated with selfregulation and empathy. Empathy was associated with Goleman’s motivation measure, which in turn was positively associated with more effective approaches to conflict management. A positive relationship between self-regulation and the use of positive approaches to managing conflict have also been found, using a trait measure of EI (Kaushal & Kwanters, 2006). This gives rise to the fourth hypothesis: April 2010 ■ Project Management Journal ■ DOI: 10.1002/pmj Hypothesis 4: Emotional intelligence abilities and empathy will be positively associated with the projec ...
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Final Answer

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Finding the Emotional Intelligence to be a Real Leader
Thesis: Kathy was the most competent project manager of her organization, who
earned a good reputation by completing various small construction assignments in North
America in her past career of three years. She was very excited to take up her first overseas
assignment and desired to show a good impression over others. Due to her managerial skills,
she committed mistakes of not thinking before doing her part. However, her intention to lead
the team was not bad, but the way of dealing with team members was not good. Her
inappropriate behavior resulted in poor team performance and a huge penalty for the
organization due to late completion.
1. Case review
2. Discuss how Kathy lacked sufficient emotional intelligence to be effective in her new
project manager assignment?
3. Of the various dimensions of emotional intelligence, which dimension(s) did she
appear to lack most? What evidence can you cite to support this contention?


Running head: CASE STUDY

1

Finding the Emotional Intelligence to be a Real Leader
Instructor name
Student name
Date

CASE STUDY

2

Case review
Kathy was the most competent project manager of her organization, who earned a
good reputation by completing various small construction assignments in North America in
her past career of three years. She was very excited to take up her first overseas assignment
and desired to show a good impression over others. Due to her managerial skills, she
committed mistakes of not thinking before doing her part. However, her intention to lead the
team was not bad, but the way of dealing with team members was not good. Her
inappropriate behavior resulted in poor team performance and a huge penalty for the
organization due to late completion.
Emotional intelligence means the essential group of capabilities, competencies, and
...

whgrab (11626)
University of Maryland

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