This literature review deliberates on specific books and academic journals that have been written in the light of emotional intelligence in political leaders and its effects to their political assistants and other people surrounding them. This review puts into consideration the results established by previous studies on the area of research and the recommendations provided therein. The literature also seeks to provide proper definition to specific key terms of the research. It is through the review of literature that specific areas of ontology will be reviewed and consequent epistemology in relation to the area of study.
Goleman (2009) defines emotional intelligence as a set of competencies which includes the ability to assume the emotions in oneself as well as in other people, the ability to use emotions to influence performance, having complete knowledge in emotions and the how to control them oneself and others. The idea of emotional intelligence has contributed positively to political leadership. Goleman developed a well crafted model which indicates how emotional intelligence is endowed by people, mostly the leaders in the society. The model divides intelligence into personal and social competence. The area of personal competence is concerned with a person’s awareness of oneself and management of self. Self awareness involves understanding your own feelings while self management succeed self-awareness in controlling ones emotions. The social dimension of emotional intelligence indicates how a person influences and controls the emotions of other people.
Bar-On (2004) defines emotional intelligence as the ability of a person to perceive matters accurately, evaluate them and show emotions. He further defines emotional intelligence as the ability to spawn feelings which aid thoughts; ability to figure out emotions and knowledge of emotions; and the ability to control emotions to enhance emotional growth as well as intellectual growth. The authors designed an ability model through combination of intellectual and emotional intelligence. The model aimed at providing an understanding on intellectual and emotional intelligence and how they guide thoughts, actions and emotions. Mayer, Roberts and Barsade (2008) identified two theoretical approaches to emotional intelligence. One approach investigates explicit abilities of emotional intelligence, while the other focuses on global integration of the identified capabilities. Explicit ability of emotional intelligence approach concerns a person’s intellectual capacity that is necessary for emotional intelligence. The model relates emotional intelligence to global leadership abilities. The explicit ability approach study’s facts such as, how a person is able to detect emotions from the faces of other people and how well he may understand the meaning of such emotions (Goleman, 2009).
A third approach which also aims at providing a deeper understanding on emotional intelligence has also been established in recent studies through the mixed model approach (Neubauer and Freudenthaler, 2005). The model integrates qualities that are beyond the spectrum of emotional intelligence and evaluates their effects. The model follows a diverse approach through integration concepts that are closely related to emotion such as self drive, social motives of an individual as well as some other characteristics not primarily related to emotional reasoning (Jain, 2012). Factors integrated in the model are such as achievement needs, assertiveness, and self-esteem and behavior control mechanisms. This results to a mixed model of investigating emotional intelligence. Although the model successfully considers the effect of related external factors, fails to show clearly how emotion intelligence develops. Additionally, the model does not show how these interrelated concepts affect emotional intelligence (Meisler, 2013). The mixed model should however be considered in the study of emotional intelligence of politicians and effects on their personal aids. The mixed model has however elicited critics to question the validity in the construct of emotional intelligence. Validity question arises due to presence on many components in the model with no clear measurement procedure for each (Davies et al., 1998).
Recent research has indicated that high degree of emotional intelligence in leaders improves job outcomes, leads to efficient leadership skills, influences transformative leadership capabilities, sharpens conflict resolution capabilities and improves work relationships (Meisler, 2012). Politicians with high capacities of emotional intelligence are able to built close and smooth relationships with the people around them. Similarly, personal aids of politicians whose emotional intelligence is high have got a positive perception in their leadership styles (Brader, 2011). Besides direct effect on job outcome, emotional intelligence arguably plays a significant role in other factors that lead to successful careers. Emotional intelligence is viewed as an intervening variable in building a successful career (Mikolajczak et al., 2007). Further findings from the study indicated that emotional intelligence of leaders determines the perceptions and commitment of their subordinates as well as their relationship with their leaders. The study also established existences of a considerable relationship between political skills and emotional intelligence (Meisler, 2013).
Emotional intelligence is an integral part of good style of leadership. Effective political leadership skills are determined by the level of emotional intelligence of the leaders (Chiva and Alegre, 2008). Palmer et al. (2001) in their study indicated that common qualities of a leader fails to recognize emotional intelligence but rather concentrates on contemporary factors. Today’s world is socially networked and everyone feels the urge to know all they can about their leaders’ ideologies and views on different prevailing issues. In a research conducted by Bennett (2012), it was observed that nearly all elected political leaders have mass social following in social network sites. Based on the study, leaders are usually pressurized by the public to comment on different social political and economic issues facing the respective territory. Leaders have to use their emotional intelligence to address these issues and to gauge the effect of the response they intend to provide. Combining emotional and political intelligence enables leaders to assess the possible effects upon commenting about the issue at hand. Strategic use of emotional intelligence on such situations enables leaders to give the desired response (Walter, Cole and Humphrey, 2011).
Political leaders are endowed with the power to socially influence people to achieve a certain desired objective. These leaders perceive specific traits that facilitate their motive and enable them to achieve mass following of the people (Vigoda‐Gadot and Meisler, 2010). Kite and Kay (2012) indicates that political leaders with acute aspects of emotional intelligence are very successful in their careers. In order to manage diverse personal and social contexts, political leaders need to be equipped with an articulate strategy of controlling emotions. Vigoda‐Gadot and Meisler (2010) found out that emotional intelligence is an important requisite for great political leadership.
There is constrained research on the effects of politician’s emotions on their subordinates and personal aids. The few present studies however provide substantial literature on the nature of relationship between politicians and their aids and how changes in their emotions affect them. Wong and Law (2002) in their study established that politician’s emotional intelligence contributed to positive output of their subordinates. The study indicated that leaders who have got great aspect of emotional intelligence have a positive impact on their team of personal aids and leads to great personal relationship among them. This builds cohesion in the team and enable them pursue a common goal. Political leaders are able to achieve inspiration, empathy, optimism, commitment, reflectivity as well as foresight among their team of personal aids through emotional intelligence.
Jain (2012) applied communicative and interactions’ approach in their study and consequently established that a leader’s skills in emotional intelligence are positively correlated with nature of output from their subordinates. Recent studies indicate that a relationship does exist between politicians and their personal aids in the context of job performance, contentment in job and their interpersonal relationships. Brader (2011) in his study established that politicians’ emotional intelligence is positively skewed to the personal aids’ contentment in the political agenda. These finding were affirmed by Walter, Cole and Humphrey (2011) who established that politicians who perceived emotional intelligence in great measure had a positive impact on their subordinate’s performance as well as their personal attitude towards the nature of their work.
The competencies of emotional intelligence directly contribute to the political leaders’ people management skills. These competencies enhance the effectiveness of politicians in controlling other people’s emotions (Brader, 2011). Stoller, Taylor, and Farver (2013) indicates that awareness of one’s emotions add in elucidation of emotions which in turn lead to reduced levels of stress in a person. This ensures that the person is in good control over his or her emotions and hence can be able to lead and control other peoples’ emotions. Ealias and George (2012) established that the degree of self-awareness in a leader contributed much to his or her performance in their work. The author also highlighted that great awareness of self also enhance improved collaboration with the subordinates. Additionally, the study indicated that leaders who had a high degree of self-awareness received great attention from their subordinates and were able to dictate their emotions. Politicians’ assistants rated leaders who had a high degree of self-awareness as more effective in their work other than those who showed low measures of the same.
According to Ciarrochi and Mayer (2013), politicians’ personal aids were much more contented with leaders who score high in competences of emotional intelligence. The personal aids are more likely to follow the ideas of their leaders where they show deeper endowment in emotional intelligence competencies. Aspects such as loyalty and commitment are observed among the subordinates of leaders with a high degree of emotional intelligence. Connectively, Schutte and Malouff (2011) established that leaders’ ability to perceive their own emotions as well as the emotions of their immediate subordinates and followers enhanced their effectiveness in duty performance. The author observed that subordinates felt more comfortable while working with such leaders and were keen to follow their ideologies. The subordinates however showed dissatisfaction in leaders who lacked self-awareness and had low perception of their own emotions. Similarly Massari (2011) established that politicians who had a high experience on emotional intelligence were rated by their personal aids as more proficient. The study shows that empathy is one of the key areas of emotional intelligence which influences effectiveness in leadership.
In a study, Jain (2012) found out that political leaders who reported effectiveness in perceiving the emotions of other people influenced satisfaction in job of their personal aids as well as other subordinates around them. In a general approach, the study indicates that job satisfaction and commitment in ideologies of the leader, are the main response to from subordinates of a leader with acute emotional intelligence aspects. Great interpersonal relationships among the leaders and their subordinates are a resultant characteristic of leaders with high competencies of emotional intelligence. Evidence indicates that leaders who apply emotional intelligence achieve particular positive impacts on their followers. Research indicates that entrepreneurial and innovative behavior of the subordinates is positively influenced by the emotional intelligence of their leaders. The ability and skill of leaders to regulate their moods and those of their subordinates leads to positive work attitude among their followers (Schutte, Malouff and Thorsteinsson, 2013).
According to Boddy (2013), politicians possess political skills which enable them to influence the people around them through understanding their work effectively. These skills are derived from emotional intelligence and are able to influence their personal assistants to work towards their overall political objectives. Politicians’ personal assistants are observed to always follow their leaders’ ideologies at all times in different set of circumstances. This is because emotionally shrewd politicians are able to harmonize social intelligence with the constant changing external environment. They do so in a calculated manner such that they exhibit sincerity in order to elicit support from their followers. The study also indicates that trust is a common factor in political assistants who follow politicians with utmost emotional shrewdness. This set of political assistants also seems to be highly motivated and have positive perception regarding what they do.
Rosen, Harris and Kacmar (2009) indicate that political predicaments of a political leader are usually predetermined by emotional quotient of intelligence. Silvester (2008) in his study observed that leaders with substantial level of emotional intelligence had successful careers due to positive political influence among their subjects. The study indicates that such leaders experienced less resistance and most of their ideas were embraced by their personal assistants. Stoller, Taylor, and Farver (2013) shows that business leaders in the current world have also adopted emotional as well as political intelligence tactics to enable them achieve a positive influence in their organizations and business industries. Liu et al. (2006) observed that skill of intelligence of emotions and politics has gained wider recognition among leaders in the civil service due to their ability to induce support from their subordinates. Ealias and George (2012) assert that emotional intelligence is indistinctively built in the leadership culture hence it is instinctively assumed by the practicing leaders. The authors recognize that leaders influence the political atmosphere through instilling different emotions on their subordinate staff. Every leader relies on what psychology refers to as emotional intuition to control the mind and behavior of the followers. The vice is common with political leaders and organizational managers.
Other than influencing the action of political fanatics, political leaders also affect the intuition of their personal aids through their emotions. Politicians who have a considerable level of emotional intelligence are able to maintain close relationships with their personal aids. These politicians have the ability to collect intelligence on important matters from their personal aids (Ciarrochi and Mayer, 2013). Additionally, they are keen to detail and show trust in the information dispersed to them by their personal assistants. Out of respect and trust in their assistants’ work, these political leaders motivate their assistants and improve their confidence in the job. On the other hand, politicians who are low on emotional intelligence fail to maintain close relationship with their aids (Schutte and Malouff, 2011). Often the politicians’ assistants experience harassment and mistrust from their bosses who fail to recognize the importance of their work. These politicians are usually less successful in their political careers (Williams, 2001). Connectively, politicians with low emotional intelligence have less regard to the opinions of their personal aids hence lack the ability to gather important information from them. These assistants consequently develop a negative attitude towards their bosses (Di Gennaro and Dutton, 2006).
Emotional intelligence is an essential part in political leadership as well as management of an organization’s workforce. It determines the leadership lifespan of a leader. Leaders with constrained degree of emotional acumen are not able to hold office for a long time due to escalation of political temperatures among their subjects (Massari, 2011). Usually, these leaders have limited ability to detect the emotions of the people around them. This situation hence leads to adverse conditions and hostile relationship between the leaders and the people around them (Vigoda‐Gadot, and Meisler, 2010). Vigoda (2000) in his study established that leaders have the ability to control the reaction of their subordinates using their intrinsic leadership skills. Leaders can also influence the perception of their followers on them based on how they conduct themselves. It is imperative that leaders get to know how to read the mind and emotions of their subordinates. Wong and Law (2002) indicate that politicians who have had great leadership skills have successful careers. Zivnuska et al. (2004) further indicates that these political leaders have a high quotient of emotional intelligence and are characterized by mass public following and great support by their personal aids.
Previous research on effects of politicians’ emotional intelligence on their personal aids is constrained. However, studies have investigated the correlation between organizational politics, emotional intelligence and the consequent outcomes (Boddy, 2013). In this regard, Asad & Ahmad (2014) established significant positive correlation between leaders’ emotional intelligence and job attitudes of the workers. In their study, they established that employee who were under supervision of emotionally intelligent leaders had positive attitudes towards their job and were more committed to their duties. The workers had great contentment in the leadership styles of their supervisors. On the other hand, the study established that workers who were under the supervision of leaders who had less emotional intelligence had negative attitude towards their work and were less committed to their work duties. Additionally, the research established that these employees had negative perception towards their immediate supervisors and had less confidence in their leadership styles. Kerr et al. (2006) highlighted that employees serving under leaders who had less attributes of emotional intelligence have undesirable job outcomes such as negligence, intentions of job turnover, stress as well as job burnout. However, this study failed to establish how emotions of workers were affected by the conduct of their leaders as well as their consequent perceptions towards those leaders.
Chang et al. (2009) established a positive correlation between organizational politics and national politics. He established that organizational politics is a subset of the politics in the national sphere and both are affected by identical factors. Their study highlighted emotional intelligence as the major factor that determines leaders’ success in their political career. Further, the study established that both political leaders who were keen on emotional intelligence attracted strong support from their personal assistants. Walter, Cole and Humphrey (2011) acknowledged that there is significant contribution of emotion to perceptions of the public and the implications of politics. Through a model showing perception in politics, the author suggested possible positive and negative results of perceptions in politics. Additionally, the study indicated that leaders are the main determiners of perceptions held by other people against them. This argument has a positive correlation with Fishbein and Ajzen’s (1975) Reasoned Action Theory. The theory argues that the behavior and actions of a person are influenced by the conduct of another person. Clarke (2010) indicates that emotional intelligence can possibly control the behavior of other people.
Some studies have approached the subject of emotional intelligence in politics differently. Zellars et al. (2006) used empirical evidence to establish whether there existed any relationship between emotions of politicians and on job behavior of their subordinates. The study established perceptions of subordinates against their masters influence their job performance (Ryback, 2012). Emotion of the leaders was established as the key contributing factor to these emotions. Liu et al. (2006) indicated that politicians’ emotions as well as their emotional behaviors influence the conduct of their followers. The study established intermediate connections between emotions and emotional conduct to political perceptions, as well as assorted behavioral and attitudinal effects. According to the study, political actions of a person serve as a platform for eliciting emotional effects, which triggers diverse perceptions leading to various effects among the subordinates such as job contentment, cynicism, work burnout or job commitment. Rosen et al. (2009) approached the topic in a similar manner where they cited that conduct of politicians could lead to either positive or negative perceptions among their immediate personnel. Their study established that leaders were the main determiners of the perceptions that their subordinates hold against them. Further, they indicated that on-job frustrations experienced by the employees were directly related to the conduct and emotions of their masters. For example, the study indicated that leaders who are lost in frustrations are likely to have a frustrated workforce. Leaders have the ability to control the perceptions and attitudes of their immediate employees through their emotions (Griffin, 2012).
It is surprising that the consequences of political leaders’ emotional intelligence on their subordinate’s perceptions have not been studied extensively given the already established contribution of this form of intelligence in understanding and controlling positive or negative perceptions. Empirical evidence indicates positive relationship between emotional intelligence of leaders and perceptions of the subordinates. Positive job attitudes were established with employees whose masters’ had a high level of emotional intelligence (Vigoda-Gadot and Meisler, 2010). Sy, Tram and O’hara (2012) indicate that politicians’ emotional intelligence has direct effect to the behavior of people working around them. Folger and Skarlicki (2005) in their study established retaliatory behavior as one of the resultant outcome of subordinates whose masters have low percentage of emotional intelligence. The authors further indicated that political leaders who are not equipped with emotion intelligence fail to realize the needs of the people around them. The study indicates that retaliation is the only option left for the personal aids to get their needs addressed. Other than dissatisfaction and consequent retaliation, this study however failed to establish the perceptions of the personal assistants towards their respective leaders.
Treadway et al. (2012) established that emotional intelligence is complementary to political skill in that it enhances the political capabilities of a person. The author asserts that political skill enables the politicians to know and understand the emotions of other people in order to attain personal objectives. Connectively, the author indicates that emotional intelligence enhances the ability to perceive political skills. Political leaders with high endowment of emotional intelligence have articulate ability to control the emotions of the people around to them to benefit themselves. These politicians are always conscious of their emotions and behavior and are aware of the possible effects to the people working around them. The politicians understand that importance of self monitoring since it enables them to achieve desired emotions at different circumstances (Yukl, 2012). Villanueva and Sánchez (2007) asserted that leaders with competent self monitoring skills received positive perceptions from their subordinates. The study further established that leaders who do not have self monitoring skills are perceived negatively by their subordinates. The study found self monitoring to be an essential leadership and political skill. This study however failed to establish a clear relationship between self monitoring and emotional intelligence. The author did not establish constructs of measuring self monitoring skills among the leaders. Schutte et al. (2001) however provided a succinct correlation between emotional intelligence and self monitoring. The authors highlighted that self monitoring is a composite of emotional intelligence. Further, they indicated that self monitoring is positively correlated to emotional intelligence.
According to Matsumoto et al. (2008), emotional intelligence is an imperative factor in maintaining good interpersonal relationships. People working in the service industry ought to have high levels of emotional quotient in order to relate well with people. First, people need to learn about the cultural constructs of other people in order to avoid transgressing their cultural ideologies. Safdar et al. (2009) indicates that politicians should conceptualize on the cultural standards of their political assistants in order to foster a good relationship. The study further indicates that perceptions of people towards their leaders are derived from the way they appreciate their cultural ideologies. On the other hand Matsumoto, Yoo and Nakagawa (2008) indicate that there exist significant differences in the manner which people understand and express emotions. What someone may think to be the perfect way to express emotions to another person, the receptor may perceive it differently depending on his or her cultural background. Psychological constructs are affected by difference in cultural standards (Hofstede, 1980), but research indicates that emotionally intelligent leaders have the ability to conceptualize emotions and act in the most desired manner (Ashkanasy and Daus, 2005).
Emotionally intelligent politicians have the ability to control their emotions and that of the people around them (Mavroveli et al, 2007). Castillo (2012) in her study indicated that politicians who had high levels of emotional intelligence depicted cooperation with their personal aids. The study established that these leaders are willing to understand a mistake by their subordinates and forgive. This hence leads to commitment of the subordinates in their duties. The study also established that the subordinates tend to be loyal to their masters and have positive perceptions towards their leadership style. Conversely, the study established that political leaders who score less on emotional quotient have little or no interest at all in the welfare of the people around them. These leaders tend to be negligent in controlling their emotions. This leads to development of a backlash in the perceptions of their personal aids against their conduct and style of leadership. The situation is characterized by incomplete projects, inconsistencies in personal program and high turnover among the personal aids (Scourfield, 2005). The study however does not provide clear measurement constructs to show the perceptions of the politicians’ aids towards their respective bosses. Additionally, the study fails to provide empirical evidence of the proposed claims since it uses a theoretical approach.
Carvalho, Neto and Mavroveli (2010) asserted that maintaining positive emotions towards other people influences positive perceptions. People who have less control of their emotions have a high possibility of hurting emotions of the people around them. These people tend to have score low in emotional quotient and behavioral control. These people also have a tendency to care so much about their desired outcomes and meeting their objective and have little concern in the manner which their behavior may affect other people. Emotional intelligence traits such as courtesy and empathy are not held by such people. Connectively, FitzGerald (2013) indicates that politicians who lack empathy, gratitude and courtesy towards the people who work around them fail to achieve their desired personal goals. Usually, these politicians seem to have less appreciation towards their immediate employees and are only interested in the end result. Consequently, the subordinates have high levels of mistrust towards their bosses tend to avoid close contact with them. Neto (2007) found gratitude to be positively correlated with perceptions. His study indicated that leaders who have less gratitude towards their employees risk negative perceptions.
Although there exists no previous research which has explicitly covered the study of how politicians’ emotional intelligence influence the perceptions of their personal aids, there exists vast literature in the research’s dependent variables. However, there is plenty of literature about emotional intelligence and how it influences perceptions. The review of literature has successfully established how various researchers have approached a similar research and their findings thereof. The review of literature also established gaps in specific areas of the various studies. This can serve as an insight in when researching on those topics and ensure that all important detail not previously addressed has been covered. The review has also established some of the most successful research models previously used by researchers in the same area of study. From the review of literature, it is visible that there exists room for further research of emotional intelligence in politics. Wider research on perceptions of political aids towards their leaders should also be conducted.
This literature review has provided insightful information regarding emotional intelligence. It has elaborated on the competencies of emotional intelligence which are self and social awareness. The review of literature has covered the findings of previous researchers on the area of emotional intelligence and how a leader uses it to influence the emotions of the people around him or her. Emotional intelligence is not possessed or practiced by all leaders. It is visible that political leaders who lack emotional intelligence have no ability to control and motivate their subordinates (Ryback, 2012). Previous research indicates a positive relationship between leaders who have a high degree of emotional intelligence and their followers. It is also observed that politicians’ personal assistants are more committed and dedicated to ideologies of their leaders where these leaders possess emotional shrewdness (Griffin, 2012).
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