n South African Journal of Higher Education - The e-word in academic leadership : an investigation into the emotional intelligence of managers in a higher education institution

Volume 21, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1011-3487



Higher education (HE) in South Africa - as elsewhere in the world - faces an unprecedented period of accelerating change and transformation. To respond effectively, higher education institutions will need academic leaders who can engage the institution and its staff in change and transformation processes. Given the increased recognition of the importance of emotional intelligence in the leadership literature, especially transformational leadership, the question arises whether managers in higher education have the emotional and social intelligence needed for their universities to survive in an increasingly competitive environment. To explore this question, the emotional intelligence profile of 140 managers in a higher education institution was studied. The results show an alarming gap between the current level of emotional intelligence and that which is required for effective leadership. The results accentuate the need for tailor-made development programmes that may help to improve the social and emotional intelligence of managers in higher education, thereby improving their effectiveness as leaders.

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