School of Education


Doctor of Philosophy


Shanna W. Akers


emotional intelligence, leadership style, higher education, transformational, gender


Educational Leadership | Higher Education


A predictive correlational study was done to ascertain predictive capabilities between a higher education leaders’ transformational leadership style and their emotional intelligence. The study also sought to identify any correlation to emotional intelligence or transformational leadership style based upon gender. Higher education is a dynamic and constantly evolving environment. To ensure success, leadership of these institutions must remain flexible and intuitive to the changing ecosystem. A multiple regression analysis was used in the predictive correlational research design to corroborate the impact of emotional intelligence and gender on the level of transformational leadership style. The study participants consisted of 190 higher education leaders across the United States. The participants were surveyed using the Wong Law Emotional Intelligence Scale (WLEIS) and the Multi-Factor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ) - 5X. The findings revealed the model, containing EI and gender significantly predict transformational leadership. Furthermore, EI scores do significantly predict a higher education leaders’ level of transformational leadership style. The findings revealed gender does not significantly predict higher education leaders’ level of transformational leadership style. These findings are consistent with prior research; however, research should continue to increase the body of knowledge relating to EI and transformational leadership in a higher education setting. In addition, future research should further explore the relationship gender may have with both EI and transformational leadership.