Policing in the 21st century is becoming more complex and dynamic as law enforcement executives deal with operational, political, and economic challenges. Organizational theory and research indicate positive relationships among emotional intelligence (EI), leadership effectiveness, leadership styles, and employee outcomes. But these relationships have not been investigated in law enforcement organizations. The purpose of this quantitative study was to fill this knowledge gap by exploring the above relationships in a sample of law enforcement executives. Situational leadership theory, full range leadership model, and trait EI theory comprised the theoretical framework for this study. Data were collected from 139 law enforcement executives from the International Association of Chiefs of Police via an Internet survey. Pearson’s correlation coefficient and multiple linear regression analyses were performed to test the hypotheses. Statistically significant relationships were indicated in the studied sample between EI and all the five measures of transformational leadership style and one measure of transactional leadership style-contingent reward; but EI failed to correlate with the laissez-faire leadership style. Social change implications of this study include using the study results to expand leadership development programs that leverage a full range of leadership skills and EI traits to address the new reality of law enforcement for the benefit of American communities and society.
|Keywords:||Organizational Change, Leadership Styles, Emotional Intelligence, Full Range of Leadership, Transformational Leadership, Situational Leadership Model, Law Enforcement|
Deputy Chief Postal Inspector, United States Postal Inspection Service, Walden University, Washington, USA