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Emotional Intelligences and Transformational Leadership : Can Women be a



The female leadership concept and can be defined in different ways. Some understand
female leadership as the fact that women can be leader, others may define it from a
feminist point of view and as a matter of equality and the right to have the same
opportunities. It also refers to certain leadership characteristics which are valuable in
today's organizations.

The society generally associates successful leadership with stereo-typically

masculine traits such as assertiveness and dominance, and so disapproves of female
leaders because they violate these gender norms. In the traditional organizations
culture, the masculine male leaders were portrayed to be more effective, while
women triumphed in more feminine environments like social services and
education. However, interestingly under the vague umbrella in term of business,
female leaders came out on top. As in education sector, these women leader is a
convenes senior leaders who were interested in strengthening and leveraging their
leadership skills to advance education initiatives.

Women not only able to lead at whatever positions they at. They are able to
continuously strive towards improvement. They are naturally progressive imbibed
with maternal instincts to nurture, grow and maintain relationships that form an innate
part of any leadership role. Women are better in handling rejections and going ahead
with I will do it attitude. They are emotionally stronger than their male counterparts
and deal with stress in a composed way.
Overall, women have emerged as well rounded leaders not only in a perfect balance
of their personal and professional life, but also excelling in what they do. Women are
good leaders, because "Leadership" is a part of their DNA as any other male
counterpart. All leadership traits are ingrained in women, some to a much higher
degree. Women can be assertive, persuasive, empathetic and flexible as well as
demonstrate an inclusive, team-building leadership style of problem solving and
decision making. The characteristics of an effective leader. In terms of competence,
skills and knowledge, there are equality in men and women, however women leaders
may display high emotional intelligence (EI) and know how to communicate

In Malaysia, the Ministry of Women and Social development is demanding that

women are also given the opportunity to have equal share of work in every sector. In
fact, women began to acquire high position in a workplace and the trend of women
leadership also increases as for example, two vice chancellors of Malaysian public
universities are women. Not to forget the only woman manages to acquire the
position as the governor of Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM). However, considering
woman as a leader, many are in big question mark whether a woman can lead an
organization. In past, many difficulties and challenges faced by the women are the
results of incongruity of the traditional female roles and many leader roles (Eagly &
Karau, 2002). Besides, one of the biggest challenges for women leaders is the
effective leadership style (transformational or transactional style) that enforces them
to identify and develop the leadership potential in the right direction. So, this paper
intent to study the relationship among transformational leadership and emotional
intelligence variable in women whether women are qualify to be a leader.


A woman is a female human. The term woman is usually reserved for an adult, with
the term girl being the usual term for a female child or adolescent. The term woman is
also sometimes used to identify a female human, regardless of age, as in phrases such
as "women's rights". Involvement of women as leaders in organizations today shows
that women in this era has started the move towards a different change compared with
women in the past. Achieving female leaders in today boasts many parties over their
involvement in the organization so that the achievement of the goals and objectives of
an organization.

Emotional intelligence

According to Goleman (1998), emotional intelligence is the ability of individuals to

know identify and manage their own emotions and motivate yourself and identify the
emotions of others and established friendly relations with them. Noriah (2005)
stipulates that intelligence are emotional competence or skill set that is based on
emotion that allows someone manage life better. This intelligence involves the ability
to (i) explore their own emotions to understand and assess the situation itself, (ii) use
emotional tendency is to guide or facilitate the achievement of a objectives, (iii)
recognize the feelings, needs, wants, problems or annoyance to others, (iv) recognizes
the importance of religion as a pioneer life, and (vi) use life experience (themselves or
a client) as a guide in solving problems. In the context of this study, emotional
intelligence, the head women of guidance and counselling is measured by seven
domains of emotional intelligence (self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, and
empathy, skills social, and spiritual maturity).

Leadership is the ability and power to influence a person's behaviour because he is

willing to cooperate to achieve a goal that agreed (Robbins 2003, Jamaliah &
Norazimah 2010). In this study, women leadership of guidance and counselling is
measured based on the seven key components based on Malaysian model Audit Trail
Leadership Inventory (Noriah-Elmi (2013), the service strategy and model of
leadership, recruitment, evaluation and respect, building leadership, engagement and
retention, placement and lastly relationship with the equivalent or stakeholders.

Transformational leadership
According to Bass (1985) Transformational Leaders motivate subordinate to
transcend their own self-interests for the good of the group or organization by setting
exceptionally high standards for performance and then developing subordinates to
achieve these standards. While Burns (1978) stated that leadership transformation is
more potent. The transforming leader recognizes and exploits an existing
need or demand of potential follower.

There are four types of behaviours in transformational leadership. I) Charisma, II)

Inspirational motivation III) Intellectual stimulation and IV) Individualized
Consideration. The transformational leadership style, attempt to looks for
potential motives in followers, seeks to satisfy higher needs, and engages the full
persons often (Krishnan, 2010). In overall, the transformational leadership style
appears to be more in agreement with the feminine than trait. The result of
transformational leadership is relationship of mutual stimulation and evaluation that
convert followers into leaders.


The emotional intelligence and transformational leadership data obtained from

secondary data. Secondary data is the material that created by other researchers is
made available to reuse by other general research community. The secondary data
was used for (1) the description of contemporary and historical attributes, (2)
comparative research or replication of the original research, (3) reanalysis that is
asking new questions of the data were not originally addressed, (4) for research
design and methodological and (5) teaching and learning (Joop J. Hox and Hennie R.
Boeije, 2005, pp. 593 599).

The sources of secondary data can classified into two as : (1) paper-based sources :
books, journals, abstracts, indexes, directories, research reports, papers, market
reports, annual reports newspapers and magazine (2) electronic sources : CD-ROMs,
online databases, internet, videos, broadcasts (Writing the proposal, 2013). From that,
to obtain or achieve objective for this study, the secondary data was got from the on-
line databases and internet.

Theoretical Framework

The development of hypotheses are constructed according to the research framework

whereby the study intent to conform the following hypotheses:

Hypothesis 1: Emotional intelligence is positively related to femininity

Hypothesis 2: Leaders femininity is positively related to transformational leadership

Hypothesis 3: Leaders emotional intelligence is positively related to transformational


Hypothesis 4: The relationship between transformational leadership and femininity is

mediated by emotional intelligence.


Based on literature by Krishnan (2010), the participants for the study are the employees
from different sectors which consist of government, non-government and semi
government employees (percentage of respondents presented in table 1). The area of
study is in Malaysia whereby the structured questionnaires are distributed to local
government, private and semi-government offices such as Hasil (tax company), Felda,
(Palm oil company), Bernama for Malaysian TV, DBKL, IIUM (Krishnan, 2010). The
respondents are consisting of male and female employees which are in the low level of
the organization such as clerk, assistant accountant etc. The involvement of the
participants are voluntary.

Table 1: Percentage of respondents according to sector

Government employees 22%

Non-government employees (Private) 64%

Semi government 13.2%

In choosing the respondents, random sampling is used where the employees are randomly
chosen as respondents. Random sampling is related to the population that has the equal
opportunity or chance to be selected in the sample (Teddlie and Yu, 2007). The
measurement on the transformational leadership is based on asking the employees
whether the employers are associated with the transformational leadership. The
measurement that being used in the study is the Transformational Leadership
Questionnaire (TLQ) (Krishnan, 2007) that modified slightly to be more appropriated
with the study. The questionnaire consists of 30 items and it is using five-point Likert
scale. Emotional intelligence is measured using wong & Laws (2002) 16-item EI
questionnaire. The questionnaire is attached in the appendix.


4.1 Emotional intelligence and gender

Emotional intelligence is widely known to be a key component of effective

leadership. Four main attributes feature EI; self-awareness, self-management, social
awareness, and relationship management. Lacking one of these attribute will influence a
leader to ineffectively predict the needs, wants and expectations of those they lead.
Leaders who react from their emotions without filtering them can create mistrust among
their staff and can seriously jeopardize their working relationships. Reacting with erratic
emotions can be detrimental to overall culture, attitudes and positive feelings toward the
company and the mission. Good leaders must be self aware and understand how their
verbal and nonverbal communication can affect the team.
According to the past research by Khalili (2006) on this field, female demonstrates
more emotionally intelligence (mean = 3.9742, S.D = 0.56536) compare with male
(mean= 3.9663, S.D= 0.50715) (Table 2). There are several supported studies reported by
King (1999), Sutaro (1999), Wing and Love (2001) and Singh (2002) which highlighted
that the same findings as Khalili (2006).

Table 2- Gender Statistics (Emotional Intelligence)

Sex Mean Std Deviation

Male 3.9663 0.50715

Emotional intelligence
Female 3.9742 0.56536

Therefore, this result supported the first hypothesis; Emotional intelligence is positively
related to femininity.

4.2 Leadership and Women

When women identify with their administrative role models, they tend towards a
leadership orientation to be non-traditional, transformational or different (Young and
McLeod, 2001). Furthermore, the past study done by Loganathan N. and Krishnan V. R.
in 2010 show that the Femininity, emotional intelligence and transformational Leadership
were all significantly positive correlated to each other (Table 3) , thus supporting the
hypotheses 1 to 3 by (Loganathan et. al., 2010).

Table 3- Gender, EI and Transformational Leadership Relationship

M SD 1 2 3 4

1. Femininity 4.67 0.79 (0.85)

2. Masculinity 4.57 1.02 0.53*** (0.90)

3.Emotional Intelligence 2.96 0.50 0.53*** 0.63*** (0.80)

4. Transformational
2.99 0.46 0.21 0.18+ 0.30** (0.88)
Figures in parentheses are standardized Cronbach Coefficient alpha; N=110. +=
P<.10. *=P<0.5. ** =P <0.01. ***= P<.001.

4.3 Transformational Leadership in Women

To test for mediation, one should estimate the following three regression equations: first,
regressing the mediator on the independent variable; second, regressing the dependent
variable on the independent variable; and third, regressing the dependent variable on both
the independent variable and on the mediator. To establish mediation, the following
conditions must hold: First, the independent variable must affect the mediator in the first
equation; second, the independent variable must be shown to affect the dependent
variable in the second equation; and third, the mediator must affect the dependent
variable in the third equation. If these conditions all hold in the predicted direction, then
the effect of the independent variable on the dependent variable must be less in the third
equation than in the school. Perfect mediation hold if the independent variable has no
effect when the mediator is controlled (Loganathan et. al., 2010).

Table 4- Correlation between Transformational Leadership and Femininity

Dependent Variable Independent Parameter T Model Model F

Variable Estimate value R2

1 Emotional *** ***

Femininity 0.33 6.45 0.28 41.61

2 Transformational * *
Femininity 0.13 2.27 0.05 5.16

3 Transformational
Femininity 0.04 0.69
Leadership **
0.10 5.61
Emotional *
0.24 2.41
* = P<.05. **=P <.01. ***=P <.001

Based on study by Loganathan & Krishnan (2010), the relationship between emotional
intelligence and transformational leadership was significant. Thus, all the three condition
of mediation held in the predicted direction. Moreover the relationship between
femininity and transformational leadership was not significant in the third equation. This
implied perfect mediation since the independent variable (femininity) had no effect on the
dependent variable (transformational Leadership) when the mediator (emotional
Intelligence) was controlled. This provided support for hypothesis 4 (Loganathan et. al.,
2010). In addition, researchers investigating the effects of transformational and
transactional leadership have found that transformational leadership predict higher ratings
of effectiveness and satisfaction (Hater & Bass, 1998), higher group performance (Keller,
1995) and higher amount of effort on the part of subordinates (Seltzer & Bass, 1990)
compared to transactional leadership.


The finding in relation to first hypothesis testing emotional intelligence is

positively related to femininity

Hypothesis 2: Leaders femininity is positively related to transformational leadership

Hypothesis 3: Leaders emotional intelligence is positively related to transformational


Hypothesis 4: The relationship between transformational leadership and femininity is

mediated by emotional intelligence.


Chek, I. T., Syed, S. I., Mohamad, Jusoff, K., Razak, A., Norwani, N. M., & M.L.
Khairuddin. (2011). Gender and Communication Issues in the Malaysian Public
Universities. World Applied Sciences Journal 12 (Special Issue on Creating a
Knowledge Based Society), pp. 41-45.

Culver, D. (n.d.). A Review of Emotional Intelligence by Daniel

Goleman:Implications for Technical Education.

Hilal , H. (2015). Perceptions towards Female Leadership in Malaysia. Journal of

Modern Education Review, Volume 5, No. 5, pp. 517 - 525.

Khalili, A. (2006). Gender Differences in Emotional Intelligence Among Employees

of small and Medium Enterprise: An EMpirical study.

Loganathan, N., & Krishnan, V. R. (2010). Leader's Femininity and Transformational

Leadership: Mediating Role of Leader's Emotional Intelligence. Annual conference of
the Administrative Sciences Association of Canada, Vol 4, No 2, pp. 53 - 72.


FEDERALISM IN MALAYSIA. Kajian Malaysia, Vol. 30, No.2, pp. 1-26.



Idealized Influence Attributed (Heroism)

1. Is hardworking and enthusiastic about work.

2. Is the epitome of confidence, whatever the situation.

3. Leads from the front.

4. Is charged with energy to do more.

5. Has the courage to take bold decisions and stick to them

6. Works for the group's common goal, even at the cost of foregoing personal
Idealized Influence Behavior (Ideology)

1. Exhibits consistency in behavior when it comes to his/her set of core values.

2. Coordinates well with other doctors.

3. Leads by example, by practising what he/she preaches.

4. Is clear in his/her thoughts and actions.

5. Lives up to his/her commitments, no matter what.

6. Influences each person not to be selfish, but to think about the comfort of others.

Inspirational Motivation

1. Involves each member of his/her group in striving toward the group's common

2. Shows others the bigger picture behind all actions

3. Sets goals that enhance others' desire to achieve them

4. Utilizes every opportunity to talk about the vision of the hospital

5. Is persistent in achieving the targets.

6. Has a fantastic sense of visualization of future outcomes.

Intellectual selection

1. Encourages others to solve problems independently.

2. Makes others question the assumptions they make, for even the simplest of things.

3. Promotes free and radical thinking.

4. Nurtures creativity by not imposing too many processes.

5. Makes others to come up with more and more ideas regarding any issue.
6. Encourages others to throw away conventional thinking.

Intellectual Stimulation Individualized Consideration

1. Recognizes the fact that different people need to be treated differently. 2.

Recognizes competence in others and encourages them to build on the same.

3. Brings the best out of every individual

4. Is sensitive to others' personal needs.

5. Encourages others to discuss personal issues with him/her.

6. Ensures that others get all possible support so that they can pursue other interests of


LAW 2002)

Self-emotion appraisal (SEA)

1. I have a good sense of why I have certain feelings most of the time.

2. I have good understanding of my own emotions.

3. I really understand what I feel.

4. I always know whether or not I am happy.

Others' emotion appraisal (OEA)

1. I always know my friends' emotions from their behavior.

2. I am a good observer of others' emotions.

3. I am sensitive to the feelings and emotions of others.

4. I have good understanding of the emotions of people around me.

Use of emotion (UOE)

1. I always set goals for myself and then try my best to achieve them.

2. I always tell myself I am a competent person.

3. I am a self-motivated person.

4. I would always encourage myself to try my best.

Regulation of emotion (ROE)

1. I am able to control my temper and handle difficulties rationally.

2. I am quite capable of controlling my own emotions.

3. I can always calm down quickly when I am very angry.

4. I have good control of my own emotions.


1. Self-reliant

2. Yielding

3. Helpful

4. Defends own beliefs

5. Cheerful

6. Moody

7. Independent

8. Shy
9. Conscientious

10. Athletic

11. Affectionate

12. Theatrical

13. Assertive

14. Flatterable

15. Happy

16. Strong Personality

17. Loyal

18. Unpredictable

19. Forceful

20. Feminine

21. Reliable

22. Analytical

23. Sympathetic

24. Jealous

25. Has leadership qualities

26. Sensitive to the needs of others

27. Truthful

28. Willing to take risks

29. Understanding

30. Secretive

31. Makes decisions easily

32. Compassionate

33. Sincere

34. Self-sufficient

35. Eager to soothe hurt feelings

36. Conceited

37. Dominant

38. Soft-spoken

39. Likeable

40. Masculine

41. Warm

42. Solemn

43. Willing to take a stand

44. Tender

45. Friendly

46. Aggressive

47. Gullible

48. Inefficient

49. Acts as a leader

50. Childlike

51. Adaptable

52. Individualistic

53. Does not use harsh language

54. Unsystematic
55. Competitive

56. Loves children

57. Tactful

58. Ambitious

59. Gentle

60. Conventional