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SA Journal of Industrial Psychology

On-line version ISSN 2071-0763
Print version ISSN 0258-5200

SA j. ind. Psychol. vol.34 n.1 Johannesburg  2008




Leader emotional intelligence, transformational leadership, trust and team commitment: Testing a model within a team context



Anton F SchlechterI; Jacoba J StraussII

ISchool of Management Studies, University of Cape Town, South Africa
IIDepartment of Industrial Psychology, University of Stellenbosch, South Africa





This exploratory study tested a model within a team context consisting of transformational-leadership behaviour, team-leader emotional intelligence, trust (both in the team leader and in the team members) and team commitment. It was conducted within six manufacturing plants, with 25 teams participating. Of the 320 surveys distributed to these teams, 178 were received (which equals a 56% response rate). The surveys consisted of the multi-factor leadership questionnaire (MLQ), the Swinburne University emotional intelligence test (SUEIT), the organisational-commitment scale (OCS) (adapted for team commitment) and the workplace trust survey (WTS). The validity of these scales was established using exploratory factor analysis (EFA) and confirmatory factor analysis (CFA). The Cronbach alpha was used to assess the reliability of the scales. The model was tested using structural equation modelling (SEM); an acceptable level of model fit was found. Significant positive relationships were further found among all the constructs. Such an integrated model has not been tested in a team context before and the positive findings therefore add to existing teamwork literature. The finding that transformational leadership and leader emotional intelligence are positively related to team commitment and trust further emphasises the importance of effective leadership behaviour in team dynamics and performance.

Keywords: Transformational leadership, trust, team commitment, teamwork, teams



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Anton Schlechter
E-mail: Anton.schlechter@uct.acza


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