Lindebaum D and Cartwright S (2010)
Journal of Management Studies, 47(7): 1317-1342.
Publication year: 2010

The buoyant research interest in the constructs emotional intelligence (EI) and transformational leadership (TFL) is a testament to the crucial role of emotional skills at work. EI is often described as an antecedent of TFL, and several empirical studies report a positive relationship between these variables. On closer inspection, however, there may be methodological factors, such as common method variance, that potentially undermine the validity of findings. Using a multi-rater assessment (N = 227), this study sought to overcome the problem of method variance, whilst at the same time evaluate its potential presence by comparing same-source and non-same-source data. Findings suggest that, when using a strong methodological design, no relationship between EI and TFL is found. Thus, these findings renew the demand for scientific rigour in the design of studies to enhance their validity. The theoretical ramifications of this study are such that management scholars need to re-conceptualize the relationship between EI and TFL.