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Dissertation Abstract

The Internal Dynamics of Transformational Leadership: Effects of Spirituality, Emotional Intelligence, and Self-Efficacy

Michael Hartsfield
Regent University

Transformational leadership has emerged as one of the dominant leadership paradigms. The impact of transformational leadership on individuals and organizations is clearly supported by research, but the internal forces that cause a leader to act in a transformational manner are not as well understood. Transformational leadership is operationalized through the four I's - idealized influence, inspirational motivation, intellectual stimulation, and individual consideration - but what is at work in the leader that results in these transformational characteristics? This research broadens the study of transformational leadership beyond the four I's to determine the underlying internal driving forces at work in the transformational leader. The effect that three predictor variables - spirituality, emotional intelligence, and self-efficacy - have on transformational leadership, was measured using empirical data gathered from 124 leaders in a large U.S. corporation. Analysis of this data showed emotional intelligence to be the strongest predictor variable followed by self-efficacy and then spirituality. Implications for future research and the praxis of leadership are discussed.