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Dissertation Abstract

Cognition and Affect in Leader Behavior: The Effects of Spirituality, Psychological Empowerment, and Emotional Intelligence on the Motivation to Lead

Pamela Chandler Lee
Regent University

In the technological workplace of the 21st century, researchers and practitioners alike have been concerned with how to motivate people to create and sustain excellence. Organization theorists have long recognized and acknowledged the significance of motivation to organizational culture. However, few studies have examined leader motivation. Chan and Drasgow's (2001) Motivation to Lead (MTL) theory has paved the way for such research by considering the relationship between individual differences and leader behaviors. However, these researchers concentrated on noncognitive constructs and identified limitations to conclusions concerning the relationship between cognitive abilities and the motivation to lead. Thus, this exploratory cross-sectional survey study built on Chan and Drasgow's research by considering individual differences comprising both cognitive and affective components and their relationship to the motivation to lead. Specifically, this exploratory study investigated the relationships between three independent variables (spirituality, psychological empowerment, and emotional intelligence) and the dependent variable (the motivation to lead) among leaders in a public school system. Findings revealed significant, positive correlations between (a) the motivation to lead and emotional intelligence and (b) the motivation to lead and spirituality. Additionally, emotional intelligence and psychological empowerment were found to predict the motivation to lead. Implications and recommendations for future research are also discussed.