Original Research

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

Anton F. Schlechter, Jacoba J. Strauss
SA Journal of Industrial Psychology | Vol 34, No 1 | a418 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajip.v34i1.418 | © 2008 Anton F. Schlechter, Jacoba J. Strauss | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 06 March 2008 | Published: 30 June 2008

About the author(s)

Anton F. Schlechter, University of Cape Town, South Africa
Jacoba J. Strauss, University of Stellenbosch, South Africa

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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 confrmatory 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 ft was found. Signifcant 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 fndings therefore add to existing teamwork literature. The fnding 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.


Transformational leadership; trust; team commitment; teamwork; teams


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