Educational Leadership and Michel Foucault Essay Example

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An Investigation into the Relationship between Leadership Effectiveness and Emotional Intelligence of Directors of Educational Supervision in Saudi Arabia

The main aim of this study is to establish the relationship between leadership effectiveness and the emotional intelligence of Directors of Educational Supervision in Saudi Arabia. It will particularly focus on identifying the correlation between leadership effectiveness and specific aspects of emotional intelligence employed by the Directors. The specific objectives of this study include;

  • Establish what leadership effectiveness in educational supervision entails

  • Establish the extent to which the Directors use specific aspects of emotional intelligence in leading their teams.

  • Establish whether specific elements of emotional intelligence employed by the Directors can be linked to certain behaviours associated with leadership effectiveness.


This study seeks to establish the relationship between leadership effectiveness and the emotional intelligence of Directors of Educational Supervisors in Saudi Arabia. By exploring the correlation between leadership effectiveness and the emotional intelligence of Directors of Educational Supervisors, this study will establish the validity of the claim that emotional intelligence plays a critical role in effective leadership. This study will therefore add to the existing research studies that have investigated the relationship between leadership and emotional intelligence (George 2000; Goleman 1998; Kerr et al 2006).

This study will examine the correlation between emotional intelligence and leadership within the educational context in Saudi Arabia. Emotional intelligence is a multidimensional concept that is often described as a set of abilities associated with the capacity to effectively identify, express, regulate and use emotions in order to achieve certain goals (Salovey et al 2004). The concept was first introduced by Salovey & Mayer (1990) and popularised by Goleman (1995). Over time, this concept has become a subject of intense interest particularly in the realm of education as it has been linked to leadership outcomes. In their framework, Salovey & Mayer (1990) suggested that emotional intelligence may account for differences in styles or the effectiveness of leadership. Additionally, studies by George (2000) and Kerr et al (2006) have also found a correlation between different aspects of emotional intelligence and leadership.

Theoretical Framework

Discourse on ‘emotional intelligence’ mainly centers on emotions. Emotions are often described as a person’s internal state of being tied to their sensory of physical feelings (Phye, Schutz & Pekrun 2011). According to Boler (1999), many discourses within the context of education tend to overlook the role that emotions plays. He argues that emotions are a critical element mainly because they affect individual’s moral and cognitive perceptions, inquiries and analyses, pedagogies, ethical attention and vision. Similarly, Nassbaum (2003) argues that emotions shape who people are and what they do and thus cannot be separated from reasoning or inquiry. As a result many scholars have emphasised on the need to understand and manage emotions hence the emergence of the emotional intelligence concept (Goleman1998; Salovey & Mayer 1990).

Emotional intelligence has been depicted in literature as a multi-dimensional concept that encompasses set of abilities (Jordan 2005; McKenzie 2011;Salovey et al 2004). Wharam (2009) argues that emotional intelligence encompasses the ability to be aware of one’s emotions and use these emotions effectively to communicate with oneself and others (Wharam 2009). Over time, a number of scholars have developed different models in a bid to provide insight on what emotional intelligence entails (Goleman1998; Salovey & Mayer 1990). One of the notable models was developed by Goleman (1995) who envisioned emotional intelligence as a concept that comprises of five key elements namely; self-awareness, self-regulation, social skills, motivation and empathy. However, Boler (1999) criticizes Goleman’s (1995) model of emotional intelligence as being one that “packages marketable solutions for success and self-improvement” (p. 65) and adapts people emotionally solely to organisational profitability.

Methods to be Used

This study will employ a qualitative research design. A qualitative research approach incorporates a multi-method focus that encompasses a naturalistic and interpretive approach of examining research issues. This approach, employs different interpretative techniques which focus on decoding, describing and interpreting research issues so as to establish meaning (Denzin & Lincoln 2011). A qualitative research approach will be suitable for addressing the objectives of this study mainly because it provides a framework for exploring research issues in-depth from a “human-side” (Merriam 2009; Denzin & Lincoln 2011). This approach will therefore be suitable for examining in-depth how Directors exhibit different elements of emotional intelligence and how these elements can be linked to behaviours related to leadership effectiveness. However, one of the limitations of a qualitative approach is that it leaves room for biases since it employs interpretative techniques to analyse the views and opinions of research participants which might be biased or subjective in nature (Mack et al 2005).

Settings and Participants

This study will be based in two regional Offices of the Director of Supervisors. In each of these two offices, two school supervisors and one director of supervisors will be selected to take part in the study.

Data Collection

The data collection process will involve the triangulation of interviews and questionnaires. Questionnaires will be administered to the school supervisors whereas interviews will be conducted with the Directors. The questionnaires will help to get different perspectives on how the Directors exhibit emotional intelligence and behaviours linked to leadership effectiveness. The use of questionnaires is cost effective and less time consuming (Mack et al 2005). On the other hand, interviews will help in getting in-depth perspectives from the Directors of supervisors on their emotional intelligence. Although interviews are time consuming they provide a platform for getting in-depth insight and clarifying complex research issues (Mack et al 2005).




August 31st,2015 –January 31st 2016 (6 months)

Writing of RD1

-proposal, literature review,

February 3rd— December 31st , 2016

(11 months)

-Data collection using questionnaires and interviews

-Initial evaluation and analysis of data

January 3rd— June 30th, 2017

(6 months)

-Follow up data collection

-On-going analysis of data

July 2nd – December 30 , 2017(6 months)

-Final analysis of data

-Writing up of thesis

January 3rd, 2018

-Handing in of doctoral thesis


Al-Kinani, J. 2013, “Saudi Education Catching up with World’s Best”, Arab News August 24 2015<>

Alabdulkareem, R. 2014, Differentiated supervision model: A way of improving school leadership in Saudi Arabia, US-China Education Review, vol 4, no.3, 186-192.

Boler, M. (1999). Feeling Power: Emotions and Education, Routledge, London.

Kerr, R, Garvin, J, Heaton, N & Boyle, E 2006, «Emotional intelligence and leadership effectiveness», Leadership & Organization Development Journal, vol. 27, no. 4, pp. 265 – 279.

George, J., 2000,” Emotions and leadership: The role of emotional intelligence,” Human Relations vol. 53, no.8, pp.1027-1055.

Goleman, D.,1995, Emotional intelligence: Why it can matter more than IQ, Bantam Books, New York.

Goleman, D. 1998, “The emotional intelligence of leaders”, Leader to Leader, Fall pp. 20-26.

Mack, N & Woodsong, C. & Family Health International, 2005, Qualitative research methods: a data collector’s field guide, Family Health International, North Carolina.

, John Wiley & Sons, New York. Qualitative Research: A Guide to Design and ImplementationMerriam, S. 2009,

Nussbaum, M.C., 2003, Upheavals of thought: The intelligence of emotions, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

Phye, G., Schutz, P. & Pekrun, R., 2011, Emotion in Education, Academic Press, Burlington, MA.

Salovey, P.& Mayer, J. D., 1990, “Emotional Intelligence”, Imagination, Cognition and Personality , vol 9, pp 185-211.