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The impact of a training intervention on emotional intelligence, leadership styles, self-efficacy and perception of sense of power in a university nursing faculty in Saudi Arabia

Al Reshidi, MS


MS Al Reshidi


CJ Hynes


The importance of emotional intelligence (EI) has been highlighted as an influential contributor to enhanced performance in a range of job-related areas, including leadership (Mills, 2009), self-efficacy (Gharetepehet al,2015) and sense of power (Schutte and Loi, 2014). Whilst EI has been studied in a range of cultural contexts, relatively few studies have been conducted on this concept in an Arabic context. Furthermore well-executed and well-planned training programmes have been shown to impact positively on participants’ levels of EI (Gorgas et al, 2015; Nelis et al, 2009), yet there have been few published studies on such interventions which have utilised appropriate designs and been based on theoretically-driven components in work contexts. Previously published studies in this area have incorporated relatively small sample sizes (e.g. Lange, 2014; Nelis et al, 2009) and have tended to utilise student populations (Vesely et al, 2014; Carrick, 2010).

This original study was designed to address the above gaps indicated in the literature, by assessing the impact of relevant training on a range of work-related and personal psychological outcomes, including EI, leadership style, self-efficacy and perceptions of power in university employees working in Saudi Arabia.

A quasi-experimental within-participants design was used to test the effectiveness of a one-day emotional intelligence training intervention. The sample was recruited from nursing colleges across four different sites within the same university: two campuses served as control groups (n = 83) and two more as the intervention group (n = 85). Approximately equal numbers of men and women participated in each condition. Training consisted of providing information about EI, as well as discussion and practice of relevant strategies by participants to enhance the range of emotional competencies identified within Goleman et al’s (2003) EI model. Both the intervention and control groups completed the Schutte Emotional Intelligence Self-Report Scale (1998), the Multifactorial Leadership Questionnaire (Bass and Avolio, 1995) and measures assessing self-efficacy and perceptions of power. Participants in both groups completed the research measures at four time-points: immediately pre- and post- workshop (there was a one day equivalent interval for the control group) and at one month and three months follow-up.

No differences were found at baseline between the intervention and control groups on any of the research measures. Subsequently participants in the EI intervention group – compared to their own baseline pre-intervention scores - recorded significantly improved scores in emotional intelligence, transformational leadership style and self-efficacy one month after completing training. These increases were apparent at the EI subscale level and were maintained or improved upon at the three months follow-up. Over the same time period, a significant decrease was recorded in laissez-faire leadership scores in the intervention group, however no changes were observed after the training in transactional leadership style and perceptions of power. By comparison, the control group showed no changes in scores on the research measures. Between-group comparisons confirmed that at the one month and three months follow-up points, the intervention group scored significantly higher than the control group in each EI component, in self-esteem scores and in transformational management styles.

The intervention programme was effective in increasing emotional intelligence level, and it has had positive effect on transformational style and self-efficacy, for these employees in higher education. Emotional intelligence training and intervention need to be considered for the work environment in higher education and other sectors for better performance in order toward change and accomplish the Saudi national goals of 2030.

Contributions /implications
This study sets out to add to the body of knowledge by assessing the impact of emotional intelligence training on EI level, leadership styles, self-efficacy, and perceptions of power at work. The overall efficacy of this EI training intervention is supported by the significantly increased post-intervention scores among workshop participants compared to the non-participating control group. This has implications for future research as well as practitioner developments in the field of EI at work and as far as the author are aware, this is the first study of its kind in Saudi Arabia.


Al Reshidi, M. (in press). The impact of a training intervention on emotional intelligence, leadership styles, self-efficacy and perception of sense of power in a university nursing faculty in Saudi Arabia. (Thesis). University of Salford

Thesis Type Thesis
Acceptance Date Mar 29, 2019
Deposit Date Apr 9, 2019
Publicly Available Date Apr 9, 2019


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