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Critical Thinking Asssignment

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Issues at Hand

The article examines how EI and leadership effectiveness (both perceived and actual) are linked, using various measures like MSCEIT and WLEIS. Various relationships such as 1) peer ratings of EI and leadership effectiveness, 2) congruency between self and peer ratings on EI and actual leadership effectiveness, and 3) peer ratings of perceived leadership effectiveness and actual leadership effectiveness are evaluated and verified. However, the study showed that the similarity between self and peer ratings has no relation to actual leadership effectiveness evaluated by superiors. This article also implicitly holds the leaders responsible for their leadership capabilities merely due to their EI and not other aspects of their characters or ability.

Theoretical perspectives

There are various theoretical perspectives highlighted in the article. Social exchange theory implies the two-sided mutually rewarding relationship between leaders and followers, emphasizing the need to reciprocate. Due to the obligation to commit to their leaders, the followers subconsciously believe that their leaders are competent and these shaped their perspectives. This is interdependent with implicit leadership theory, explaining how inherent expectations and norms of how leaders should act or behave are used by their peers and subordinates to evaluate their leadership abilities.

Complemented by leadership categorization theory, which generalizes the commonly believed perceptions of leadership behavior and actions, allowing followers to judge their leaders using the very same inherent beliefs, it shows that followers’ perspectives may be skewed to follow the consensus thinking due to social and cultural norms Even so, followers have the tendency to follow leaders who share the same beliefs as them. This observation forms the self-concept-based theory.

In WLEIS, self-report measure is introduced. This is related to self-other agreement, the degree of congruency between how individuals rate themselves and how others see them. In this article, it is suggested that the higher the similarity between self and peer assessments, the higher the leadership effectiveness.


Quality of supporting data/evidence 

The credibility of the references is high as they originated from academic journals written by experts who specialise in EI. One example is Professor Neal Ashkanasy, who is recognized worldwide to be one of the originators and current leaders of the study of organisational behaviour and is elected a Fellow of the Society of Industrial and Organizational Psychology, showing the high credibility of the reference.

However, the accuracy in reflecting today’s world need to be further analyzed, since the relevance may be diminished as most of the references were dated more than a decade ago. In fact, the journal by Rosch, E. was written in 1978. Relevancy is very crucial for EI as it is dependent on people’s mind-sets. The researches conducted with the older generation may have different values with the current leaders, mainly the Generation X and Y.

Also, the scope of the supporting evidences is limited and incomplete. Focusing on the importance of EI in workplace, it is insufficient to use merely the results of the study done in RSAF to conclude on the hypotheses. Despite similar frameworks taught to the cadets, there is an undeniable difference in the culture of a traditional workplace compared to a military context. More consideration should have been given to studies conducted in the former setting.

Key assumptions

While explaining WLEIS, the author assumed due to a high degree of similarity between consensus and expert scores, as their correlation exceeds 0.90 (Lopes, Salovey & Straus 2003), it means that experts accept the consensus scores. This is also the case when he concluded the validity of WLEIS based on correlations with Big Five personality traits (Wong & Law 2002). More research could have been done to assess the model before concluding that congruency equals to acceptance.

Also, the author believes peer-ratings to be the main driving force for the leaders’ effectiveness, either itself or its congruency with self-ratings. However, he fails to consider the presence of other factors which also contribute to leaders’ effectiveness. Therefore, the article is overly-harsh on analyzing peer-ratings.

The author has argued that MSCEIT is influenced by cultural norms. A sweeping generalization is made when he assumes Asians and Westerners still have different power distances, resulting in discrepancies between their attitudes and behavior. Yet, with globalization in this modern age, cross-cultural exchanges are common. For example, it is not shocking to find expressive Chinese with similar emotional responses to a Westerner. Therefore, this model has limited effectiveness in explaining the difference in social norms between cultures.

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