What is it about?

Faced with the organizational changes facing the Quebec health system, we decided to highlight how the leadership style of executive directors impacts their employees and enables them to effectively guide them through these changes. For this, we conducted our research with 171 employees working closely with executive directors of the health and social services network that were affected by the mergers of member institutions. After a quick context, our theoretical framework examines the notions of emotional intelligence, transformational leadership, organizational justice and employee engagement. We then answer the following hypotheses: (1) Our first hypothesis indicates that an executive director’s emotional intelligence relates positively to his/her transformational leadership. (2) A second hypothesis indicates a positive link between the executive director’s transformational leadership and employees’ perception of organizational justice during the implementation of change. (3) A third posits a positive relationship between the perception of organizational justice and employees’ commitment for change. (4) The fourth presents a positive relationship between the commitment and self-determined motivation of employees. (5) The last three hypotheses posit links between the self-determined motivation of organizational members and job satisfaction (a positive relationship), work-related stress (a negative relationship) and their emotional exhaustion in the workplace (a negative relationship) – a variable which, astonishingly enough, has been little studied in connection with transformational leadership yet which nevertheless concerns the healthcare sector. As a quantitative research our results demonstrated the positive impacts of the emotional intelligence and transformational leadership of executive directors during the implementation of reforms in healthcare establishments.

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Why is it important?

To our knowledge, our study is the first to have illustrated the relationship between EI and TL among public sector directors, as perceived by their employees, in a French speaking context. It thus meets the recently expressed need for research concerned with testing out this relationship in a diversity of contexts. In addition, it confirms that the transformational leadership style is appropriate for Quebec’s healthcare sector, which has undergone continual change since its inception in the 1970s, and suggests that a decrease in employees’ emotional exhaustion could also result from the impacts of the EI-TL relationship.

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This page is a summary of: Impacts of leadership styles in health and social services: A case from Quebec exploring relationships between emotional intelligence and transformational leadership, International Journal of Healthcare Management, November 2018, Taylor & Francis,
DOI: 10.1080/20479700.2018.1548153.
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