Emotional Intelligence: its importance to HE professional services team members during challenging times

Andy Coleman, Azhar Ali

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
156 Downloads (Pure)


In recent years a variety of trends have increased uncertainty over the future of the Higher Education (HE) sector. While these create challenges for all staff, they potentially impact most on non-academic staff, due to long standing misunderstanding and undervaluing of their roles and despite them representing almost half of all jobs within the sector. In this context, leaders’ abilities to manage emotions in the workplace appear to be at a premium. However emotionality remains under-explored both generally within HE and in non-academic contexts particularly. This article summarizes findings from research into the impact perceptions of managers’ abilities to display Emotional Intelligence (EI) has on the wellbeing, attitudes and performance of staff within the context of a professional services team in one English university. It found perceptions of managers’ EI could be a powerful influence on team members’ mental health, including stress and anxiety. Furthermore, when managers were viewed as being Emotionally Intelligent, staff reported this significantly impacted their motivation and could lead to tangible improvements in core areas of job performance, including commitment, flexibility and discretionary effort. It recommends Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) consider placing greater emphasis on developing understanding of EI throughout their workforce while also building capacity in its practice amongst current and prospective managers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)(In Press)
JournalManagement in Education
Volume(In Press)
Early online date17 Mar 2022
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 17 Mar 2022

Bibliographical note

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) which permits any use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access page (https://us.sagepub.com/en-us/nam/open-access-at-sage).

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Strategy and Management


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