Malaysia has seen an increasing number of employers who have begun to recognize the importance of EQ or emotional intelligence in the workplace (Ishak, Mustapha, Mahmud & Ariffin, 2006). Emotional intelligence as the term was first introduced by Salovey and Mayer (1990), defining emotional intelligence as an ability to recognize the meaning of emotions and their relationships and to reason and solve problems on the basis of them. This is an essentially new area of psychology and has the potential to be a strong predictor of performance. Many organizational researchers have recently called for more focus on the role of emotions at work.
In the last decade, we have been witness to a particular growing body of research regarding the importance of emotional intelligence for successful leadership. Scholars have noted that social skills are essential for executive level leaders because as individuals ascend the organizational hierarchy, social skills or intelligence becomes an increasingly relevant determinant of who will and will not be successful (Hooijberg et al. (1997), Zaccaro, 2001).
Malaysian organizations are now more complicated due to the use of new methods of management against old and traditional way of managing people or one organization style. Many organizations today are striving to compete amongst each other in order to sustain in a competitive environment. Hence, in order to meet these challenges, Malaysian organizations focused on leadership quality and its components to build qualified leaders and managers to increase organizational effectiveness (Khosravi, Manafi, Hojabri, Farhadi & Gheshmi, 2011).
In the year 2010, business efficiency ranking issued by IMD, Malaysia is ranked as 4th in the field of business efficiency in the world (Khosravi, Manafi, Hojabri, Farhadi & Gheshmi, 2011). With this in pace, Malaysia has gained recognition as one of the most competitive countries for providing facility to ease business. This means that organizations may transform quickly over the past decade to a new style of leadership, from one that is less bureaucratic and more democratic, which have become requirement to measure the organization survival and performance.
Malaysian organizations has seen a lack of emotional intelligence in leadership effectiveness. There have been fewer studies conducted in this area in Malaysia as to deter the importance of emotional intelligence in bringing out the best in a leader. Emotional intelligence has been identified as the critical element needed for effective leadership (Goleman, 1998) and is a driving force of organizational performance. In an article by The Business Times (2007) (refer to Appendix I), an expert of the International Centre for Leadership in Finance (ICLIF), Executive Director David J. S. Winfield said that Malaysian Chief Executive Officers (CEOs), while being highly driven, lack emotional intelligence and coaching and also went on to say that there...