Ineffective leadership contributes to the majority of organizational problems and business failures. The negative effects of poor leadership in the health services arena is a prominent issue in today’s health services workforce, and is exacerbated by the challenges posed by the Affordable Healthcare Act of 2012. This study investigates the effects of emotional intelligence (EI) and personality traits (the Big Five), two variables commonly linked to effective leadership, within the context of healthcare.

This study examined the influence of EI and the Big Five personality traits on leadership effectiveness within a healthcare institution. The study assumed EI and the Big Five personality traits (conscientiousness, agreeableness, openness, and extraversion) would positively link to each other as well as leadership effectiveness, and predicted a negative relationship between neuroticism and leadership effectiveness. This study addressed the need for empirical studies that considered the impact of EI and personality on leadership performance and effectiveness (Farnia & Nafukho, 2016).

Primary and secondary data was collected from 54 healthcare leaders. Results suggest that EI is statistically and significantly related to leadership effectiveness. Conscientiousness was also found to significantly predict a healthcare leader’s effectiveness. Healthcare organizations interested in improving leadership effectiveness realize the importance of EI and personality on organizational outcomes. Implications for practice, HRD, leadership, and healthcare are discussed, as are future recommendations for research.

Date of publication

Spring 5-3-2018

Document Type




Persistent identifier


Committee members

Ann Gilley, Ph.D., Jerry W. Gilley, Ed.D., Rosemary Cooper, Ph.D.


Doctor of Philosophy