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Study Links Emotional Intelligence and Servant Leadership to Increased Innovation in IT

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In a recent study published in Current Psychology, researchers explore the complex interplay of emotional intelligence, servant leadership, psychological safety, and task interdependence in fostering innovative behaviours among IT employees in Lahore, Pakistan.

The findings provide valuable insights for IT companies aiming to enhance innovation and productivity through effective leadership and workplace dynamics.

The study, conducted by Sidra Munawar and colleagues, surveyed 230 IT professionals in Lahore using a convenience sampling method. The aim was to assess how emotional intelligence and servant leadership affect psychological safety and employees’ innovative behaviour, with a special focus on the moderating role of task interdependence.

Here are some of the key findings and theoretical insights from the study: 

  • Emotional intelligence and servant leadership: The research underscores a positive correlation between emotional intelligence and servant leadership. Leaders proficient in emotional intelligence are more adept at understanding and managing emotions, fostering an environment where employees feel valued and respected.
  • Servant leadership and psychological safety: The study reveals that servant leadership significantly enhances psychological safety, creating an environment where employees are comfortable expressing ideas and taking risks without fear of negative consequences.
  • Psychological safety and innovation: Psychological safety was found to be a crucial predictor of innovative behaviour. When employees feel safe, they are more likely to engage in creative problem-solving and introduce new processes, thereby enhancing organisational performance.
  • The role of task interdependence: Task interdependence was shown to strengthen the relationship between psychological safety and innovative behaviour. High levels of interdependence encourage collaboration and knowledge sharing, which are vital for innovation.

The findings suggest that IT companies should focus on developing leaders with high emotional intelligence and servant leadership qualities. Such leaders are likely to create a psychologically safe working environment, encouraging innovative behaviour among employees. Additionally, enhancing task interdependence can further boost innovation by fostering a collaborative and supportive workplace culture.

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