Year of Award


Document Type


Degree Type

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Degree Name

Educational Leadership

Department or School/College

Phyllis J. Washington College of Education

Committee Chair

John Matt

Commitee Members

Patty Kero, William McCaw, Frances O’Reilly, Zhen Cao


Emotional Intelligence, Leadershiop, Longevity, Principalship, Superintendent


University of Montana


The role of an educational leader is complex, challenging and, at times, fraught with adversity. Overcoming the many challenges and adversities, and flourishing as an educational leader, requires resilience and an instinct for survival. Understanding how to prevail in the face of adversity, by employing one’s emotional strengths as well as vulnerabilities and how to increase one’s ability to remain resilient, is essential for an educational leader to succeed in the face of adversity.

The purpose of this study was to research Montana educational leaders to discern whether emotional intelligence EI is necessary to remain resilient and successful in a leadership role despite adversity. This quantitative research was undertaken as a non-experimental, ex post facto or after-the-fact research. Participants for this study included sixty-one superintendents, principals, and assistant principals, from a population of 935 educational leaders, who held a leadership position in the State of Montana during the 2017-2018 school year.

A linear regression was used to examine the proportion of variance in years in a leadership position that can be explained by emotional intelligence and resilience. This analysis demonstrated that some EI competencies appear to have an effect on the longevity of an educational leader in a position. However, the effects vary between assistant principals, principals, and superintendents, not all competencies were equal. The coefficient of determination showed assistant principals and principals’ years of service is more strongly influenced by all emotional intelligence competencies than is that of the superintendent.

Future studies should expand this research to include educational leaders nationwide for greater generalizability. It is also recommended that this research be replicated using raters to assess the participant’s emotional intelligence.



© Copyright 2019 Erica L. Allen