Exploring the role of an integrated servant leadership and emotional intelligence skills programme in enhancing leadership performance in Zimbabwe's commercial banking sector.
Mukonoweshuro, Jeskinus Ziwenge.
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The pursuit for continuous organisational performance improvement is an endless objective which requires managers at the helm of this pursuit to constantly renew and reinforce leadership skills and competencies in order to face up to the constantly changing business conditions arising from global trends and macro-economic challenges within emerging markets such as Zimbabwe. The study explored the role of Servant Leadership (SL) and Emotional Intelligence (EI) in developing leadership soft skills in order to enhance the performance of managerial leaders in the commercial banking sector in Zimbabwe. The research problem was the lack of sufficient leadership soft skills within middle, senior and executive managerial staff which adversely affected performance. The research thesis was that the infusion of SL attributes and EI competencies in leadership development programmes will improve and enhance managerial leadership performance. SL and EI theories models and empirical studies thereon were critically reviewed to create the study’s conceptual framework. Fourteen commercial banks in Zimbabwe participated in the research study during 2013-2015 and mixed methods concurrent design comprising survey questionnaires and structured interviews were applied. The research protocols approved by the UKZN Ethics Office. The banking sector had 1270 managers with 600 middle, senior and executive being the target population from which a sample size of 234 was drawn at 95% confidence level and 5% confidence interval. 430 questionnaires were mailed and results from 211 usable returns were analysed using SPSS. Eight senior and executive managers were interviewed and the transcribed responses were analysed using NVIVO to obtain qualitative data. The findings discovered a relatively low level of knowledge of SL attributes and EI dimensions within managerial staff in the sector. SL and EI were found to have a positive impact on managerial leadership responsibilities and performance factors like, creation of value, fostering a productive organisational culture, improve employee engagement, enhancing workplace diversity, building healthy stakeholder relationships and development and retention of talent. SL attributes were integrated with the four components of EI into a leadership skills programme. The researcher developed an integrated SL and EI leadership skills development programme intended to build leadership soft skills. Areas for further study were recommended to increase use of SL and EI competencies in Zimbabwe.