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The influence of introducing the concept of emotional intelligence in Saudi educational supervision context

Almudarra, Jawaher Bakheet M (2019) The influence of introducing the concept of emotional intelligence in Saudi educational supervision context. Doctoral thesis (PhD), Manchester Metropolitan University.

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Abstract

In the last 20 years, Emotional Intelligence (EI) has received special attention from researchers and scholars in different contexts. The marketing and media channels that flood Saudi’s market assume that EI is the key to developing educational leadership and decision-makers have been influenced by these promises. Consequently, EI has been introduced to Educational Supervisors (ESs), in an attempt to enhance and improve leadership practices. Connectedly, the few attempts by Arab and Saudi scholars to reconfigure the imposed meanings of EI were ignored when Goleman’s (1995) concept was adopted. Thus, the aim of this research was to critically examine the influence of the transformative foreign concept of EI in the context of educational supervision in Saudi Arabia. A three-phase qualitative study was carried out with 3 male and 3 female ESs. Data collection methods included semi-structured interviews, participatory workshops with focus groups, participant observation, personal reflective diaries and qualitative questionnaires. The findings suggested that the participants had a limited understanding of EI that drew on Goleman’s model as a benchmark. This could be explained by Goleman’s popularity and acceptability in the Saudi market in preference to any other EI scholar. The participants’ perspectives on EI fell in between two rather extreme positions: from fully resistant to fully accepting. A complicated set of social, cultural, political and personal factors appeared to shape participants’ understandings of EI, and the way they re-thought, re-negotiated and reconfigured the concept into one that met the needs of their context. The study suggests an expanded definition of EI in the context of Saudi’s educational leaders. The limitations addressed in the last chapter influence the theoretical and practical contribution of the research and further research studies are suggested to enhance our understanding of EI and how it could be used to meet the needs of its context.

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