The relationship between transformational leadership and cultural intelligence: A study of international school leaders


Purpose: The purpose of this study is to examine if there is a relationship between the factors of cultural intelligence and transformational leadership in international school leaders. Design/methodology/approach: This correlational research study examined 193 international school leaders, who participated in a survey that included the Cultural Intelligence Scale and the Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire 5X. A standard multiple regression analysis was used to determine if the factors of cultural intelligence predict transformational leadership. The individual contribution of each factor to the model was examined. Findings: The results indicate that there is a significant positive relationship between cultural intelligence and transformational leadership in international school leaders. Leaders who have a higher level of cultural intelligence exhibit a higher level of transformational leadership style, which suggests that individuals with high-cultural intelligence are able to lead and to manage more effectively in multicultural environments. Behavioral cultural intelligence and cognitive cultural intelligence were found to be the best predictors of transformational leadership. Practical implication: The results provide insight into the selection, training, and professional development of international school leaders. Practical implications are provided for integrating cultural intelligence into higher education curriculum. Originality/value: This paper makes a unique contribution to the nomological network of cultural intelligence by identifying which factors of cultural intelligence best predict transformational leadership in international school leaders, a population to which this model had not been previously applied. © Emerald Group Publishing Limited.

Publication Title

Journal of Educational Administration