Date of Conferral



Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.)




Dr. James Herndon


Effective leadership in law enforcement is critical for the overall success andeffectiveness of law enforcement personnel. Police leaders need to effectively guide officers through unparalleled social, technological, and life and death challenges. Although scholarly research indicates a positive connection between leadership effectiveness and emotional intelligence, understanding the specifics of this relationship has not been clearly identified. This research was an attempt to better understand how emotional intelligence impacts the perception of leaders demonstrating toxic behaviors and the relationship quality between police leaders and their direct reports. Data was collected from 63 law enforcement leaders and 162 direct reports in small to medium-sized agencies in Minnesota. Pearson’s correlation coefficient and multiple linear regression analyses were performed to test the hypotheses. Statistically significant correlations were identified between the emotional intelligence of leaders and perceived leader toxic behavior and poorer relationship quality between leaders and direct reports. By identifying relationships between leader emotional intelligence, toxic behaviors, and leadership effectiveness, moderated by direct report emotional intelligence, the results of this research illuminate how and why emotional intelligence influences perceived leadership effectiveness as well as the interaction of direct report emotional intelligence with how and why leaders are either effective or ineffective at leading others when the emotional intelligence is integrated. The outcomes of this research can impact police selection, promotion, training, and coaching initiatives as well as promote more positive impacts on the communities served.

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