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Approximately 70% of change initiatives fail to achieve the anticipated outcomes, and resistance to change is continuously cited in the literature as 1 of the most common reasons for change failure. Researchers know that emotions play a role in change but do not know how emotional intelligence affects the relationship between leader-member exchange and reactions to change. Grounded in Oreg's multidimensional resistance-to-change model, leader-member exchange theory, and emotional intelligence theory, the purpose of this study was to narrow the gap in knowledge of how emotional intelligence influences the relationship between leader-member exchange and resistance to change. A correlational, cross-sectional design was employed with a nonpurposeful sample of 349 research administrators, and data analysis was completed through hierarchical multiple regression and the Hayes PROCESS macro. Significant negative correlations were found between (a) leader-member exchange and resistance to change and (b) emotional intelligence and resistance to change. Emotional intelligence was not found to have an expected moderating effect on the relationship between leader-member exchange and resistance to change. The findings indicated that employees are less likely to resist change when they perceive a higher quality relationship with their supervisor and have a higher level of emotional intelligence. The results of this study can be used to inform organizational leaders of the need to incorporate training on building high-quality relationships and emotional intelligence in change management programs, thereby increasing the likelihood of achieving the organizational goals intended by the change.
Smith, Michelle Hinnant, "Moderation of Emotional Intelligence on Leader-Member Exchange and Resistance to Change" (2018). Walden Dissertations and Doctoral Studies. 5945.