Date of Award

Summer 7-14-2022

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Organizational Leadership

First Advisor

Jonathan Greenberg, Ed.D.

Second Advisor

Marilyn Saucedo, Ed.D.

Third Advisor

Martinrex Kedziora, Ed.D.


Purpose: The purpose of this phenomenological study was to describe the perceptions of chief human resources officers (CHROs) in the California Community Colleges System regarding the impact of emotional intelligence (EI) on their leadership in four areas: self- awareness, self-management, social awareness, and relationship management.

Methodology: This qualitative phenomenological study described the lived experiences of CHROs as those experiences relate to the impact of EI on their leadership. A random sample was selected from the target population of 24 CHROs located in the Central and Southern Regions of California. The instrumentation used in the study was semistructured interview questions adapted from the Bradberry and Greaves emotional intelligence framework.

Findings: CHROs identified EI skills as essential to their work in the field of human resources. They are often called to work with employees and other stakeholders in highly emotionally charged situations, and their ability to identify and manage their own emotions and the emotions of others has contributed positively to their success. Self- awareness, the ability to recognize their own emotions and social awareness, their ability to recognize the emotions in others were reported as extremely important to their roles.

Conclusions: This study concludes that CHROs perceive EI as a vital skill they use on a daily basis. The skills associated with EI are valuable to CHROs who are expected to foster and maintain highly effective working relationships with many stakeholders within the organization. The four areas of EI: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and relationship management are all important to their effectiveness as a CHRO.

Recommendations: CHROs should seek formal training in EI, and human resources management programs should include classes in EI to ensure that participants gain a deeper understanding of EI and how to apply the concepts in the workplace. In addition CHROs should look at bringing EI training into organizations they work in to train others in EI to assist in building effective working relationship with important stakeholders such as union leadership and management team members.