Political Skill as a Mediator between Trait Emotional Intelligence and Leadership Effectiveness: A Framework for the Nigerian Civil Service

Bala Salisu, Siti Rahmah Awang


The emergence of New Public Management (NPM) has seen the concurrent proliferation of public sector reform initiatives in many countries across the globe. Nigeria is not an exception, as it is now grappling with the challenges of the ongoing Public Sector Reform amidst the tumult of political expediencies. The Public Sector Reform has spelt three emotional challenges to the higher civil administrators at the vanguard of the reform implementation: emotional costs to civil servants borne out of the chosen implementation strategies; mutual conflict between the reform targets and the individual interests of the civil servants; and, the need to accommodate the mutually conflicting demands of the relevant stakeholders. To successfully overcome these changes in the process of producing the reform deliverables, we posit that the higher civil administrators need to be highly emotionally literate and politically savvy. In this paper therefore, we develop a research framework that explicates the mediating role of political skill in the relationship between trait emotional intelligence of higher civil administrators and their leadership effectiveness within the context of reform politics in Nigeria.

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