Managing emotional intelligence in U.S. cities: A study of social skills among public managers

Evan M. Berman, Jonathan P. West

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


This study assesses perceptions of managerial emotional intelligence in local government, as well as the practices and polices affecting it. Though few cities offer training programs for managers that are called "emotional intelligence," many cities engage in activities that target or address EI skills. This study finds improvement opportunities for managers to become better attuned to the feelings of others and themselves, to better know their own strengths and weaknesses, to better deal with their negative emotions and increase their adaptability, and to improve their communication and relationship skills. Feedback and mentoring processes are directly associated with increased perceptions of EI, while other practices such as training, selection and policy development are only indirectly associated with perceptions of EI. This study contributes to the knowledge base by increasing awareness about managerial EI skills, and providing specific examples of practices to further managerial EI.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)742-758
Number of pages17
JournalPublic Administration Review
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Public Administration
  • Marketing


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