The role of emotional intelligence in student-supervisor relationships: Implications on the psychological safety of doctoral students

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International Journal of Management Education


Psychological safety (PS) contributes to a range of individual and team outcomes including interpersonal risk taking, learning, developing mutual trust and respect, performance, engagement, communication, well-being, and growth. It has been studied in an array of disciplines including psychology, organizational behaviour, and management. However, the impact of student-supervisor relationships has on doctoral students' PS is yet to draw scholarly attention. In this paper, through reflective accounts, two female doctoral students and their male primary supervisor share the evolution of their student-supervisor relationships. They narrate how over a period of nearly three years PS became a critical factor for developing a healthy student-supervisor relationship. Their experiences suggest that PS could be influenced by Emotional Intelligence (EI).

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