The impact of emotional intelligence on project management within the construction industry.

Wheatley, Michael (2013) The impact of emotional intelligence on project management within the construction industry. [Dissertation]

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Poor performance across the construction industry has been recognised in particular when measured against other industrial sectors. Academic establishments have focused on process and technique for its construction graduates however requirements from employers continue to grow. Not only are the technical competences expected of graduates but the growing recognition surrounding soft people skills are readily acknowledged. The benefits of soft skills within organisations have been linked with increases in success which ultimately impact in a positive manner on profitability. The focus on soft skills flow out of the developments surrounding emotional intelligence. This research was undertaken to understand the familiarity of emotional intelligence in construction project managers. The work begins with a literature review surrounding emotional intelligence (EI). This provided an understanding of the history, key findings, current thinking and established models surrounding EI together with its application. Research methods are reviewed with survey sample and data collection methods being considered. Quantitative analysis combined with some qualitative research is reviewed; however the qualitative elements will be influenced by time constraints identified early within the study. The sample was targeted at 100 respondents being an equal mix of those project managers operating within the aerospace sector, albeit on construction projects with the balance working within the construction industry itself. The aim was to produce a questionnaire that would be completed on-line using a survey hosting site ensuring ease in access and maintaining confidentiality. The questionnaire was drafted and reviewed by three academics. Following this piloting the feedback was reviewed and addressed. Due to data protection issues, approximately half of the questionnaires were completed on line with the balance being paper copies, subsequently uploaded. Data collected fell within four themes. This allowed analysis flowing from the main objectives covering EI, management, leadership and project success. The research contributes to the field and offers data that directly answer the aim and objectives. It highlights the levels of unfamiliarity surrounding EI within construction project management. The research both supports and challenges published literature whilst extending knowledge through a conceptual model for future project management. A wider approach is necessary in educating and training project managers to increase performance. The “soft” skills to help with people management are absent and these combined with the established “hard” tools and techniques need to be embraced. The concept encompasses emotional intelligence, process and organisation management.

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