Relevant but exaggerated: The effects of emotional intelligence on project manager performance in construction
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The construction industry is traditionally seen as being slow to adopt new management techniques, especially in the domain of human resources. Recent studies have argued that emotional intelligence (EI) may be key to improved project manager performance in construction. Indeed, some researchers have argued that EI improves all types of work performance. We dispute this notion, and argue that context and nature of tasks are neglected issues in studies of EI and performance at work. The construction industry provides a unique context to test this proposition. We collected data using a sample of 55 project managers in the UK construction industry using a cross-sectional survey design. Findings suggest that project managers' levels of EI are linked to most relational performance dimensions. However, project manager EI was not associated with cognitive task related performance dimensions. Therefore, we argue that, while contributing to some aspects of project manager performance, the benefits of EI in this present context should not be overstated. Rather, it should be only one of a set of competencies that are required by successful construction project managers.
Construction Management and Economics
© 2012 Taylor & Francis. This is an electronic version of an article published in Construction Management and Economics, Volume 30, Issue 7, 2012, Pages 575-583. Construction Management and Economics is available online at: http://www.tandfonline.com with the open URL of your article.