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Emotional intelligence (EI) research in the construction industry: a review and future directions

Augustine Senanu Kukah (School of Engineering, Design and Built Environment, Western Sydney University, Sydney, Australia)
Isaac Akomea-Frimpong (School of Engineering, Design and Built Environment, Western Sydney University, Sydney, Australia)
Xiaohua Jin (School of Engineering, Design and Built Environment, Western Sydney University, Sydney, Australia)
Robert Osei-Kyei (School of Engineering, Design and Built Environment, Western Sydney University, Sydney, Australia)

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management

ISSN: 0969-9988

Article publication date: 23 September 2021

Issue publication date: 7 December 2022

545

Abstract

Purpose

As a crucial soft skill for achieving project success, emotional intelligence (EI) remains an interesting, relevant and emerging research area which requires more researches in the construction industry. This study presents a review of existing studies on EI in the construction industry.

Design/methodology/approach

A search of literature was conducted in the Scopus academic database leading to a retrieval of 146 articles. All the articles were subjected to content analysis where 48 articles were accepted to address the research objectives.

Findings

The outcome revealed the topmost critical competencies in EI for construction professionals include: strong assertiveness with firmness in decision-making, strong leadership abilities, coherent team-building traits, strong conflict resolution and high self-control amid provocation. Further, the key contributions of EI to the construction industry were discovered as: increased personal and project performance, inspired leadership, built capacity against stress, improved communication skills and increased confidence within project practitioners.

Practical implications

The study contributes to the stimulation of an in-depth knowledge in managing construction professionals, the society and further studies in this research area.

Originality/value

Critical EI competencies of the key stakeholders of the construction projects are provided to guide practice to improve project successes.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors thank the anonymous reviewers for the meaningful comments and contributions made towards the publication of this article.

Citation

Kukah, A.S., Akomea-Frimpong, I., Jin, X. and Osei-Kyei, R. (2022), "Emotional intelligence (EI) research in the construction industry: a review and future directions", Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, Vol. 29 No. 10, pp. 4267-4286. https://doi.org/10.1108/ECAM-05-2021-0414

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited

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