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Developing emotionally competent engineers for the ever-changing built environment

John Aliu (Institute for Resilient Infrastructure Systems, College of Engineering, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia, USA)
Douglas Aghimien (School of Art, Design and Architecture, Faculty of Arts, Design and Humanities, De Montfort University, Leicester, UK)
Clinton Aigbavboa (CIDB Centre of Excellence, Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa)
Andrew Ebekozien (Department of Construction Management and Quantity Surveying, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa) (School of Social Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Gelugor, Malaysia) (Department of Quantity Surveying, Auchi Polytechnic, Auchi, Nigeria)
Ayodeji Emmanuel Oke (Department of Quantity Surveying, Federal University of Technology Akure, Akure, Nigeria) (CIDB Centre of Excellence, Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa)
Samuel Adeniyi Adekunle (CIDB Centre of Excellence, Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa)
Opeoluwa Akinradewo (CIDB Centre of Excellence, Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa)
Olushola Akinshipe (CIDB Centre of Excellence, Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa)

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management

ISSN: 0969-9988

Article publication date: 27 December 2022

34

Abstract

Purpose

As the world experiences a rapid rise in technological advances, the engineering profession will be required to become even more socially responsible and emotionally stable to be able to display higher levels of empathy towards the society they serve. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to evaluate the key emotional competencies (ECs) that engineers need to possess to thrive in the construction industry after graduation.

Design/methodology/approach

A quantitative research approach was conducted with close-ended questionnaires developed and administered to built environment professionals such as architects, construction managers, construction project managers, engineers and quantity surveyors.

Findings

The results showed that the ability to display a positive outlook on life, understand one's emotional triggers, ability to display resilience in hard times, control one's emotions and ability to show compassion to others were the highest-ranked ECs. Further analysis revealed four clusters such as self-awareness, empathy, self-regulation and self-motivation.

Practical implications

Practical guidance for higher education institutions is offered in terms of revamping and revisiting their engineering education curricula to develop these ECs to produce emotionally sound engineers for the ever-changing world of work.

Originality/value

As the world of work becomes increasingly dynamic and diverse, engineers will be required to possess empathy, social skills and high levels of ECs to be able to seamlessly interact with fellow professionals as well as the society they serve.

Keywords

Citation

Aliu, J., Aghimien, D., Aigbavboa, C., Ebekozien, A., Oke, A.E., Adekunle, S.A., Akinradewo, O. and Akinshipe, O. (2022), "Developing emotionally competent engineers for the ever-changing built environment", Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/ECAM-08-2022-0806

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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