Emotional Intelligence within the A/E/C Industry: A Step Toward Effective Collaboration

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Virginia Tech

In the construction industry, the major project participants include the owner, the architect, the contractor and the subcontractors. Traditionally, each participant's activity in the construction process has been isolated to its particular organization's goals. In recent years, one of the leading trends of project deliveries has been a movement toward a more collaborative, teaming environment. Successful collaboration requires effective interaction among project participants. A fundamental understanding of barriers and challenges to effective interaction among a diverse project team is necessary towards creating truly collaborative project teams in construction. Emotional intelligence reflects an individual's emotional awareness and emotional regulation, both important factors of social interaction. An initial understanding of the project participant's emotional intelligence would provide meaningful direction for the construction industry in regards where improvements should be focused.

As such, the present research study investigates the 21 components of the Bar-On Emotional Quotient Inventory (EQ-i) within the construction industry. This investigation creates an emotional intelligence yardstick by which to measure and compare future research. This study also explores several trends and relationships within this benchmarking in regards to demographics and General Contractor characteristics. In addition, this current research explores the General Contracting sector's perception of other A/E/C industry sectors.

This research study adds to the already growing research that is focusing on the impact of social factors on the success of the A/E/C industry. The results of this study provide a meaningful initial understanding of the emotional intelligence levels of the General Contracting sector. This initial understanding provides academia and industry with several key findings and directions for future research.

Collaboration, general contractor, Emotional Intelligence, A/E/C Industry