Emotional intelligence: A preventive strategy to manage destructive influence of conflict in large scale projects
International Journal of Project Management
School of Business and Law
Insufficient empirical and theoretical attention has been given to the influence of emotional intelligence (EI) in determining performance and the mechanisms underlying this relationship among project team members in large-scale infrastructure projects. This research explores the association between EI and project performance in the context of large-scale infrastructure projects. Specifically, it proposes a model demonstrating a positive link between EI and project performance through adverse relationships with three negative conflict types (relationship, teak, and process). Further, it hypothesises that trust plays a moderating role. To test the model, we collected data from 365 project team members in large-scale infrastructure projects. The empirical results demonstrate that EI is positively linked to performance in large-scale infrastructure projects, and that this association is facilitated by EI's negative link to three conflict modes (task, relationship, process), which are negatively connected to performance. Additionally, inter-personal trust was found to moderate the negative relationship between conflict and project performance. This paper concludes with a discussion of the research and practical implications of the study's findings, and suggestions for future research directions.