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Using Skills-Based Emotional Intelligence Training to Improve Team Performance in Construction Management Programs

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2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015





Conference Session

Development of Collaborative Skills in Construction Education

Tagged Division


Page Count


Page Numbers

26.1681.1 - 26.1681.8



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Paper Authors


Joshua Jason Mischung Arizona State University

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Graduate student researching the impact of emotional intelligence in construction management programs and the construction industry.

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Jake Smithwick Arizona State University Orcid 16x16

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Jake is a PhD student in the Del E. Webb School of Construction at Arizona State University. Jake’s research studies the processes by which public institutions deliver their capital projects through best value procurement. He has assisted research sponsors execute best value projects since 2002 and is currently the lead project manager and researcher for the Minnesota and Northern Midwest Regional efforts. Jake has supervised the procurement and risk management of over 100 best value projects, totaling $421M in project value ($357M of this in design, construction, and facilities management). The projects were delivered with various methods (Design-Bid-Build, Design-Build, and CM at Risk), diverse scopes and trades (retrofit, new construction, tenant improvements, general / mechanical / electrical / roofing construction), at a wide range of public owners (school districts, cities, counties, states, universities, and the largest federal government purchaser of goods & services). In the past four years, Jake has given 74 presentations to over 2,200 people throughout the United States and Canada. Jake possesses a BS in Computer Information Systems and a MS in Construction Management. Jake is concurrently pursuing a PhD in Construction Management and a Master of Public Administration (MPA).

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Kenneth Timothy Sullivan Arizona State University


Anthony Perrenoud University of Oklahoma

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Dr. Anthony Perrenoud is an Assistant Professor at the University of Oklahoma in the Construction Science Division of the College of Architecture. His teaching and research interests are in the area of pre-construction services, risk management, MEP systems, and leadership. Anthony holds a Bachelor of Science, Master of Science, and a PhD in Construction Management, all from Arizona State University. Prior to joining OU, Perrenoud held several managerial positions in the electrical industry and provided consultation to several government organizations on alternative project delivery methods.

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Using Emotional Intelligence to Improve the Effectiveness of Team Activities in Construction Management ProgramsOne of the most frequently requested skills of graduating Construction Management (CM)students is the ability to work well in team settings. As a result CM programs have incorporatedmany team activities and projects into their curriculum. This has provided students with exposureto the dynamics and complexities of working in team settings. But many CM programs stop atexposure. Examining another field’s training practices suggests another crucial step in preparingstudents for the construction industry. Competitive sports teams operate in dynamic, complex,fast paced, high-pressure environments. All characteristics that are shared with today’sconstruction environment. Much like CM programs competitive sports teams will oftenscrimmage to expose athletes to the environment they will be expected to perform in. Where CMprograms can learn from these high performing teams is in the skills-based training leading up tothe scrimmage. Just like the athletes, students will perform better when they are taughtexecutable skills prior to being exposed to team environments than they would have without anyupfront skills training.Over the past decade a myriad of evidence has amassed linking higher levels of emotionalintelligence to both individual and team performance. Organizations outside of the constructionindustry have taken notice and implemented efforts to increase awareness and training ofemotional intelligence. As a result these organizations are enjoying higher levels of performanceat both the individual and team level. Unfortunately the construction industry remains hesitantand slow to embrace emotional intelligence as an effective method of improving performance.Due to emotional intelligence’s documented positive impact on individual and teamperformance, as well as the ability to improve emotional intelligence through training, it waschosen as the method used to train students in a large Construction Management undergraduateprogram to operate in team settings. Researchers collected emotional intelligence and projectperformance data over three semesters. The third semester a certified emotional intelligencetrainer provided training to the students prior to beginning their final project. Students thatreceived the emotional intelligence training not only performed better on their final projects, butalso reported a better team experience.

Mischung, J. J., & Smithwick, J., & Sullivan, K. T., & Perrenoud, A. (2015, June), Using Skills-Based Emotional Intelligence Training to Improve Team Performance in Construction Management Programs Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.25017

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