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The impact of emotional intelligence on employee motivation in the construction sector.

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The construction sector in the South African economy has experienced a decline in growth since the economic boom due to FIFA 2010. The ripple effects of the electricity shortage which results in incessant electricity cuts are compounding the problems for the construction sector and other sectors in South Africa. These issues pose a serious threat to the existence of many organisations. In order to survive this phase, businesses need to explore unprecedented techniques to achieve competitive advantage. Arguably the ability of an organisation to generate wealth is determined by the efforts of its employees. Management need to explore new approaches to harness the resource of their human capital. Motivation is arguably the key to unleashing the human resources full potential. Emotional intelligence has been closely linked to the motivation of employees. This study focused on the factors of employee motivation and emotional intelligence and their interdependencies. A quantitative survey involving a sample of sixty employees, with fifty six actual respondents, from a construction company was conducted. The pertinent factors of employee motivation and emotional intelligence were identified based on a dissection of the levels of emotional intelligence and employee motivation. Age, marital status, tertiary education and authority were identified as salient categorical components that affected emotional intelligence and employee motivation. The predominant determinants discovered were remuneration, purposeful job and feeling of accomplishment. The total sample from the survey yielded a significant positive correlation between emotional intelligence and employee motivation at 0.732 (p < 0.01) and a co-efficient of determination of 0.5358. It was also subsequently discovered that there exists a more significant correlation between emotional intelligence and intrinsic employee motivation. These results suggested that the level of an individual’s emotional intelligence had greater dominance over intrinsic employee motivation than on extrinsic employee motivation.


Master of Business Administration. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Westville 2015.


Employee empowerment., Emotional intelligence., Employee motivation., Positive psychology., Construction industry--Management., Theses--Business administration.