The Relationship Between Emotional Intelligence and Expatriate Performance in International Construction Projects

Research output: Journal Publications and ReviewsRGC 21 - Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

4 Scopus Citations
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  • Haiyao Huang
  • Lili Gao
  • Xiaopeng Deng
  • Hanliang Fu


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3825-3843
Journal / PublicationPsychology Research and Behavior Management
Online published22 Dec 2022
Publication statusPublished - 2022



Purpose: In the field of construction, it has been shown that individuals with higher emotional intelligence may perform better on the job. However, it is still a question worth exploring about how emotional intelligence affects expatriate performance in international construction projects. Therefore, this study aimed to verify the relationship between expatriates’ emotional intelligence and expatriate performance and explore the mediating role of self-efficacy and psychological resilience.
Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted in June 2021. A non-probability sampling method was used to obtain data. A total of 315 Chinese construction expatriates in 67 countries and regions around the world were evaluated using four scales: the Wong and Law Emotional Intelligence Scale, the General Self-Efficacy Scale, the Connor-Davidson Resilience scale, and the Kraimer’s expatriate’s performance scale. The hypothesis model was tested using Partial Least Squares Structural Equation Modeling (PLS-SEM).
Results: The results of the data analysis indicated that self-efficacy (βIndirect effect = 0.175, p<0.05) and psychological resilience (βIndirect effect = 0.112, p<0.05) served as fully mediating variables (βDirect effect = 0.177, p=0.101), suggesting a way to explain how emotional intelligence affect the performance of contractor expatriates. The findings also suggest that self-efficacy and psychological resilience also play continuous and multiple mediating roles (βIndirect effect = 0.143, p<0.05) between emotional intelligence and expatriate performance.
Conclusion: This study attempted to investigate the mechanism of emotional intelligence’s influence on expatriate performance from the perspective of individual psychological resources. The results of the study suggest that the emotional intelligence of expatriates may bring about an increase in performance levels by improving self-efficacy and psychological resilience levels. This provides a practical way to improve the performance of expatriates and a new management perspective for human resource management in international construction projects.

Research Area(s)

  • emotional intelligence, expatriate performance, psychological resilience, self-efficacy, sequential mediation model

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