Date of Award

Fall 2010

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Engineering Management & Systems Engineering


Engineering Management

Committee Director

Shannon Bowling

Committee Member

Rafael Landaeta

Committee Member

Charles B. Daniels

Call Number for Print

Special Collections LD4331.E555 T64 2010


Assuming that the modern connotation of Emotional Intelligence (El) took shape with Wayne Leon Payne's 1986 dissertation, A Study of Emotion: Developing Emotional Intelligence, Self-Integration, Relating to Fear, Pain, and Desire, EI is nearing its thirtieth birthday. Relatively speaking, EI is still very young, and there are a handful of researchers who are still trying to explore and define El. Significant efforts have been made to develop the concept of EI, and the ramifications of EI on an individual's professional performance.

Often more technical and exacting in nature, the field of engineering management exhibits many aspects that are unique relative to other types of management. This thesis has three objectives: (1) To present a summary backdrop for the major underpinnings of EI; (2) To create a means to determine the potential that EI could have in the field of engineering management; and (3) To discuss the current direction of EI in the field of engineering management.

The hypothesis of this thesis is: There is little to no evidence that would suggest EI has the potential to benefit the field of engineering management.

The objectives of this thesis were accomplished by conducting a thorough review of the relevant philosophies of ontology, the psychological aspects of emotional intelligence, the physiology of emotions and intelligence, as well as a literature review concerning the leading theories and practical applications of El. For the purposes of this thesis, the concepts of leadership and management are discussed, and the field of engineering management is defined.

A unique methodology is prescribed in Section 7 which lays out a formula to assess the potential that EI might have in specific engineering management applications. Six examples are given, which lend credence to the rejection of the hypothesis. That is to say, the research will show that there are clear opportunities for EI to benefit the field of engineering management.


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