Human resource practices of contractors that lead to job satisfaction of professional staff

Lewis J.W. Lim (Department of Building, National University of Singapore, Singapore)
Florence Y.Y. Ling (Department of Building, National University of Singapore, Singapore)

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management

ISSN: 0969-9988

Publication date: 6 January 2012



The aim of this research is to investigate the effect of contractors' human resource (HR) practices on job satisfaction of their professional staff. The specific objectives are to: determine the effectiveness of contractors' HR practices; find out the level of job satisfaction that professional staff who work for contractors have; and study the relationship between HR practices and job satisfaction.


The research method was based on survey and a structured questionnaire, which was specially designed for the study, was the data collection instrument. Data were collected via e‐mail surveys and face to face interviews. The sampling frame comprised randomly chosen professionals who work for building contractors in Singapore.


Results showed that contractors' professionals are significantly satisfied with many of their firms' HR practices. The study found that these professionals have significant job satisfaction in terms of career opportunities, nature of their jobs and overall working environment. The results also show that many of the HR practices are significantly correlated with job satisfaction.

Research limitations/implications

The main limitation of the research is the relatively small sample size and low response rate. In addition, respondents' indication of their satisfaction level is contextualized to professional staff working in Singapore in a specific market condition, thereby limiting generalization of the results. The implication is that the findings would be more relevant to construction firms in Singapore at the time when the industry is just emerging from a recession.

Practical implications

It is recommended that contractors make an effort to understand what their professional staff want in HRM so as to efficiently channel their resources to create job satisfaction through appropriate HR practices. The study uncovered HR practices that employees are unsatisfied with. These include dissatisfaction with quantum of rewards, and firms' methods of dealing with employees' feedback and resolving conflicts. The practical implication of the findings is that contractors should improve on these practices so that their employees would not be more dissatisfied.


The originality of the study is that some HR practices that lead to job satisfaction of construction companies' professionals have been uncovered. The results could inform construction firms on what HR practices they may adopt to engender higher job satisfaction among their professional employees.



Lim, L. and Ling, F. (2012), "Human resource practices of contractors that lead to job satisfaction of professional staff", Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, Vol. 19 No. 1, pp. 101-118.

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