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Linking employee empowerment with productivity in off-site construction

Faisal Alazzaz (Department of Civil Engineering, Curtin University, Perth, Australia. AND The Ministry of Higher Education, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.)
Andrew Whyte (Department of Civil Engineering, Curtin University, Perth, Australia.)

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management

ISSN: 0969-9988

Article publication date: 19 January 2015

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to address current knowledge gaps in off-site sub-element fabrication efficiency factors, by identifying an explicit relationship between productivity and employee empowerment.

Design/methodology/approach

The research is based on two engineering fabrication-yard case studies that investigate both qualitatively (via analysis of semi-structured interviews that incorporate a five-point Likert scale, with fabrication-product stakeholders), and also quantitatively (via assessment using SPSS statistical analyses to determine significance and trends in the data-set) the relationship between empowerment and productivity.

Findings

The results reveal a positive linear relationship in off-site construction between “employee empowerment factors” and, explicitly fabrication-yard “productivity-levels”. An especially strong and significant positive correlation is found to exist in resource development, worker involvement, process improvement, and task recognition as they refer to off-site construction productivity.

Practical implications

Most academic studies of off-site construction remain largely anecdotal and lack an empirical objective study; as a result, this (fabrication-yard) case-study research provides a useful approach to measure empirically the link between employee empowerment and productivity of off-site construction.

Originality/value

Employee empowerment in the construction industry has long been a focus of analyses; however, there remains a lack of consensus and very few studies into the direct relationship between employee empowerment on the one-hand, and productivity in off-site construction on the other-hand. It is argued here that the on-going new research undertaken in the present study will go beyond subjective opinion towards objective measurement of actual performance in off-site construction.

Keywords

Citation

Alazzaz, F. and Whyte, A. (2015), "Linking employee empowerment with productivity in off-site construction", Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, Vol. 22 No. 1, pp. 21-37. https://doi.org/10.1108/ECAM-09-2013-0083

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited