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Factors influencing multifactor productivity of equipment-intensive activities

Nima Gerami Seresht (Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada)
Aminah Robinson Fayek (Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada)

International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management

ISSN: 1741-0401

Article publication date: 4 July 2019

Abstract

Purpose

Due to its key role in the successful delivery of construction projects, construction productivity is one of the most researched topics in construction domain. While the majority of previous research is focused on the productivity of labor-intensive activities, there is a lack of research on the productivity of equipment-intensive activities. The purpose of this paper is to address this research gap by developing a comprehensive list of factors influencing the productivity of equipment-intensive activities and determining the most influential factors through interview surveys.

Design/methodology/approach

A list of 201 factors influencing the productivity of equipment-intensive activities was developed through the review of 287 articles, selected from the ten top-ranked construction journals, by searching for construction productivity in the articles’ titles, abstracts or keywords. Next, the most influential factors were determined by conducting interview surveys with 35 construction experts. To ensure that the interviewees were aware of the research objectives and the distinction between labor- and equipment-intensive activities, an information session was held prior to conducting the surveys, and the surveys were conducted in interview format to allow for clarification and discussion throughout the process.

Findings

Project management respondents identified foreman-, safety- and crew-related factors as the categories with the most influence on productivity; tradespeople respondents identified foreman-, equipment- and crew-related factors as the most influential categories. In total, 14 factors were identified, for which there was a significant difference between the perspectives of project management and tradespeople regarding the factors’ influence on productivity.

Originality/value

This paper provides a comprehensive list of factors influencing the productivity of equipment-intensive activities. It identifies the most influential factors through an interview survey of 35 construction experts, who are familiar with the challenges of equipment-intensive activities based on their experience with such activities in the industrial construction sector of Alberta, Canada. Additionally, the differences between the factors that influence the productivity of labor- and equipment-intensive activities are discussed by comparing the findings of this paper with previous research focused on labor intensive activities.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This research is funded by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Chair in Strategic Construction Modeling and Delivery (NSERC IRCPJ 428226–15), which is held by Dr Aminah Robinson Fayek. The authors gratefully acknowledge the support and data provided by industry partners and all personnel who participated in this research study. The authors would like to thank Mr. Ming kit Yau, who diligently helped in the data entry process.

Citation

Gerami Seresht, N. and Fayek, A.R. (2019), "Factors influencing multifactor productivity of equipment-intensive activities", International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, Vol. 69 No. 9, pp. 2021-2045. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJPPM-07-2018-0250

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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