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Strategies for the development of mental toughness of construction professionals: the case of Ghana

Evans Kwesi Mireku (Department of Construction Technology and Management, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana)
Ernest Kissi (Department of Construction Technology and Management, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana and Department of Construction Management and Quantity Surveying, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa)
Ivy Maame Adwoa Abu (Department of Construction Technology and Management, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana)
Alex Acheampong (Department of Construction Technology and Management, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana)
Nana Kwame Peprah Armah (Department of Construction Technology and Management, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana)

Journal of Engineering, Design and Technology

ISSN: 1726-0531

Article publication date: 9 April 2024

104

Abstract

Purpose

The construction sector is recognized for subjecting its workers to various psychological pressures and mental stressors. As a result, it is crucial to explore and discover effective strategies to support these workers in managing and enduring these demanding circumstances. Mental toughness is a concept that has been advocated to aid individuals in coping and adapting to pressures and challenges. Therefore, it is imperative to explore strategies critical to developing mental toughness among construction professionals. Thus, the purpose of this study is to identify critical strategies for the development of mental toughness among construction professionals.

Design/methodology/approach

A comprehensive literature review was conducted using Google Scholar, Scopus, ScienceDirect and PubMed databases to identify the strategies for the development of mental toughness. These identified strategies were used to develop a structured closed-ended questionnaire to aid in data collection. Of the 317 questionnaires distributed, 207 were collected and used for data analysis. The data were analysed using mean score ranking and one sample t-test.

Findings

The study highlighted 12 critical strategies for the development of mental toughness among construction professionals. These include recognizing and rewarding achievements, taking time for self-care, organizing mental training programs, using positive self-talk, embracing a growth mindset, providing social support/developing a strong support network, creating a challenging training environment, engaging in regular physical exercise, fostering a mastery motivational climate, setting clear but challenging goals, practicing mental imagery and practicing reflection on setbacks and failures. The analysis results indicated that all of the strategies, except one (which involves practicing reflection on setbacks and failures), displayed significance. By incorporating these strategies, construction firms and the industry as a whole can empower their workforce to cope and/or overcome the various demands and stressors that work and life places on them.

Research limitations/implications

The study highlights the significance of recognizing and rewarding achievements, fostering a growth mindset and implementing mental training programs to cultivate mental toughness among construction professionals. Moreover, promoting self-care practices and offering social support are essential strategies for enhancing mental resilience in the construction industry. By adopting these evidence-based approaches, construction organizations can create a mentally tough workforce capable of handling the challenges and demands of the industry effectively.

Originality/value

This study contributes significantly to the general body of knowledge in mental health management among employees in the construction industry. It does set the pace for the development of the general well-being of construction professionals in the achievement of mental toughness goals.

Keywords

Citation

Mireku, E.K., Kissi, E., Abu, I.M.A., Acheampong, A. and Armah, N.K.P. (2024), "Strategies for the development of mental toughness of construction professionals: the case of Ghana", Journal of Engineering, Design and Technology, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/JEDT-07-2023-0324

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2024, Emerald Publishing Limited

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