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Article
Publication date: 7 October 2019

Majid Parchami Jalal and Shahab Shoar

This paper aims to model different causal relations among factors interacting with labour productivity in order to recognize the most important factors influencing and…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to model different causal relations among factors interacting with labour productivity in order to recognize the most important factors influencing and influenced by it.

Design/methodology/approach

Top 60 factors affecting labour productivity were determined and grouped into 5 major groups by reviewing previous research and interviewing relevant experts. The interactions of factors were modelled using system dynamics (SD) approach. The resulting causal loop diagrams obtained from SD were then applied for identifying the most crucial factors influencing and influenced by labour productivity through the decision-making trial and evaluation laboratory (DEMATEL) method. The impact of factors on each other was finally determined based on the opinions of 63 experts selected from the Iranian construction industry.

Findings

The results indicated that factors such as fatigue, lack of labour motivation and lack of skill are the most influencing, and factors such as schedule delay and inflation in the cost of execution are the most influenced by labour productivity. In the end, a set of recommendations to improve construction labour productivity was also presented.

Originality/value

The main contribution of the study is proposing a novel method which is capable of providing insights into how causes and effects of construction labour productivity are interrelated. Furthermore, the proposed method makes this study distinct from previous research in the light of prioritizing factors and offering recommendations according to the interrelationships among factors.

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Article
Publication date: 5 February 2018

Shobhit Chaturvedi, Jitesh J. Thakkar and Ravi Shankar

As the construction industry undertakes complex and innovative projects, improving the labor productivity that helps accomplish the triple bottom line dimensions (time…

Abstract

Purpose

As the construction industry undertakes complex and innovative projects, improving the labor productivity that helps accomplish the triple bottom line dimensions (time, schedule and performance) assumes greater importance. It is of even greater importance in developing countries like India where most of building construction takes place on a manual basis. In response, the purpose of this paper is to develop an evaluation framework for assessing the labor productivity in the construction industry. The application of the framework is demonstrated for the case of the Indian construction industry and key insights are reported.

Design/methodology/approach

The literature review and expert survey has helped to identify 4 main dimensions and 14 different factors affecting labor productivity in the construction industry. An application of Decision-Making Trial and Evaluation Laboratory was deployed to investigate into the causality of labor productivity dimensions.

Findings

The research delivers a quantitative labor productivity assessment framework for evaluating causal relationships among the factors influencing labor productivity in the construction industry. The result obtained for a typical case of the Indian construction industry showed that the safety at construction site has a profound effect on labor-related factors.

Originality/value

The paper makes two contributions in the domain of labor productivity assessment in the construction industry. First, it proposes an evaluation framework to investigate into the causal relationships among the labor productivity factors. This proposed framework is robust and can be used to compare the performance of different construction projects using an integrated approach proposed by this research. Such exploratory analysis would assist benchmarking studies. Second, it undertakes an empirical investigation for the Indian construction industry to develop key managerial insights and extend policy-related recommendations.

Details

Benchmarking: An International Journal, vol. 25 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-5771

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 12 October 2010

Abdulaziz M. Jarkas

The objective of this paper is to investigate the effects and relative influence of: grid patterns; variability of foundation sizes; total surface area; and average…

Abstract

Purpose

The objective of this paper is to investigate the effects and relative influence of: grid patterns; variability of foundation sizes; total surface area; and average surface area, on formwork labour productivity of isolated foundations.

Design/methodology/approach

To achieve this objective, a sufficiently large volume of productivity data were collected and analyzed at both levels; macro, and micro, using the linear regression method. As a result, the effects and relative influence of the investigated factors on formwork labour productivity are determined and quantified.

Findings

The findings show significant impacts of the buildability factors investigated on formwork labour productivity, and substantiate the importance of applying the rationalization and standardization concepts to the design stage of construction projects.

Research limitations/implications

Further research into the effects of buildability factors on formwork, and other related trades of in situ reinforced concrete material, i.e. rebar fixing/installation and concreting, labour productivity, which are common to other structural elements and activities such as, grade/ground beams, columns, walls, beams, and slabs, is recommended, so that the related findings can ultimately be used to develop an automated “Buildability Design Support System” to formalize the buildability knowledge of reinforced concrete construction projects.

Practical implications

The outcomes of this research provide designers with feedback on how well their designs consider the requirements of buildability principles, and the tangible consequences of their decisions on labour productivity. In addition, practical recommendations deduced from the findings are presented, which upon implementation, can improve the buildability level of this activity, hence translate into higher labour efficiency and lower labour costs. On the other hand, the depicted patterns may provide guidance to construction managers for effective activity planning and efficient labour utilization.

Originality/value

The findings fill a gap in buildability knowledge and its influence on formwork labour productivity of an important, labour intensive, activity within the in situ reinforced concrete construction projects.

Details

Journal of Engineering, Design and Technology, vol. 8 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1726-0531

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Article
Publication date: 18 January 2011

Homyun Jang, Kyonghoon Kim, Juhyung Kim and Jaejun Kim

This study aims to identify systematically the factors that can often influence labour productivity directly and indirectly, to build a model that can evaluate the…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to identify systematically the factors that can often influence labour productivity directly and indirectly, to build a model that can evaluate the significance of these factors. The model can be used as a tool for assisting field construction mangers responsible for productivity.

Design/methodology/approach

The factors were first identified by undertaking a literature review. The scope and method for measuring labour productivity were then determined. The final analysis model was built through a statistical analysis conducted with the chosen factors.

Findings

The results of the analysis indicate that the work management component (e.g. the manager's abilities) and the work technique component (e.g. work continuity) have greater impact than the worker component (e.g. the workers' capability) and the work characteristic component (e.g. work difficulty).

Research limitations/implications

This research focuses on the qualitative perspective of site managers on labour productivity. Although the process of translating qualitative opinions into quantitative data is a matter for debate, the result of this research, when compared to other quantitative studies, can be used to establish a strategy and an action plan for managing labour productivity.

Practical implications

Qualitative aspects that were considered to establish a labour productivity model can be evaluated by site construction managers. Despite the importance of these qualitative aspects, they have, by and large, been neglected, as models to date tend to consider more directly measurable quantitative factors. In particular, they can be used to develop a strategy for increasing labour productivity at the initial planning stage.

Originality/value

This research explores the differences between a subjective perception and the objective reality of labour productivity.

Details

Construction Innovation, vol. 11 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1471-4175

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 19 December 2012

Nathan S. Balke

In this chapter, using a combination of long-run and sign restrictions to identify aggregate monetary and productivity factors, I find that the monetary factor is…

Abstract

In this chapter, using a combination of long-run and sign restrictions to identify aggregate monetary and productivity factors, I find that the monetary factor is responsible for long swings in nominal variables but has little effect on fluctuations in output, real wage, or labor input growth. The productivity factor in addition to increasing output growth and real wage growth in the short and long run, also results in increases in labor input and decreases in prices, but the quantitative effect of the productivity factor on labor input is relatively small. These results are robust to the number of factors included in the model and to alternative priors about the short-run effects of the monetary factor, and to the inclusion of oil prices. Oil prices, in fact, appear to be largely driven by the other aggregate factors.

Details

30th Anniversary Edition
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78190-309-4

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Article
Publication date: 2 September 2013

Ibrahim Mahamid

– The study aims at identifying the factors affecting labor productivity in building construction projects in the West Bank in Palestine from contractors’ viewpoint.

Abstract

Purpose

The study aims at identifying the factors affecting labor productivity in building construction projects in the West Bank in Palestine from contractors’ viewpoint.

Design/methodology/approach

To do so, 59 contractors working in building construction completed a structured questionnaire survey and the factors were ranked according to their levels of influence. In all, 31 factors were identified through literature review. These factors were grouped into five groups: labor, managerial, materials and equipments, environmental, and financial.

Findings

The analysis of the identified 31 factors indicates that the top-five factors negatively affecting labor productivity in building construction are: rework, lack of cooperation and communication between construction parties, financial status of the owner, lack of labor experience, and lack in materials.

Originality/value

This study is original and has not been published before. The findings and recommendations of this study are very useful and helpful for the local firms and the international firms who are planning to do works in the West Bank

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 20 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 6 November 2018

Junqing Yang and Hong Chen

This paper aims to examine whether rewards incentives of non-state-owned enterprises can settle the matters of motivation lack, strained labor relations and frequent labor

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine whether rewards incentives of non-state-owned enterprises can settle the matters of motivation lack, strained labor relations and frequent labor-capital conflicts and realize co-win cooperation of workers, enterprises and the society.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on the data of 1,617 questionnaires in 257 enterprises, this research reveals the total rewards factors that affect the labor motivation of non-stated-owned enterprises in China and improve labor productivity by adopting the hierarchical linear regression analysis and multi-group path analysis, and establishes a new model of win-win cooperation between labor and capital and the society through the incentive function of these elements by stimulating the enthusiasm of workers, improving labor productivity, increasing profits, expanding capital accumulation and absorbing labor force.

Findings

The authors have discovered that in general the main incentives that stimulate the enthusiasm of employees are the factors of performance and recognition and development and career opportunity in total rewards. The factor of benefits also has a significant incentive effect on employees in the western area of China, migrant workers with lower education and male employees, but negative effect on the post-1990s employees in non-state-owned enterprises. However, the compensation factor should be used with caution when encouraging employees in eastern region and the post-1980s. The total rewards factors of development and career opportunities and the performance and the recognition and benefits should be used to motivate workers to improve labor productivity, increase corporate profits and absorb more labor force, which is a long-term solution to win-win cooperation between labor and capital and social sustainable development. It is an important way to increase profits and absorb more labor force by increasing employee’s human capital investment and improving labor proficiency of employees under age 45. The conclusions provide new effective management methods for non-state-owned enterprises in China.

Practical implications

As a consequence, it will encourage employees to improve labor productivity and increase profits and thus absorb more labor force, if we use these factors of performance and recognition, development and career opportunity and benefits integratedly, we will find a permanent solution that the two sides of the labor and management and the society enjoy a win-win cooperation.

Originality/value

The research will provide theoretical basis for non-state-owned enterprises to apply a new and effective management style so that we can establish a win-win cooperation between the labor and management. What’s more, the research will develop the Dual Economy Theory of Lewis and the employment theory of Keynes and will also provide a theoretical basis for the realization of Taylor’s harmonious industrial relations.

Details

Nankai Business Review International, vol. 10 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-8749

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 15 November 2017

Mostafa Khanzadi, Farnad Nasirzadeh, Mostafa Mir and Pouya Nojedehi

The purpose of this paper is to present a hybrid simulation approach for predicting the value of labor productivity taking account of various continuous influencing factors

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present a hybrid simulation approach for predicting the value of labor productivity taking account of various continuous influencing factors and the interactions between different agents involved in the project.

Design/methodology/approach

The various continuous factors affecting labor productivity are simulated using system dynamics (SD). The heterogeneity of different agents involved in the project and their interactions is accounted using agent-based modelling (ABM). The developed ABM and SD models are finally integrated to simulate the value of labor productivity taking account of all the influencing factors.

Findings

The proposed hybrid simulation tool is implemented in a real project to evaluate its perfomance. The value of labor productivity is simulated by taking account of all the influencing factors. The most appropriate execution strategy is then selected using the developed hybrid SD-ABM approach to improve productivity. It is shown that the number of working groups and their movement patterns affect the severity of the groups’ interferences which will in turn affect the value of labor productivity.

Practical implications

This research helps project managers to predict and improve the value of labor productivity taking account of all the influencing factors.

Originality/value

It is believed that the proposed hybrid SD-ABM simulation approach offers a novel and robust tool for modeling labor productivity because the effects of various continuous influencing factors and the interactions between different agents are taken into account through the combination of SD and ABM. Many complex problems faced in construction projects involve interacting elements of a different nature, and the integration of SD with ideas from ABM offers potential to combine the strengths of the two methodologies to solve the problem.

Details

Construction Innovation, vol. 18 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1471-4175

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Article
Publication date: 4 July 2019

Nima Gerami Seresht and Aminah Robinson Fayek

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…

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.

Details

International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, vol. 69 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-0401

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 29 May 2020

Farnad Nasirzadeh, H.M. Dipu Kabir, Mahmood Akbari, Abbas Khosravi, Saeid Nahavandi and David G. Carmichael

This study aims to propose the adoption of artificial neural network (ANN)-based prediction intervals (PIs) to give more reliable prediction of labour productivity using…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to propose the adoption of artificial neural network (ANN)-based prediction intervals (PIs) to give more reliable prediction of labour productivity using historical data.

Design/methodology/approach

Using the proposed PI method, various sources of uncertainty affecting predictions can be accounted for, and a PI is proposed instead of a less reliable single-point estimate. The proposed PI consists of a lower and upper bound in which the realization of the predicted variable, namely, labour productivity, is anticipated to fall with a defined probability and represented in terms of a confidence level (CL).

Findings

The proposed PI method is implemented on a case study project to predict labour productivity. The quality of the generated PIs for the labour productivity is investigated at three confidence levels. The results show that the proposed method can predict the value of labour productivity efficiently.

Practical implications

This study is the first attempt in construction management to undertake a shift from deterministic point predictions to interval forecasts to improve the reliability of predictions. The proposed PI method will help project managers obtain accurate and credible predictions of labour productivity using historical data. With a better understanding of future outcomes, project managers can adopt appropriate improvement strategies to enhance labour productivity before commencing a project.

Originality/value

Point predictions provided by traditional deterministic ANN-based forecasting methodologies may be unreliable due to the different sources of uncertainty affecting predictions. The current study proposes ANN-based PIs as an alternative and robust tool to give a more reliable prediction of labour productivity using historical data. Using the proposed method, various sources of uncertainty affecting the predictions are accounted for, and a PI is proposed instead of a less reliable single point estimate.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 27 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

Keywords

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