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Article

Ruchini Senarath Jayasinghe and Nirodha Gayani Fernando

The purpose of this paper is to establish labour productivity norms (LPNs) on an elemental basis to investigate a measurement for the labour productivity (LP) of aluminium…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to establish labour productivity norms (LPNs) on an elemental basis to investigate a measurement for the labour productivity (LP) of aluminium system formwork (ASF) in low-cost housing projects (LHPs) in Sri Lanka.

Design/methodology/approach

Case study approach was selected as the most appropriate for the study and semi-structured interviews, document review and direct observations were used for the data collection. Four case studies were conducted. Eight semi-structured interviews were conducted among four cases. Further, document review was used in three cases, and direct observation was used in one case. The validation of the results was not possible in a real life project due to time limitations.

Findings

The findings identified six labour productivity factors (LPFs) affecting the LP of ASF. The need for LPNs for ASF on an elemental basis is identified. Further, LPNs were developed using LPFs.

Research limitations/implications

This research was limited to LHPs for underserved settlements in Colombo, Sri Lanka which use ASF. The LPNs were prepared based on time studies and were restricted to structural elements such as slabs, beams and columns.

Originality/value

The LPNs were developed for ASF in LHPs based on the effect of weather, crew, site, management and project factors. Further, the study addresses a gap in the literature regarding the development of LPNs of ASF for LPHs in Sri Lanka. LPNs for ASF have enhanced LP while promoting economic and social stability in the industry.

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Article

Chandanie Hadiwattege, Sepani Senaratne, Yasangika Sandanayake and Nirodha Gayani Fernando

Knowledge-based economies are popular in the present world. Simultaneously, universities are becoming more responsible for leading economic development through research…

Abstract

Purpose

Knowledge-based economies are popular in the present world. Simultaneously, universities are becoming more responsible for leading economic development through research. As a key contributor to the national economy, it is vital for the construction industry to move beyond outdated practices, and hence, reviewing the role of academic research in empowering the construction industry with knowledge is essential. The purpose of this paper is to focus on how relevant theories conceptualise the expected role of academic research in the innovative development of an industry and the specific location in the Sri Lankan construction industry.

Design/methodology/approach

Following a comprehensive literature review, empirical data were collected from the Sri Lankan context with a mixed approach informed by a pragmatist philosophical stance. The perspective of academia and industry practitioners were deductively obtained through surveys and inductively explored through qualitative interviews.

Findings

This study provides evidence that academic research in Sri Lanka does not contribute effectively to innovative construction management. Due to the absence of industry-focussed knowledge dissemination strategies, the academic–industry relationships are mostly non-research based. The industry lacks in research-informed-decision making, leading to lesser innovations.

Research limitations/implications

The research conclusions are more applicable to the developing country construction industry contexts.

Practical implications

The research urges the need for improved academic–industry research collaborations and strategic knowledge dissemination movements.

Originality/value

The research confirms that academic research is a major integral part of the developing construction industry in a knowledge-based economy. In establishing the expected role of academic research, the research revealed the current practice to be under-located. Hence, the research prescribes the necessary actions; research collaborations in major and subsequent requirements.

Details

Built Environment Project and Asset Management, vol. 8 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2044-124X

Keywords

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Article

Nirodha Gayani Fernando, Dilanthi Amaratunga and Richard Haigh

– This paper aims to explore and investigate the career success of professional women in the UK construction industry.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to explore and investigate the career success of professional women in the UK construction industry.

Design/methodology/approach

The aim of the research was set following the literature review and synthesis, after which a multiple case study approach is adopted to conduct exploratory case studies among professional women in the UK construction industry. A mixed method design was used for data collection, whereby qualitative data were collected in the first study and quantitative data were collected in the second study. The researcher adopted this sequence in order to gather qualitative data and analysis of a relatively unexplored area of career success factors of professional women in the UK construction industry. The results from the qualitative method were used, along with a relevant literature review, to develop the focus and questions in the quantitative phase of the study. The individuals in the first stage of data collection were not the same participants as those in the second stage, because the purpose of the quantitative study was to generalise the results to a population.

Findings

The results indicated that soft skills are very important for career success, while hard skills are essential thereafter for professional women in the UK construction industry. Accordingly, it is necessary to develop soft skills in order to advance the women's professional careers. Further, the results indicated that age and gender are the least important career success factors for women in construction. The ability to work with people, taking opportunities, confidence, adaptability, communication skills, dedication, competence, focus, supportive line management, integrity, leadership skills, ability to bring teams together, good mix of skills, honesty, networking, intelligence and logically approaching business problems identified as the critical career success factors.

Research limitations/implications

The construction industry is limited to organisations that construct buildings and infrastructure, and those involved in property development. These organisations comprise client, contractor and consultancy organisations.

Practical implications

The findings of the paper are useful to human resource development managers to understand and improve organisational training and development plans, which help to advance the career of professional women. By doing so, organisations could recruit and retain more professional women in the construction industry. Therefore, recruiting and retaining more professional women in the organisation helps to enhance productivity in the industry and to enhance their health and well being in society at large.

Originality/value

The value of this paper is twofold. First, this study contributes to fill the knowledge gap in career success factors of professional women in the UK construction industry. Second, this empirical research will have implications in the identification of different training and development activities to advance the careers of women in the UK construction industry.

Details

Journal of Engineering, Design and Technology, vol. 12 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1726-0531

Keywords

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Article

Pournima Sridarran and Nirodha Gayani Fernando

In this present globalised era, outsourcing has become a very popular and much sought after procurement strategy for facilities management (FM). Generally, a sustainable…

Abstract

Purpose

In this present globalised era, outsourcing has become a very popular and much sought after procurement strategy for facilities management (FM). Generally, a sustainable procurement system should be capable enough to deliver the services free of disruptions. However, outsourcing can bring about changes in working patterns, organisational culture and management styles which can possibly disrupt the activities of an organisation. In order to avoid such disruptions, organisations need to adopt a measured approach towards this change. Accordingly, the purpose of this paper is to investigate the importance of change management to enable sustainable outsourcing of FM services.

Design/methodology/approach

Within commercial building context, the questions of “why change is not managed during outsourcing of FM services” and “how can it be managed” are investigated through case studies.

Findings

Organisations encountered various disagreements due to inadequate management of change during outsourcing. If the changes emanating from outsourcing are not managed satisfactorily, it would result in possible disruptions. However, to make changes happen successfully is one of the most challenging tasks faced by the leadership and corporate management of the organisations.

Originality/value

In order to facilitate the practitioners in the industry, this paper finally offers a framework for change management during outsourcing based on the findings.

Details

Built Environment Project and Asset Management, vol. 6 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2044-124X

Keywords

Content available

Abstract

Details

Built Environment Project and Asset Management, vol. 7 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2044-124X

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