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Article
Publication date: 1 January 1996

GARY D. HOLT, PAUL O. OLOMOLAIYE and FRANK C. HARRIS

The procedural and administrative aspects of UK tendering have remained largely unaltered for decades but this may soon change in light of the recent review of the…

Abstract

The procedural and administrative aspects of UK tendering have remained largely unaltered for decades but this may soon change in light of the recent review of the construction sector, headed by Sir Michael Latham. This paper presents findings of a nationwide survey of UK construction contractors assessing their opinion of the Latham procurement recommendations, along with their opinion of the authors' proposals for alternative selection procedure. Contractor usage/opinion of current tendering methods, tendering documentation and contractual arrangements are also identified. Analysis techniques primarily involve the derivation of contractor preference, agreement and importance indices (Pri, Agi and Imi respectively). Results show that clients are attempting to cut costs by increased use of open tendering coupled with plan and specification tender documentation, but that savings are offset by clients ultimately paying for contractors' costs associated with their achieving contract award for only 1 in 5 bids. Generally, contractors are in tune with the ideals of the Latham review and characteristics pertaining to the HOLT (Highlight Optimum Legitimate Tender) selection technique.

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Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 3 no. 1/2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 1998

D.G. PROVERBS, G.D. HOLT and P.O. OLOMOLAIYE

A contrast of site productivity levels for an in situ concrete operation (reinforcement fixing) on a high‐rise project amongst construction contractors from Germany…

Abstract

A contrast of site productivity levels for an in situ concrete operation (reinforcement fixing) on a high‐rise project amongst construction contractors from Germany, France and the UK is given. The productivity rates provided by contractors' planning engineers for a model construction project form the basis of this evaluation. Conclusions drawn, based on relatively small samples, are considered approximations of the actual productivity levels in each international location. An analysis of variance based on international origin indicates significant differences between these productivity rates. Generally, amongst the sample surveyed, UK and German contractors exhibit the most efficient levels of labour productivity for the operations observed, whilst French contractors are by far the least productive. For the model building, UK contractors are the most productive, requiring less labour input than those from Germany and France. The UK contractors also demonstrate a high degree of performance variation. Leading on from these analyses, a construction (labour) cost comparison indicates the UK to be the most economic location. A comparison with previous research indicates contrasting findings. It is concluded that the performance ranking of French, German and UK contractors will vary depending upon the construction operations concerned, and therefore, assumptions regarding national contracting industries should not be based on individual operations. Contractors could benefit from developing closer links with their international counterparts since this would facilitate dissemination of European ‘best practice’.

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Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 5 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

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Article
Publication date: 1 January 1998

STEPHEN O. OGUNLANA and WEI PIEN CHANG

The groundbreaking works of Maslow and Herzberg have been used by many researchers on construction worker motivation. These two classical theorists were used as the basis…

Abstract

The groundbreaking works of Maslow and Herzberg have been used by many researchers on construction worker motivation. These two classical theorists were used as the basis for a survey of needs, motivators and demotivators on high‐rise building construction sites in Bangkok, Thailand. The needs and felt motivators of construction workers in Bangkok are low on the Maslow hierarchy. The agreement between workers and supervisors regarding needs is strong. However, the agreement on motivators and demotivators is rather weak. This may lead to the use of inappropriate methods for motivating workers. A comparison of the results of the present survey with other studies showed that attempts to motivate workers should take cognizance of the cultural context in order to achieve good results.

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Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 5 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

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Article
Publication date: 1 January 1994

GARY D. HOLT, PAUL O. OLOMOLAIYE and FRANK C. HARRIS

A quantitative contractor selection technique which embraces the pre‐qualification, evaluation and final selection processes is being developed. The emphasis is on…

Abstract

A quantitative contractor selection technique which embraces the pre‐qualification, evaluation and final selection processes is being developed. The emphasis is on evaluating contractors' performance potential in terms of their ability to achieve time, cost and quality standards. This approach is in contrast to the majority of current selection techniques which tend to prequalify, then discriminate predominantly on the cost component of tenders. The conceptual model is applied to a hypothetical but realistic scenario of a contractor competing for a small industrial contract. This illustrates the mechanics of the new technique, emphasizing that contractor selection should include identifying the contractor with the best performance potential and not merely the lowest bidder.

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Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 1 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2001

M. SÖNMEZ, J.B. YANG and G.D. HOLT

Selecting the ‘best’ main contractor is a complex decision process for construction clients. It requires a large number of criteria to be simultaneously measured and…

Abstract

Selecting the ‘best’ main contractor is a complex decision process for construction clients. It requires a large number of criteria to be simultaneously measured and evaluated. Many of these criteria are related to one another in a complex way and therefore, they very often conflict insofar as improvement in one often results in decline of another(s). Furthermore, as contractors' attributes are expressed in both quantitative and qualitative terms, decision‐makers have to base their judgements on both quantitative data and experiential subjective assessments. In this paper, the evidential reasoning (ER) approach (which is capable of processing both quantitative and qualitative measures) is applied as a means of solving the contractor selection problem (CSP). The process of building a multiple criteria decision model of a hierarchical structure is presented, in which both quantitative and qualitative information is represented in a unified manner. The CSP is then fully investigated using the ER approach. Both the advantages of applying this model in practice and the analysis process itself are discussed.

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Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 8 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 1998

D.G. PROVERBS, G.D. HOLT and P.O. OLOMOLAIYE

The present investigation utilizes a bespoke methodology to analyse and compare the productivity rates of contractors' planning engineers for concrete placing operations…

Abstract

The present investigation utilizes a bespoke methodology to analyse and compare the productivity rates of contractors' planning engineers for concrete placing operations amongst three European construction industries, namely Germany, France and the UK. An analysis of variance (anova) was used to investigate differences between the productivity rates. Based on such rates, the analysis shows that German contractors achieve the most efficient levels of labour productivity for this particular operation, whilst amongst the sample surveyed, British contractors are less productive than French and German companies. Although leading British contractors can compete with the best on the continent, the least productive companies in the UK sample were inferior to the least productive in France and Germany. Using national all‐in rates for labour, actual (labour) costs for this concrete operation were calculated to be lowest in France despite French wage rates being marginally higher than in the UK. This was because of the superior labour output of French contractors. The apparent lower productivity of British firms sampled in the present research concurs with the findings of two other international studies, indicating that the methodology utilized can provide meaningful and accurate productivity information.

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Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 5 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 2017

Youssef G. Saad

A considerable proportion of donor aid is dedicated to technical assistance to support developing countries in their development initiatives. The majority of this aid…

Abstract

A considerable proportion of donor aid is dedicated to technical assistance to support developing countries in their development initiatives. The majority of this aid comes from globally-operating international donors including the World Bank and the European Union. In spite of several harmonization attempts, there still exist major differences in their procurement regulations and standard contracts. Based on an extensive literature review on consulting services and an in-depth analysis of the standard forms of contract, it was found that divergence between both forms is not only clear but also paradigmatic owing mainly to market orientation paradigm differences. The findings and recommendations help advance research on and practice of various types of consultancy services in general.

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Journal of Public Procurement, vol. 17 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1535-0118

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 2001

D.G. PROVERBS and O.O. FANIRAN

International research concerning the comparative performance and practices of construction contractors from three European countries (UK, France and Germany) has been…

Abstract

International research concerning the comparative performance and practices of construction contractors from three European countries (UK, France and Germany) has been previously reported. The research has recently been extended to include Australian construction companies, thereby providing the potential for further exploring international contractor performance, the results of which are herein presented. The research methodology involves a questionnaire survey of contractors whereby a hypothetical high rise in situ concrete building is presented to respondents. Participants of the survey are asked to provide various performance data and preferred construction practices for this building. Results suggest that French contractors acquire the fastest construction speeds closely followed by those from Australia. Construction practices are similar in the UK and Australia, which contrast with French and German practice whose preferences were also found to be different. Findings suggest Australian contractors achieve higher levels of performance than those from the UK whilst implementing similar practices. Further research is needed to investigate the cause of the performance disparity found to exist in these two countries.

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Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 8 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

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Article
Publication date: 1 January 2001

G.L. GILBERT and D.H.T. WALKER

As a result of sustained gender imbalance in the construction industry, research continues in the fields of attraction and retention of female employees. In Melbourne…

Abstract

As a result of sustained gender imbalance in the construction industry, research continues in the fields of attraction and retention of female employees. In Melbourne, Australia, an investigative survey was carried out to evaluate the relationship between motivation at work and gender. The survey also aimed to ascertain if professional men and women in the construction industry were motivated and demotivated by the same variables. The research concluded that there was no statistically significant difference in total motivation and demotivation levels between male and female employees. There were, however, significant differences with regard to the perceived attractiveness and unattractiveness of certain work place and job characteristics. Some characteristics were not gender discriminatory in their unattractiveness. Evidence presented in this paper can lead to a useful re‐appraisal of how the construction industry can create a more attractive workplace environment that entices more employees of either gender to remain in the industry.

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Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 8 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 1996

DAVID G. PROVERBS, PAUL O. OLOMOLAIYE and FRANK C. HARRIS

The results of a model based survey of contractors' planning engineers in France and the UK suggest that planned completion times for constructing an identical high‐rise…

Abstract

The results of a model based survey of contractors' planning engineers in France and the UK suggest that planned completion times for constructing an identical high‐rise in situ concrete framed structure are significantly and dramatically lower in France than in the UK. Average planned construction periods in France were 13 weeks, some 9 weeks faster than the UK average of 22 weeks. Since planned construction periods reflect past experience, French contractors apparently achieve superior levels of production performance whilst at the same time working fewer hours per week, utilizing directly employed workers and employing fewer supervisors. If such planned completion times are truly representative, the findings indicate comparatively poor UK contractor performance, and signify future problems for the British builder in the emerging European marketplace. The causes of such poor performance are complicated, but based on indicative French best practices: production is enhanced when scheduled overtime is avoided, a directly employed and mainly skilled workforce is engaged, and a maximum working time of 40 hours per week is the norm rather than the exception.

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Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 3 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

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