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Article
Publication date: 16 January 2017

Yan Chang-Richards, Suzanne Wilkinson, Erica Seville and David Brunsdon

The purpose of this paper is to empirically investigate the effects of a major disaster on the management of human resources in the construction sector. It sets out to…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to empirically investigate the effects of a major disaster on the management of human resources in the construction sector. It sets out to identify the construction skills challenges and the factors that affected skills availability following the 2010/2011 earthquakes in Christchurch. It is hoped that this study will provide insights for on-going reconstruction and future disaster response with respect to the problem of skills shortages.

Design/methodology/approach

A triangulation method was adopted. The quantitative method, namely, a questionnaire survey, was employed to provide a baseline description. Field observations and interviews were used as a follow-up to ascertain issues and potential shortages over time. Three focus groups in the form of research workshops were convened to gain further insight into the feedback and to investigate the validity and applicability of the research findings.

Findings

The earthquakes in Christchurch had compounded the pre-existing skills shortages in the country due to heightened demand from reconstruction. Skills shortages primarily existed in seismic assessment and design for land and structures, certain trades, project management and site supervision. The limited technical capability available nationally, shortage of temporary accommodation to house additional workers, time needed for trainees to become skilled workers, lack of information about reconstruction workloads and lack of operational capacity within construction organisations, were critical constraints to the resourcing of disaster recovery projects.

Research limitations/implications

The research findings contribute to the debate on skills issues in construction. The study provides evidence that contributes to an improved understanding of the industry’s skills vulnerability and emerging issues that would likely exist after a major disaster in a resource-limited country such as New Zealand.

Practical implications

From this research, decision makers and construction organisations can gain a clear direction for improving the construction capacity and capability for on-going reconstruction. Factors that affected the post-earthquake skills availability can be considered by decision makers and construction organisations in their workforce planning for future disaster events. The recommendations will assist them in addressing skills shortages for on-going reconstruction.

Originality/value

Although the study is country-specific, the findings show the nature and scale of skills challenges the construction industry is likely to face following a major disaster, and the potential issues that may compound skills shortages. It provides lessons for other disaster-prone countries where the resource pool is small and a large number of additional workers are needed to undertake reconstruction.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 24 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

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Article
Publication date: 16 March 2021

Olabode Adekunle Ayodele, Yan Chang-Richards and Vicente A. González

The purpose of this paper is to identify critical factors that affect labour turnover in the New Zealand construction sector and develop a framework for addressing this issue.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to identify critical factors that affect labour turnover in the New Zealand construction sector and develop a framework for addressing this issue.

Design/methodology/approach

A mixed-method approach was adopted. A questionnaire survey combined with interviews was used to capture the personal experiences and views of 157 construction workers regarding labour turnover.

Findings

The statistical analysis revealed that level of pay, employment relationships, employee welfare, opportunities for career development, commuting distance to work and domestic relationships were the top five factors considered as primary determinants leading to the turnover decisions of most of those surveyed. Factor analysis further categorised the critical factors in three categories, namely, (1) nature of the job, (2) employee satisfaction and (3) employer commitment to staff retention and development.

Practical implications

While high labour turnover rates take a toll on many construction businesses, the findings from this research will hopefully provide guidance on areas of improvement to create a sustainable construction workforce at both organisational and sectoral levels.

Originality/value

Although the study is New Zealand-focused, it increases understanding of the factors affecting labour turnover in the construction sector, and the framework developed will provide construction organisations with directions in workforce retention and development to reduce the effects of labour turnover on organisational performance.

Details

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

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Article
Publication date: 19 July 2021

Xichen Chen, Alice Yan Chang-Richards, Antony Pelosi, Yaodong Jia, Xuesong Shen, Mohsin K. Siddiqui and Nan Yang

With interest in modern construction methods and new technologies on the rise, construction companies globally are increasingly looking at how to embrace new ideas and…

Abstract

Purpose

With interest in modern construction methods and new technologies on the rise, construction companies globally are increasingly looking at how to embrace new ideas and engage with new approaches to do things better. A significant amount of work has been carried out investigating the use of individual technologies in the construction sector. However, there is no holistic understanding of the new and emerging technologies that have had proven benefits for construction projects. To fill this gap, this paper aims to provide a landscape of technologies that have been implemented in the construction industry and the benefits associated with their implementation.

Design/methodology/approach

A systematic review approach and PRISMA guidelines were used. A total of 175 articles published between 2001 and 2020 were identified and thoroughly reviewed.

Findings

The results show that a total of 26 technologies were identified from the literature, and these can be categorised into five groups in terms of their functionality in construction process, namely: (1) data acquisition, (2) analytics, (3) visualisation, (4) communication and (5) design and construction automation. Digital technologies, especially for data acquisition and visualisation, generally appear to underpin and enable innovation in many aspects of construction. Improvements in work efficiency, health and safety, productivity, quality and sustainability have been cited as being the primary benefits of using these technologies. Of these, building information modelling (BIM) appears to be the single most commonly used technology thus far. With the development of computer technology, BIM has constantly been used in combination with other technologies/tools such as unmanned aerial vehicles/systems (unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV)/UAS), geographic information systems (GIS), light detection and ranging (LiDAR) and multidimensional modelling to realise a specifically defined benefit.

Practical implications

The findings from this review would help construction practitioners identify the types of technologies that can be implemented in different stages of construction projects to achieve desired outcomes, and thus, make appropriate decisions on technology investment and adoption. This review also suggests that to reap the full potential that these technologies offer, aside from construction companies changing their culture and business models, corresponding changes in the construction sector’s operating systems related to building regulation, education and training, as well as contracting and procurement are required.

Originality/value

This paper undertakes a comprehensive systematic review of studies on technology implementation in the construction sector published between 2001 and 2020. It is the first attempt internationally to provide a holistic picture of technologies that have been studied and implemented in construction projects.

Details

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

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Article
Publication date: 11 April 2016

Suzanne Wilkinson, Alice Yan Chang-Richards, Zulkfli Sapeciay and Seosamh B. Costello

Improving the resilience of the construction sector helps countries recover quicker from crises and can assist with improving community resilience and recovery. This study…

Abstract

Purpose

Improving the resilience of the construction sector helps countries recover quicker from crises and can assist with improving community resilience and recovery. This study aims to explore ways in which the construction sector might improve its resilience.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper examined past disasters and the role construction plays to understand what and how better construction resilience can be built, and the impact this will have on recovery and reconstruction.

Findings

The findings showed that after a crisis, the construction sector is called upon to manage building and infrastructure recovery and reconstruction. Construction organisations are needed by the community, as they provide physical resources, people, materials, logistics, management and technical expertise and rebuilding. To ensure that recovery and reconstruction programs are successfully implemented, it is necessary for the construction sector to be resilient. To achieve improved resilience in the construction industry, disaster resilience management needs to become mainstreamed into construction processes.

Research limitations/implications

Although larger organisations have some preparation to respond to crises, including having emergency or disaster plans, smaller companies struggle to achieve a reasonable level of resilience. It appears that senior management and key people in construction organisations are familiar with the procedures but that the majority of staff in organisations lack knowledge and skills.

Practical implications

Understanding the role the construction sector plays in disasters and providing directions for improving construction sector resilience will ultimately improve recovery and reconstruction outcomes.

Social Implications

This paper discusses how communities rely on services provided by construction organisations to enable them to recover from emergencies and crises. Pre-disaster construction company resilience impacts on the ability of construction companies to function post-disaster.

Originality/value

This paper focuses on a number of cases and shows where and how the construction sector has worked in disasters and provides a new analysis of the role the industry plays, and the various disaster stages where the industry has maximum impact.

Details

International Journal of Disaster Resilience in the Built Environment, vol. 7 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1759-5908

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Article
Publication date: 22 July 2021

Shawn Hezron Charles, Alice Yan Chang-Richards and Tak Wing Yiu

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the literature on resilience factors applied to post-disaster reconstruction projects and to develop a guiding framework to…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the literature on resilience factors applied to post-disaster reconstruction projects and to develop a guiding framework to assist in their strategic selection and application.

Design/methodology/approach

A systematic review was undertaken on the literature’s account in four major bibliographic databases to elicit resilience factors contributing to improving post-disaster reconstruction projects' robustness. Through summative content analysis and open-coding of research outputs over the past decade, the factors identified informed the development of a conceptual framework that can significantly impact the built environment’s resilience development process.

Findings

The review found 24 resilience factors open-coded into five criteria groups: governance, innovations, reconstruction approaches, resource management and stakeholder expectations. While these factors have influenced reconstruction projects, the recently increased participation of clients and end-users in construction management accentuates their strategic selection and applications.

Research limitations/implications

The research focused on English language articles; therefore, any claim to a comprehensive resilience factors listing can be amiss. The framework provides a platform for developing clear measurement indicators for allocating project resources and determining resilience deficiencies.

Practical implications

Results confirm the designs and assessment of a resilient built environment extends beyond the traditional structural characteristics, but includes the ability of the integrated network of buildings and infrastructure to support the continuous delivery of the community’s social and economic services in normal and post-disaster settings.

Originality/value

The review is very specific as it attempts to develop a novel conceptual framework for guiding developers and practitioners in the application of resiliency to post-disaster reconstruction projects.

Details

International Journal of Disaster Resilience in the Built Environment, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1759-5908

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Article
Publication date: 11 June 2018

Tinu Rose Francis, Suzanne Wilkinson, Sandeeka Mannakkara and Alice Chang-Richards

The 2010/2011 Canterbury earthquakes were one of the most devastating events in New Zealand’s history. Due to the large scale of disruption and losses, the central…

Abstract

Purpose

The 2010/2011 Canterbury earthquakes were one of the most devastating events in New Zealand’s history. Due to the large scale of disruption and losses, the central government created a separate body, the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA), to manage and oversee recovery activities. Working with local authorities and stakeholders, CERA plays a major role in driving the recovery in Christchurch. This paper aims to analyse CERA’s decision-making process and the effects of some of its critical decisions on the recovery outcomes. The paper takes a “build back better” (BBB) perspective to understand the decisions taken and processes used.

Design/methodology/approach

The case study adopted a mixed-methods research design (Creswell, 2013) and was conducted by reviewing official CERA documents and publications related to its recovery assessments and by conducting interviews with key officials from CERA. Collecting data from both qualitative and quantitative data sources enabled the process of triangulation.

Findings

Lessons learned from the Canterbury experience in terms of recovery best practices are reported. CERA’s recovery policy aimed to give confidence to the community and renew and revitalise the damaged city. Compared with the BBB theory, the community-driven recovery strategy and the multi-stakeholder approach worked well. Other critical decisions aligned with the BBB theory include land zoning, empowering community and integration with existing developmental plans.

Originality/value

BBB can be used as a tool for the implementation of recovery and restoration measures following a large disaster. However, a set of practical indicators to measure the level of BBB is needed.

Details

International Journal of Disaster Resilience in the Built Environment, vol. 9 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1759-5908

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Article
Publication date: 14 October 2021

Shawn H. Charles, Alice Chang-Richards and (Kenneth) Tak Wing Yiu

The purpose of this study is to elicit the success factors from empirical evidence, as construction industry requires an improved understanding of factors for managing…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to elicit the success factors from empirical evidence, as construction industry requires an improved understanding of factors for managing projects to positive outcomes. Increased stakeholder involvement, including the new technologies, achieving sustainability and safeguarding health and safety, whilst at the same time facing uncertainties, it is crucial to examine whether there are new factors that drive construction projects to succeed, especially from a value-driven perspective.

Design/methodology/approach

Using a systematic review approach, this research reviewed 172 studies published after 2004. When compared to a comprehensive project success factor framework presented by Chan et al. in 2004, 19 factors are considered new since 2004.

Findings

Though several scholarly outputs highlighted significant improvements to project operations and innovations in equipment and techniques, there has not been a comprehensive oversight since Chan’s et al. (2004) conceptual framework. This paper investigates 16 years of industry changes and identified two new success factors categories (innovation and sustainability) and 19 new factors that add to Chan’s et al. (2004) study. Consequently, a new framework of factors affecting project success was developed.

Originality/value

This paper was very specific in its attempt to find the new and additional success factors for managing construction projects. A new conceptual framework, which includes the newly identified factors, was then developed that will create a greater awareness of stakeholders’ concerns and ultimately contribute to significant improvement in developing project objectives and defining success measures.

Details

Construction Innovation , vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1471-4175

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Article
Publication date: 29 March 2021

Shawn Hezron Charles, Alice Chang-Richards and Tak Wing Yiu

This paper aims to investigate the emergence of new success measures for buildings and infrastructure post-disaster reconstruction projects, beyond the traditional ”iron…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to investigate the emergence of new success measures for buildings and infrastructure post-disaster reconstruction projects, beyond the traditional ”iron triangle”, which have gained prominence with the increased involvement of clients and end-users in these projects. Consequently, the industry is obliged to reconsider the critical factors regarding what constitutes a successful outcome from the perspectives of these stakeholders.

Design/methodology/approach

Data was gathered from end-users in four Caribbean islands using a questionnaire survey on eight empirical success indicators obtained from an extensive systematic literature review. To elicit a ranking and correlations amongst the end-user’ perspectives on the indicators, factor analysis and structural equation modelling techniques (SEM) were conducted.

Findings

The factor analysis found “safety” to be the most important empirical success measure, while “change” ranked the least important. Correlation analysis using SEM identified two new composite indicators, namely, “competence” with delivering timely and quality environmentally friendly and sustainable projects and “adaptability” in ensuring project objectives reflect beneficiaries’ expectations amidst internal and external influences, to be critical of end-users’ measurement indicators that describe their assessment mechanism. Measurement and structural models validated “safety” and “satisfaction” to be the highest loading variables in the two composites, respectively.

Research limitations/implications

The research focussed on findings in English language articles; therefore, any claim to a complete list of indicators from the literature can be amiss.

Practical implications

Results confirm the traditional “iron triangle” of time, cost and quality to be limited in assessing reconstruction project outcomes and the views and expectations of the potential beneficiaries need to be factored in the planning, design, execution and post-handover stages in all reconstruction projects.

Originality/value

This paper was very specific in its attempt to investigate new success indicators for reconstruction project outcomes, aiming to assist with developing comprehensive project objectives that resonate with all stakeholder groups.

Details

International Journal of Disaster Resilience in the Built Environment, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1759-5908

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Article
Publication date: 29 March 2011

Chun‐Fei Hsu, Chien‐Jung Chiu and Jang‐Zern Tsai

The proportional‐integral‐derivative (PID) controller has been a practical application in industry due to its simple architecture, being easily designed and its parameter…

Abstract

Purpose

The proportional‐integral‐derivative (PID) controller has been a practical application in industry due to its simple architecture, being easily designed and its parameter tuning without complicated computation. However, the traditional PID controller usually needs some manual retuning before being used for practical application in industry. The purpose of this paper is to propose an auto‐tuning PID controller (ATPIDC) which can automatically tune the controller parameters based on the gradient descent method and the Lyapunov stability theorem. Finally, a field‐programmable gate array (FPGA) chip is adopted to implement the proposed ATPIDC scheme for possible low‐cost and high‐performance industrial applications, and it is applied to a DC servomotor to show its effectiveness.

Design/methodology/approach

To ensure the stability of the intelligent control system, a compensator usually should be designed. The most frequently used compensator is designed as a sliding‐mode control, which results in substantial chattering in the control effort. To tackle this problem, the proposed ATPIDC system is composed of a PID controller and a fuzzy compensator. The PID controller can automatically tune the gain factors of the controller gains based on the gradient descent method, and the fuzzy compensator is utilized to eliminate approximation error based on the Lyapunov stability theorem. The proposed fuzzy compensator not only can remove the chattering phenomena of conventional sliding‐mode control completely, but also can guarantee the stability of the closed‐loop system.

Findings

The proposed ATPIDC system is applied to a DC servomotor on a FPGA chip. The hardware implementation of the ATPIDC scheme is developed in a real‐time mode. Using the FPGA to implement, the ATPIDC system can achieve the characteristics of small size, fast execution speed and less memory. A comparison among the fuzzy sliding‐mode control, adaptive robust PID control and the proposed ATPIDC is made. Experimental results verify a better position tracking response can be achieved by the proposed ATPIDC method after control parameters training.

Originality/value

The proposed ATPIDC approach is interesting for the design of an intelligent control scheme. An on‐line parameter training methodology, using the gradient descent method and the Lyapunov stability theorem, is proposed to increase the learning capability. The experimental results verify the system stabilization, favorable tracking performance and no chattering phenomena can be achieved by using the proposed ATPIDC system. Also, the proposed ATPIDC methodology can be easily extended to other motors.

Details

International Journal of Intelligent Computing and Cybernetics, vol. 4 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1756-378X

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Article
Publication date: 10 July 2017

Abdelrahman E.E. Eltoukhy, Felix T.S. Chan and S.H. Chung

The purpose of this paper is twofold: first to carry out a comprehensive literature review for state of the art regarding airline schedule planning and second to identify…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is twofold: first to carry out a comprehensive literature review for state of the art regarding airline schedule planning and second to identify some new research directions that might help academic researchers and practitioners.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors mainly focus on the research work appeared in the last three decades. The search process was conducted in database searches using four keywords: “Flight scheduling,” “Fleet assignment,” “Aircraft maintenance routing” (AMR), and “Crew scheduling”. Moreover, the combination of the keywords was used to find the integrated models. Any duplications due to database variety and the articles that were written in non-English language were discarded.

Findings

The authors studied 106 research papers and categorized them into five categories. In addition, according to the model features, subcategories were further identified. Moreover, after discussing up-to-date research work, the authors suggested some future directions in order to contribute to the existing literature.

Research limitations/implications

The presented categories and subcategories were based on the model characteristics rather than the model formulation and solution methodology that are commonly used in the literature. One advantage of this classification is that it might help scholars to deeply understand the main variation between the models. On the other hand, identifying future research opportunities should help academic researchers and practitioners to develop new models and improve the performance of the existing models.

Practical implications

This study proposed some considerations in order to enhance the efficiency of the schedule planning process practically, for example, using the dynamic Stackelberg game strategy for market competition in flight scheduling, considering re-fleeting mechanism under heterogeneous fleet for fleet assignment, and considering the stochastic departure and arrival times for AMR.

Originality/value

In the literature, all the review papers focused only on one category of the five categories. Then, this category was classified according to the model formulation and solution methodology. However, in this work, the authors attempted to propose a comprehensive review for all categories for the first time and develop new classifications for each category. The proposed classifications are hence novel and significant.

Details

Industrial Management & Data Systems, vol. 117 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-5577

Keywords

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