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Productivity improvements: understand the workforce perceptions of productivity first

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Purpose ‐ To establish the differences between the perceptions of white-collar managers and blue-collar workers with respect to the factors that affect construction labour productivity, and to show that integrating the differences could lead to productivity improvements. Design/methodology/approach ‐ A questionnaire survey administered to a purposive sample of 400 project managers and a convenience sample of 152 construction workers, eliciting current trends of their perceptions towards 59 factors that were extracted from an extensive literature review and exploratory study. This was followed by the identification of good practice examples from site observations across two project sites. Findings ‐ The study found distinct differences between the two groups, with white-collar managers being more concerned with resource planning issues and the blue-collar workers placing more value on the utilisation of resources. Furthermore, the site observations demonstrated that integrating these differences through employee involvement could lead to productivity improvements. Originality/value ‐ The study should extend previous productivity research, which had hitherto focussed on shorter-term work content and work environment factors from a managerial perspective, with relatively lesser focus on the perspective of the general workforce.

Keywords: Blue collar workers; Construction industry; Employee involvement; Employee productivity; United Kingdom; White collar workers

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: June 12, 2007


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