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Abstract
Construction is a labour intensive process and manpower in one of the productive resources in it. Quality is directly related to the performance which is a function of motivational level of workers. Legitimate motivation to the manpower results in the improvement of quality in construction products. The study is based on the data collected from 24 different construction projects sponsored by the government. The data are analysed considering factors affecting morale and motivation of workers and their effect on quality of construction. The results of the survey report are presented in this paper. On the basis of data collected, the authors conclude that construction management, legitimate facilities including job satisfaction, proper training, and presence of some motivational plans etc., result in higher level of performance of workers which ultimately results in improvement of quality in construction. The authors also suggest suitable methods regarding motivation and coordination of manpower to achieve higher levels of quality in construction.

Keywords: Manpower, motivation techniques, construction, quality improvements.

Introduction

Quality is generally defined as “conformance to a standard of performance”[1]. One of the major factors in determining the human performance is their motivational level. The acceptable or normal level of performance can be raised to a considerably higher value if the workers are motivated[7]. Construction is a group activity that depends largely, not only upon the individual worker’s performance but on the coordinated effort of all the members of the Company. In order to improve the performance of workers, an appreciation of the functioning of the manpower and necessary motivation is required.
Chishty and Choudhary concluded that Risk management ensures quality in construction projects[3], Chaudhary M.A. studied the manpower training and its effects upon efficiency of construction projects[4]. Effect of Time requirement upon Economy of construction projects has also been illustrated by M.A.Chaudhary and others[5]. In construction industry, quality is a major part of productivity. Poor quality work often results in rejection and rework which affects productivity and in turn results in time and cost overrun. Since labor costs comprise between 25 to 40 percent of the total project cost, reduced labor cost demand some source of increased productivity[6]. A firm’s productivity is further influenced by production factors other than labor, such as equipment, materials, methods of construction and management. These resources, if properly managed and scheduled can be successfully transformed into productive uses by the human element. The quality of human performance depends much upon human motivation. One of the findings of the workshop “Quality in the Constructed Project” sponsored by American Society of Civil Engineers, was that quality problems are created by the people who lack pride in their work[2]. The situation may be attributed to the work environment, lack of proper management, worker’s training, skill, and of course, motivational level.
Motivational effects upon construction has been analyzed in detail by Maloney and James[8,9], but so far little has been done to correlate the motivation for quality improvement in construction projects. Maximum research work in this direction is based upon motivation theories which are not well accepted in the modern approaches. The recent approach is to introduce motivation programs for the increase of manpower productivity in constructions.
The objectives of the paper are,
1) To get a feedback from construction projects about the need for construction motivation.
2) To introduce factors which can influence manpower motivation.
3) To examine the role of management.
Research Methodology

The data for this study were collected at 24 different Government sponsored projects, ranging in cost from Pak. Rs. 100 millions to Rs. 750 millions approximately. The projects selected for survey work were of different types and of different geographical regions of the country. The range for stage of completion was different. Some were on going whereas maximum percentage of these projects was already completed. The data collected at each of the project consisted questionnaire survey and the interviews of the personnel at the site. The questionnaire was prepared after consultation with experienced personnel attached with the construction work. A team of the undergraduate students were trained for the survey work and the interview work was properly demonstrated at site. The questionnaire mainly related the manpower motivational tools, quality assurance techniques and time period.
The survey team faced great difficulties in the collection of data. The response was not encouraging, as at most of the sites the management hesitated to provide required information. The relative information at some of the sites, was obtained from the lower staff as proper management was not available whereas other sites were not even aware of such motivational plans. At certain organized project sites, this type of survey was very much appreciated and even some additional methods/approaches were conveyed which were ultimately incorporated in the questionnaire.

Discussion Upon Results

FIG. 1: TYPE OF MANAGER IN VARIOUS COMPANIES
FIG. 1: TYPE OF MANAGER IN VARIOUS COMPANIES
In the processing of the collected data, the major interest was to identify the factors influencing motivation of manpower and their productive ability. Quality of construction projects is related to motivation, performance and satisfaction of the manpower. Graphs regarding the factors influencing the quality and efficiency of construction project are shown in figures 1 through 7.

An inspection of the Figures 1 and 2 reveal that management practices are observed by a very small number of companies; only 13% of the companies have qualified, experienced and trained managers and 29% have regular management cell. Similarly, education and other training programs which impart a sense of confidence and result in higher level of performance and motivation in the workers, are also rare; only 21% of the companies surveyed provide educational training to their workers, see fig. 3.

FIG. 2: REGULAR MANAGEMENT CELL IN VARIOUS COMPANIES
FIG. 2: REGULAR MANAGEMENT CELL IN VARIOUS COMPANIES

FIG. 3: TRAINING FACILITIES AT VARIOUS COMPANIES
FIG. 3: TRAINING FACILITIES AT VARIOUS COMPANIES
Another very important factor that usually results in higher levels of performance is the safe working conditions and the presence of some incentive plan further enhances it. However, the conditions regarding safety and motivational plans were not found proper and encouraging. From figures 4 and 5 it is clear that conditions of safety measures at construction sites are extremely poor; only one out of all twenty four companies surveyed has its own safety manual, and same company has motivational plans for its employees.
FIG. 4: MOTIVATIONAL PLANS WITH VARIOUS COMPANIES
FIG. 4: MOTIVATIONAL PLANS WITH VARIOUS COMPANIES


FIG. 5: SAFETY PRACTICES AT VARIOUS COMPANIES
FIG. 5: SAFETY PRACTICES AT VARIOUS COMPANIES
Fig. 6 and Fig. 7 show the time and cost overrun for various projects. The projects which suffered maximum delay in completion and increase in cost are those which had a combination of the factors discussed above.
FIG. 6: COST OVERRUN FOR VARIOUS PROJECTS
FIG. 6: COST OVERRUN FOR VARIOUS PROJECTS
FIG. 7: DELAY IN COMPLETION TIME OF PROJECTS
FIG. 7: DELAY IN COMPLETION TIME OF PROJECTS
Some of the other factors resulted in lower performance level include frequent Hiring and Firing, and Lack of Security against employment to workers. Similarly, on-site conditions like improper Site Layouts, Crew Interference, Unavailability of Required Materials at proper time affected severely the morale and motivation of workers. Frequent Design Changes and Untimely Quality Inspections resulted in poor workmanship. On the other hand, on projects which were completed on time and within initial estimated costs, least amount of rework was reported. This was mainly due to the presence of Qualified Construction Manager on the site, and trained workers. Previous experience of workers on similar projects further enhanced the productivity and quality. On these projects, most of the equipment was owned by the owner and proper alternative arrangements in case of failure of an equipment were available. Similarly, safe working conditions and presence of incentives resulted in higher level of performance, productivity and hence improved quality.

Conclusions and Recommendations

Based upon the collected data, the authors have reached at following conclusions and recommendations:
1. At most of the projects, the quality problems were mainly due to the factors affecting morale and motivation of the workers. Absence of qualified construction manager in the team was the most obvious one. To enhance the performance level of workers, inclusion of qualified project manager in the construction team must be a prerequisite. This may be included in the conditions of pre-qualification of the contractors, and minimum qualification of the manager must be specified at the time of award of the project.
2. Lack of education and training of workers resulted in poor quality work. In an industry like Construction, the problem may be solved, to a large extent, by issuing instructions about that day’s work to Foremen and Supervisors every morning in 15–20 minutes before the start of the work. These instructions should include the scope of work for the day. These First-Line managers then may be advised to convey the same to the
workers.
3. Lack or absence of incentives and motivational plans is another factor that affects quality/efficiency in construction. In this regard, it may prove to be quite encouraging that at the end of each milestone, those who have shown best performance or have improved during that time, be rewarded. These rewards may include financial or nonfinancial rewards or a combination of the two.
4. Unsafe working conditions lead to the feeling of fear because of the impending danger. This results in decreased concentration to work and hence low productivity and poor quality work. In order to enhance quality in construction, it is suggested that proper safety measures be ensured as per conditions of the project. The prevailing situation may be improved by educating the workers about safety everyday before the start of the work.

References

1. Ashford J.L. 1989 “The Management of Quality in construction”, E. & F.N.Spon Ltd. 29 West Street N.Y.
2. Chishty M.S., “Improving Construction Quality Through Improving Motivation”, Scholarly Paper submitted to Department of Civil Engineering, University of Maryland, U.S.A, in partial fulfilment of requirements for degree of Master of Science, 1992
3. Chishty M.S., Choudhary M.A., “Risk Management Ensures Quality in Construction Projects”, International Conference on “The Concrete Future” 9–11 Feb. 1993, Kualalumpur, Malysia.
4. Choudhry M.A. et. al. “Trained Manpower Efficiency in Construction Projects”, International Symposium on Property Maintenance and Modernisation, 7–9 March, (1990), Singapore.
5. Choudhry M.A. et. al. “Effect of Time Requirement upon Economy of Construction projects (Survey Report), 10th International Conference CIB 86 Congress on advancing Building Technology, Sept. 21–26, (1986), Washington, USA.
6. Laufer Alexander & Jenkins Douglas G., Dec. 1982. “Motivating the Construction Workers”, Journal of Construction Division, ASCE, Vol. 108, No. CO4, (531–545)
7. Maloney William F., “Employee Involvement in Constuction” Graduate course Handout ENCE 667. Spring 1991.
8. Maloney William F., James M.McFillen, “Motivation Implications of Construction Work”, Journal of Construction Engineering & Management, Vol.112. No.1. March 1986
9. Maloney William F., James M.McFillen, “Motivation in Unionized Construction”, Journal of Construction Engineering & Management, Vol. 112. No.1. March 1986

Authors

Professor Mohammad Safdar Chishty is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Civil Engineering, University of Engineering and Technology, Lahore, Pakistan. His current research is in the areas of construction management and energy conservation in construction.
Professor Mahboob Ali Choudhry is a Professor in the Department of Civil Engineering, University of Engineering and Technology, Lahore, Pakistan, and has been involved in research for a considerable period of time in the area of construction management. He has travelled widely and has 40 publications to his name.








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