The impacts of workforce integration on productivity
Abstract The construction industry remains one of the most labour-intensive, project-based industries in the UK that contributes significantly to the economy. This contribution justifies the need for on-site labour productivity improvements. However, productivity improvements have conventionally focused on improving the work content and environment from a managerial perspective, with comparatively little regard for workforce issues across different levels of the construction workforce. It is therefore essential to re-examine the factors affecting construction labour productivity, especially those that are pertinent to on-site labour. In the context of the growing importance of employee involvement, this chapter presents observational research findings from two case studies that illustrate practical examples of employee involvement initiatives supporting the notion that embracing differences of perspectives between white-collar managers and blue-collar operatives could lead to the attainment of high productivity levels on-site. The study also reaffirms the significance of benign paternalism and qualifies the need to supplement such a paternalistic approach with the management of controllable aspects of productivity. Furthermore, the discovery of the existence of social cliques offers a potential insight into how a transient workforce could be managed at the project level.