Participative Decision Making in Construction

by John D. Borcherding, (M.ASCE), Asst. Prof. of Architectural and Civ. Engrg.; The Univ. of Texas, Austin, Tex.,

Serial Information: Journal of the Construction Division, 1977, Vol. 103, Issue 4, Pg. 567-575

Document Type: Journal Paper


Since industrial and governmental organizations have successfully employed participative decision making to improve job satisfaction and productivity, this behavioral science concept was also considered to be a useful motivator on construction projects. Foremen make many of the day-to-day decisions that are required to keep a project on schedule and within cost. In addition, foremen participate with project management in the establishment of job policies such as coffee breaks and crew sizes. Journeymen participate with foremen in methods selection decisions and assist with the integration of work among trades. There is a willingness among foremen to accept suggestions so that journeymen become more involved with the project, and possibly increase their productivity to insure that their ideas save time or effort. Considering the importance of lower level decision making in construction, this may be the only industry where participative decision making occurs due to the challenge of the work environment rather than as an organizational behavior scheme to improve output.

Subject Headings: Decision making | Construction management | Business organizations | Productivity | Government | Job satisfaction | Motivation | Scheduling

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