What Is the Construction Foreman Really Like—

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

Serial Information: Journal of the Construction Division, 1977, Vol. 103, Issue 1, Pg. 71-85

Document Type: Journal Paper


By interviewing 65 construction managers and field supervisors, the first-line supervisor's job is studied to develop a better understanding of what constitutes effective foremanship. An analysis of the tabular interview data and comments from owners of general contracting and subcontracting firms, project managers, superintendents, and foremen highlighted considerable differences of opinion of what role the foreman serves on a construction site. The information on motivation to become and remain a foreman, reasons for quitting, differences between more and less productive field supervisors, and differences between foremen and journeymen are examined to assist management in the selection of future foremen and development of additional training programs to improve a foreman's management skills. In addition, current procedures for foreman selection, evaluation, recognition and compensation are reviewed to develop alternative methods that would improve foreman motivation, job satisfaction, and productivity.

Subject Headings: Construction management | Managers | Information management | Construction sites | Motivation | Employee compensation and benefits | Job satisfaction | Owners

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