Management Impacts on Labor Productivity

by Robert D. Logcher, (M.ASCE), Prof. of Civ. Engrg.; Massachusetts Inst. of Tech., Cambridge, Mass.,
William W. Collins, Lieutenant; Civ. Engr. Corps, U.S. Navy, Public Works Center, Great Lakes, Ill.,

Serial Information: Journal of the Construction Division, 1978, Vol. 104, Issue 4, Pg. 447-461

Document Type: Journal Paper


This paper uses a simplified model of specific building operations in order to recognize and determine basic influences of management on labor productivity. By making continuous on-site observations of many jobs of the same building operation with differing levels of management, the effect of management actions on labor productivity can be determined. By modeling the building operation around one of its major activities that has a quantifiable labor input and work output, a variety of jobs can be compared in spite of their lack of similarity. It is suggested that by applying the measurable work rate of the modeled activity to the percentage of productive work, a labor productivity index can be derived and used for comparison. The study indicated that labor productivity, even in a trade as simple as tile laying, can be improved 100% or better where work specialization, work supervisation, on-site coordination, job security, motivations, and long-term pacing are employed and encouraged.

Subject Headings: Labor | Productivity | Building management | Professional societies | Comparative studies | Tiles | Security | Motivation

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