Motivating Foremen on Large Construction Projects

by Nancy Morse Samelson, Research Assoc.; Civ. Engrg. Stanford Univ., Stanford, Calif.,
John D. Borcherding, (M.ASCE), Assoc. Prof. of Architectural Engrg.; The Univ. of Texas at Austin, Austin, Tex.,

Serial Information: Journal of the Construction Division, 1980, Vol. 106, Issue 1, Pg. 29-36

Document Type: Journal Paper


Preliminary results on foremen motivation to produce are reported from a study designed to understand the factors reducing morale and productivity of the lower-level supervisors and craftsmen on large energy production construction projects. Group interviews with 35 foremen (pipefitters, electricians, carpenters) on five nuclear construction sites indicated that the most frequent productivity barrier experienced by these foremen was waiting for decisions, particularly from engineering. Waiting for decisions, materials, and tools and having to do work over because of design changes or errors reduced foremen motivation to produce. The foremen suggested a number of ways management could shorten decision turnaround time through decreasing the length of the communication chain between design engineers and the workforce and increasing the number of engineers. Other morale effects and suggestions are also included.

Subject Headings: Motivation | Construction management | Productivity | Construction sites | Sustainable development | Pipes | Professional development | Employees

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