Citation
Worker Involvement, Understanding and Perception of Productivity as Factors of Motivation

Material Information

Title:
Worker Involvement, Understanding and Perception of Productivity as Factors of Motivation
Creator:
Wells, Robert
Place of Publication:
[Gainesville, Fla.]
Publisher:
University of Florida
Publication Date:
Language:
english
Physical Description:
1 online resource (66 p.)

Thesis/Dissertation Information

Degree:
Master's ( M.S.B.C.)
Degree Grantor:
University of Florida
Degree Disciplines:
Building Construction
Committee Chair:
Issa, R. Raymond
Committee Members:
Flood, Ian
Lucas, Elmer
Graduation Date:
8/7/2010

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Employee motivation ( jstor )
Goal setting ( jstor )
Job descriptions ( jstor )
Job performance ( jstor )
Job performance indicators ( jstor )
Labor ( jstor )
Motivation ( jstor )
Motivation research ( jstor )
Personnel evaluation ( jstor )
Productivity ( jstor )
Building Construction -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
communication, construction, motivation, perception, productivity, understanding
Genre:
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation
bibliography ( marcgt )
theses ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent) ( marcgt )
Building Construction thesis, M.S.B.C.

Notes

Abstract:
Research in the construction industry has revealed that productivity and motivation are interdependent (Warren 1989). The construction industry relies heavily on the effectiveness of its workers and their ability to complete tasks in a timely manner. Much research has been conducted determining how to increase worker productivity through reward programs for the most productive crews/employees. This has lead to a lot of thinking about ways management can manipulate workers into performing at higher levels. This study has determined the effectiveness of management in communicating with their employees about productivity. Without a clear understanding of what productivity is and its importance an employee is unable to associate an increase in productivity with a successful project. The survey was tested against the hypothesis that by increasing an individual?s involvement and understanding would result in a higher level of motivation to meet productivity goals. The data collected provided the information needed to determine the impact that productivity has on employees and management?s ability to communicate its importance. The goal was to collect information from three different groups: management (project manager, project engineer, project sponsor and vice president); field supervisors (foreman, superintendents and field engineers) and general labor (carpenter, brick layer, driver, etc.). The survey examined how well the respondents communicated about productivity; the amount of knowledge that they have on the matter and their perception of productivity. These factors were then used to determine whether they had an impact on an employees? motivation to increase work performance. The results indicated that there was in fact a correlation between the level of communication, knowledge and perception of productivity to an employees work effort. The study concluded that there are more factors that affect an employee?s motivation to work besides external factors. ( en )
General Note:
In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note:
Includes vita.
Bibliography:
Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description:
Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description:
This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Thesis:
Thesis (M.S.B.C.)--University of Florida, 2010.
Local:
Adviser: Issa, R. Raymond.
Electronic Access:
RESTRICTED TO UF STUDENTS, STAFF, FACULTY, AND ON-CAMPUS USE UNTIL 2011-08-31
Statement of Responsibility:
by Robert Wells.

Record Information

Source Institution:
UFRGP
Rights Management:
Applicable rights reserved.
Embargo Date:
8/31/2011
Resource Identifier:
004979625 ( ALEPH )
769019264 ( OCLC )
Classification:
LD1780 2010 ( lcc )

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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH

If there was one thing to describe Robert Wells it would be his determination to

accomplish goals set before him. Robert was able to witness first hand determination in

action as his father decided to pursue a bachelor's degree while working full time soon

after retiring from the Air Force. This lesson taught Robert early on that every task can

be accomplished through hard work and determination.

After graduating from high school, Robert began his career in construction working

for a general contractor whose specialty was remodeling homes. During this same time

Robert enrolled fulltime at Brevard Community College taking 12 credit hours a

semester. During the 4 semesters spent at BCC Robert successfully learned time

management which helped him receive his Associate of Arts with honors. Robert then

began pursuing his bachelor's degree at the University of Florida in Business

Administration with a focus in finance. Fortunately Robert had already learned the

importance of time management as it became a necessity with the increase course

work and time spent working part-time (25 hours a week).

Upon graduation with a bachelor's degree Robert began working as a research

associate at the Shimberg Center for Housing Studies. This gave him an opportunity to

keep working while deciding if a master's degree was what he wanted. After talking to

many construction professionals about his finance background it became apparent that

getting a master's in building construction would be a perfect next step in his academic

career. Two semesters into the master's program Robert was invited into the Sigma

Lambda Chi honor society for building construction. After completing his master's

degree, Robert is looking at the next hurdle before him which is to become an expert in

construction.









Table 4-10. Cross tabulation between responses to job description and (2) "I
understand how my company generates productivity reports"
(2) I understand how my company generates productivity
reports

Strongly Strongly
Disagree Disagree Neutral Agree Agree Total
Field Office 1 0 2 2 3 8
Support
Field 0 0 0 2 4 6
Supervisor
Job
Description Management 0 0 0 1 14 15
Other 0 0 0 2 0 2
Skilled Craft 0 1 0 0 1 2
Total 1 1 2 7 22 33

Comparison of (4) "Having a better understanding would increase my work effort"
to the other Statements in the Understanding Section of the Survey

The final analysis of this section focuses in on what other factors are attributable to

a better understanding of productivity leading to an increase in work effort. From Table

4-11, the only statement that had a statistically significant association in this section with

statement (4) was statement (1) "I know what productivity/performance measures are"

with Chi-square =37.155 and P=0.026 (<0.05). This indicates that those who

understood what productivity is also believed that having a better understanding of

productivity would increase their work effort.

Table 4-11. Cross tabulation between (4) "Having a better understanding would
increase my work effort" and the statements (1)-(3) in the understanding
section (n=33)


(1) I know what productivity/performance measures
are.
(2) I understand how my company generates
productivity reports.
(3) I know how my performance is evaluated.


Chi Square
d.f.
Value

12 23.248


25.794

19.661


P
(2-tailed)


0.026

0.057

0.074









The majority of the respondents (43% or 14) indicated they had more than 15 years of

experience. Those with experience between 6 and 15 years encompassed 36% (12)

and 21% (7) for those with 5 years or less.

The length of time each respondent has spent on their current project is more

lopsided (see Figure 4-4). Most of the answers provided were for 1 year or less making

up 70% (23). The rest of the respondents were in the 2 to 3 year window (18%) and 5 or

more years (12%).

5 or More Years,
4, 12%



2 to 3 Years, 6,
18%

0 to 1 Year, 23,
70%

Figure 4-4. Length of time on current project

Communication

The communication section dealt mainly with how well productivity was

communicated or discussed among the workers. This included being part of the

conversation or just being told what your productivity goals are. As shown in Table 4-1,

four of the statements had responses with a mean in excess of 4.0 indicating that most

respondents agreed or strongly agreed with that statement.

The only statement to score below a 4.0 was (4) "I receive feedback on my

performance" where the average was a 3.939. Even though this is close to the other

means it is still troubling to see that this is not closer to a 5 than a 4 (see Table 4-1).









motivation and this is a key factor for increasing productivity. It is however a difficult task

to apply general methods in the construction industry because no single project is the

same and rarely does the same team members have the opportunity to work together

again. Therefore finding out what has the greatest impact on construction workers is

important to the overall success of increasing construction productivity.









Employee Motivational Types

Finding out what motivates employees provides information as to what types of

employees are currently working on the project. Specifically they can either be

motivated intrinsically or extrinsically. Research over the years has primarily been

focused on motivating on an extrinsic level. To motivate intrinsically will require the

employee to perform an activity for its inherent satisfactions (Ryan and Deci 2000).

Effectively determining which types of employees a company has is a method that has

eluded the construction industry since its birth. Therefore management must adopt

multiple approaches in order to appease both those who are motivated extrinsically and

intrinsically.

The importance of the factors affecting productivity has been primarily from the

viewpoint of management. "Craft workers' input and their perception of the factors that

influence their daily productivity has rarely been sought by managers or researchers

either because it takes time away from craft workers' tasks that are to be or because it

is considered an infringement on management's right to control the work (Dai et al.

2007)." With this void of information from the workers, Rojas and Aramvareekul (2003)

conducted a study seeking worker input on factors believed to impact productivity and

how it compares with their supervisors.

The term "driver" was used in the survey defining "any factor that affects the

productivity of a construction task". The main drivers examined were weather,

management positions, scheduled overtime, subcontractors, coordination, training, and

worker motivation. The drivers were placed into different categories: management

systems and strategies; industry environment; manpower and external conditions. The

respondents were then asked to rank the relative importance of each category.









* The attractiveness of the result is what drives an improvement in performance

* The probability that an increase in effort will actually lead to better performance

* Perception of the probability that the increase in performance will lead to the
desired result

It is important to note that the perception of the worker towards their given actions

is what drives their behavior not actual results. "The key point of the Expectancy Theory

is that the more attractive the reward and the stronger the perception that changes in

effort will produce like changes in performance and that improved performance will lead

to the reward, the higher the motivation level will be (Warren 1989)." The idea that a

worker's perception of a task or goal is the motivating factor of whether or not to pursue

or put forth effort is a concept that most managers today do not understand. The

information gathered in this study will reveal if increasing a workers involvement and

understanding leads to an increase in performance.

Study on Factors Affecting Productivity

Examining factors affecting motivation and productivity has been the center of

much research throughout the construction industry's history. The research has

revealed that employee motivation is very important because it sets the tone for

performing at high levels and having less unproductive time (Smithers and Walker

2000). Focusing efforts on methods with the greatest potential for productivity

improvement and understanding the relationship between the factors affecting

productivity will inevitably lead to an increase in construction productivity (Dai et al.

2007).









TABLE OF CONTENTS

page

ACKNOW LEDGEMENTS ...................................................... ............... 4

LIST O F TA BLES ............... ................................ ...... .... .............. 7

L IS T O F F IG U R E S .......................................................................................................... 9

ABSTRACT ........... ......................................... ............... 10

CHAPTER

1 INTRODUCTION .......... ............................... ... ... ..... ............... 12

Productivity ............ ...... .... ....................................................... 12
Importance of Perception and Understanding.......................................... 13
O v e rv iew ................................................. ....... .......... ...... 14

2 LITERATURE REVIEW ............... ... ................................ 16

Productivity Theories ........................................ ..... ............... 16
Maslow's Hierachy ................................. ....... .... ............... 16
Expectancy Theory........................................ ............... 17
Study on Factors Affecting Productivity ......... ............................ .................. 18
Em ployee M otivational Types................... ...................... ............ ............... 19
Incentives to Increase Productivity ....................... ................... .... ............ 20
Communication and Perception .................. ....... ... ........ ............... 22

3 METHODOLOGY .............................. .......... .................... .......... 24

Survey.............................. ............ ............... 24
Overview ........ ................ ......................... 24
P population ........... .. ....... ... ................................. ........ ... 24
Survey Design ........... .... ..................... ......... 24
Survey Questions ..................................... ........ .. ............... 25
First section................................................ ......... 25
Second section com m unication ............... .......... ....... .... .............. 26
Third section understanding....................... .................. ................... 27
Fourth section perception/importance ......... ..... ......... .................... 28
A analysis .............. ................................ ...... ..... .............. 29

4 RESULTS AND ANALYSIS ............... ... ............. ............... 31

D em graphics of S am ple.................................................................... ......... 31
Com m unication ................. ............................ 33









Table 4-14. Frequency of responses for perception statements
(1) Meeting productivity goals are important to me
Frequency Percent Valid Percent Cumulative Percent
Neutral 1 3.0 3.0 3.0
Agree 7 21.2 21.2 24.2
Strongly Agree 25 75.8 75.8 100.0
Total 33 100.0 100.0
(2) Meeting productivity goals are important to a projects success
Agree 5 15.2 15.2 15.2
Strongly Agree 28 84.8 84.8 100.0
Total 33 100.0 100.0
(3) Reaching productivity goals are important to my supervisors and company overall
Agree 4 12.1 12.1 12.1
Strongly Agree 29 87.9 87.9 100.0
Total 33 100.0 100.0
(4) Productivity reports accurately portray the work completed
Disagree 1 3.0 3.0 3.0
Neutral 5 15.2 15.2 18.2
Agree 18 54.5 54.5 72.7
Strongly Agree 9 27.3 27.3 100.0
Total 33 100.0 100.0
(5) Productivity feedback affects my work performance...e.g. when below period goals;
I am more motivated to increase performance
Neutral 4 12.1 12.1 12.1
Agree 16 48.5 48.5 60.6
Strongly Agree 13 39.4 39.4 100.0
Total 33 100.0 100.0

Comparison of Job Description to the Statements in the Perception Section of the
Survey

An essential element of this study is to determine whether an employee's job

description has any impact on how productivity reports were perceived. As shown in

Table 4-15 there was a strong statistically significant association between job









4-17 Cross tabulation between (5) "Productivity feedback affects my work
performance..." to statements (1)-(4) of the perception section (n=33).............. 51

4-18 Cross tabulation of responses to (4) "Productivity reports accurately portray
work completed" and (5) "Productivity feedback affects my work performance"... 52

4-19 Cross tabulation between motivational statements of each section .................... 55

4-20 Cross tabulation between responses to "Having a better understanding of
productivity would increase my work effort" and "Increasing my involvement in
the setting productivity goals would increase my work effort to meet those
g o a ls" ........ .... .............. .................................. ........................... 5 5

4-21 Cross tabulation between responses to "Productivity feedback affects my work
performance" and "Increasing my involvement in setting productivity goals
would increase my work effort"................. ........... ....... ................ 56

4-22 Cross tabulation between responses to "Productivity feedback affects my work
performance" and "Having a better understanding of productivity would
increase my work effort"........ .... .......... ....... ............ ............... 56








CHAPTER 4
RESULTS AND ANALYSIS

Demographics of Sample

The survey was distributed among industrial construction employees and was

completed by 33 individuals. This group of individuals included employees working for

general contractors and engineering firms. The majority of the respondents were

employed by a general contractor, encompassing 91% (30) of those surveyed (see

Figure 4-1A). This is no surprise as most industrial construction companies self-perform

most of their work. As a result 82% (27) had a volume of work that was in the $200

million or more category (see Figure 4-1 B).

SOther, 2, $150 M to $200
Engineer, 1, % M, 2,6
3%
$20 M to $80
SM, 3, 9%






A. Company Type B. Volume of Work
Figure 4-1. Company type and volume of work

The job description of each respondent however was more diversified. For job
description, management was the most frequent response with 46% (15), followed by

field supervisor at 33% (11) (see Figure 4-2). The management category consisted of

those in executive positions, project managers and project engineers. The field

supervisor category consisted of those with the job descriptions of foreman, field

engineers and superintendents. Lastly, field office support included titles for those in

estimating and procurement, encompassing 12% (4) of the completed surveys. The









description and the statement (1) "Meeting productivity goals are important to me" with

Chi Square=18.266 and P=0.002 (<0.05).

Table 4-15. Cross tabulation between job description and statements (1)-(5) in the
perception section of the survey (n=33)


Statements


(1) Meeting productivity goals are important to me

(2) Meeting productivity goals are important to a
projects success

(3) Reaching productivity goals are important to
my supervisors and company overall

(4) Productivity reports accurately portray the work
completed
(5) Productivity feedback affects my work
performance... e.g. when below period goals; I am
more motivated to increase performance


Chi Square
d.f.
Values

8 18.266

4 7.071


3.506


10.071


9.211


P
(2-tailed)

0.019

0.132


0.477


0.610


0.325


A breakdown of the responses to the statement (1) "Meeting productivity goals are

important to me" revealed the level of agreement between those who worked in the field

and management (see Table 4-16). The field positions (field supervisor and skilled craft

worker) strongly agreed with the statement 71% (5) of the time, while management

strongly agreed 87% (13) of the time. This difference in percentage is important to note

as those who operated in the field are the primary source of work performed and their

actions and beliefs greatly affect the productivity of a project. Those in the field can also

provide the most information as to the time and source of productivity loss as they are

directly involved (Dai et al. 2009). Discussing productivity with those who work in the

field provides them with information as to what is expected and an opportunity to bring

up any issues they may have with their performance goals.









Chapter 4 shows the results from the survey and the analysis conducted to

determine which factors have an impact on motivation.

Chapter 5 is the conclusion of the study performed and recommendations are

provided for areas of this study that could make it more influential.









CHAPTER 2
LITERATURE REVIEW

Productivity Theories

Motivation is a concept that has not yet been fully understood. The difficulty is that

every individual can be motivated by different aspects. In essence, "the project manager

must effectively and comfortably wear many different hats when leading a project

(Halepota 2005)." With motivation being a critical aspect of productivity there is a need

to provide a clearer understanding of how exactly motivation affects productivity.

According to Warren (1989), "motivation is characterized as the group of influences

(climate being one of them) that cause craftsmen to want to perform a given task." The

study of motivation and its impact on construction workers is very extensive and covers

a breadth of different theories.

Maslow's Hierachy

Maslow's Hierachy of needs is a motivational theory that explores psychological

needs and what drives human behavior. These needs are broken into five different

categories:

* Physiological needs necessary for survival (food, water, shelter, warmth and
sleep)

* Safety needs physical and mentally (security, freedom from fear/harm, stability,
structured environment)

* Belongingness and Love social aspects (love, relationships, being a part of
something)

* Esteem needs both self-esteem (achievement and mastery) and that of esteem
from others (what others think)

* Self-actualization needs motivation realize one's maximum potential; self-
fulfillment









LIST OF TABLES


Table page

4-1 Descriptive statistics of the communication section ................. .............. ....... 34

4-2 Frequency of responses for communication statements.................................. 36

4-3 Spearman's Rank Order Correlation for Communication Section Questions....... 37

4-4 Cross tabulation between responses to (1) "I receive feedback on my
performance" and statements (2)-(5) in the communication section (n=33)........ 38

4-5 Cross tabulation between responses to (1) "I receive feedback on my
performance" and (4) "I am able to provide suggestions on improving work
perform ance" .............. ....................... .................. .......... .. 39

4-6 Cross tabulation between responses to (1) "I receive feedback on my
performance" and (5) "Increasing involvement in setting productivity goals
would increase my work effort to meet those goals"............................. .......... 40

4-7 Descriptive statistics of the understanding section .................. ....... ............ 42

4-8 Frequency of responses for understanding statements ................................... 43

4-9 Cross tabulation between job description and statements (1)-(4) in the
understand ing section (n=33).................................. ................ .... .. ............... 44

4-10 Cross tabulation between responses to job description and (2) "I understand
how my company generates productivity reports"........ ................................... 45

4-11 Cross tabulation between (4) "Having a better understanding would increase
my work effort" and the statements (1)-(3) in the understanding section (n=33).. 45

4-12 Cross tabulation between responses to (4) "Having a better understanding of
productivity would increase my work effort" and (1) "I know what productivity
m measures are". ... .............. ..... ........ .................................. 46

4-13 Descriptive statistics of the perception section.......................... ... ........... 48

4-14 Frequency of responses for perception statements .......................... .......... 49

4-15 Cross tabulation between job description and statements (1)-(5) in the
perception section of the survey (n=33) .......................... .... ................. 50

4-16 Cross tabulation between responses to job description and (1) "Meeting
productivity goals are important to me" ..... ................................. 51









Table 4-2. Frequency of responses for communication statements
(1) I discuss productivity with co-workers


A Spearman Rank Order Correlation coefficient analysis was conducted on the

responses to measure the strength and direction of association that existed between

variables. As shown in Table 4-3, the Spearman Rank Order Correlation test revealed

that there was very strong, positive correlation between (1) receiving feedback on one's

performance and (2) discussing productivity goals with co-workers (rs =0.454, n = 33, P

= 0.008); as well as between the former (1) and (3) participation in discussing future

productivity goals (rs =0.481, n = 33, P = 0.005). The test also revealed that there was

very strong, positive correlation between (1) receiving feedback on one's performance


Frequency Percent
Neutral 2 6.1
Agree 18 54.5
Strongly Agree 13 39.4
(2) I participate in the discussion about future productivity goals
Neutral 4 12.1
Agree 13 39.4
Strongly Agree 16 48.5

(3) I am able to provide suggestions on improving work performance
Neutral 2 6.1
Agree 15 45.5
Strongly Agree 16 48.5
(4) I receive feedback on my performance
Disagree 1 3.0
Neutral 7 21.2
Agree 17 51.5
Strongly Agree 8 24.2
(5) Increasing my involvement in setting productivity goals would increase my work
effort to meet those goals
Disagree 2 6.1
Neutral 5 15.2
Agree 12 36.4
Strongly Agree 14 42.4









LIST OF REFERENCES


1. Adrian, James J. (2004). "Construction Productivity: Measurement and
Improvement". Stipes Publishing L.L.C. Illinois.

2. Alfred, Louis. (1988). "Construction productivity: On-site measurement and
management". McGraw-Hill. New York

3. Allmon, Eric., Haas, Carl T., Borcherding, John D., and Goodrum, Paul M. (2000).
"U.S. Construction Labor Productivity Trends, 1970-1998". Journal of Construction
Engineering and Management. March/April 2000. 97-104.

4. Clampitt, Phillip G. and Downs, Cal W. (1993). "Employee Perceptions of the
Relationship Between Communication and Productivity: A Field Study". The
Journal of Business Communication. 30(1). 5-28

5. Conroy, William J. (1994). "Motivating Workers to Follow Leaders". Iron Age New
Steel. Vol. 10. 50-53

6. Cox, Robert F., Issa, Raja R. A., Koblegard, Kristen. (2005). "Management's
Perception of Key Behavioral Indicators for Construction". Journal of Construction
Engineering and Management. 131(3). 368-376

7. Dai, Jiukun, Goodrum, Paul M., and Maloney, William F. (2007). "Analysis of craft
workers' and foremens' perceptions of the factors affecting construction labour
productivity". Construction Management and Economics. November 2007(25).
1137-1150.

8. Dai, Jiukun, Goodrum, Paul M., and Maloney, William F. (2009). "Construction
Craft Workers' Perceptions of the Factors Affecting Their Productivity". Journal of
Construction Engineering and Management. 135(3). 217-226.

9. Doloi, Hemanta. (2007). "Twinning Motivation, Productivity and Management
Strategy in Construction Projects." Engineering Management Journal. 19(3). 30-40.

10. Halepota, Hassan Ali. (2005). "Motivational Theories and Their Application in
Construction". Cost Engineering. 47(3). 14-18.

11. Lam, Steve Y. W., and Tang, Conrad H. W. (2003). "Motivation Survey Employees
in Construction Projects". Journal of Geospatial Engineering. 18(1). 61-66.

12. Moore, David R. (2001). "Visual perception theories and communicating
construction industry concepts". Work Study. 50(2). 58-62

13. Plemmons, James K and Bell, Lansford C. (1995). "Measuring Effectiveness of
Materials Management Process". Journal of Management in Engineering. 11(6).
26-32.










survey was not completed by any employees whose job description fell in the category

of "General Labor". Only one respondent 3% whose job description was "Skilled Craft"

completed the survey (see Figure 4-2). A reason for this could be that they are not

typically assigned a company computer or email address that would allow for them to

have access to the survey.

Skilled Craft, 1,
Other, 2, 6% 3%




Field Supervisor,
11, 33%
Management, 15,
46%


Field Office
Support, 4, 12%


Figure 4-2. Job description of respondents

Years of experience and length of time on current project were also asked of the

respondents. The years of experience results were more mixed than other categories

among the thirty-three surveys completed (see Figure 4-3).


11 to 15 Years, 4,
12%




6 to 10 Years, 8,
24%


0 to 5 Years, 7, 21% or More ears,


Figure 4-3. Years of experience









ranging from 1 Strongly Disagree to 5 Strongly Agree. The critical key motivational

factors where respondents agreed with the statement more than 70% (Doloi 2007):

* Individual reward program based on productivity 78%
* Opportunities for advancement within a company 78%
* Getting appropriate incentives 76%
* Recognition by the employer 74%

These results indicated that rewarding employees has an influence over their

motivation and worker productivity. The results also indicated what commonly works to

increase motivation; however for these reward programs to have their greatest impact

management must seek input from their employees. This can be accomplished through

asking the workers themselves or their representatives for opinions. Without workers

participating in the program it will be difficult to successfully implement a rewards

program and effectively gauge the motivation gained from it (Lam and Tang 2003).

Recognition is another area considered to be a major part of how the construction

industry operates. One study focused on the impacts that affect two different types of

workers; those on the site 1-4 days and those on the site 5-6 days. The factors affecting

both groups include working long hours, non-recognition for work, poor management

planning, and the chaos of the jobsite (Smithers and Walker 2000). Non-recognition for

work resulted in one the biggest differences between the two groups' answers. Those

working 5-6 days received less recognition for work completed and thus lost motivation

to continue working at a high level (Smithers and Walker 2000). Losing motivation for

those working 5-6 days will have the biggest impact on labor productivity since they are

on the site the most. As revealed in this study recognizing an employee's effort is crucial

to their motivation to perform. This recognition however does not always have to come

from management but it must come from those that the employee values. It could be









LIST OF FIGURES

Figure page

1-1 Relationship between motivation and productivity ............ .................... .... 13

4-1 Company type and volume of work................................................. 31

4-2 Job description of respondents ........................................ ......................... 32

4-3 Years of experience ................................ ........................ ............... 32

4-4 Length of tim e on current project................................................. .. ................... 33

4-5 Histogram of "Increasing my involvement in setting productivity goals would
lead to an increase in my work effort" ............................................. 34

4-6 Histogram of "I know how my performance is evaluated".................. .......... 42

4-7 Histogram of "Meeting productivity goals are important to me"............................. 47

4-8 Histogram of "Productivity feedback affects my work performance"................... 48









Table 4-9 shows the results of the Chi Square association test between job

description and statements (1)-(4) in the understanding section of the survey. The

results revealed that there was a very strong, statistically significant association

between job description and statement (2) "I understand how my company generates

productivity reports" with Chi-square =37.155 and P=0.002 (<0.05). The breakdown of

the responses to the statement (4) indicated that the individuals who answered

negatively to this statement were those whose job descriptions were field office support

and skilled craft (see Table 4-10). Of the eight responses for field office support 37.5%

(3) responded that they did not understand how their company generated productivity

reports. The impact of field office support (material procurement) on productivity can be

seen from the results of a survey conducted by Plemmons et al. (1995) on the

effectiveness of material procurement/management, the study revealed that material

availability and construction lost time were the most important factors when creating a

material management benchmark. Thus, it is just as important to provide the same

amount of information about productivity to the field office support as to the field job

positions.

Table 4-9. Cross tabulation between job description and statements (1)-(4) in the
understanding section (n=33)
Statements d.f. Chi Square P
Test (2-tailed)
(1) I know what productivity/performance 12 17.827 0.121
measures are.
(2) I understand how my company 16 37.155 0.002
generates productivity reports
(3) I know how my performance is 12038 0
12 12.038 0.443
evaluated.
(4) Having a better understanding of 1 1.5 .
productivity would increase my work effort.









employees to analyze their current work methods and potentially come up with new

time-saving methods to help increase their own productivity (Adrian 2004).

Table 4-6. Cross tabulation between responses to (1) "I receive feedback on my
performance" and (5) "Increasing involvement in setting productivity goals
would increase my work effort to meet those goals"
(5) Increasing my involvement in setting productivity
goals would increase my work effort to meet those goals
Strongly
Disagree Neutral Agree Agree Total
Disagree 0 0 0 1 1
Neutral 0 3 3 1 7
(1) I receive
eedc Agree 1 2 9 5 17
feedback on my
performance strongly 1 0 0 7 8
Agree
Total 2 5 12 14 33

In conclusion, the communication of productivity occurs throughout this sample of

industrial workers. The vast majority of the respondents agreed or strongly agreed with

the following:

* I discuss productivity with co-workers (94%; 31)

* I participate in the discussion about future productivity goals (88%; 29)

* I am able to provide suggestions on improving work performance (94%; 31)

* I receive feedback on my performance (76%; 25)

* Increasing my involvement in setting productivity goals would increase my work
effort to meet those goals (79%; 26)

Understanding

The effects of motivation on productivity, the factors that affect it and the methods

to improve productivity have been addressed by many researchers including Doloi

(2007), Rojas and Aramvareekul (2003), and Dai et al (2007). The understanding

section of the survey was created to investigate whether an employee's level of

knowledge about productivity affected their motivation.









scale to use would force the respondent to answer on their beliefs instead of choosing

the middle response, which in this case neutral.









active participation in and commitment to achieving the prescribed results" (Conroy

1994).

Table 4-18. Cross tabulation of responses to (4) "Productivity reports accurately portray
work completed" and (5) "Productivity feedback affects my work performance"
(4) Productivity feedback affects my work
performance... e.g. when below period goals; I am
more motivated to increase performance
Neutral Agree Strongl Total
Agree
Disagree 0 1 0 1
(5) Productivity Neutral 1 3 1 5
reports accurately Agree 1 12 5 18
portray the work Strongly 2 0 7 9
completed Agree
Total 4 16 13 33

The perception section of the survey provided valuable insight as to the

importance workers placed on productivity, its accuracy and whether productivity

feedback affected their motivation. A positive indicator of perception in this section of

the survey was that 100% of the respondents agreed that meeting productivity goals

was important to a project's success.

Comparison of Motivational Statements

The last statement in each of the last three sections of the survey was related to

motivation. The statistical comparison of these statements provided information on

whether there was a correlation between the categories of involvement, understanding

and perception in relation to motivation. The statements analyzed were:

* (5) Increasing my involvement in setting productivity goals would increase my
work effort to meet those goals

* (4) Having a better understanding of productivity would increase my work effort

* (5) Productivity feedback affects my work performance... e.g. when below period
goals; I am more motivated to increase performance









CHAPTER 5
CONCLUSION

Analysis Overview

The findings of this research support the hypothesis that increasing an employee's

involvement, understanding and perception of productivity will increase motivation and

will impact their work performance. The responses to the statement about employee

involvement in the productivity process indicated that most of the respondents already

communicated about productivity.

The results of the communication section also indicated that 81% (21) of the

employees who received feedback on their performance were also willing to increase

their work performance if they were more involved in setting productivity goals. The

comparison between the statements "Increasing my involvement in setting productivity

goals would increase my work performance" and "Productivity feedback affects my work

performance" showed that 76% (25) of the total surveyed would be willing to increase

their performance to meet company goals. This is however hinged upon the fact they

also become more involved in the setting of productivity goals. Recent studies have also

indicated that an increase in involvement on all levels needs to occur in the productivity

process. This is especially true when it comes to the craft workers and their perception

of productivity. Since they perform the majority of the tasks on any given construction

project, their input is of value and unfortunately not often sought after (Dai et al. 2007).

The importance of understanding productivity and its process is important to all

employees and their growth within a company. The survey results showed that 21% (7)

did not know how their performance was evaluated. Without the knowledge of knowing

how their performance is evaluated it is impossible to ask an employee to increase









Table 4-7. Descriptive statistics of the understanding section


Statement
(1) I know what
productivity/performance
measures are
(2) I understand how my
company generates productivity
reports
(3) I know how my performance
is evaluated
(4) Having a better
understanding of productivity
would increase my work effort


Standard
Mean
error


4.515


4.455


4.121


3.606


0.145


0.169


0.143


0.226


Std.
Median Mode Std
deviation


5.00


5.00


4.00


4.00


5.00


5.00


4.00


5.00


0.834


0.971


0.820


1.298


Mean =4.12
Std. Dev. =0.82
N =33


I know how my performance is evaluated


Figure 4-6. Histogram of "I know how my performance is evaluated"


Skewness


-2.634


-2.152


-0.596


-0.477


Kurtosis


9.168


4.745


-0.227


-0.980









6. Rate communication about productivity

(1) I discuss productivity goals with co-workers
Strongly Disagree 1 2 3 4


5 Strongly Agree


(2) I participate in the discussion about future productivity goals
Strongly Disagree 1 2 3 4 5 Strongly Agree

(3) I am able to provide suggestions on improving work performance
Strongly Disagree 1 2 3 4 5 Strongly Agree


(4) I receive feedback on my performance
Strongly Disagree 1 2 3


4 5 Strongly Agree


(5) Increasing my involvement in setting productivity goals would increase my
work effort to meet those goals
Strongly Disagree 1 2 3 4 5 Strongly Agree


7. Rate understanding of productivity
(1) I know what productivity/performance measures are
Strongly Disagree 1 2 3 4 5


Strongly Agree


(2) I understand how my company generates productivity reports
Strongly Disagree 1 2 3 4 5 Strongly Agree


(3) I know how my performance is evaluated
Strongly Disagree 1 2 3 4 5 Strongly Agree


(4) Having a better understanding of productivity would increase my work
effort
Strongly Disagree 1 2 3 4 5 Strongly Agree


8. Rate perception of productivity
(1) Meeting productivity goals are important to me
Strongly Disagree 1 2 3 4


5 Strongly Agree


(2) Meeting productivity goals are important to a projects success
Strongly Disagree 1 2 3 4 5 Strongly Agree

(3) Reaching productivity goals are important to my supervisors and company
overall
Strongly Disagree 1 2 3 4 5 Strongly Agree









The importance of feedback is simply "finding out how well you did relative to what was

expected of you" (Alfred 1988). Since all employees at some point get evaluated it is

important to discuss with them about areas that they can improve in and to provide

recognition for work they have accomplished. Providing feedback can drastically change

an employee's behavior and perhaps increase their efficiency (Alfred 1988).This

feedback needs to come from the management but as well as from the field to

management. A manager who receives no feedback from the field does not truly know

whether the current methods that they implemented are working to increase productivity

(Adrian 2004).

The standard deviation fluctuated quite a bit throughout this section of statements.

The largest standard deviation of 0.906 was for the last statement (5) shown in Table 4-

1. Figure 4-5 shows a histogram indicating that a majority of the responses agreed with

the statement (5) that increasing one's involvement in setting productivity goals

increases one's work effort.

Table 4-2 shows the frequency of the responses for each statement. Only two of

the statements had a response of disagree. They were in regards to (4) receiving

feedback on performance and (5) whether increasing employee involvement would lead

to an increase in their work effort. A positive indicator came from looking at the

responses to the questions about the discussion of productivity with co-workers,

participation in setting future productivity goals and suggestions on improving work

performance (see Table 4-2). These statements showed uniformity in the fact that they

indicated that all of the employee's were involved in the productivity process and that

they had open communication with those around them about it.









The results of the comparison of these two statements indicated that 61% (19) of

those who know what productivity is also agreed that increasing their understanding of

productivity would lead to an increase in work effort (see Table 4-12). Knowledge is an

important aspect of any construction task. For instance, it takes a welder quite some

time to learn the trade and become efficient at performing the required tasks. How is the

same welder to know when they have become efficient? This is done through meeting

performance goals set by management. Therefore it is understandable to see a

relationship between knowing what productivity measures are and their influence over a

workers willingness to increase work effort.

Table 4-12. Cross tabulation between responses to (4) "Having a better understanding
of productivity would increase my work effort" and (1) "I know what
productivity measures are"
(1) I know what productivity/performance
measures are
Strongly Strongly
Neutral Agree Total
Disagree Agree
Strongly 1 0 0 1 2
Disagree
Disagree 0 0 2 4 6
(4) Having a better N 0
Neutral 0 1 2 3 6
understanding of
productivity would Agree 0 0 4 4 8
increase my work effort
Strongly 0 0 2 9 11
Agree
Total 1 1 10 21 33

In conclusion the understanding section of the survey determined that one's job

description plays an integral part in the knowledge of how a company generates

productivity reports. It also revealed that the more knowledge an individual has about










and (4) the ability to provide suggestions on improving work performance (rs =0.600, n =

33, P = 0.000). Finally, the test showed only strong, positive correlation between (1)

receiving feedback on one's performance and the statement that increasing one's

involvement in setting productivity goals would increase one's work effort to meet those

goals (rs =0.363, n = 33, P = 0.038).

Table 4-3. Spearman's Rank Order Correlation for Communication Section Questions
(5) Increasing my
(3) I participate involvement in
in the (4) I am able to setting productivity
(1) I receive (2) I discuss discussion provide goals would
feedback on productivity about future suggestions on increase my work
my with co- productivity improving work effort to meet those
performance workers goals performance goals
Correlation 1 0.454** 0.481* 0.600** 0.363
Coefficient
P.
(2-taed) 0.008 0.005 0 0.038
(2-tailed)
Correlation 0.454 1 0.743** 0.518* 0.132
Coefficient
0.008 0 0.002 0.463
(2-tailed)
Correlation
Coretin 0.481 0.743 1 0.704 0.278
Coefficient
0.005 0 0 0.117
(2-tailed)
Correlation
Coretin 0.600 0.518 0.704 1 0.21
Coefficient
S0 0.002 0 0.241
(2-tailed)
Correlation
Coretion 0.363 0.132 0.278 0.21 1
Coefficient
P
) 0.038 0.463 0.117 0.241
(2-tailed)
**. Correlation is significant at the 0.01 level (2-tailed).
*. Correlation is significant at the 0.05 level (2-tailed).

Chi Square analysis of responses in the Communication Section of the Survey

Receiving performance feedback is a critical aspect of increasing ones production.

The purpose of the comparison of the employee's receipt of performance feedback with

their other responses in the communication section of the survey was to determine the






























2010 Robert A. Wells









significance of the relationship between receipt of feedback and employee involvement

in the productivity process.

Table 4-4. Cross tabulation between responses to (1) "I receive feedback on my
performance" and statements (2)-(5) in the communication section (n=33)
Chi Square P
Statements d.f. ChiSquare P
Statements dValue (2-tailed)
(2)1 discuss productivity goals with co- 6 7.571 0.271
workers.
(3)1 participate in the discussion about 6 10.536 0.104
future productivity goals
(4)1 am able to provide suggestions on 6 1 04
6 13.607 0.034
improving work performance.
(5)lncreasing my involvement in setting
productivity goals would increase my 9 17.308 0.044
work effort to meet those goals.

As shown in Table 4-4, based on the Chi Square analysis, the statement (4) "I

receive feedback on my performance" is statistically different than the last two

statements (P<0.05). The analysis reveals that when an individual is able to provide

suggestions on improving performance that they are more likely to receive feedback on

their own performance. Looking specifically at the results for the Chi-Square association

test for the responses to the statements (1) "I receive feedback on my performance" and

(4) "I am able to provide suggestions on improving work performance," we can see that

Chi-square =13.607 and P=0.034 (<0.05). This tells us that there is a statistically

significant association between statements (1) and (4). Similarly with Chi-square=

17.308 and P= 0.044 (<0.05) there is statistically significant association between

statements (1) and (5). By offering suggestions on improving performance,

management is rewarding them by providing feedback on their methods. This shows

that there is active communication between these individuals who are actively seeking

means of improving jobsite productivity.










what their company's productivity measures are, the more likely the individual is to

increase their work effort.

Perception

The focus of this section was to find out how productivity is viewed by those in the

industrial construction arena. As shown in Table 4-13, every statement returned an

average value above 4.0 which means that overall productivity is perceived in a positive

manner. The skewness values also indicated that the answers provided were all

positive since all five statements had a negative value which indicates the curve favors

the right side of the spectrum (see Figure 4-7). The statement closest to representing a

normal distribution was (5) "Productivity feedback affects my work performance (see

Figure 4-8)." The frequencies of the responses to each of the statements revealed that

the only one that did not have an overwhelmingly positive answer was the statement

that (4) "Productivity reports accurately portrayed the work completed (see Table 4-14)."



50- Mean =4.73
Std. Dev. =0.517
N =33

40-


30-


L/
20-


10-


0I
2.50 3.00 3.50 4.00 4.50 5.00 5.50
Meeting productivity goals are important to me


Figure 4-7. Histogram of "Meeting productivity goals are important to me"









(4) Productivity reports accurately portray the work being completed
Strongly Disagree 1 2 3 4 5 Strongly Agree


(5) Productivity feedback affects my work performance... e.g. when below
period goals; I am more motivated to increase performance
Strongly Disagree 1 2 3 4 5 Strongly Agree









Abstract of Thesis Presented to the Graduate School
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Master of Science in Building Construction

WORKER INVOLVEMENT, UNDERSTANDING AND PERCEPTION AS FACTORS OF
MOTIVATION

By

Robert Wells

August 2010

Chair: R. Raymond Issa
Major: Building Construction

Research in the construction industry has revealed that productivity and motivation

are interdependent (Warren 1989). The construction industry relies heavily on the

effectiveness of its workers and their ability to complete tasks in a timely manner. Much

research has been conducted determining how to increase worker productivity through

reward programs for the most productive crews/employees. This has lead to a lot of

thinking about ways management can manipulate workers into performing at higher

levels.

This study has determined the effectiveness of management in communicating

with their employees about productivity. Without a clear understanding of what

productivity is and its importance an employee is unable to associate an increase in

productivity with a successful project. The survey results were tested against the

hypothesis that increasing an individual's involvement in setting and understanding

productivity goals would result in a higher level of motivation to meet those productivity

goals.

The data collected provided the information needed to determine the impact that

productivity has on employees and management's ability to communicate its









Table 4-19. Cross tabulation between motivational statements of each section
Increasing my involvement
in setting productivity goals Having a better understanding
would increase my work of productivity would increase
effort to meet those goals my work effort


Increasing my involvement in
setting productivity goals
would increase my work
effort to meet those goals
Having a better
understanding of productivity
would increase my work
effort
Productivity feedback affects
my work performance.. .e.g.
when below period goals; I
am more motivated to
increase performance


Correlation
Coefficient
P
(2-tailed)
Correlation
Coefficient
P
(2-tailed)
Correlation
Coefficient
P
(2-tailed)


0.512"

0.002


0.512"

0.002

0.447

0.009


Productivity feedback affects my
work performance...e.g. when below
period goals; I am more motivated
to increase performance
0.447

0.009


0.281

0.113


0.281

0.113


Table 4-20. Cross tabulation between responses to "Having a better understanding of productivity would increase my
work effort" and "Increasing my involvement in the setting productivity goals would increase my work effort to
meet those goals"
Increasing my involvement in setting productivity goals would increase my work
effort to meet those goals


Having a better
understanding of
productivity would
increase my work effort


Strongly
Disagree
Disagree
Neutral
Agree
Strongly
Agree
Total


Strongly
Disagree

0

0
0
0
0

0


Disagree

0

2
0
0
0

2


Neutral

0

1
4
0
0

5


Agree

1

1
2
6

2
12


Strongly
Agree


Total









Table 4-16. Cross tabulation between responses to job description and (1) "Meeting
productivity goals are important to me"
(1) Meeting productivity goals are important to me
Strongly
Neutral Agree Agree Total
Field Office 0 2 6 8
Support
Field Supervisor 0 2 4 6
Job
crin Management 0 2 13 15
Description
Other 0 1 1 2
Skilled Craft 1 0 1 2
Total 1 7 25 33

Comparison of (5) "Productivity feedback affects my work performance" to the
Statements in the Perception Section of the Survey

As shown in Table 4-17, the statement (4) "Productivity reports accurately portray

the work completed" was the only statement in this section that had a strong statistically

significant association with statement (5) "Productivity feedback affects work

performance" with Chi Square=12.904 and P=0.045 (<0.05). The results of this

comparison indicated that those who agreed that productivity reports accurately reflect

work completed were more likely to be affected by productivity feedback.

Table 4-17. Cross tabulation between (5) "Productivity feedback affects my work
performance..." to statements (1)-(4) of the perception section (n=33)
Chi Square P
d.f. Value (2-tailed)
(1) Meeting productivity goals are important to me 4 3.695 0.449
(2) Meeting productivity goals are important to a 2 2.484 0.289
projects success
(3) Reaching productivity goals are important to 2 4.836 0.089
my supervisors and company overall
(4) Productivity reports accurately portray the 6 12.904 0.045
work completed

Of the 27 positive responses to statement (4) (accuracy of the reports), 89% (24)

indicated that if productivity fell below period goals they were more motivated to

increase performance (see Table 4-18). Motivation can be summed up as "a person's









distributed should only include information that the employee needs to know in order to

make the right decisions (Alfred 1988).

A method of implementation is TRACI (Alfred 1988):

* Timely provide information in time to make informed decisions
* Relevant information provided helps in increasing performance
* Accurate the report is correct and without errors
* Complete all the information is provided
* Intelligible the report is provided in a format that can be understood

Before implementing this method it is important that the employee understands

what is being provided to them in the report. This means they must have knowledge of

what the numbers represent and what exactly they mean for them.

A comparison between the impacts of productivity feedback and better

understanding is shown in Table 4-22. The results show that 94% (18) of those who

agree that having a better understanding of productivity would lead to an increase in

motivation to work also indicated that productivity performance evaluations affect their

level of motivation. Before distribution of productivity reports it is important that the

employee understands what the numbers mean in the report and how it relates to them.

The analysis performed in this section revealed that there is a correlation between

an employee's involvement, understanding and perception to their motivation to

increase work performance. However, a company cannot simply start providing

information and thrusting employees into productivity conversations without first

explaining the process. By opening up the communication channels about productivity

the company will increase knowledge, reduce confusion and more importantly reduce

misinterpretation of productivity reports.









14. Rojas, Eddy M., and Aramvareekul, Peerapong. (2003). "Labor Productivity Drivers
and Opportunities in the Construction Industry". Journal of Management in
Engineering. 19(2). 78-82.

15. Ryan, Richard M. and Deci, Edward L. (2000). "Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivations:
Classic Definitions and New Directions". Contemporary Education Psychology.
25(1). 54-67

16. Schrader, Charles R. (1972). "Motivation on construction craftsmen". Journal of the
Construction Division. Vol. 98(Sept). 257-273

17. Smithers, Guinevere L., and Walker, Derek H.T. (2000). "The effect of the
workplace on motivation and demotivation of construction professionals".
Construction Management and Economics. 18(7). 833-841.

18. Toenjes, Leonard. (2009). "Tap Staff, Technology to Improve Productivity".
Midwest Construction. 12(3). 25.

19. Vroom, V. H. (1964). Work and motivation. Wiley. New York

20. Warren, R. Robert. (1989). Motivation and Productivity in the Construction
Industry. Van Nostrand Reinhold. New York.









Table 4-21. Cross tabulation between responses to "Productivity feedback affects my work performance" and "Increasing
my involvement in setting productivity goals would increase my work effort"
Increasing my involvement in setting productivity goals would
increase my work effort to meet those goals


Strongly
Disagree


Strongly
Disagree Neutral Agree Agree


Neutral
Productivity feedback affects my
work performance...e.g. when below Agree
period goals; I am more motivated Strongly Agree
to increase performance
Total


Total
4

16

13

33


Table 4-22. Cross tabulation between responses to "Productivity feedback affects my work performance" and "Having a
better understanding of productivity would increase my work effort"

Having a better understanding of productivity would increase my
work effort


Strongly
Disagree


Disagree Neutral Agree


Neutral


Strongly
Agree
0


Total
4


Productivity feedback affects my
work performance...e.g. when
below period goals; I am more
motivated to increase
performance


Agree

Strongly Agree

Total











APPENDIX B
SURVEY APPROVAL LETTER


SInstitutional Review Board
I UNIVERSITY of FLORIDA


PO Box 112250
C:...r,.-.ill- FL 32611-2250
352-392-0433 I li..nc I
352-392- 34 -.' a


irb26vufl.edu


DATE:


FROM:


February 8, 2010


Robert Wells

Gainesville, FL 32683

Ira S. Fischler, PhD, Chair I
University of Florida
Institutional Review Board 02


SUBJECT: Approval of Protocol #2010-U-0064

TITLE: Construction Workers Involvement and Understanding

SPONSOR: None

I am pleased to advise you that the University of Florida Institutional Review Board has
recommended approval of this protocol. Based on its review, the UFIRB determined that this
research presents no more than minimal risk to participants, and based on 45 CFR 46.117(c),
An IRB may waive the requirement for the investigator to obtain a signed consent form for
some or all subjects if it finds either: (1) That the only record linking the subject and the
research would be the consent document and the principal risk would be potential harm
resulting from a breach of confidentiality. Each subject will be asked whether the subject
wants documentation linking the subject with the research, and the subject's wishes will
govern; or (2) That the research presents no more than minimal risk of harm to subjects and
involves no procedures for which written consent is normally required outside of the
research context.

The IRB authorizes you to administer the informed consent process as specified in the
protocol. If you wish to make any changes to this protocol, including the need to increase
the number of participants authorized, you must disclose your plans before you implement
them so that the Board can assess their impact on your protocol. In addion, you must report
to the Board any unexpected complications that affect your participants.

This approval is valid through January 29, 2011. If you have not completed the study by this
date, please telephone our office (392-0433), and we will discuss the renewal process with
you. It is important that you keep your Department Chair informed about the status of this
research protocol.

ISF:dl


An Equl Opp-crlun[lv Inhitulntm









APPENDIX A
SURVEY QUESTIONS

Thank you for taking the time to fill out this survey. Answer the questions to the best of
your knowledge. Throughout this survey the use of performance and productivity are
used interchangeably.

1. Company Type
General Contractor
Engineer
Architect
Subcontractor
Other
2. Volume of work
Less than $20 million
$20 to $80 million
$80 to $150 million
$150 to $200 million
$200 million or more
Don't Know
3. Years of construction work experience
0-5
6-10
11-15
15+
4. Job Description
General Labor
Skilled Craft (Carpenter, Electrician)
Field Supervisor (Foreman, Field Engineer, and Superintendents)
Management (Executive Position, Project Manager, Project Engineer)
Other
5. Length of time on current project
0-1 years
2-3 years
3-4 years
4-5 years
5+ years









work associates, friends, or family that will provide the satisfactory of being recognized

(Warren 1989). Providing that management must determine the factors that will

influence their employees the most by involving them in the decision making process.

Communication and Perception

The relationship between productivity and communication has been researched

extensively Clampitt and Downs (1993) and found that there is a correlation between

the two. This research showed that out of the top 100 U.S. corporations 96 of the

president's agreed that there was a relationship. The research conducted focused on

the communication of employees and what factors impacted their productivity the most.

It was found that personal feedback was the most common factor to impact productivity

between the two companies surveyed. Clampitt and Downs (1993) described how

feedback impacted productivity through having the respondents provide comments. The

most consistent answer with 31% of one company was that feedback was related to

"Morale (feelings)" and the definition provided was "Need approval of work level. Why

work if no one cares (Clampitt and Downs 1993)." The information found reveals that

employees need to believe that the work they are doing has an impact on the

company's performance and that someone is taking note of their production. There has

yet to be research conducted on any one industry type to determine if this holds true.

The research conducted in this current study examined the relationship between

productivity and communication specifically to the construction industry.

Realizing the key to motivation is to understand ones perception and its correlation

with productivity. The perception towards both motivation and productivity is of

importance because of the range of people who are influenced (i.e. general labor to the

owner). As shown through the Expectancy Theory a workers perception impacts their









Clearly there is still a chasm between what managers believe to be effective measures

of increasing labor productivity and employees responsiveness to the status quo. One

belief for this chasm could be that there is a lack of understanding, communication and

involvement from the workers' viewpoint in productivity.

The relationship between productivity and motivation is interdependent so that

when an employees' motivation increases so will their productivity (see Figure 1-1). This

is a very important aspect managers must understand if they are to increase worker

productivity.





1M motivation b
S.-.----------.-----------

------------------ -

a b C
Productlvity

Figure 1-1. Relationship between motivation and productivity

Importance of Perception and Understanding

Why is an employee's understanding of productivity important? How would

increasing their knowledge factors lead to increase in an employee's motivation to

work? In order to begin this analysis it is important to discuss the workers perception of

productivity. A person's perspective dictates their willingness and ability to understand a

given topic. The basic definition of perception in a learning sense is "the mental activity

of interpreting the impressions received through the senses of sight, hearing, tasting,

feeling and smelling (Moore 2001)." These basic factors all contribute to the workers









Table 4-8. Frequency of responses for understanding statements
(1) I know what productivity/performance measures are
Cumulative
Frequency Percent Valid Percent Cum
Percent


Strongly
Disagree
Neutral
Agree
Strongly Agree
Total


3.0
3.0
30.3
63.6
100.0


3.0
3.0
30.3
63.6
100.0


(2) I understand how my company generates productivity reports


Strongly
Disagree
Disagree
Neutral
Agree
Strongly Agree
Total

Disagree
Neutral
Agree
Strongly Agree
Total


3.0
3.0
6.1
21.2
66.7
100.0


3.0
3.0
6.1
21.2
66.7
100.0


(3) I know how my performance is evaluated
1 3.0 3.0
6 18.2 18.2
14 42.4 42.4
12 36.4 36.4
33 100.0 100.0


(4) Having a better understanding of productivity would increase my work effort
Strongly 2 6.1 6.1 6.1
Disagree
Disagree 6 18.2 18.2 24.2
Neutral 6 18.2 18.2 42.4
Agree 8 24.2 24.2 66.7
Strongly Agree 11 33.3 33.3 100.0
Total 33 100.0 100.0


Comparison of Job Description to the Statements in the Understanding Section of
the Survey

Determining the level of understanding for each job description provides insight as

to the comprehension level at which the company teaches their employees about

productivity. It would also determine whether those who understand productivity (those

who are conducting the reports) were taking the time to explain to those who did not.


3.0
6.1
36.4
100.0


3.0
6.1
12.1
33.3
100.0


3.0
21.2
63.6
100.0









analysis that comes from getting input from all positions within a construction company.

For example, a foreman is able to provide information regarding his or her ability to

involve general labor as well as provide an evaluation of how upper management is

including him or her in the productivity analysis process. This information provides an

opportunity to capture the insight from a diverse group of employees and their

perceptions of productivity.

The survey was created and distributed online through SurveyMonkey

(http://www.surveymonkey.com) and consisted of four sections (see Appendix A). The

link to complete the survey was sent out February 9, 2010 and remained open until the

April 1, 2010. It was designed in an effort to be distributed to all levels of employment to

increase its ease of distribution. The first section posed general questions regarding the

type of company, size, years of experience, length of time on current project and job

description. The following three sections (communication, understanding and

perception) consisted of a total of 14 questions asking the respondents to rank each

statement based on a 5-point Likert scale. Selecting the lowest answer of 1 indicated

that the respondent strongly disagreed with the statement whereas an answer of 5

meant that the respondent strongly agreed with the statement. The biggest issue when

using a Likert scale is the tendency of the respondents to pick a neutral answer. An

answer of neutral in this study is considered equivalent to a negative response due to

the type of questions presented.

Survey Questions

First section

The first question of the survey asked for the respondents to indicate the type of

company they were working for: General Contractor; Engineering; Architecture;









importance. The goal was to collect information from three different groups:

management (project manager, project engineer, project sponsor and vice president);

field supervisors (foreman, superintendents and field engineers) and general labor

(carpenter, brick layer, driver, etc.). The survey examined how well the respondents

communicated about productivity; the amount of knowledge that they have on the

matter and their perception of productivity. These factors were then used to determine

whether they had an impact on an employees' motivation to increase work performance.

The results indicated that there was in fact a correlation between the level of

communication, knowledge and perception of productivity to an employees work effort.









distributed. Each question also was tested on their kurtosis and skewness as compared

to a normal distribution.

The data was then cross-tabulated using a Chi-Square for determining

associations between responses for different statements. This was used to insure that

the results did not happen by chance. The Chi-Square test returned a value that gave

the probability of the comparison being within the 95th percentile (a=0.05) (Cox et al.

2005). The comparisons were also tested to determine the correlation between the two

variables. This was done using the standard Spearman Rank Order correlation method

available in SPSS. The results provided through this analysis reveal whether the

variables are positively or negatively related. For instance if the correlation for GPA to

starting salary was a 1, then the proper analysis would be that the higher a students

GPA is the higher their starting salary will be. Spearman's Rank Order was not used

however when comparing "Job Description" to the other sections as the answers were

not numeric.









ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS


I am extremely grateful to my chair, Dr. Raymond Issa for the continuous support

and patience throughout this process. He has the ability to pull the best out of students

and allow them to research freely on their own all the while providing invaluable insight

into the subject that cannot be found anywhere else. Without his expertise and

dedication this thesis would not have come to completion.

I want to thank all the staff at the M.E. Rinker, Sr. School of Building Construction

at the University of Florida for their help in guiding me through this process. Their

patience with fellow students and me in repeatedly informing us what needs to be done

was critical to my success in the master's program at UF.









CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION

Productivity

The construction industry has consistently underperformed every other industry

when compared to their productivity. In fact, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

performed a study on the construction industry showing results of productivity actually

decreasing since 1964 (Toenjes 2009). There are many variables that can be

associated with or responsible for this lack of production. A brief list would include:

* Material and equipment management
* Labor force
* Communication
* Management's forecasting abilities

This is not an exhaustive list but what can be clearly inferred from the few topics

provided is that management has a direct impact on productivity. The major cause for

the drop in productivity is management's inability to efficiently use the most valuable

resource on the jobsite: labor. The basic definition of productivity is the amount of man-

hours inputted divided by the amount of man-hours required for a specified output

(Adrian 2004).

The importance of labor productivity in the construction industry is seen even at a

national level. "In 1997, new-construction-put-in-place accounted for roughly 7% of the

gross domestic product (GDP), and if one includes remodeling and repair work the total

rises to over 10% GDP (Allmon et al. 2000)." While the U.S. total productivity has been

increasing at a rate of 2.7% annually the construction industry has been at an abysmal

.8% (Adrian 2004). Over the past decade the construction industries' lack in productivity

shows that managers have not been able to effectively utilize labor on a daily basis.









productivity is important because it keeps everyone up to date with the current goals. It

also provides an opportunity for those involved to see whether they are on track.

The second statement is "I participate in the discussion about future productivity

goals". Participation in any future planning is important for everyone's sense of purpose.

Including those that will be impacted by productivity goals in the process helps their

understanding and motivation to meet those goals.

The third statement says "I am able to provide suggestions on improving work

performance". This is a follow up statement to the previous one and is seeking further

information as to the level of participation implemented.

The fourth statement is "I receive feedback on my performance". Receiving

feedback on performance is important to all levels of a company. It provides areas that

need to be addressed as well as areas that they are performing well. Without receiving

this valuable information it is hard to expect higher production if you do not know where

to improve.

The final statement of this section was "Increasing my involvement in setting

productivity goals would increase my work effort to meet those goals". This is in

essence the goal of this section. To find out if being more proactive in the productivity

process would increase ones motivation.

Third section understanding

The understanding section looks to investigate how much is actually understood

by the individuals in the industry. A better understanding of any process or performance

measure helps remove doubt and confusion from the employee.

The first statement of this section is "I know what productivity/performance









productivity, since they would not know where to focus their efforts in order to increase

performance. The analysis also concluded that 57% (19) of the respondents know what

productivity reports are and would be apt to increase their motivation if they had further

understanding of productivity.

Perception is an aspect that affects everything an employee does. The employee

must be able to trust the values that the productivity reports are returning on their

performance in the field. The responses to the statement "Productivity reports

accurately portray the work completed" showed that 89% (24) of those who believed in

the accuracy of those reports were also willing to increase performance if those same

productivity numbers were below period goals. Their willingness to increase

performance when below goals indicates that they do in fact perceive productivity in a

positive manner.

Recommendations

The research conducted revealed that there is still little information gathered from

those whose job description were labeled general labor and skilled craft. Another study

on this same topic would be greatly influential if the population included these types of

employees. In order to receive their input it is advisable for the researcher to conduct

the survey in person. Traveling to local construction sites and conducting the survey in

person guarantees that all levels of employment will have an opportunity to complete

the survey.

The survey conducted used a Likert scale as a means for the sample to rate each

of the statements. To avoid any answers in the neutral category it would be best to

adopt a different scale than the typical strongly disagree to strongly agree. A better









A Spearman Rank Order Correlation coefficient analysis was conducted of the

responses to measure the strength and direction of the association that existed between

the three statements. As shown in Table 4-19, the Spearman Rank Order Correlation

test revealed that there was very strong, positive correlation between the statements

"Increasing my involvement in setting productivity goals" and "Having a better

understanding of productivity would increase my work effort" (rs =0.512, n = 33, P =

0.002). As shown in Table 4-20, 57.5% (19) of the total number of respondents agreed

that their work effort is impacted by both of these measures. This shows that when a

company comes up with a means of measuring productivity it must then turn around

and explain its process to its employees.

The Spearman Rank Order Correlation test revealed that there was very strong,

positive correlation between the statements "Increasing my involvement in the setting

productivity goals would increase my work effort to meet those goals" and "Productivity

feedback affects my work performance" (rs =0.447, n = 33, P = 0.009) (see Table 4-19).

As shown in Table 4-21, 96% (25) of those who agree that more involvement in the

productivity process will increase their work effort also believe that productivity feedback

affects their work performance. This is important information in regards to the fact that if

management wishes for people to increase their work effort they must first involve them

in the process. At the same time it is crucial for management to provide the current

productivity reports for the project so that everyone has the opportunity to see how the

project is performing. Unfortunately many contractors fail to provide feedback to the field

as they simply do not know how and what to include in the report (Alfred 1988). Reports










Table 4-1. Descriptive statistics of the communication section


Statement
(1) I discuss productivity goals
with co-workers
(2) I participate in the discussion
about future productivity goals
(3) I am able to provide
suggestions on improving work
performance
(4) I receive feedback on my
performance
(5) Increasing my involvement in
setting productivity goals would
increase my work effort to meet
those goals


20


15



LL
0* 10
a,)


Mean Standard error Median


4.333

4.364


4.424


3.939


4.152


0.104

0.122


0.107


0.137


0.158


Mode Standard deviation Skewness


0.595

0.699


0.614


0.788


0.906


Kurtosis


-0.246 -0.565


-0.647


-0.556


-0.384


-0.853


-0.669


-0.523


-0.057


0


Mean =4.15
Std. Dev. =0.906
N =33


Increasing my involvement in setting productivity goals
would increase my work effort to meet those goals


Figure 4-5. Histogram of "Increasing my involvement in setting productivity goals would lead to an increase in my work
effort"









CHAPTER 3
METHODOLOGY

Survey

Overview

The study questions focused on employees' communication, understanding and

perception of productivity and the motivating impact of these three factors on

productivity. Other areas for which information gathered from the employees included:

* Involvement in productivity reporting and goal setting
* Productivity impact on work performance
* Open line of communication with supervisor about performance ratings

The answers to these questions were gathered to determine whether increasing

any of these variables would result in a higher level of motivation to work and thus

meeting productivity goals.

Population

The sample population targeted for this survey consisted of those working in the

industrial construction sector, which on any given industrial project may include

employees from the general contractor company, subcontractors, engineering firms and

architectural firms. The typical job description of those working on an industrial

construction projects include: general labor, skilled craft, field supervisor

(superintendent), field office support (estimating) and management (project manager).

The industrial construction sector was chosen because of the researcher's experience

and familiarity with those types of projects and the types of employees working on them.

Survey Design

The intent of the survey was to not target any specific employment category. All

employees were encouraged to fill out the survey in an effort to provide a more in depth





























To my family,
Without the support of my family, friends and God this process would have been
impossible. They have continually given me motivation and encouragement to finish my
research and schooling. Their impact on my ability to stay focused on the task at hand
is the only reason I was able to keep moving forward.









willingness to increase performance in their daily tasks. A manager understanding these

factors can take advantage by simply showing a worker their performance from the

previous month. This would involve a conversation about the current productivity goals

for the month and whether or not they fully understand how to go about meeting it.

Unfortunately, there is still a common misconception about managing in the construction

industry. The belief is that workers are typically lazy and need to be coerced to perform

at optimal levels. Improving productivity requires a shift from this management style and

more focus on a workers perception of productivity reports.

The study performed focused on management's ability to communicate with their

employees about the productivity process. The goal was to determine if an employee's

motivation to work is influenced by how well they understand productivity reports or by

their level of involvement in setting future performance goals.

The survey conducted addressed the following concerns/parameters:

* Transparency in communication about productivity
* Inclusion in the discussion and setting of productivity goals
* Provide input in rectifying productivity issues
* Provide information about how productivity numbers are generated
* Willingness to increase performance when productivity is down
* Their belief of how important it is to reach productivity goals

Overview

Following this introduction, Chapter 2 covers the literature review. This covers

similar studies on the same topic providing their results and analysis. The chapter also

provides definitions and discusses methods commonly used in the construction

industry.

Chapter 3 outlines the methodology used for this research. A survey was

conducted to gather input from construction professionals in all levels of employment.









measures are". This was asked to gauge the level of knowledge individuals have about

productivity and its purpose.

The second statement says "I understand how my company generates productivity

reports". Not only is it important for a worker to know what productivity measures are but

exactly how they are generated and recorded. Understanding the process helps keep

the worker from feeling that productivity reports are fabricated without actual data.

The third statement is "I know how my performance is evaluated". Knowing how

one is going to be evaluated provides information on what is important and how they

can meet company standards. It also provides them with a sense of ease knowing how

they are going to be evaluated and that the evaluation marks they receive are accurate.

The final statement of this section says "Having a better understanding of

productivity would increase my work effort". The purpose here was to summarize the

section and find out if the employee's motivation is related to their understanding of

productivity.

Fourth section perception/importance

This section determines information regarding the level of importance and how

each employee viewed productivity on their current project. Finding out how important

productivity goals are to a company's employees can be very beneficial and provide

answers as to why goals may not be met. Revealing each employees perception of

productivity demonstrates how well the company and management are portraying

performance goals.

The first statement says "Meeting productivity goals are important to me". The

responses here gauge how important employees view productivity measures. They can









Results indicated that the most important category was "management systems

and strategies" with a ranking of 100% (Rojas and Aramvareekul 2003). Within this

category each driver was ranked based on having the most impact on productivity and

they are listed from most relevant to the least: management skills, scheduling, material

& equipment management and quality control. It is not surprising that management

skills are rated as having the highest impact on labor productivity. They can affect the

conditions that laborers work in by the location of resources, changing of schedules,

work methods and motivational practices used. The most efficient way for management

to increase productivity is to examine their current managing methods to determine how

effective they are.

Incentives to Increase Productivity

Much has been researched in determining the most effective ways to

reward/recognize employees for their work completed. "Rewarding competencies of

individuals through financial incentive plans, recognition programs and behavior

modification strategies are the most effective ways to motivate employees (Lam and

Tang 2003)." It is also important to understand who your employees are and what

method will satisfy them and help continue increasing their performance.

An analysis of the Australian construction industry was performed in an effort to

identify the positive/negative motivational influences towards productivity and to reveal

the latent properties of these factors in hopes of creating a benchmark (Doloi 2007). A

total of twenty-five attributes were identified and broken down into 4 different categories:

incentives/disincentives, management processes, job satisfaction and external

conditions. Respondents were asked to rank the attributes based on the Likert scale,









The information gathered in this section revealed that only three of the statements

had a mean response above 4.0 (see Table 4-7). These three statements also had

standard deviations relatively close to one another, all being below 1.0. Where they

differ is in their distribution of responses. The statements (1) "I know what

productivity/performance measures are" and (2) "I understand how my company

generates productivity reports" had answers that were more clustered together based

on their kurtosis values. These statements also had a high negative skewness value

(bell shape curve favors the right side of the mean ("strongly agreed")). The only

statement to come close to representing a normal distribution was (3) "I know how my

performance is evaluated" (Figure 4-6). The final statement (4) "Having a better

understanding of productivity would increase my work effort" had a mean value of 3.606

and was the only one to return a value larger than 1.0 for the standard deviation (see

Table 4-7), thus indicating that the responses were further away from the mean than the

others.

Overall the sample population understood what productivity reports were and how

they were generated/evaluated. However there was some discrepancy in the responses

to the statement (3) "I know how my performance is evaluated" with 21% (7) of those

surveyed answering either neutral or disagree (see Table 4-8). These answers were not

surprising considering that the results of the communication section where 24% (8) of

the respondents indicated that they did not receive feedback on their performance. In

the final statement (4) the responses were more evenly distributed with 42.4% (14)

providing a negative response and 57.6% (19) a positive response.









WORKER INVOLVEMENT, UNDERSTANDING AND PERCEPTION OF
PRODUCTIVITY AS FACTORS OF MOTIVATION

















By

ROBERT A. WELLS


A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT
OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF
MASTER OF SCIENCE IN BUILDING CONSTRUCTION

UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA

2010









Subcontractor; and Other. This helps in distinguishing whether there were any

disparities between company types in how productivity was reported.

The second question focused on the size of the company with the following

choices available; Less than $20 million; $20 to $80 million; $80 to $150 million; $150 to

$200 million and $200 million or more. The size of a company can be used as an

indicator of the use of productivity and its transparency throughout the company.

The third question asked about the amount of experience the individual had. Years

of experience can become a factor in how involved and concerned the individual is in

productivity.

The fourth question asked for the respondents to indicate their current job

description. Job description is important because it helps signify who actually received

the survey. The results from this area will help in determining whether the survey

reached all levels of a construction jobsite.

The fifth question was in regards to the length of time the individual had been on

the current project. Length of time on a project may provide a better insight as to

whether tenure on a project correlates to a workers perception of productivity and their

understanding.

Second section communication

The second section consists of questions that relate to the amount of

communication there is about productivity either with the superiors, co-workers or those

that work underneath them. In this section the individual is asked to rank each

statement on a Likert Scale.

The first statement is "I discuss productivity goals with co-workers". This will show

how much productivity goals are communicated on a project. Communication about









These categories provide the foundation for how to increase someone's

motivation. For instance, someone who is unable to pay their bills will not be motivated

by social aspects or much less pursue any type of self-actualization needs. Instead the

individual will be consumed by the 'physiological needs' of possibly not having shelter or

enough food. An extension to this theory that has been applied directly to the

construction industry is that of Schrader (1972). His conclusion is that "the lower level

needs (like physiological and safety needs) are no longer a motivating factor for

construction workers. It is based on the fact that the construction workers make good

wage to fulfill their physiological needs and through unions they can maintain a

relatively smooth level of employment fulfilling their safety needs (job security)

(Halepota 2005)." Understanding that the basic needs of the workers are already met

provides the opportunity for managers to actually motivate and thus increase

productivity. Schrader suggests that in order to fulfill the higher needs (esteem and self-

actualization) management should involve workers in helping to develop improvement

methods.

This study will focus on whether what Schrader suggests is actually being

implemented. By investigating whether workers are involved in the productivity process

and whether they have a clear understanding of how the productivity measures are

developed. Thus, satisfying their 'Esteem' and 'Self-Actualization' needs.

Expectancy Theory

The expectancy theory, created by Vroom (1964), analyzes the physiological

needs of the worker by trying to predict the motivation and performance in a workers

behavior. Expectancy theory relies on three important concepts (Warren 1989):









Table 4-13. Descriptive statistics of the perception section
Standard Standard
Mean Median Mode Skewness Kurtosis
Error Deviation
(1) Meeting productivity goals are
(1) Meeting productivity goals are 4.7273 .0900 3.00 5.00 .51676 -1.769 2.511
important to me
(2) Meeting productivity goals are
Sr s 4.8485 .0634 4.00 5.00 .36411 -2.038 2.287
important to a projects success
(3) Reaching productivity goals are
important to my supervisors and company 4.8788 .0577 4.00 5.00 .33143 -2.433 4.170
overall
(4) Productivity reports accurately portray 4.0606 .1301 2.00 5.00 .74747 -.578 .485
the work completed
(5) Productivity feedback affects my work
performance...e.g. when below period
performance... e.g when below period 4.2727 .1174 3.00 5.00 .67420 -.388 -.708
goals; I am more motivated to increase
performance


Mean -4.27
Std. Dev. =0.674
N=33


Productivity feedback affects my work performance...e.
g. when below period goals; I am more motivated to
increase performance


Figure 4-8. Histogram of "Productivity feedback affects my work performance"









Chi Square analysis of responses in the Communication Section of the
S survey ............................................................. .... .. ...... ..... 37
Understanding ........................... ....... ....... ............ ............. 40
Comparison of Job Description to the Statements in the Understanding
Section of the Survey ..................... .. ...... .......... ................. 43
Comparison of (4) "Having a better understanding would increase my work
effort" to the other Statements in the Understanding Section of the Survey.. 45
P e rc e p tio n ..................................... ..... ........ .... .... ... ........................................ 4 7
Comparison of Job Description to the Statements in the Perception Section
of the S survey ............................... .. ....... ................... ................... .. 4 9
Comparison of (5) "Productivity feedback affects my work performance" to
the Statements in the Perception Section of the Survey ............................. 51
Comparison of Motivational Statements ......... ........... ....... ................. 52

5 C O N C LU S IO N ........................ ................. .. ................. ............... 57

Analysis Overview .............................. ............. .................. 57
Recommendations ..................... .............................. 58

APPENDIX

A SURVEY QUESTIONS ............... .................... ............ ............... 60

B SURVEY APPROVAL LETTER .................... ..................... ............... 63

LIST OF REFERENCES ............... .. ............... ................... ....... ........ 64

B IO G RA P H ICA L S KETC H ............ .......... ...... .......... ........................... ............... 66









also be used to determine how well management is emphasizing the importance of

meeting these goals.

The second statement asked "Meeting productivity goals are important to a

projects success". Again the answers provided here will show the effectiveness

management is having in relaying productivity measures and its importance to the

overall success of a project.

The third statement asked "Reaching productivity goals are important to my

supervisors and company overall". This statement is seeking out how the employee

perceives their management's view of productivity.

The fourth statement asked "Productivity reports accurately portray the work being

completed". The importance of this statement is directly related to the employee's

perception of the accuracy of productivity/performance reports. Determining their level

of believe in the system provided valuable insight as to their level of motivation towards

project goals.

The final statement of the section was "Productivity feedback affects my work

performance... e.g. when below period goals; I am more motivated to increase

performance". The purpose here was to summarize the section and to find out if

productivity reports are directly correlated to an employee's motivational level.

Analysis

Analyzing the results of the survey was accomplished by using the Statistical

Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) software and MS Excel 2007. The descriptive

statistics were calculated for all the questions based on the 5-point Likert scale used.

This information helped describe which questions had responses that were normally









Table 4-5 shows how the statistically significantly associated statements (1) and

(4) were rated by those surveyed. Of the twenty-five responses of either agree or

strongly agree to receiving feedback, 96% (24) indicated they also were able to provide

suggestions. An explanation for this is that management is effectively using an 'open-

door' policy with their employees. Employing this method correctly creates a positive

atmosphere that allows employees at all levels of a company to seamlessly interact with

each other without the fear of reprisal (Warren 1989).

Table 4-5. Cross tabulation between responses to (1) "I receive feedback on my
performance" and (4) "I am able to provide suggestions on improving work
performance"
(4) I am able to provide suggestions on
improving work performance
Neutral Agree Strongly Agree Total
Disagree 0 1 0 1
Neutral 1 5 1 7
(1) I receive feedback
on my performance Aree
Strongly Agree 0 0 8 8
Total 2 15 16 33

Table 4-6 shows the responses to the statistically significantly associated

statements (1) and (5). Involving employees in the productivity goal setting process can

help develop a coworker relationship, which in turn will increase "the motivation of

workers and ultimately their productivity" (Halepota 2005). There were 26 (78.8%)

responses that agree with the statement; (5) "Increasing my involvement in setting

productivity goals would increase my work efforts". Of those responses 81% (21) said

they also received feedback on their performance. In order for an individual to want to

increase their work effort in meeting productivity goals they first must know how their

performance measures up to company standards. Providing feedback allows




Full Text

PAGE 1

WORKER INVOLVEMENT, UNDERSTANDING AND PERCEPTION OF PRODUCTIVITY AS FACTORS OF MOTIVATION By ROBERT A. WELLS A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORID A IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF SCIENCE IN BUILDING CONSTRUCTION UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2010 1

PAGE 2

2010 Robert A. Wells 2

PAGE 3

To my family, Without the support of my family, friends and God this process would have been impossible. They have continually given me motivation and encouragement to finish my research and schooling. Their impact on my ability to stay focused on the task at hand is the only reason I was able to keep moving forward. 3

PAGE 4

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I am extremely grateful to my chair, Dr. Raymond Issa for the continuous support and patience throughout this process. He has the ability to pull the best out of students and allow them to research freely on their ow n all the while providing invaluable insight into the subject that cannot be found any where else. Without his expertise and dedication this thesis would not have come to completion. I want to thank all the staf f at the M.E. Rinker, Sr. Sc hool of Building Construction at the University of Florida for their hel p in guiding me through this process. Their patience with fellow students and me in repe atedly informing us what needs to be done was critical to my success in the masters program at UF. 4

PAGE 5

TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDG EMENTS...............................................................................................4 LIST OF TABLES............................................................................................................7 LIST OF FI GURES..........................................................................................................9 ABSTRACT ...................................................................................................................10 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUC TION....................................................................................................12 Productivi ty.............................................................................................................12 Importance of Percept ion and Under standing.........................................................13 Overvi ew.................................................................................................................14 2 LITERATURE REVIEW..........................................................................................16 Productivity Theorie s..............................................................................................16 Maslows Hi erachy...........................................................................................16 Expectancy Theory...........................................................................................17 Study on Factors Affect ing Product ivity..................................................................18 Employee Motiva tional Ty pes...........................................................................19 Incentives to Incr ease Producti vity...................................................................20 Communication and Perceptio n.......................................................................22 3 METHOD OLOGY...................................................................................................24 Survey .....................................................................................................................24 Overvi ew..........................................................................................................24 Populati on........................................................................................................24 Survey De sign..................................................................................................24 Survey Q uestions .............................................................................................25 First section................................................................................................25 Second section communication...............................................................26 Third section understandi ng....................................................................27 Fourth section perce ption/impor tance.....................................................28 Analys is..................................................................................................................29 4 RESULTS AND ANALYSIS....................................................................................31 Demographics of Samp le........................................................................................31 Communica tion .......................................................................................................33 5

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Chi Square analysis of responses in the Communication Section of the Survey ...........................................................................................................37 Understan ding ........................................................................................................40 Comparison of Job Description to t he Statements in t he Understanding Section of t he Surv ey....................................................................................43 Comparison of (4) Having a better understanding would increase my work effort to the other Stat ements in the Understanding Se ction of the Survey..45 Perceptio n...............................................................................................................47 Comparison of Job Description to the Statements in the Perception Section of the Su rvey.................................................................................................49 Comparison of (5) Productivity feedba ck affects my work performance to the Statements in the Percepti on Section of the Survey...............................51 Comparison of Motiva tional Stat ements.................................................................52 5 CONCLUS ION........................................................................................................57 Analysis Ov erview..................................................................................................57 Recommendat ions..................................................................................................58 APPENDIX A SURVEY QU ESTIONS...........................................................................................60 B SURVEY APPROV AL LETTER..............................................................................63 LIST OF RE FERENCES...............................................................................................64 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH ............................................................................................66 6

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LIST OF TABLES Table page 4-1 Descriptive statistics of the communica tion sect ion.............................................34 4-2 Frequency of responses for communication statements......................................36 4-3 Spearmans Rank Order Correlati on for Communication Section Questions.......37 4-4 Cross tabulation between responses to (1) I receive feedback on my performance and statements (2)-(5) in the communication section (n=33).........38 4-5 Cross tabulation between responses to (1) I receive feedback on my performance and (4) I am able to pr ovide suggestions on improving work performanc e........................................................................................................39 4-6 Cross tabulation between responses to (1) I receive feedback on my performance and (5) Increasing involvement in setting productivity goals would increase my work effo rt to meet those goals.............................................40 4-7 Descriptive statistics of the understandi ng sectio n...............................................42 4-8 Frequency of responses for understanding statements.......................................43 4-9 Cross tabulation between job description and st atements (1)-(4) in the understanding sect ion (n= 33)...............................................................................44 4-10 Cross tabulation between responses to job description and (2) I understand how my company generates productivity reports................................................45 4-11 Cross tabulation between (4) Havi ng a better understanding would increase my work effort and the statements (1)-(3 ) in the understanding section (n=33)..45 4-12 Cross tabulation between responses to (4) Having a better understanding of productivity would increase my work effo rt and (1) I know what productivity measures are ......................................................................................................46 4-13 Descriptive statistics of the percepti on sectio n.....................................................48 4-14 Frequency of responses fo r perception st atements.............................................49 4-15 Cross tabulation between job descr iption and statements (1)-(5) in the perception section of the survey (n=33)...............................................................50 4-16 Cross tabulation between responses to job description and (1) Meeting productivity goals are im portant to me................................................................51 7

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4-17 Cross tabulation between (5) Pr oductivity feedback affects my work performance to statements (1)-(4) of the perception se ction (n =33)................51 4-18 Cross tabulation of responses to (4) Productivity reports accurately portray work completed and (5) Productivity f eedback affects my work performance...52 4-19 Cross tabulation between motivational statements of each sect ion.....................55 4-20 Cross tabulation between responses to Having a better understanding of productivity would increase my work effort and Increasing my involvement in the setting productivity goals would increase my work effort to meet those goals ...................................................................................................................55 4-21 Cross tabulation between responses to Productivity feedback affects my work performance and Increasing my involvement in setting productivity goals would increase my work effort.............................................................................56 4-22 Cross tabulation between responses to Productivity feedback affects my work performance and Having a better understanding of productivity would increase my work effort.......................................................................................56 8

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LIST OF FIGURES Figure page 1-1 Relationship between motivation and pr oductivity..................................................13 4-1 Company type and volume of work........................................................................31 4-2 Job descripti on of respondents ..............................................................................32 4-3 Years of experience...............................................................................................32 4-4 Length of time on current pr oject............................................................................33 4-5 Histogram of Increasing my invo lvement in setting productivity goals would lead to an increase in my work e ffort ....................................................................34 4-6 Histogram of I know how my performance is evalua ted.......................................42 4-7 Histogram of Meeting productiv ity goals are import ant to me..............................47 4-8 Histogram of Productivity feedba ck affects my work performance.......................48 9

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Abstract of Thesis Pres ented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulf illment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Science in Building Construction WORKER INVOLVEMENT, UNDERSTANDI NG AND PERCEPTION AS FACTORS OF MOTIVATION By Robert Wells August 2010 Chair: R. Raymond Issa Major: Building Construction Research in the construction industry has revealed that productivity and motivation are interdependent (Warren 1989). The cons truction industry relies heavily on the effectiveness of its workers and their ability to complete tasks in a timely manner. Much research has been conducted determining how to increase worker productivity through reward programs for the most productive crew s/employees. This has lead to a lot of thinking about ways management can manipulat e workers into performing at higher levels. This study has determined the effectiv eness of management in communicating with their employees about productivity. Without a clear under standing of what productivity is and its importance an employee is unable to associate an increase in productivity with a successful project. The survey results were tested against the hypothesis that increasing an individuals involvement in setting and understanding productivity goals would result in a higher leve l of motivation to meet those productivity goals. The data collected provided the informati on needed to determine the impact that productivity has on employees and manage ments ability to communicate its 10

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importance. The goal was to collect in formation from three different groups: management (project manager, project engineer, project sponsor and vice president); field supervisors (foreman, superintendents and field engineers) and general labor (carpenter, brick layer, driv er, etc.). The survey examined how well the respondents communicated about productivity ; the amount of knowled ge that they have on the matter and their perception of productivity. These factors were then used to determine whether they had an impact on an employees motivation to increase work performance. The results indicated that there was in fact a correlation between the level of communication, knowledge and perception of pr oductivity to an empl oyees work effort. 11

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CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION Productivity The construction industry has consistently underperformed ev ery other industry when compared to their productivity. In fa ct, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics performed a study on the constr uction industry showing results of productivity actually decreasing since 1964 (Toenjes 2009). T here are many variables that can be associated with or responsible for this la ck of production. A brief list would include: Material and equipment management Labor force Communication Managements forecasting abilities This is not an exhaustive list but what can be clearly inferred from the few topics provided is that management has a direct impact on producti vity. The major cause for the drop in productivity is managements inability to efficiently use the most valuable resource on the jobsite: labor. The basic defin ition of productivity is the amount of manhours inputted divided by the amount of man-hours require d for a specified output (Adrian 2004). The importance of labor productivity in t he construction industry is seen even at a national level. In 1997, new-construction-put -in-place accounted for roughly 7% of the gross domestic product (GDP), and if one incl udes remodeling and repair work the total rises to over 10% GDP (Allmon et al. 2000). While the U.S. total productivity has been increasing at a rate of 2. 7% annually the construction industry has been at an abysmal .8% (Adrian 2004). Over the past decade the cons truction industries lack in productivity shows that managers have not been able to e ffectively utilize labor on a daily basis. 12

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Clearly there is still a chasm between what managers believe to be effective measures of increasing labor productivity and employee s responsiveness to the status quo. One belief for this chasm could be that there is a lack of understanding, communication and involvement from the workers viewpoint in productivity. The relationship between productivity and motivation is interdependent so that when an employees motivation increases so will their productivity (see Figure 1-1). This is a very important aspect managers must under stand if they are to increase worker productivity. Figure 1-1. Relationship bet ween motivation and productivity Importance of Perception and Understanding Why is an employees understanding of productivity important? How would increasing their knowledge factors lead to in crease in an employees motivation to work? In order to begin this analysis it is important to discuss the workers perception of productivity. A persons perspective dictates their willingness and ability to understand a given topic. The basic definition of perception in a learning sense is the mental activity of interpreting the impressions received thro ugh the senses of sight, hearing, tasting, feeling and smelling (Moore 2001). These basic factors all contribute to the workers 13

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willingness to increase performance in their daily tasks. A manager understanding these factors can take advantage by simply showing a worker their performance from the previous month. This would involve a conv ersation about the current productivity goals for the month and whether or not they fu lly understand how to go about meeting it. Unfortunately, there is still a common misconc eption about managing in the construction industry. The belief is that workers are ty pically lazy and need to be coerced to perform at optimal levels. Improving productivity requires a shift from this management style and more focus on a workers perception of productivity reports. The study performed focused on managements ability to communicate with their employees about the productivity process. The goal was to determine if an employees motivation to work is influenced by how well they understand productivity reports or by their level of involvement in setting future performance goals. The survey conducted addressed the following concerns/parameters: Transparency in communication about productivity Inclusion in the discussion and setting of productivity goals Provide input in rectifying productivity issues Provide information about how productivity numbers are generated Willingness to increase performance when productivity is down Their belief of how important it is to reach productivity goals Overview Following this introduction, Chapter 2 cove rs the literature review. This covers similar studies on the same topic providing their results and analysis. The chapter also provides definitions and discusses methods commonly used in the construction industry. Chapter 3 outlines the methodology used for this research. A survey was conducted to gather input from construction pr ofessionals in all levels of employment. 14

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Chapter 4 shows the results from t he survey and the analysis conducted to determine which factors have an impact on motivation. Chapter 5 is the conclusion of the study performed and recommendations are provided for areas of this study that could make it more influential. 15

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CHAPTER 2 LITERATURE REVIEW Productivity Theories Motivation is a concept that has not yet been fully understood. The difficulty is that every individual can be motivated by differe nt aspects. In essence, the project manager must effectively and comfortably wear m any different hats when leading a project (Halepota 2005). With motivation being a critical aspect of productivity there is a need to provide a clearer understanding of how ex actly motivation affects productivity. According to Warren (1989), motivation is c haracterized as the group of influences (climate being one of them) that cause craftsmen to want to perform a given task. The study of motivation and its im pact on construction workers is very extensive and covers a breadth of different theories. Maslows Hierachy Maslows Hierachy of needs is a motivati onal theory that explores psychological needs and what drives human behavior. These needs are broken into five different categories: Physiological needs necessary for surv ival (food, water, shelter, warmth and sleep) Safety needs physical and mentally (secur ity, freedom from f ear/harm, stability, structured environment) Belongingness and Love social aspects (love, relationships, being a part of something) Esteem needs both self-esteem (achieve ment and mastery) and that of esteem from others (what others think) Self-actualization needs motivation realize ones maximum potential; selffulfillment 16

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These categories provide the foundat ion for how to increase someones motivation. For instance, someone who is unabl e to pay their bills will not be motivated by social aspects or much less pursue any type of self-actualization needs. Instead the individual will be consumed by the physiologica l needs of possibly not having shelter or enough food. An extension to this theory that has been applied directly to the construction industry is that of Schrader ( 1972). His conclusion is that the lower level needs (like physiological and safety needs) are no longer a motivating factor for construction workers. It is based on the fact that the construction workers make good wage to fulfill their physiological needs and through unions they can maintain a relatively smooth level of employment fulfilling their safety needs (job security) (Halepota 2005). Understanding that the basic needs of the workers are already met provides the opportunity for managers to actually motivate and thus increase productivity. Schrader suggests that in order to fulfill the higher needs (esteem and selfactualization) management should involve wo rkers in helping to develop improvement methods. This study will focus on whether what Schrader suggests is actually being implemented. By investigating whether workers are involved in the productivity process and whether they have a clear understanding of how the productivity measures are developed. Thus, satisfying their Est eem and Self-Actualization needs. Expectancy Theory The expectancy theory, created by Vr oom (1964), analyzes the physiological needs of the worker by trying to predict the motivation and performance in a workers behavior. Expectancy theory relies on three important concepts (Warren 1989): 17

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The attractiveness of the result is w hat drives an improvement in performance The probability that an increase in effort will actually lead to better performance Perception of the probabili ty that the increase in performance will lead to the desired result It is important to note that the perception of the worker towards their given actions is what drives their behavior not actual resu lts. The key point of the Expectancy Theory is that the more attractive the reward and the stronger the perc eption that changes in effort will produce like changes in perform ance and that improved performance will lead to the reward, the higher the motivation level will be (Warren 1989). The idea that a workers perception of a task or goal is the motivating factor of whether or not to pursue or put forth effort is a concept that most manager s today do not understand. The information gathered in this study will reveal if increasing a workers involvement and understanding leads to an increase in performance. Study on Factors Aff ecting Productivity Examining factors affecting motivation and productivity has been the center of much research throughout the construction industrys history. The research has revealed that employee motivation is very important because it sets the tone for performing at high levels and having less unp roductive time (Smithers and Walker 2000). Focusing efforts on methods with t he greatest potential for productivity improvement and understanding t he relationship between the factors affecting productivity will inevitably lead to an increase in construction productivity (Dai et al. 2007). 18

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Employee Motivational Types Finding out what motivates employees prov ides information as to what types of employees are currently work ing on the project. Specifically they can either be motivated intrinsically or extrinsically. Research over the years has primarily been focused on motivating on an extrinsic level. To motivate intrinsically will require the employee to perform an activity for its i nherent satisfactions (Ryan and Deci 2000). Effectively determining which types of employees a company has is a method that has eluded the construction industry since its birth. Therefore management must adopt multiple approaches in order to appease bot h those who are motivated extrinsically and intrinsically. The importance of the factor s affecting productivity has been primarily from the viewpoint of management. Craft workers input and their perc eption of the factors that influence their daily productivity has rare ly been sought by managers or researchers either because it takes time aw ay from craft workers tasks t hat are to be or because it is considered an infringement on managements ri ght to control the work (Dai et al. 2007). With this void of information from the workers, Rojas and Aramvareekul (2003) conducted a study seeking worker input on factors believed to impact productivity and how it compares with their supervisors. The term driver was used in the survey defining any factor that affects the productivity of a construction task. T he main drivers examined were weather, management positions, scheduled overtime, subc ontractors, coordination, training, and worker motivation. The drivers were pl aced into different categories: management systems and strategies; industry environmen t; manpower and external conditions. The respondents were then asked to rank the relative importance of each category. 19

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Results indicated that the most im portant category was management systems and strategies with a ranking of 100% (Roj as and Aramvareekul 2003). Within this category each driver was ranked based on hav ing the most impact on productivity and they are listed from most re levant to the least: management skills, scheduling, material & equipment management and quality control. It is not surprising that management skills are rated as having the highest impact on labor productivity. They can affect the conditions that laborers work in by the lo cation of resources, changing of schedules, work methods and motivational practices us ed. The most efficient way for management to increase productivity is to examine thei r current managing methods to determine how effective they are. Incentives to Increase Productivity Much has been researched in determining the most effective ways to reward/recognize employees for their work completed. Rewarding competencies of individuals through financial incentive plans, recognition programs and behavior modification strategies are the most effe ctive ways to motivate employees (Lam and Tang 2003). It is also important to understand who your employees are and what method will satisfy them and help cont inue increasing their performance. An analysis of the Australian construction industry was performed in an effort to identify the positive/negative motivational influences towards productivity and to reveal the latent properties of these factors in hopes of creating a benchmark (Doloi 2007). A total of twenty-five attributes were identified and broken down into 4 different categories: incentives/disincentives, management proc esses, job satisfaction and external conditions. Respondents were asked to rank the attributes based on the Likert scale, 20

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ranging from 1 Strongly Disagree to 5 Str ongly Agree. The critical key motivational factors where respondents agreed with the statement more than 70% (Doloi 2007): Individual reward progra m based on productivity 78% Opportunities for advancement within a company 78% Getting appropriate incentives 76% Recognition by the employer 74% These results indicated that rewarding employees has an influence over their motivation and worker productivity. The result s also indicated what commonly works to increase motivation; however for these rewa rd programs to have their greatest impact management must seek input from their employees. This can be accomplished through asking the workers themselves or their repr esentatives for opinion s. Without workers participating in the program it will be difficult to successfully implement a rewards program and effectively gauge the motivati on gained from it (Lam and Tang 2003). Recognition is another area considered to be a major part of how the construction industry operates. One study focused on the impac ts that affect two different types of workers; those on the site 1-4 days and those on the site 5-6 days. The factors affecting both groups include working long hours, non-recognition for work, poor management planning, and the chaos of the jobsite (Smithers and Walk er 2000). Non-recognition for work resulted in one the biggest differences between the two groups answers. Those working 5-6 days received less recognition for work completed and thus lost motivation to continue working at a high level (Smi thers and Walker 2000). Losing motivation for those working 5-6 days will have the biggest im pact on labor productivity since they are on the site the most. As revealed in this study recognizing an employees effort is crucial to their motivation to perform This recognition however does not always have to come from management but it must co me from those that the em ployee values. It could be 21

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work associates, friends, or family that will provide the satisfactory of being recognized (Warren 1989). Providing that management must determine the factors that will influence their employees the most by involv ing them in the decision making process. Communication and Perception The relationship between productivity and communication has been researched extensively Clampitt and Downs (1993) and found that there is a correlation between the two. This research showed that out of the top 100 U.S. corporations 96 of the presidents agreed that there was a relationship. The research conducted focused on the communication of employees and what fact ors impacted their productivity the most. It was found that personal feedb ack was the most common fact or to impact productivity between the two companies surveyed. Clampitt and Downs (1993) described how feedback impacted productivity through having the respondents provide comments. The most consistent answer with 31% of one co mpany was that feedba ck was related to Morale (feelings) and the definition provid ed was Need approval of work level. Why work if no one cares (Clampitt and Downs 1 993). The information found reveals that employees need to believe that the wo rk they are doing has an impact on the companys performance and that someone is taking note of their production. There has yet to be research conducted on any one industr y type to determine if this holds true. The research conducted in this current study examined the relationship between productivity and communication specifically to the construction industry. Realizing the key to motivation is to understand ones perception and its correlation with productivity. The perception towards both motivation and productivity is of importance because of the range of people who are influenc ed (i.e. general labor to the owner). As shown through the Expectancy T heory a workers perception impacts their 22

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motivation and this is a key factor for increasi ng productivity. It is however a difficult task to apply general methods in the constructi on industry because no single project is the same and rarely does the same team members have the opportunity to work together again. Therefore finding out what has the greatest impact on construction workers is important to the overall success of increasing construction productivity. 23

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CHAPTER 3 METHODOLOGY Survey Overview The study questions focused on employees communication, understanding and perception of productivity and the motiva ting impact of these three factors on productivity. Other areas for which informa tion gathered from the employees included: Involvement in productivity reporting and goal setting Productivity impact on work performance Open line of communication with supervisor about performance ratings The answers to these questions were gat hered to determine whether increasing any of these variables would result in a hi gher level of motivation to work and thus meeting productivity goals. Population The sample population targeted for this surv ey consisted of those working in the industrial construction sector, which on any given industrial project may include employees from the general c ontractor company, subcontractors, engineering firms and architectural firms. The typical job description of those working on an industrial construction projects include: general labor, skilled craft, field supervisor (superintendent), field office support (est imating) and management (project manager). The industrial construction sector was chos en because of the researchers experience and familiarity with those types of projects and the types of employees working on them. Survey Design The intent of the survey was to not tar get any specific empl oyment category. All employees were encouraged to fill out the survey in an effort to provide a more in depth 24

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analysis that comes from getting input from all positions within a construction company. For example, a foreman is able to provi de information regarding his or her ability to involve general labor as well as provide an evaluation of how upper management is including him or her in the productivity analys is process. This information provides an opportunity to capture the insight from a diverse group of employees and their perceptions of productivity. The survey was created and distributed online through SurveyMonkey (http://www.surveymonkey.com) and consisted of four sections (see Append ix A). The link to complete the survey was sent out February 9, 2010 and remained open until the April 1, 2010. It was designed in an effort to be distributed to all levels of employment to increase its ease of distribution. The firs t section posed general questions regarding the type of company, size, years of experience, length of time on current project and job description. The following three sections (communication, understanding and perception) consisted of a total of 14 questions asking the respondents to rank each statement based on a 5-point Likert scale. Se lecting the lowest answer of 1 indicated that the respondent strongly disagreed with the statement whereas an answer of 5 meant that the respondent str ongly agreed with the statement. The biggest issue when using a Likert scale is the tendency of the respondents to pick a neutral answer. An answer of neutral in this study is considered equivalent to a negative response due to the type of questions presented. Survey Questions First section The first question of the survey asked fo r the respondents to indicate the type of company they were working for: General Contractor; Engineering; Architecture; 25

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Subcontractor; and Other. This helps in distinguishing whether there were any disparities between company types in how productivity was reported. The second question focused on the size of the company with the following choices available; Less than $20 million; $20 to $80 million; $80 to $150 million; $150 to $200 million and $200 million or more. The si ze of a company can be used as an indicator of the use of productivity and its transparency throughout the company. The third question asked about the amount of experience the individual had. Years of experience can become a factor in how involved and concerned the individual is in productivity. The fourth question asked for the res pondents to indicate their current job description. Job description is important because it helps signify who actually received the survey. The results from this area wil l help in determining whether the survey reached all levels of a construction jobsite. The fifth question was in regards to t he length of time the individual had been on the current project. Length of time on a project may provide a better insight as to whether tenure on a project correlates to a wo rkers perception of productivity and their understanding. Second section communication The second section consists of questi ons that relate to the amount of communication there is about productivity either with the superiors, co-workers or those that work underneath them. In this section the individual is asked to rank each statement on a Li kert Scale. The first statement is I discuss productivi ty goals with co-workers. This will show how much productivity goals are communi cated on a project. Communication about 26

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productivity is important because it keeps everyone up to date with the current goals. It also provides an opportunity for those invo lved to see whether they are on track. The second statement is I participate in the discussion about future productivity goals. Participation in any futu re planning is important for everyones sense of purpose. Including those that will be impacted by produc tivity goals in the process helps their understanding and motivation to meet those goals. The third statement says I am able to provide suggestions on improving work performance. This is a follow up statement to the previous one and is seeking further information as to the level of participation implemented. The fourth statement is I receive feedback on my performance. Receiving feedback on performance is important to all levels of a company. It provides areas that need to be addressed as well as areas that they are performing well. Without receiving this valuable information it is hard to ex pect higher production if you do not know where to improve. The final statement of this section was Increasing my involvement in setting productivity goals would increase my work e ffort to meet those goals. This is in essence the goal of this section. To find out if being more proactive in the productivity process would increase ones motivation. Third section understanding The understanding section looks to investigate how much is actually understood by the individuals in the industry. A better understanding of any process or performance measure helps remove doubt and confusion from the employee. The first statement of this section is I know what productivity/performance 27

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measures are. This was asked to gauge the level of knowledge individuals have about productivity and its purpose. The second statement says I understand how my company generates productivity reports. Not only is it import ant for a worker to know what productivity measures are but exactly how they are generat ed and recorded. Understanding the process helps keep the worker from fee ling that productivity reports are fabricated without actual data. The third statement is I know how my performance is eval uated. Knowing how one is going to be evaluated provides info rmation on what is important and how they can meet company standards. It also provides them with a sense of ease knowing how they are going to be evaluated and that the evaluation marks they receive are accurate. The final statement of this secti on says Having a better understanding of productivity would increase my work effort The purpose here was to summarize the section and find out if the employees motiva tion is related to t heir understanding of productivity. Fourth section perception/importance This section determines information r egarding the level of importance and how each employee viewed productivity on their cu rrent project. Finding out how important productivity goals are to a companys empl oyees can be very beneficial and provide answers as to why goals may not be met. Re vealing each employees perception of productivity demonstrates how well the company and management are portraying performance goals. The first statement says Meeting productivi ty goals are important to me. The responses here gauge how important employees view productivity measures. They can 28

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also be used to determine how well management is emphasizing the importance of meeting these goals. The second statement asked Meeting pr oductivity goals are important to a projects success. Again the answers pr ovided here will show the effectiveness management is having in relaying productivi ty measures and its importance to the overall success of a project. The third statement asked Reaching pr oductivity goals are important to my supervisors and company overall. This st atement is seeking out how the employee perceives their managements view of productivity. The fourth statement asked P roductivity reports accurately portray the work being completed. The importance of this statemen t is directly related to the employees perception of the accuracy of productivity/performance r eports. Determining their level of believe in the system provided valuable insight as to their level of motivation towards project goals. The final statement of t he section was Productivity feedback affects my work performancee.g. when below period goals; I am more motivated to increase performance. The purpose here was to summ arize the section and to find out if productivity reports are directly correlated to an employees motivational level. Analysis Analyzing the results of the survey wa s accomplished by using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) so ftware and MS Excel 2007. The descriptive statistics were calculated for all the questi ons based on the 5-point Likert scale used. This information helped describe which questions had responses that were normally 29

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distributed. Each question also was tested on their kurtosis and skewness as compared to a normal distribution. The data was then cross-tabulated us ing a Chi-Square for determining associations between responses for different statements. This was used to insure that the results did not happen by c hance. The Chi-Square test returned a value that gave the probability of the com parison being within the 95th percentile ( =0.05) (Cox et al. 2005). The comparisons were also tested to determine the correlation between the two variables. This was done using the standar d Spearman Rank Order correlation method available in SPSS. The results provided through this analysis reveal whether the variables are positively or negatively related. For instance if the correlation for GPA to starting salary was a 1, t hen the proper analysis would be that the higher a students GPA is the higher their starting salary will be. Spearmans Rank Order was not used however when comparing Job Description to the other sections as the answers were not numeric. 30

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CHAPTER 4 RESULTS AND ANALYSIS Demographics of Sample The survey was distributed among industr ial construction employees and was completed by 33 individuals. This group of individuals included employees working for general contractors and engineering firms. The majority of the respondents were employed by a general contra ctor, encompassing 91% (30) of those surveyed (see Figure 4-1A). This is no surprise as most industrial construction companies self-perform most of their work. As a result 82% (27) had a volume of work that was in the $200 million or more category (see Figure 4-1B). Other, 2, 6% Engineer, 1, 3% General Contractor, 30, 91%A. Company Type Don't Know, 1, 3% $200 M or More, 27, 82% $150 M to $200 M, 2, 6% $20 M to $80 M, 3, 9%B. Volume of Work Figure 4-1. Company type and volume of work The job description of each respondent how ever was more diversified. For job description, management was the most frequ ent response with 46% (15), followed by field supervisor at 33% (11) (see Figure 4-2). The management category consisted of those in executive positions, project managers and project engineers. The field supervisor category consisted of those with the job descriptions of foreman, field engineers and superintendents. Lastly, field offi ce support included titles for those in estimating and procurement, encompassing 12% (4) of the completed surveys. The 31

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survey was not completed by any employees whose job description fell in the category of General Labor. Only one respondent 3% w hose job description was Skilled Craft completed the survey (see Figure 4-2). A re ason for this could be that they are not typically assigned a company computer or em ail address that would allow for them to have access to the survey. Skilled Craft, 1, 3% Field Supervisor, 11, 33% Field Office Support, 4, 12% Management, 15, 46% Other, 2, 6% Figure 4-2. Job description of respondents Years of experience and length of time on current project were also asked of the respondents. The years of experience results were more mixed than other categories among the thirty-three surveys completed (see Figure 4-3). 15 or More Years, 14, 43% 11 to 15 Years, 4, 12% 6 to 10 Years, 8, 24% 0 to 5 Years, 7, 21% Figure 4-3. Years of experience 32

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33 The only statement to score below a 4.0 was (4) I receive feedback on my performance where the average was a 3.939. Even though this is close to the other means it is still troubling to see that this is not closer to a 5 than a 4 (see Table 4-1). The communication section dealt main ly with how well productivity was communicated or discussed among the workers. This include d being part of the conversation or just being told what your pr oductivity goals are. As shown in T able 4-1, four of the statement s had responses with a mean in excess of 4.0 indicating that most respondents agreed or strongly agreed with that statement. Figure 4-4. Length of time on current project The length of time each respondent has s pent on their current project is more lopsided (see Figure 4-4). Most of the answers provided were for 1 year or less making up 70% (23). The rest of the respondents were in the 2 to 3 year window (18%) and 5 or more years (12%). The majority of the respondents (43% or 14) indicated they had more than 15 years of experience. Those with experience betw een 6 and 15 years encompassed 36% (12) and 21% (7) for those with 5 years or less. 0 to 1 Yea 70% r, 23, 2 to 3 Years, 6, 18% 5 or More Years, 4, 12% Communication

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34 Table 4-1. Descriptive statisti cs of the communication section Statement Mean Standard erro r Median Mode Standard deviation Skewness Kurtosis (1) I discuss productivity goals with co-workers 4.333 0.104 4 4 0.595 -0.246 -0.565 (2) I participate in the discussion about future productivity goals 4.364 0.122 4 5 0.699 -0.647 -0.669 (3) I am able to provide suggestions on improving work performance 4.424 0.107 4 5 0.614 -0.556 -0.523 (4) I receive feedback on my performance 3.939 0.137 4 4 0.788 -0.384 -0.057 (5) Increasing my involvement in setting productivity goals would increase my work effort to meet those goals 4.152 0.158 4 5 0.906 -0.853 0 Figure 4-5. Histogram of Increasing my involvement in setting productivity goals would lead to an increase in my work effort

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The importance of feedback is simply finding out how well you did relative to what was expected of you (Alfred 1988). Since all employees at some point get evaluated it is important to discuss with them about areas t hat they can improve in and to provide recognition for work they have accomplish ed. Providing feedback can drastically change an employees behavior and perhaps increase their efficiency (Alfred 1988).This feedback needs to come from the management but as well as from the field to management. A manager who receives no feedback from the field does not truly know whether the current methods that they implemented are work ing to increase productivity (Adrian 2004). The standard deviation fluctuated quite a bi t throughout this section of statements. The largest standard deviation of 0.906 was for the last statement (5 ) shown in Table 41. Figure 4-5 shows a histogram indicating that a majority of the responses agreed with the statement (5) that increasing ones involvement in setting productivity goals increases ones work effort. Table 4-2 shows the frequency of the res ponses for each statement. Only two of the statements had a response of disagree. They were in regards to (4) receiving feedback on performance and (5) whether incr easing employee involvement would lead to an increase in their work effort. A posit ive indicator came from looking at the responses to the questions about the discussion of productivity with co-workers, participation in setting future productivity goals and suggestions on improving work performance (see Table 4-2). These statements showed uniformity in the fact that they indicated that all of the employees were involved in the productivity process and that they had open communication with those around them about it. 35

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Table 4-2. Frequency of respons es for communication statements (1) I discuss productivity with co-workers Frequency Percent Neutral 2 6.1 Agree 18 54.5 Strongly Agree 13 39.4 (2) I participate in the discussion about future productivity goals Neutral 4 12.1 Agree 13 39.4 Strongly Agree 16 48.5 (3) I am able to provide suggestions on improving work performance Neutral 2 6.1 Agree 15 45.5 Strongly Agree 16 48.5 (4) I receive feedback on my performance Disagree 1 3.0 Neutral 7 21.2 Agree 17 51.5 Strongly Agree 8 24.2 (5) Increasing my involvement in setting productivity goals would increase my work effort to meet those goals Disagree 2 6.1 Neutral 5 15.2 Agree 12 36.4 Strongly Agree 14 42.4 A Spearman Rank Order Correlation c oefficient analysis was conducted on the responses to measure the strength and direct ion of association that existed between variables. As shown in Table 4-3, the Spearman Rank Order Correlation test revealed that there was very strong, positive correlation between (1) receiving feedback on ones performance and (2) discussing productivity goals with co-workers ( rs =0.454, n = 33, P = 0.008); as well as between the former (1) and (3) participation in discussing future productivity goals (rs =0.481, n = 33, P = 0.005). The test also revealed that there was very strong, positive correlation between (1) receiving feedback on ones performance 36

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and (4) the ability to provide sugges tions on improving work performance ( rs =0.600, n = 33, P = 0.000). Finally, the test showed only strong, positi ve correlation between (1) receiving feedback on ones performance and t he statement that increasing ones involvement in setting productivity goals would increase ones work effort to meet those goals ( rs =0.363, n = 33, P = 0.038). Table 4-3. Spearmans Rank Order Corre lation for Communication Section Questions (1) I receive feedback on my performance (2) I discuss productivity with coworkers (3) I participate in the discussion about future productivity goals (4) I am able to provide suggestions on improving work performance (5) Increasing my involvement in setting productivity goals would increase my work effort to meet those goals Correlation Coefficient 1 0.454** 0.481** 0.600** 0.363* P. (2-tailed) 0.008 0.005 0 0.038 Correlation Coefficient 0.454** 1 0.743** 0.518** 0.132 P (2-tailed) 0.008 0 0.002 0.463 Correlation Coefficient 0.481** 0.743** 1 0.704** 0.278 P (2-tailed) 0.005 0 0 0.117 Correlation Coefficient 0.600** 0.518** 0.704** 1 0.21 P (2-tailed) 0 0.002 0 0.241 Correlation Coefficient 0.363* 0.132 0.278 0.21 1 P (2-tailed) 0.038 0.463 0.117 0.241 **. Correlation is significant at the 0.01 level (2-tailed). Correlation is significant at the 0.05 level (2-tailed). Chi Square analysis of responses in th e Communication Section of the Survey Receiving performance feedback is a critical aspect of increasing ones production. The purpose of the comparis on of the employees receipt of performance feedback with their other responses in the communication section of the survey was to determine the 37

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significance of the relationship between re ceipt of feedback and employee involvement in the productivity process. Table 4-4. Cross tabulation between res ponses to (1) I receive feedback on my performance and statements (2)-(5) in the communication section (n=33) Statements d.f. Chi Square Value P (2-tailed) (2)I discuss productivity goals with coworkers. 6 7.571 0.271 (3)I participate in the discussion about future productivity goals 6 10.536 0.104 (4)I am able to provide suggestions on improving work performance. 6 13.607 0.034 (5)Increasing my involvement in setting productivity goals would increase my work effort to meet those goals. 9 17.308 0.044 As shown in Table 4-4, based on the Chi Square analysis, the statement (4) I receive feedback on my performance is statistically different than the last two statements ( P <0.05). The analysis reveals that w hen an individual is able to provide suggestions on improving performance that t hey are more likely to receive feedback on their own performance. Looking s pecifically at the results fo r the Chi-Square association test for the responses to t he statements (1) I receive feedback on my performance and (4) I am able to provide suggestions on im proving work performance, we can see that Chi-square =13.607 and P =0.034 (<0.05). This tells us t hat there is a statistically significant association between statements (1) and (4). Similarly with Chi-square= 17.308 and P = 0.044 (<0.05) there is statistically significant association between statements (1) and (5). By offering suggestions on improving performance, management is rewarding them by provid ing feedback on their methods. This shows that there is active communication between these individuals who are actively seeking means of improving jobsite productivity. 38

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Table 4-5 shows how the statistically sign ificantly associated statements (1) and (4) were rated by those surveyed. Of the twenty-five responses of either agree or strongly agree to receiving feedback, 96% (24) indicated they also were able to provide suggestions. An explanation for this is that management is effectively using an opendoor policy with their employees. Employing th is method correctly creates a positive atmosphere that allows employees at all leve ls of a company to seamlessly interact with each other without the fear of reprisal (Warren 1989). Table 4-5. Cross tabulation between res pons es to (1) I receive feedback on my performance and (4) I am able to pr ovide suggestions on improving work performance (4) I am able to provide suggestions on improving work performance Neutral Agree Strongly Agree Total Disagree 0 1 0 1 Neutral 1 5 1 7 Agree 1 9 7 17 Strongly Agree 0 0 8 8 (1) I receive feedback on my performance Total 2 15 16 33 Table 4-6 shows the responses to the statistically significantly associated statements (1) and (5). Involv ing employees in the productivity goal setting process can help develop a coworker relationship, which in turn will increase the motivation of workers and ultimately their productivity (Halepota 2005). There were 26 (78.8%) responses that agree with the statement; (5) Increasing my involvement in setting productivity goals would increase my work efforts. Of those respon ses 81% (21) said they also received feedback on their performanc e. In order for an individual to want to increase their work effort in meeting producti vity goals they first must know how their performance measures up to company standards. Providing feedback allows 39

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employees to analyze their current work methods and potentially come up with new time-saving methods to help increase their own productivity (Adrian 2004). Table 4-6. Cross tabulation between res ponses to (1) I receive feedback on my performance and (5) Increasing involvement in setting productivity goals would increase my work effo rt to meet those goals (5) Increasing my involvement in setting productivity goals would increase my work effort to meet those goals Disagree Neutral Agree Strongly Agree Total Disagree 0 0 0 1 1 Neutral 0 3 3 1 7 Agree 1 2 9 5 17 Strongly Agree 1 0 0 7 8 (1) I receive feedback on my performance Total 2 5 12 14 33 In conclusion, the communication of produc tivity occurs throughout this sample of industrial workers. The vast majority of the respondents agreed or strongly agreed with the following: I discuss productivity with co-workers (94%; 31) I participate in the discussion about future productivity goals (88%; 29) I am able to provide suggestions on improving work performance (94%; 31) I receive feedback on my performance (76%; 25) Increasing my involvement in setting productivity goals would increase my work effort to meet those goals (79%; 26) Understanding The effects of motivation on productivity, the factors that affect it and the methods to improve productivity have been addressed by many researcher s including Doloi (2007), Rojas and Aramvareekul (2003), and Dai et al (2007). The understanding section of the survey was created to investigate whether an employees level of knowledge about productivity a ffected their motivation. 40

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41 The information gathered in this section re vealed that only three of the statements had a mean response above 4.0 (see Table 47). These three statements also had standard deviations relatively close to one another, all being belo w 1.0. Where they differ is in their distribu tion of responses. The statements (1) I know what productivity/performance measures are and (2) I understand how my company generates productivity reports had answers that were more clustered together based on their kurtosis values. These statements also had a high negative skewness value (bell shape curve favors the right side of the mean (strongly agreed)). The only statement to come close to representing a normal distributi on was (3) I know how my performance is evaluated (Figure 4-6). T he final statement (4) Having a better understanding of productivity would increase my work effort had a mean value of 3.606 and was the only one to return a value larg er than 1.0 for the standard deviation (see Table 4-7), thus indicating that the responses were further away from the mean than the others. Overall the sample populat ion understood what producti vity reports were and how they were generated/evaluated. However ther e was some discrepancy in the responses to the statement (3) I know how my performance is evaluated with 21% (7) of those surveyed answering either neutral or disagree (see Table 4-8). These answers were not surprising considering that t he results of the communicati on section where 24% (8) of the respondents indicated that they did not receive feedback on their performance. In the final statement (4) the responses were more evenly distributed with 42.4% (14) providing a negative response and 57. 6% (19) a positive response.

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42 Table 4-7. Descriptive statis tics of the understanding section Statement Mean Standard error Median Mode Std. deviation Skewness Kurtosis (1) I know what productivity/performance measures are 4.515 0.145 5.00 5.00 0.834 -2.634 9.168 (2) I understand how my company generates productivity reports 4.455 0.169 5.00 5.00 0.971 -2.152 4.745 (3) I know how my performance is evaluated 4.121 0.143 4.00 4.00 0.820 -0.596 -0.227 (4) Having a better understanding of productivity would increase my work effort 3.606 0.226 4.00 5.00 1.298 -0.477 -0.980 Figure 4-6. Histogram of I know how my performance is evaluated

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Table 4-8. Frequency of responses for understanding statements (1) I know what productivit y/performance measures are Frequency Percent Valid Percent Cumulative Percent Strongly Disagree 1 3.0 3.0 3.0 Neutral 1 3.0 3.0 6.1 Agree 10 30.3 30.3 36.4 Strongly Agree 21 63.6 63.6 100.0 Total 33 100.0 100.0 (2) I understand how my company generates productivity reports Strongly Disagree 1 3.0 3.0 3.0 Disagree 1 3.0 3.0 6.1 Neutral 2 6.1 6.1 12.1 Agree 7 21.2 21.2 33.3 Strongly Agree 22 66.7 66.7 100.0 Total 33 100.0 100.0 (3) I know how my performance is evaluated Disagree 1 3.0 3.0 3.0 Neutral 6 18.2 18.2 21.2 Agree 14 42.4 42.4 63.6 Strongly Agree 12 36.4 36.4 100.0 Total 33 100.0 100.0 (4) Having a better understanding of producti vity would increase my work effort Strongly Disagree 2 6.1 6.1 6.1 Disagree 6 18.2 18.2 24.2 Neutral 6 18.2 18.2 42.4 Agree 8 24.2 24.2 66.7 Strongly Agree 11 33.3 33.3 100.0 Total 33 100.0 100.0 Comparison of Job Description to the Statements in the Understanding Section of the Survey Determining the level of understanding for each job description provides insight as to the comprehension level at which the company teaches their employees about productivity. It would also determine whether those who understand productivity (those who are conducting the reports) were taking t he time to explain to those who did not. 43

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Table 4-9 shows the results of the Ch i Square association test between job description and statements (1)-(4) in the understanding section of the survey. The results revealed that there was a very str ong, statistically significant association between job description and statement (2) I understand how my company generates productivity reports wit h Chi-square =37.155 and P =0.002 (<0.05). The breakdown of the responses to the statement (4) indica ted that the indivi duals who answered negatively to this statement we re those whose job descriptions were field office support and skilled craft (see Table 4-10) Of the eight responses for field office support 37.5% (3) responded that they did not understand how their company generated productivity reports. The impact of field office support (m aterial procurement) on productivity can be seen from the results of a survey conducted by Plemmons et al. (1995) on the effectiveness of material pr ocurement/management, the study revealed that material availability and construction lost time were the most important factors when creating a material management benchmark. Thus, it is just as important to provide the same amount of information about productivity to the field office support as to the field job positions. Table 4-9. Cross tabulat ion between job description and statements (1)-(4) in the understanding section (n=33) Statements d.f. Chi Square Test P (2-tailed) (1) I know what productivity/performance measures are. 12 17.827 0.121 (2) I understand how my company generates productivity reports 16 37.155 0.002 (3) I know how my performance is evaluated. 12 12.038 0.443 (4) Having a better understanding of productivity would increase my work effort. 16 11.595 0.771 44

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Table 4-10. Cross tabulation between resp onses to job description and (2) I understand how my company gener ates productivity reports (2) I understand how my company generates productivity reports Strongly Disagree Disagree Neutral Agree Strongly Agree Total Field Office Support 1 0 2 2 3 8 Field Supervisor 0 0 0 2 4 6 Management 0 0 0 1 14 15 Other 0 0 0 2 0 2 Skilled Craft 0 1 0 0 1 2 Job Description Total 1 1 2 7 22 33 Comparison of (4) Having a better understanding would increase my work effort to the other Statements in the Understanding Section of the Survey The final analysis of this section focuses in on what other factor s are attributable to a better understanding of producti vity leading to an increase in work effort. From Table 4-11, the only statement that had a statistically significant association in this section with statement (4) was statement (1 ) I know what productivity /performance measures are with Chi-square =37.155 and P =0.026 (<0.05). This indicates that those who understood what productivity is also belie ved that having a better understanding of productivity would increase their work effort. Table 4-11. Cross tabulation between (4) Having a better understanding would increase my work effort and the stat ements (1)-(3) in the understanding section (n=33) d.f. Chi Square Value P (2-tailed) (1) I know what productiv ity/performance measures are. 12 23.248 0.026 (2) I understand how my company generates productivity reports. 16 25.794 0.057 (3) I know how my performance is evaluated. 12 19.661 0.074 45

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The results of the comparison of these tw o statements indicated that 61% (19) of those who know what productivity is also agreed that increasing their understanding of productivity would lead to an increase in wo rk effort (see Table 4-12) Knowledge is an important aspect of any construction task. Fo r instance, it takes a welder quite some time to learn the trade and become efficient at performing the required tasks. How is the same welder to know when they have becom e efficient? This is done through meeting performance goals set by management. Ther efore it is understandable to see a relationship between knowing what productivity measures are and their influence over a workers willingness to increase work effort. Table 4-12. Cross tabulation between respons es to (4) Having a better understanding of productivity would increase my wo rk effort and (1) I know what productivity measures are (1) I know what productivity/performance measures are l Strongly Disagree Neutra Agree Strongly Agree Total Strongly Disagree 1 0 0 1 2 Disagree 0 0 2 4 6 Neutral 0 1 2 3 6 Agree 0 0 4 4 8 Strongly Agree 0 0 2 9 11 (4) Having a better understanding of productivity would increase my work effort Total 1 1 10 21 33 In conclusion the understanding section of the survey determined that ones job description plays an integral part in t he knowledge of how a company generates productivity reports. It also revealed that the more know ledge an individual has about 46

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47 Figure 4-7. Histogram of Meeting productivity goal s are important to me The focus of this section was to find out how productivity is viewed by those in the industrial construction arena. As shown in T able 4-13, every statement returned an average value above 4.0 which m eans that overall productivity is perceived in a positive manner. The skewness values also indicate d that the answers provided were all positive since all five statem ents had a negative value which indicates the curve favors the right side of the spectrum (see Figure 47). The statement clos est to representing a normal distribution was (5) Productivity feedback affects my work performance (see Figure 4-8). The frequencies of the responses to each of the statements revealed that the only one that did not have an overwhel mingly positive answer was the statement that (4) Productivity reports accurately por trayed the work completed (see Table 4-14). what their companys productivity measures are, the more likely the individual is to increase their work effort. Perception

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48 Table 4-13. Descriptive statis tics of the perception section Mean Standard Error Median Mode Standard Deviation Skewness Kurtosis (1) Meeting productivity goals are important to me 4.7273 .0900 3.00 5.00 .51676 -1.769 2.511 (2) Meeting productivity goals are important to a projects success 4.8485 .0634 4.00 5.00 .36411 -2.038 2.287 (3) Reaching productivity goals are important to my supervisors and company overall 4.8788 .0577 4.00 5.00 .33143 -2.433 4.170 (4) Productivity reports accurately portray the work completed 4.0606 .1301 2.00 5.00 .74747 -.578 .485 (5) Productivity feedback affects my work performance...e.g. when below period goals; I am more motivated to increase performance 4.2727 .1174 3.00 5.00 .67420 -.388 -.708 Figure 4-8. Histogram of Productivity feedback affe cts my work performance

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Table 4-14. Frequency of responses for perception statements (1) Meeting productivity goal s are important to me Frequency Percent Valid Percent Cumulative Percent Neutral 1 3.0 3.0 3.0 Agree 7 21.2 21.2 24.2 Strongly Agree 25 75.8 75.8 100.0 Total 33 100.0 100.0 (2) Meeting productivity goals are important to a projects success Agree 5 15.2 15.2 15.2 Strongly Agree 28 84.8 84.8 100.0 Total 33 100.0 100.0 (3) Reaching productivity goals are important to my supervisors and company overall Agree 4 12.1 12.1 12.1 Strongly Agree 29 87.9 87.9 100.0 Total 33 100.0 100.0 (4) Productivity reports accurate ly portray the work completed Disagree 1 3.0 3.0 3.0 Neutral 5 15.2 15.2 18.2 Agree 18 54.5 54.5 72.7 Strongly Agree 9 27.3 27.3 100.0 Total 33 100.0 100.0 (5) Productivity feedback affects my work pe rformance...e.g. when below period goals; I am more motivated to increase performance Neutral 4 12.1 12.1 12.1 Agree 16 48.5 48.5 60.6 Strongly Agree 13 39.4 39.4 100.0 Total 33 100. 0 100.0 Comparison of Job Description to the Statements in the Perception Section of the Survey An essential element of this study is to determine whether an employees job description has any impact on how productivity reports were perceived. As shown in Table 4-15 there was a str ong statistically significant association between job 49

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description and the statement (1 ) Meeting productivity goals are important to me with Chi Square=18.266 and P =0.002 (<0.05). Table 4-15. Cross tabulation between job de scription and statements (1)-(5) in the perception section of the survey (n=33) Statements d.f. Chi Square Values P (2-tailed) (1) Meeting productivity goals are important to me 8 18.266 0.019 (2) Meeting productivity goals are important to a projects success 4 7.071 0.132 (3) Reaching productivity goals are important to my supervisors and company overall 4 3.506 0.477 (4) Productivity reports accu rately portray the work completed 12 10.071 0.610 (5) Productivity feedback affects my work performancee.g. when below period goals; I am more motivated to increase performance 8 9.211 0.325 A breakdown of the responses to the st atement (1) Meeting productivity goals are important to me revealed the level of agreement between those who worked in the field and management (see Table 4-16). The field positions (field supervisor and skilled craft worker) strongly agreed with the statement 71% (5) of the time, while management strongly agreed 87% (13) of the time. This diffe rence in percentage is important to note as those who operated in the field are the primary source of work performed and their actions and beliefs greatly affect the productivi ty of a project. Those in the field can also provide the most information as to the time and source of productivity loss as they are directly involved (Dai et al. 2009). Discussing productivity with those who work in the field provides them with information as to what is expected and an opportunity to bring up any issues they may have with their performance goals. 50

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Table 4-16. Cross tabulation between respons es to job description and (1) Meeting productivity goals are important to me (1) Meeting productivity goal s are important to me Neutral Agree Strongly Agree Total Field Office Support 0 2 6 8 Field Supervisor 0 2 4 6 Management 0 2 13 15 Other 0 1 1 2 Skilled Craft 1 0 1 2 Job Description Total 1 7 25 33 Comparison of (5) Productivity feedback affects my work performance to the Statements in the Percepti on Section of the Survey As shown in Table 4-17, the statement (4) Productivity reports accurately portray the work completed was the only statement in this section that had a strong statistically significant association with statement (5 ) Productivity feedback affects work performance with Chi Square=12.904 and P =0.045 (<0.05). The results of this comparison indicated that thos e who agreed that productivity reports accurately reflect work completed were more likely to be affected by productivity feedback. Table 4-17. Cross tabulation between (5) Productivity feedback affects my work performance to statements (1)-(4) of the perception section (n=33) d.f. Chi Square Value P (2-tailed) (1) Meeting productivity goals ar e important to me 4 3.695 0.449 (2) Meeting productivity goals are important to a projects success 2 2.484 0.289 (3) Reaching productivity goals are important to my supervisors and company overall 2 4.836 0.089 (4) Productivity reports accurately portray the work completed 6 12.904 0.045 Of the 27 positive responses to statement (4) (accuracy of the reports), 89% (24) indicated that if productivity fell below period goals they were more motivated to increase performance (see Table 4-18). Moti vation can be summed up as a persons 51

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active participation in and commitment to ac hieving the prescribed results (Conroy 1994). Table 4-18. Cross tabulation of responses to (4) Productivity reports accurately portray work completed and (5) Productivity feedback affects my work performance (4) Productivity feedback affects my work performancee.g. when below period goals; I am more motivated to increase performance Neutral Agree Strongly Agree Total Disagree 0 1 0 1 Neutral 1 3 1 5 Agree 1 12 5 18 Strongly Agree 2 0 7 9 (5) Productivity reports accurately portray the work completed Total 4 16 13 33 The perception section of the survey pr ovided valuable insight as to the importance workers placed on productivity, its accuracy and whether productivity feedback affected their motivation. A positive i ndicator of perception in this section of the survey was that 100% of the respondents agreed that meeting productivity goals was important to a projects success. Comparison of Motivational Statements The last statement in each of the last three sections of the survey was related to motivation. The statistical comparison of these statements provided information on whether there was a correlation between the categories of involvement, understanding and perception in relation to motiva tion. The statements analyzed were: (5) Increasing my involvement in setting productivity goals would increase my work effort to meet those goals (4) Having a better understanding of produc tivity would increase my work effort (5) Productivity feedback affects my work performancee.g. when below period goals; I am more motivated to increase performance 52

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A Spearman Rank Order Correlation coefficient analysis was conducted of the responses to measure the strength and directi on of the association that existed between the three statements. As s hown in Table 4-19, the Spearman Rank Order Correlation test revealed that there was very strong, positive correla tion between the statements Increasing my involvement in setti ng productivity goals and Having a better understanding of productivity woul d increase my work effort ( rs =0.512, n = 33, P = 0.002). As shown in Table 420, 57.5% (19) of the tota l number of respondents agreed that their work effort is impacted by both of these measures. This shows that when a company comes up with a means of measuri ng productivity it must then turn around and explain its process to its employees. The Spearman Rank Order Correlation test revealed that there was very strong, positive correlation between the statements Increasing my involvement in the setting productivity goals would increase my work effort to meet those goals and Productivity feedback affects my work performance ( rs =0.447, n = 33, P = 0.009) (see Table 4-19). As shown in Table 4-21, 96% (25) of thos e who agree that more involvement in the productivity process will increase their work effo rt also believe that productivity feedback affects their work performance. Th is is important information in regards to the fact that if management wishes for people to increase their work effort they must first involve them in the process. At the same time it is crucial for management to provide the current productivity reports for the pr oject so that everyone has t he opportunity to see how the project is performing. Unfortunat ely many contractors fail to provide feedback to the field as they simply do not know how and what to include in the report (Alfred 1988). Reports 53

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54 distributed should only include information that the employee needs to know in order to make the right decisions (Alfred 1988). A method of implementation is TRACI (Alfred 1988): Timely provide information in time to make informed decisions Relevant information provided helps in increasing performance Accurate the report is correct and without errors Complete all the information is provided Intelligible the report is provi ded in a format that can be understood Before implementing this method it is important that the employee understands what is being provided to them in the repor t. This means they must have knowledge of what the numbers represent and what exactly they mean for them. A comparison between the impacts of productivity feedback and better understanding is shown in Tabl e 4-22. The results show t hat 94% (18) of those who agree that having a better understanding of producti vity would lead to an increase in motivation to work also indicated that produc tivity performance evaluations affect their level of motivation. Before distribution of pr oductivity reports it is important that the employee understands what the numbers mean in the report and how it relates to them. The analys is performed in this section re vealed that there is a correlation between an employees involvement, understanding and perception to their motivation to increase work performance. However, a company cannot simply start providing information and thrusting employees into productivity conversations without first explaining the process. By opening up t he communication channels about productivity the company will increase knowledge, reduc e confusion and more importantly reduce misinterpretation of productivity reports.

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Table 4-19. Cross tabulation between mo tivational statement s of each section Increasing my involvement in setting productivity goals would increase my work effort to meet those goals Having a better understanding of productivity would increase my work effort Productivity feedback affects my work performance...e.g. when below period goals; I am more motivated to increase performance Correlation Coefficient 1 0.512** 0.447** P Increasing my involvement in setting productivity goals would increase my work effort to meet those goals (2-tailed) 0.002 0.009 Correlation Coefficient 0.512** 1 0.281 P Having a better understanding of productivity would increase my work effort (2-tailed) 0.002 0.113 Correlation Coefficient 0.447** 0.281 1 P Productivity feedback affects my work performance.. .e.g. when below period goals; I am more motivated to increase performance (2-tailed) 0.009 0.113 Table 4-20. Cross tabulation between responses to Having a better understanding of productivity would increase my work effort and Increasing my involvement in the setting productivity goals would incr ease my work effort to meet those goals Increasing my involvement in setting productivity goals would increase my work effort to meet those goals Strongly Disagree Disagree Neutral Agree Strongly Agree Total Strongly Disagree 0 0 0 1 1 2 Disagree 0 2 1 1 2 6 Neutral 0 0 4 2 0 6 Agree 0 0 0 6 2 8 Strongly Agree 0 0 0 2 9 11 Having a better understanding of productivity would increase my work effort Total 0 2 5 12 14 33 55

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56 Table 4-21. Cross tabulation between responses to Producti vity feedback affects my work performance and Increasing my involvement in setting productivity goals would increase my work effort Increasing my involvement in setting productivity goals would increase my work effort to meet those goals Strongly Disagree Disagree Neutral Agree Strongly Agree Total Neutral 0 0 3 1 0 4 Agree 0 1 1 9 5 16 Strongly Agree 0 1 1 2 9 13 Productivity feedback affects my work performance...e.g. when below period goals; I am more motivated to increase performance Total 0 2 5 12 14 33 Table 4-22. Cross tabulation between responses to Producti vity feedback affects my work performance and Having a better understanding of productivity would increase my work effort Having a better understanding of productivity would increase my work effort Strongly Disagree Disagree Neutral Agree Strongly Agree Total Neutral 0 1 2 1 0 4 Agree 2 1 3 7 3 16 Strongly Agree 0 4 1 0 8 13 Productivity feedback affects my work performance...e.g. when below period goals; I am more motivated to increase performance Total 2 6 6 8 11 33

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CHAPTER 5 CONCLUSION Analysis Overview The findings of this research support the hypothesis that incr easing an employees involvement, understanding and perception of productivity will increase motivation and will impact their work performance. The re sponses to the statement about employee involvement in the productivity process indi cated that most of the respondents already communicated about productivity. The results of the communication section also indicated that 81% (21) of the employees who received feedback on their perf ormance were also willing to increase their work performance if they were more involved in setting productivity goals. The comparison between the statem ents Increasing my involvement in setting productivity goals would increase my work performance and Productivity feedback affects my work performance showed that 76% (2 5) of the total surveyed would be willing to increase their performance to meet company goals. Th is is however hinged upon the fact they also become more involved in the setting of pr oductivity goals. Recent studies have also indicated that an increase in in volvement on all levels needs to occur in the productivity process. This is especially true when it comes to the cr aft workers and their perception of productivity. Since they perform the majo rity of the tasks on any given construction project, their input is of value and unfortunately not often sought after (Dai et al. 2007). The importance of understanding productivity and its process is important to all employees and their growth within a company. The survey results showed that 21% (7) did not know how their performance was ev aluated. Without the knowledge of knowing how their performance is evaluated it is impossible to ask an employee to increase 57

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productivity, since they would not know where to focus their efforts in order to increase performance. The analysis also concluded that 57% (19) of the respondents know what productivity reports are and would be apt to incr ease their motivation if they had further understanding of productivity. Perception is an aspect that affects ev erything an employee does. The employee must be able to trust the values that the productivity reports are returning on their performance in the field. The responses to the statement P roductivity reports accurately portray the work completed show ed that 89% (24) of those who believed in the accuracy of those reports were also wi lling to increase performance if those same productivity numbers were below period goals. Their willingness to increase performance when below goals indicates that t hey do in fact perceive productivity in a positive manner. Recommendations The research conducted revealed that ther e is still little information gathered from those whose job description were labeled gener al labor and skilled craft. Another study on this same topic would be greatly influentia l if the population included these types of employees. In order to receive their input it is advisable for the researcher to conduct the survey in person. Traveling to local construction sites and conducting the survey in person guarantees that all leve ls of employment will have an opportunity to complete the survey. The survey conducted used a Likert scale as a means for the sample to rate each of the statements. To avoid any answers in the neutra l category it would be best to adopt a different scale than the typical str ongly disagree to strongly agree. A better 58

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scale to use would force the respondent to ans wer on their beliefs instead of choosing the middle response, which in this case neutral. 59

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APPENDIX A SURVEY QUESTIONS Thank you for taking the time to fill out this survey. Answer the questions to the best of your knowledge. Throughout this survey th e use of performance and productivity are used interchangeably. 1. Company Type General Contractor Engineer Architect Subcontractor Other 2. Volume of work Less than $20 million $20 to $80 million $80 to $150 million $150 to $200 million $200 million or more Dont Know 3. Years of construction work experience 0-5 6-10 11-15 15+ 4. Job Description General Labor Skilled Craft (Carpenter, Electrician) Field Supervisor (Foreman, Fi eld Engineer, and Superintendents) Management (Executive Position, Project Manager, Project Engineer) Other 5. Length of time on current project 0-1 years 2-3 years 3-4 years 4-5 years 5+ years 60

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6. Rate communication about productivity (1) I discuss productivity goals with co-workers Strongly Disagree 1 2 3 4 5 Strongly Agree (2) I participate in the discussion about future productivity goals Strongly Disagree 1 2 3 4 5 Strongly Agree (3) I am able to provide suggesti ons on improving work performance Strongly Disagree 1 2 3 4 5 Strongly Agree (4) I receive feedback on my performance Strongly Disagree 1 2 3 4 5 Strongly Agree (5) Increasing my involvement in setting productivity goals would increase my work effort to meet those goals Strongly Disagree 1 2 3 4 5 Strongly Agree 7. Rate understanding of productivity (1) I know what productivity/performance measures are Strongly Disagree 1 2 3 4 5 Strongly Agree (2) I understand how my company ge nerates productivity reports Strongly Disagree 1 2 3 4 5 Strongly Agree (3) I know how my performance is evaluated Strongly Disagree 1 2 3 4 5 Strongly Agree (4) Having a better understanding of productivity would increase my work effort Strongly Disagree 1 2 3 4 5 Strongly Agree 8. Rate perception of productivity (1) Meeting productivity goal s are important to me Strongly Disagree 1 2 3 4 5 Strongly Agree (2) Meeting productivity goals are important to a projects success Strongly Disagree 1 2 3 4 5 Strongly Agree (3) Reaching productivity goals are import ant to my supervisors and company overall Strongly Disagree 1 2 3 4 5 Strongly Agree 61

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(4) Productivity reports accurately portray the work being completed Strongly Disagree 1 2 3 4 5 Strongly Agree (5) Productivity feedback affects my work performancee.g. when below period goals; I am more moti vated to increase performance Strongly Disagree 1 2 3 4 5 Strongly Agree 62

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APPENDIX B SURVEY APPROVAL LETTER 63

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LIST OF REFERENCES 1. Adrian, James J. (2004). Constr uction Productivity: Measurement and Improvement. Stipes Publ ishing L.L.C. Illinois. 2. Alfred, Louis. (1988). Construction productivity: On-site measurement and management. McGraw-Hill. New York 3. Allmon, Eric., Haas, Carl T., Borcherdi ng, John D., and Goodrum Paul M. (2000). U.S. Construction Labor Productivity Trends, 1970-1998. Journal of Construction Engineering and Management. March/April 2000. 97-104. 4. Clampitt, Phillip G. and Downs, Cal W. (1993). Employee Perceptions of the Relationship Between Communication and Productivity: A Field Study. The Journal of Business Communication 30(1). 5-28 5. Conroy, William J. (1994). Motivating Workers to Follow Leaders. Iron Age New Steel. Vol. 10. 50-53 6. Cox, Robert F., Issa, Raja R. A., Koblegard, Kristen. (2005). Managements Perception of Key Behavioral I ndicators for Construction. Journal of Construction Engineering and Management. 131(3). 368-376 7. Dai, Jiukun, Goodrum, Paul M., and Mal oney, William F. (2007). Analysis of craft workers and foremens perceptions of t he factors affecting construction labour productivity. Construction Management and Economics November 2007(25). 1137-1150. 8. Dai, Jiukun, Goodrum, Paul M., and Maloney, William F. (2009). Construction Craft Workers Perceptions of the Factors Affecting Their Productivity. Journal of Construction Engin eering and Management 135(3). 217-226. 9. Doloi, Hemanta. (2007) Twinning Motivation, Productivity and Management Strategy in Construction Projects. Engineering Manage ment Journal. 19(3). 30-40. 10. Halepota, Hassan Ali. ( 2005). Motivational Theories and Their Application in Construction. Cost Engineering. 47(3). 14-18. 11. Lam, Steve Y. W., and Tang, Conrad H. W. (2003). Motivation Survey Employees in Construction Projects. Journal of Geospatial Engineering 18(1). 61-66. 12. Moore, David R. (2001). Visual perception theories and communicating construction industry concepts. Work Study. 50(2). 58-62 13. Plemmons, James K and Bell, Lansford C. (1995). Measuring Effectiveness of Materials Management Process. Journal of Management in Engineering 11(6). 26-32. 64

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14. Rojas, Eddy M., and Aramvareekul, P eerapong. (2003). Labor Productivity Drivers and Opportunities in the Construction Industry. Journal of Management in Engineering 19(2). 78-82. 15. Ryan, Richard M. and Deci, Edward L. (2000). Intrinsic and Ex trinsic Motivations: Classic Definitions and New Directions. Contemporary Education Psychology. 25(1). 54-67 16. Schrader, Charles R. (1972). Moti vation on construction craftsmen. Journal of the Construction Division. Vol. 98(Sept). 257-273 17. Smithers, Guinevere L., and Walker, Derek H.T. (2000). The effect of the workplace on motivation and demotivati on of construction professionals. Construction Management and Economics. 18(7). 833-841. 18. Toenjes, Leonard. (2009). Tap Staff, Technology to Improve Productivity. Midwest Construction. 12(3). 25. 19. Vroom, V. H. (1964). Work and motivation Wiley. New York 20. Warren, R. Robert. (1989). Motivation and Productivity in the Construction Industry. Van Nostrand Reinhold. New York. 65

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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH If there was one thing to describe Robert Wells it would be his determination to accomplish goals set before him. Robert was able to witness first hand determination in action as his father decided to pursue a bac helors degree while working full time soon after retiring from the Air Fo rce. This lesson taught Robert early on that every task can be accomplished through hard work and determination. After graduating from high sc hool, Robert began his career in construction working for a general contractor whose specialty wa s remodeling homes. During this same time Robert enrolled fulltime at Brevard Community College taking 12 credit hours a semester. During the 4 semesters spent at BCC Robert successfully learned time management which helped him receive his Asso ciate of Arts with honors. Robert then began pursuing his bachelors degree at the University of Florida in Business Administration with a focus in finance. Fortunately Robert had already learned the importance of time management as it became a necessity with the increase course work and time spent working part-time (25 hours a week). Upon graduation with a bac helors degree Robert began working as a research associate at the Shimberg Cent er for Housing Studies. This gave him an opportunity to keep working while deciding if a masters degree was what he wanted. After talking to many construction professionals about his finance background it became apparent that getting a masters in building construction would be a perfect next step in his academic career. Two semesters into the masters program Robert was invited into the Sigma Lambda Chi honor society for building constr uction. After completing his masters degree, Robert is looking at t he next hurdle before him which is to become an expert in construction. 66