Measurement of Labour Productivity in Construction Projects

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Addis Ababa University


The research is about systematic measurement of labour productivity to indicate whether construction labor productivity is low in the case of building projects in Addis Ababa, and if it is; to assess productivity problems and their causes. A review of other country studies, project reports and consultation with practitioners were made to identify the productivity problem areas and process factors for inclusion into the study instruments. A case study of seven projects on three construction trades, namely concrete, steel reinforcement placing and masonry works, revealed that 11 front line factors are responsible for low productivity; the major ones in the order of their rank are lack of materials, instruction delay, rework, change of workers, lack of tools and less work load and congestion. The research result showed that nearly all projects (except project 5) have a productivity performance ability ratio (PAR) greater than one indicating that the studied crews’ productivity performance was low. In addition opinion survey of foremen on the amount of effective productive time of workers showed that on the average the studied craftsmen spend only 56% of the total paid time. An open system theory of management was applied to identify the major managerial causes of productivity, which resulted in four factors contributory to low labor productivity; these are: external precondition factors, technical management sub system, managerial systems and organizational behavior factors. That is; The causal problems for low productive performance was analyzed and it was found that unfulfilled conditions from project site external bodies, lack of project management systems, poor technical management in areas of developing productivity standards and construction methods, average leadership efficiency and low project culture towards workers satisfaction are responsible for low productivity performance. Key words: process factors, open system theory, construction trades, performance ability ratio (PAR)



process factors; open system theory; construction trades; performance ability ratio (PAR)