Linking employee empowerment with productivity in off-site construction
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Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to address current knowledge gaps in off-site sub-element fabrication efficiency factors, by identifying an explicit relationship between productivity and employee empowerment. Design/methodology/approach - The research is based on two engineering fabrication-yard case studies that investigate both qualitatively (via analysis of semi-structured interviews that incorporate a five-point Likert scale, with fabrication-product stakeholders), and also quantitatively (via assessment using SPSS statistical analyses to determine significance and trends in the data-set) the relationship between empowerment and productivity. Findings - The results reveal a positive linear relationship in off-site construction between "employee empowerment factors" and, explicitly fabrication-yard "productivity-levels". An especially strong and significant positive correlation is found to exist in resource development, worker involvement, process improvement, and task recognition as they refer to off-site construction productivity. Practical implications - Most academic studies of off-site construction remain largely anecdotal and lack an empirical objective study; as a result, this (fabrication-yard) case-study research provides a useful approach to measure empirically the link between employee empowerment and productivity of off-site construction. Originality/value - Employee empowerment in the construction industry has long been a focus of analyses; however, there remains a lack of consensus and very few studies into the direct relationship between employee empowerment on the one-hand, and productivity in off-site construction on the other-hand. It is argued here that the on-going new research undertaken in the present study will go beyond subjective opinion towards objective measurement of actual performance in off-site construction.
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