IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Factors influencing labor productivity on construction sites: A state-of-the-art literature review and a survey

Listed author(s):
  • Shamil George Naoum
Registered author(s):

    Purpose - – Productivity is a worldwide problem and efforts have been made over the last three decades or so to explore ways to increase the rate of productivity on construction sites. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the state of the art in productivity research and to present the findings of a survey into the factors that can impair productivity on site. Design/methodology/approach - – A literature review is structured under five general headings: pre-construction activities; activities during construction; managerial and leadership issues; motivational factors; and organizational factors. In total, 46 determinants were extracted from the above headings and were assessed by 36 main contractors. Findings - – The literature review revealed that while there has been an advancement in developing techniques and tools to improving productivity on site, more need to be done to invest in technology and innovation. The interview survey indicated that factors associated with pre-construction activities, namely, the “experience of the selected site and project managers,” “design errors,” “buildability of the design,” “project planning,” “communication,” “ leadership style” and “procurement method” as the most critical factors influencing site productivity. Other highly ranked factors are “mismanagement of material” and “the work environment.” Research limitations/implications - – The survey is based on main contractors and thus not generalized to cover other sectors of the building team such as designers and engineers. Practical implications - – Outcome of this research can be used to provide professionals and contractors guidance for focussing, acting upon and controlling the most significant factors perceived to influence the construction labor productivity (CLP) on site. Originality/value - – First, reviewed the state of the art and trends in construction productivity research. Second, primary survey with industry experts to rank the relative importance of factors that can influence CLP on site.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

    Article provided by Emerald Group Publishing in its journal International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management.

    Volume (Year): 65 (2016)
    Issue (Month): 3 (March)
    Pages: 401-421

    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:eme:ijppmp:v:65:y:2016:i:3:p:401-421
    Contact details of provider: Web page:

    Order Information: Postal: Emerald Group Publishing, Howard House, Wagon Lane, Bingley, BD16 1WA, UK
    Web: Email:

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eme:ijppmp:v:65:y:2016:i:3:p:401-421. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Louise Lister)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.