Demotivating factors influencing the productivity of civil engineering projects

S. Thomas Ng*, R. Martin Skitmore, Ka Chi Lam, Anthony W.C. Poon

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

68 Citations (Scopus)
201 Downloads (Pure)


Workers on civil engineering projects are frequently confronted with problems that could lead to demotivation. Demotivation is caused not simply by a lack of motivators but the existence of certain situations that cause dissatisfaction and discourage individuals from pursuing desired goals. Workers who are inadequately motivated tend to make only a minimal effort, therefore reducing overall productivity potential. It is believed that removing certain demotivators will increase motivation without necessitating the addition of motivators. This paper aims to improve worker productivity by identifying factors that are likely to induce the demotivation of workers. Predominant demotivators and their effects on the productivity of workers in civil engineering projects are identified through an empirical survey in Hong Kong. Time losses due to demotivation were found to be as much as 13.6 man-hours/week, with material availability, overcrowded work areas and rework being the most significant demotivators involved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)139-146
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Project Management
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2004
Externally publishedYes


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