On-site labour productivity of New Zealand construction industry: Key constraints and improvement measures

Serdar Durdyev*, Jasper Mbachu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

133 Citations (Scopus)
140 Downloads (Pure)


Productivity is key to the survival and growth of any organisation, industry or nation. Some factors constrain the achievement of the set project objectives in the New Zealand building and construction industry and are responsible for the reported steady decline of productivity and performance. This study aims to identify the key constraints to on-site labour productivity and improvement measures. Using the descriptive survey method, views of some project managers, contractors and subcontractors in New Zealand were canvassed via pilot interviews and questionnaire surveys at the qualitative and quantitative data gathering stages, respectively. Multi-attribute technique was used to analyse the quantitative data. Results showed that the key external constraints to on-site labour productivity comprise, in order of decreasing impact, statutory compliance, unforeseen events and wider external dynamics. The internal constraints were found to have much higher impact on onsite productivity than the external factors. In order of diminishing levels of impact, the internal constraints comprise reworks, level of skill and experience of the workforce, adequacy of method of construction, buildability issues, and inadequate supervision and coordination. The factors underlying each broad category of external and internal constraints are reported. The relative levels of impact of the identified constraints are expected to guide the project team in addressing the constraints in a cost-effective manner.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)18-33
Number of pages16
JournalAustralasian Journal of Construction Economics and Building
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes


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