Topics: Motivation, Construction, Maslow's hierarchy of needs Pages: 10 (3584 words) Published: June 24, 2014
Ayodeji Olatunji Aiyetan1 and A. O. Olotuah2

Department of Quantity Surveying, Federal University of Technology, Akure 34001, Nigeria Department of Architecture, Federal University of Technology, Akure 34001, Nigeria


This is a research on the relationship between motivation and performance of workers in the Nigerian construction industry. It identifies a number of motivational schemes that enhance the performance of workers. Findings from the research on productivity of construction workers are reported. Two sets of questionnaires were employed in the study. One set was administered on management staff and the other on operatives. The study reveals that salaries paid to operatives in the study were below the stipulations of the Nigerian National Joint Industry Council. It further shows that operatives are rarely promoted, and operatives prefer financial incentives to nonfinancial incentives. The study recommends that increases in salary via promotion, overtime allowances and holidays with pay should be used as motivators (financial incentives) for increase in performance of construction workers (operatives). Keywords: construction, incentives, motivation, operatives, productivity.

The output of the construction industry constitutes one-half of the gross capital, and three to eight percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in most countries (Arditi and Morkhtar 2000). Mee-Edoiye and Andawei (2000) declared that the employees in the civil and building construction industry of a country are the largest. The population of the workers compared to the whole workforce of a nation is significant. Anything done to the employees could either make or mar the quality of their work, the speed of progress, the economy of the country and the social well-being of the workers. It follows from the foregoing therefore that workers should be well motivated for high performance and for the production of good quality products. However, despite this significant role the industry plays in the Nigerian national economy, the performance has not been impressive. Eldin and Egger (1990) noted that construction productivity has been declining steadily in spite of the rising cost and large labour intensive nature of construction projects around the world. The decline in the workers’ performance causes the failure of the building industry to deliver projects timely with the obvious consequences of cost overrun. Labour productivity according to Akindele (2003) is defined as labour output per day (man-day). This is often reduced by delayed, unclear or inadequate instructions, provision of poor tools and equipment, unbalanced work gangs, use of working method, lack of incentives, and failure to delegate authority from senior to lower level supervisors (Heap 1987). 1

Aiyetan, A O and Olotuah, A O (2006) Impact of motivation on workers' productivity in the Nigerian construction industry. In: Boyd, D (Ed) Procs 22nd Annual ARCOM Conference, 4-6 September 2006, Birmingham, UK, Association of Researchers in Construction Management, 239-248.

Aiyetan and Olotuah

The productivity of individuals, which in turn affects the productivity of a company, is a very important parameter to watch as it measures a company’s competitive power. It is an indicator of a firm’s profit margin, a measure of the firm’s survival in business, a yardstick for remuneration of employees, and a means of recognition of hard work.

Productivity measures how efficiently resources are employed, It is defined as the ratio of a specific measure of output to a specific measure of input per unit of labour and is measured as total output divided by the members of units of labour employed to produce that output

Williams (1997) defines human capital (labour) as the accumulated knowledge, skill and experience of the...

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