A Comparative Evaluation of Labour Productivity of Wall Plastering Activity Using Work study


By Isaac A. Odesola, PhD, University of Uyo

Dr. Kevin C. Okolie, Nnamdi Azikiwe University

Jovita N. Nnametu, Imo State Polytechnic




Accurate estimation of manpower requirements is germane to successful project completion in terms of time, cost and quality performance. This study determines productivity of building craftsmen in wall plastering activity and explores the possibility of establishing productivity norm for accurate estimation of manpower requirements for projects executed in South-South Geo-Political Zone of Nigeria. A descriptive survey research design approach was adopted using a continuous observation method of work study. Project work study manual served as the research instrument to collect data on selected building sites for 30 working days across six states in the zone. Data collected were analysed using descriptive statistics and ANOVA. The results show that there is no significant variation in construction labour productivity of wall plastering activity across the states in the zone. This study concludes that a common productivity norm for wall plastering activity in South-South Geo-Political Zone of Nigeria is feasible using work study approach. Hence, the average construction labour productivity of wall plastering activity in the zone based on a gang comprising of a plasterer and mate is 2.69m2/hr. The study therefore concludes that a common productivity norm for wall plastering activity could be adopted for use in South-South Geo-Political Zone of Nigeria and that labour cost estimation of construction projects in the zone should be based on productivity values emanating from work study rather than from project records which may be influenced by inaccurate documentation and differences in contractual claims.

Key Words: Wall plastering, Construction, labour, productivity, work study, Nigeria


Productivity is considered as one of the most important factors that affect the success and overall performance of every organization, whether large or small, in today’s competitive market (Attar et al., 2012). However, Park et al. (2005) identified construction productivity as a cause of great concern. Veiseth et al. (2013) and Hewage and Ruwanpura (2006) observed that for decades, many researchers have reported the decline in construction productivity. Lawal (2008) reported that in Nigeria, construction workers in the public service have almost zero productivity while Kaming et al. (1997) identified poor productivity of craftsmen as one of the most daunting problems confronting the construction industry especially in developing countries. In view of this, there is a growing and continuous interest in productivity studies all over the world because of its contribution to successful project delivery. Hendrickson and Au (2003, p.80) stated that “good project management in construction must vigorously pursue the efficient utilization of labour, material and equipment and that improvement of labour productivity should be a major and continuous concern of those who are responsible for cost control of constructed facilities”.

Understanding the productivity of building craftsmen is complex because several factors influence it and therefore cause differences from place to place and from individual to individual. Previous studies identified and assessed factors affecting construction labour productivity (Durdyev and Mbachu, 2011; Odesola et al., 2013; Odesola and Idoro, 2014). The results of these studies have indicated that while some factors have significant effects, others may not be significant but their relative effects generally could differ from place to place. Apart from understanding the factors that influence the productivity of craftsmen, another major issue is the measurement of productivity.


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About the Authors


pmwj34-May2015-Odesola-AUTHOR1Isaac Abiodun Odesola, PhD

University of Uyo,
Akwa-Ibom State, Nigeria



Dr Isaac Odesola
holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Building and a Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy Degrees in Construction Management. He began his academic career as a lecturer in the Department of Building, University of Uyo, Uyo, Nigeria in 2004 and has since risen to the rank of Senior Lecturer. He has published no fewer than twenty articles in learned journals most of which are in construction management. His area of interest is in construction resource management. He is research driven as his Doctoral thesis was adjudged the best in the discipline of environmental sciences for the year 2012 in all Nigerian Universities by the Nigerian Universities Commission. He is committed to the development of the built environment through research and development. Isaac can be contacted at [email protected] or [email protected].



Dr. Kevin Okolie

Nnamdi Azikiwe University
Awka Anambra State, Nigeria



Dr Kevin Okolie
is a senior lecturer and Head of the Department of Building at Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Anambra State, Nigeria. He holds a Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Construction Management from Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, Port Elizabeth, South Africa. His research interest lies in the development of Building Performance Evaluation Methodology, Health and Safety Management, and Built Asset Management Systems. His published papers and articles on Construction and Facilities Management have appeared in many international conferences and peer reviewed journals. Dr. Okolie can be contacted at [email protected] or [email protected]



Jovita Nnametu

Imo State Polytechnic University
Umuagwo Ohaji, Nigeria



Jovita Nnametu
found an exciting career in Real Estate which propelled her to study Estate Management from Enugu State University of Science and Technology, where she graduated with a Second class Upper Division in 1992. She also has a Master’s degree in Estate Management and presently pursuing a Doctorate Degree in Investment and Valuation.

Jovita has been on a career centered in teaching and training of students for up to fifteen years. Professionally, she is a member of African Real Estate Society (AFRES) and registered member of the Estate Surveyors and Valuers Registration Board of Nigeria (ESVARBON). Jovita has published journal articles and presented papers in many local and international conferences.

Currently, she is a Lecturer and acting Head of Department of Estate Management and Valuation at the Imo State Polytechnic, Umuagwo Nigeria. She is married to her lovely husband and blessed with lovely children.   Jovita can be contacted at [email protected]