Critical Factors which Govern Labour Productivity in Building Construction Industry in Sri Lanka



R U Halwatura

University of Moratuwa

Sri Lanka



The concept of construction productivity began in the early 20th century with a series of time and motion studies to improve bricklaying operations. However, it remains an interesting and a dominant issue in the construction industry, promising cost-savings, timely delivery and efficient usage of resources. Productivity is directly linked to motivation, and motivation is in turn dependent on productivity. Suitable motivation is therefore a contributor to maximizing workers’ productivity. The low motivation of construction workers has contributed significantly to the declining productivity that cannot be determined in the construction industry. The study seeks to unravel the factors that affect construction workers’ motivation and the corresponding effect of the identified motivational factors on workers’ performance and overall productivity. Fifty factors, which usually affect motivation and productivity were obtained from preliminary survey and reviewing literature. A total of 352 questionnaires were administered for the survey. The survey revealed that, among the 50 factors considered, Medical care, Overtime, Social activity opportunities, Job security, On-time payment, Canteen for employees, Supervision, Accommodation, Communication, and Love and belongingness are the most critical factors that can be used to improve the construction productivity.

Key words: Labor productivity, building construction, motivation, developing countries


Construction Industry has its own difficulties in improving productivity, as the product or service delivered is not standard. Further, there is an increasing attention towards labor productivity in construction industry since industry faces multiple problems everyday related to workforce [1], [2]. Productivity improvement in the construction industry is a deliberate process to improve the capacity and effectiveness of the industry to meet the demand for building and civil engineering products, and to support sustained national economic and social development objectives. However, building construction industry in Sri Lanka, these difficulties and challenges are present alongside a general situation of socio-economic stress, chronic resource shortages, institutional weaknesses and a general inability to deal with key issues in human resources. There is also evidence that the problems have become greater in extent and severity in recent years [3].


To read entire paper (click here)



About the Author



Dr. Rangika Halwatura

University of Moratuwa

Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka small

Dr. R U Halwatura
is a Senior lecturer at the Department of Civil Engineering of University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka. He obtained his BSc engineering degree with a first class honours from University of  Moratuwa in 2004 and his PhD from the same university 2008. Since then he has undertaken extensive teaching and research in the field of sustainable design, project management and building energy. He can be contacted at [email protected]