Reading: Productivity in Construction-A Critical Review of Research


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Productivity in Construction-A Critical Review of Research


D. A. R. Dolage ,

The Open University of Sri Lanka, LK
About D. A. R.
Senior Lecturer, Department of Civil Engineering
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P. Chan

The University of Manchester, GB
About P.
Lecturer, School of Mechanical, Aerospace and Civil Engineering
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The aim is to bring a fresh perspective to the construction productivity research agenda, which is congruent with the new demands in the construction industry and its ever changing nature. The articles which had ‘construction productivity’ as a keyword in the abstract, and were published in each of the three journals (JCEM, CEM and IJP) from the earliest year that the articles had been uploaded to the respective official website of each journal were identified. Out of 5862 articles searched, only 121 articles fulfilled the selection criteria, the titles of which were examined.

The past decade has witnessed the continuation of the same relentless research interest in productivity studies. The findings revealed that, in the studies: five types of productivity have been examined; five data collection methods have been deployed; research objects can be classified under seven categories. The research objects in a high number of studies are devoted to ‘measurement of productivity’ and ‘examining the casual relationships with productivity’.

The study ascertained that the main drawbacks of past productivity studies are the strong empirical inclination of methodologies adopted and the overwhelming positivist approach to examining productivity issues. The absence of follow-up studies to investigate the validity of productivity measurement techniques and the models and to test the claims made in productivity improvement studies, is a striking feature. Another impressive finding is the lack of scholarly attention to incorporate blue-collar worker perspective, employee involvement, and social dimension into productivity research.


ENGINEER, Vol. 46, No.04, pp. 31-42, 2013

How to Cite: Dolage, D.A.R. and Chan, P., 2013. Productivity in Construction-A Critical Review of Research. Engineer: Journal of the Institution of Engineers, Sri Lanka, 46(4), pp.31–42. DOI:
Published on 21 Oct 2013.
Peer Reviewed


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