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A Study on Knowledge, Skills and Abilities of Labourers Affecting the Performance of Building Construction Projects in Sri Lanka

Authors:

M. Kesavan ,

Wayamba University of Sri Lanka, LK
About M.

Lecturer (Probationary), Department of Construction Technology, Faculty of Technology

 

AMIE (SL), BSc Eng (Hons) (Peradeniya), AMSSE (SL), GREENSL®AP

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P. B. G. Dissanayake,

University of Peradeniya, LK
About P. B. G.

Senior Lecturer, Department of Civil Engineering, Faculty of Engineering

AMIE(SL) BSc Eng (Hons) (Peradeniya), PhD (Hong Kong), MIE (Aust)

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C. K. Pathirana,

University of Peradeniya, LK
About C. K.

Senior Lecturer, Department of Civil Engineering, Faculty of Engineering

C.Eng, MIE (SL), BSc Eng (Peradeniya), MSc Eng (Peradeniya), PhD (Peradeniya), MSSE (SL)

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M. M. D. R. Deegahawature,

Wayamba University of Sri Lanka, LK
About M. M. D. R.

Associate Professor, Department of Industrial Management, Faculty of Applied Sciences

BSc (Business Administration) (Jayewardenepura), MBA (Colombo), MBA (Technology Management) (AIT), PhD (Huazhong), MIM (SL)

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K. D. R. Silva

WayambaUniversity of Sri Lanka, LK
About K. D. R.

The Director, Centre for Quality Assurance

BSc (Agric) (Sri Lanka), PhD (UK), RNutr

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Abstract

The successful completion of a construction project highly depends on the labourefforts and performance. In developing countries like Sri Lanka, the most important challenge faced by the construction industry is the low performance of labour operations. Sources reveal that the knowledge, skills and abilities (KSAs) of labourers significantly affect the performance of labour in theconstruction projects. This study is aimed to identify the critical KSAs of labourers which highly influence the performance of building construction projects in Sri Lanka. The significant KSAs of labourers were initially identified using qualitative thematic analysis method through a comprehensive literature review and a series of structured interviews conducted among construction experts in Sri Lanka. Using the snowball sampling method, a questionnaire survey was carried out among building construction projects in Sri Lanka to measure the severities of these KSAs on the performance of construction. A total of 154 contractors responded to this survey. The severities of the KSAs were measured by calculating their Relative Importance Index (RII) values. Overall, 13 knowledge areas and 28 skills/abilities of labourers were identified as critical based on their RII values. The results show that the industry should have more focus on improving the work-related cognitive and self-management skills of the labourers than their transferable and technical skills. The validity and reliability of the findings were ensured using relevant statistical tests. There were no significant differences found between the perceptions of the different levels of working categories on the identified KSAs. It is highly recommended to consider the critical KSAs identified in this study, when current practices are upgraded for construction labour force in the industry. The findings of this study are expected to be very useful to the Sri Lankan construction industry as well as other developing construction industries in similar scenarios.
How to Cite: Kesavan, M., Dissanayake, P.B.G., Pathirana, C.K., Deegahawature, M.M.D.R. and Silva, K.D.R., 2021. A Study on Knowledge, Skills and Abilities of Labourers Affecting the Performance of Building Construction Projects in Sri Lanka. Engineer: Journal of the Institution of Engineers, Sri Lanka, 54(3), pp.17–26. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/engineer.v54i3.7456
Published on 24 Nov 2021.
Peer Reviewed

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