Barriers to Subcontracted Labor Productivity in Urban Development Projects: An On-site Project Management Perspective

John P. Spillane, Luke P. Slyman, Lukumon O. Oyedele

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


    Considering the confined and complex nature of urban construction projects, labor productivity is one of the key factors attributing to project success. With the proliferation of sub-contracted labor, there is a necessity to consider the ramifications of this practice to the sector. This research aims to outline how project managers can optimise productivity levels of sub-contracted labor in urban construction projects, by addressing the barriers that most restrict these efficiency levels. A qualitative research approach is employed, incorporating semi-structured interviews based on three case studies from an urban context. The results are scrutinised using mind mapping software and accompanying analytical techniques. The findings from this research indicate that the effective on-site management of sub-contracted labor has a significant impact on the degree of success of an urban development project. The two core barriers to sub-contracted labor productivity are; 1) ineffective supervision of sub-contracted labor, and 2) lack of skilled sub-contracted labor. The implication of this research is that on-site project management play an integral role in the level of productivity achieved by sub-contracted labor in urban development projects. Therefore, on-site management situated in urban, confined construction sites, are encouraged to take heed of the findings herein and address the barriers documented. The value of this research is obtained through consideration of the critical factors; construction management professionals can mitigate such barriers, in order to optimise subcontracted labor productivity on-site.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationRICS COBRA AUBEA 2015
    PublisherRICS Research Trust
    Number of pages8
    ISBN (Electronic) 978-1-78321-071-8
    Publication statusPublished - 2015
    EventAustralasian Universities' Building Educators Association Conference 2015 - University of Technology, Sydney, Australia
    Duration: 08 Jul 201510 Jul 2015


    ConferenceAustralasian Universities' Building Educators Association Conference 2015


    • labor
    • productivity
    • project management
    • subcontracting


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