Human resource management (HRM) in construction: An exploration of issues and practice

Kilby, A. and McCabe, S. (2008) Human resource management (HRM) in construction: An exploration of issues and practice. In: 24th Annual Conference of the Association of Researchers in Construction Management, ARCOM 2008, 1 September 2008 through 3 September 2008, Cardiff, UK.

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In the last two decades, the lexicon of management language had been expanded to include the panoply of techniques that have been proposed as methods by which organisational improvement can occur. The 'quality movement' of the 1980s onwards, especially on the basis of the experience of Japanese organisations using improvement techniques, strongly suggested that more careful and considerate use of the people was a vital aspect. People-management is an explicit part of what is often referred to as total quality management (TQM). Accordingly, all organisations were exhorted to reconsider the way that the human resource component was managed. This message was seen to be as important in construction as any industry. Moreover, one of the 'spin-off' initiatives that stemmed from Rethinking Construction (1998) was 'Respect for People' in which human resource management (HRM) is explicitly propagated as being vital to the aspiration of long-term improvement for the industry. This paper provides an overview of the context in which innovative HRM dedicated to achievement in enhancement of people's importance in construction has taken place. As such, general theoretical components of HRM will be described. This overview will be used as a background by which the way that 'people issues' in a selected number of construction organisations operating in the West Midlands region of the UK may be judged. As the interview data presented suggests, whilst there has been some progress in terms of addressing HRM in the construction organisations in which the respondents are employed, improvement requires constant effort and support. As can be concluded, unless this happens British construction will not attain the desire expressed in Rethinking Construction that it should emulate the example set by so called 'World Class' industries. Crucially, the industry cannot claim that it is making the best use of what should be its most precious resource.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Commitment, Dedication, Improvement, People, Strategy, Commitment, Dedication, Improvement, People, Strategy, Human resource management, Industry, Project management, Total quality management, Societies and institutions
Subjects: CAH17 - business and management > CAH17-01 - business and management > CAH17-01-05 - human resource management
Divisions: Faculty of Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment > School of Engineering and the Built Environment
Depositing User: Yasser Nawaz
Date Deposited: 22 Mar 2017 15:50
Last Modified: 03 Mar 2022 15:52

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