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Title: Managing immigrant construction workers in peninsular Malaysia: the economic perspective
Authors: Mustapa, Fara D.
Keywords: Economic cycle leakage
Immigrant construction workers
Multiplier-accelerator effect
Issue Date: 2014
Publisher: © Fara Diva Mustapa
Abstract: The function of the construction industry in an economy has proven to be beneficial, especially during the economic downturn. The nature of the products of the construction industry makes it possible for the government to utilise the industry as a means to accelerate and multiply the economy by utilising the fiscal budget to build infrastructures. By so doing, the economy will be multiplied as the construction industry is an industry that produces investment goods. However, due to the nature of the Malaysian construction sector, the expenses required to stimulate the economy could not be made to the maximum extent, as the industry relies heavily on immigrant construction workers to address its labour supply problem. Immigrant construction workers are known for their high tendency to remit their salary to their country of their origin. This scenario disturbs the economic cycle within the Malaysian economy and, hence, dampens the function of the construction industry as the multiplier-accelerator provider. This research was undertaken to better manage the cash flow economic cycle leakage by adopting some economic measures coupled with improvised management of immigrant construction workers exercised through legislation. The adopted research methodology used transformative mixed-methods to balance the limitations of a single research approach. A literature review of the economic models and tools were conducted in a search for the most suitable measures, while attempting to understand the nature of construction industry by highlighting the structure and the problems associated with the industry. Special attention was also given to investigate the motivation behind the human migration to justify and support the research. Other than issues involving the use of immigrant workers, special attention was given to issues of remittances and its impacts on the global economy. The findings underpinned by literature and the research findings were used to develop the conceptual framework to manage the economic cycle leakage that is entrenched in the construction industry s economic cycle. The integrated framework consists of economic, management and legislation and was developed to address the issues highlighted. The use of economic tools can only be materialised through better management and the execution of legislation. The framework was encapsulated in a combination of process protocol and a maturity framework to allow time for the policy makers to implement it. Considerations have been made to develop the framework to ensure the smooth transition its implementation. The framework was self-validated through formative evaluations where data were attained from several parties to reduce any bias perspective. In addition, most of the measures suggested were derived from interviews conducted among the respondents. Several benefits of the framework were identified. It is concluded that the impact of immigrant construction workers employment can be managed by considering the appropriate tools in the form of economic, managerial and legislation measures. This research has developed an integrated process protocol maturity framework that addresses the three aforementioned aspects. The framework is simple and easily understandable with detailed activity zones that entail specific tasks that must implemented by different parties. The developed framework is expected to aid the authorities in managing immigrant construction in Malaysia and to effectively manage these workers. The framework also allows time for its implementation through the maturity stages suggested.
Description: A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.
Sponsor: none
URI: https://dspace.lboro.ac.uk/2134/14790
Appears in Collections:PhD Theses (Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering)

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