This research aimed at investigating strategies for construction performance
improvement in Tanzania. The research established that the Total Quality
Management (TQM) philosophy provides a feasible long term performance
improvement strategy. Benchmarking was identified as a tool for initiating
and sustaining the TQM programme.
Labour productivity was selected as the key construction performance
indicator. A framework for labour productivity benchmarking was
developed, on the basis of current mean productivity (CMP) and target
mean productivity (TMP). Construction labour productivity at macroeconomic
level and site level were also investigated.
Analysis at macro economic level over a twenty five year period between
1969 and 1993 indicated a continuous decline in productivity expressed in
value added per person engaged. Site labour productivity was investigated
for eight construction activities on 46 sites belonging to 23 different
contractors. Two significant findings emerged in the analysis: first, the
variability quantified by coefficient of variation was considerably higher than
in similar studies elsewhere; and secondly the distribution was skewed to
the left suggesting that productivity was low for most of the operatives.
These characteristics were indicative of the productivity improvement
potential in the Tanzanian building construction industry. A distribution
modelling exercise established that Johnson SB distribution (with shape
parameters, 11=1 and y=1) model well represented productivity distribution
for most activities. From this distribution, it was established that about 85
per cent of operatives productivity was below the median, which provided a
basis for quantifying the potential for improvement. The benchmarking
model established that there was an improvement potential of about 133 per
cent. This potential was verified through an opinion survey of operatives.
Factors that influence operatives productivity were identified through an
opinion survey. Factor related to motivation were ranked highest in the
Possible influence of various factors on productivity was quantified
through regression modelling based on actual construction operation
observations. This analysis indicated that productivity depended on
productive time which is largely influenced by operative motivation,
supporting the results of the opinion survey.
A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.