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The development of a strategic employee resourcing framework (SERF) for construction organisations

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posted on 15.12.2010, 09:36 by Ani Birgit Raiden
The construction industry is one of the most challenging industrial environments within which to develop effective people management practices. The industry is characterised by geographically dispersed projects, production-oriented management styles, long working weeks, high levels of staff turnover and employment practices grounded in the traditional `personnel' paradigm. One of the most challenging aspects of adopting strategic human resource management (SHRM) in the industry is employee resourcing, which comprises the staffing, performance, human resource administration and change management functions within contemporary organisations. This thesis investigates resourcing practices within large construction companies and develops a framework to inform SHRM-style decision-making in the future. Within an overall interpretative framework, case study methodology was employed for the research, supported by a range of qualitative and quantitative data sets. Fifty in-depth interviews were conducted within a major contracting organisation in order to establish both employer and employee perspectives on the resourcing process. These were supported by further interviews with several other leading contractors in order to explorew hethers uchp racticesw eret ypical and to identify alternativea pproaches. A range of secondary data informed both the wider understanding of existing approaches and the development of a more effective resourcing methodology. This included an analytic hierarchy method questionnaire to rank employee priorities, management and leadership style assessments of those with responsibility for managing the resourcing function, employee satisfaction questionnaires and an evaluation of commercially available human resource (HR) software. The results show that, although the intention with regard to resourcing was clearly positive, managerial practices did not effectively deliver the strategic intent at a project level. Organisational priorities and project requirements were found to dominate what was a largely reactive and incoherent employee resourcing process. Individual employee needs and preferences were often neglected, which led to a demotivated workforce and hence, high levels of staff turnover. This presented a need to integrate key SHRRM activities such as human resource planning (IHRP), team deployment, employee involvement (EI), performance and career management and human resource development (IHRD). Accordingly, a strategic employee resourcing framework (SERF) was developed which balances these activities in order to inform effective resourcing decision-making. The SERF has shown potential to support the effective integration of strategic business and HR objectives with operational requirements. 'liiere remains a need however, for construction organisations to develop their human resource information systems in order that such a framework is supported by appropriate organisational and employee data. This provides a longerterm challenge for the industry's larger employers, but is essential if the benefits of SHRM-oriented resourcing practices are to be realised.



  • Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering


© Ani B. Raiden

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A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.

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