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Motivation is considered as an important tool for enhancing worker’ productivity. Construction sector is not an exception. It has been empirically established that motivation has positive impact on construction worker’s productivity. Moreover, empirical studies have shown that productivity in the sector has been decreasing globally. This study therefore aims at examining the relationship between motivation, resistance and productivity and develops a model of this relationship as a way of addressing this challenge. Quantitative research design was employed with same questionnaire to the population covered. Productivity level was measured by work study with the use of five minutes field rating. Stratified and random sampling techniques were used to administer questionnaire to the supervisors, craftsmen and contractors sampled from a selected number of medium and large size firms in Lagos, Nigeria. Stratified sampling was used to divide supervisors into strata of builder, architect and engineer. Purposive sampling was used to administer questionnaires to various supervisors and craftsmen. 174 questionnaires were administered to supervisors collectively and 105 was filled and returned which constitute 60% success rate. 295 questionnaires were administered to craftsmen, 150 were filled and returned which constitute 50.85% success rate. 16 questionnaires were administered to contractors which makes up the firms surveyed, 12 were filled and returned which constitute 75% success rate. Questionnaire was designed in Likert scale of 1-5. Analysis was done by statistical packages for social sciences version 17. Descriptive statistics which include frequency, percentage and tables were used to present the data. One Way Analysis of Variance was used to determine whether there is variation in motivating factors influence on categories of professionals considered in the study. Linear correlation was used to test the hypothesis designed for the study. Factor analysis was used to group factors in order of potency and to also eliminate variables with low variance. This enables variables that cluster to be used to develop a model of the relationship between motivation, resistance and productivity. Multiple linear regressions were used to develop the model. It was established that: the major motivating factor of supervisors and craftsmen is financial related reward. Contractors do not relate motivation application to workers needs; there is a high positive linear relationship between motivation and productivity; the association between motivation and resistance is a weak negative relationship. The regression equation of the model of relationship between motivation, resistance and productivity is Y = -1.694 + (-907)b1+ (-425)b 2. The findings also reveal that the influence of resistance among workers is not sufficient to impair on the level of productivity in construction firms in Lagos, Nigeria. The study concludes that productivity decrease being experienced in Nigeria construction industry may continue if motivation strategy is not re-designed to meet workers need.



1.1   Background of the Study

Construction industry is a significant sector in the economic development of any nation. It contributes immensely to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and employs substantial percentage of any nation’s workforce (Yisa et al., 2000). It is therefore not out of place for her workforce to be motivated (Aiyetan & Olotuah, 2006; Shashank et al., 2014). Motivation is an encouragement for better performance given to workers in form of cash or kind thus enhancing productivity (Ng et al., 2004 ; Halepota, 2005; Shashank et al., 2014).  Eldin and Egger (1990) in Aiyetan and Olotuah (2006) observed that productivity in construction subsector of the economy has been decreasing globally despites the increasing cost of projects and large labour involvement in the sector. In most of the countries around the world, productivity of construction workers has been empirically established to be very low (Yisa et al., 2000 ; Adnan et al., 2009; Adjei, 2009).  

Hazentine (1963) in Barg et al. (2014) establish that a Canadian construction worker utilizes 51% of his working hour per day, which accounts to be a factor responsible for low productivity witness in the sector for over two decades.  Choy (2004) in George (2009); Hornel et al. in Prabhu and Ambika (2013) observe that a 10% increase in construction labour productivity will contribute about one billion pound annually to the British economy. Therefore, the importance of increase in construction worker’ productivity through motivation is imperative to the growth of any nations’ economy. In another study, Mohammed et al. (2008) emphasis on the decision of UK government to enhance skill development through training and re-training of her workforce to increase productivity which is one of the motivating factors identified in literature (Tomovic, 2001).

The fact that productivity is declining is further buttressd by the world economic forum in its 2011-2012 global competitiveness report. According to the report, labour productivity growth rate across the regions of the world indicate that Africa has the second lowest productivity growth rate of -1.1% between 1987-1995 after Eastern Europe and 1.3% between 1995-2007 after Latin America and Middle East. Umoru and Yaquib (2013) in their study compare productivity growth rate in West Africa sub- region. They report that Nigeria grew at the rate of 1.2% between 2000-2008 far behind Ghana and Cameroon that grew at 1.7% and 2.2% respectively within the same period; and also below the sub-regional average of 1.9%. It is amazing to note that no other nation in the region falls below 2%.

It therefore meant that workers performance should be enhanced to redress this trend. Motivation is defined as an urge in someone propelled by one desire or the other to achieve maximal work output (Jean et al., 2006; Cox et al. in Barg et al., 2014 ; Anthony, 2011). In Nigeria, persistent strike is not uncommon as a result of dissatisfaction of workers on one issue of welfare or the other (Adebisi, 1995). Within the period of the return to democratic governance in the country, there have been agitations for better welfare of workers which lead to at least six industrial actions to enforce compliance on the part of government (Dike, 2005).

The human development index rates Nigeria as having one of the lowest indexes with the value of 0.459 (Chete et al., 2014). This implies that Nigeria has low level of human development and no nation can develop without addressing her human capital needs. Dike (2005) observe that the industrial actions embarked upon by workers makes no impact on their welfare; their productivity  remains low while average wages paid to them stands at $1.11 per man hour. The industrial development efforts in Nigeria failed because of lack of human capital; the skill required for industrial development was lacking in the workforce (Chete et al., 2014).

Nigeria worker finds it difficult to access medical care when needed; all these dampen the zeal of the general workforce. To address the situation, a National Science and Technology Policy were formulated to create awareness of the importance of science and technology to national development (Chete et al., 2014). This policy was formulated to assist workers to undergo training that will impact on their productivity. Furthermore, in 1989 Trade and Financial Liberalisation Policy popularly refered to as local content policy in Nigeria was enacted. It aims at encouraging competition among indigenous firms and reduces the dominance of foreign firms (Chete et al., 2014). In the same vein, a National Health Insurance Policy in form of a contributory scheme that will enable workers and their family access good health care delivery system was formulated by

In view of the above, it will be appropriate to consider the influence of resistance on the part of workers to motivational ineffectiveness. Zaltman and Duncan (1977) in Bolognese (2002) define resistance as any conduct by workers directed towards maintaining existing way of doing things despite efforts to change approach. Locke and Lathan (2004) observe that motivation can be effective if organisational change is implemented. They however note that this brings resistance from workers. This resistance may be active or passive which in turn affects productivity. Pohankova (2010) notes that one of the reasons why organisational change is effected is to have a drastic increase in productivity.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

The political and economic influence of construction sector to any nation’s development cannot be over emphasized. It is a measure of the well being of the state of the economy. However in Nigeria, the construction sector is bedevilled by many problems such as cost and time overrun, abandonment of projects, low productivity, low GDP and conflict among players in the industry (Mohammed & Isah, 2012; Kolawole & Anigbogu, 2004; Aiyetan and Olotuah, 2006; Umoru and Yaquib, 2013). The aftermath of these problems have resulted in litigation and job losses thus compounding the security situation and impairing the national economy (Kolawole &

Anigbogu, 2004). Report of the abandoned project audit commission set up by the Federal Government of Nigeria in 2011 reveals that close to twelve thousand projects were abandoned across Nigeria in the last forty years (Abimbola, 2016). Moreover, most empirical studies carried out on time and cost schedule of projects indicate that there were cases of time and cost overrun and even abandonment of most of the construction projects in the country (Koko et al., 2013). Kolawole & Anigbogu (2004) attributes this situation to disputes between labour and management over working conditions and remuneration.

The extent of delay in building project completion ranges between 155.58% – 516.22% (Idiake et al., 2015; Bustani & Izam, 2001 in Usman et al., 2014). It is in the interest of all the players in this sector therefore that these identified problems be resolved. Return on investment is lost due to abandonment of projects, time and cost overrun and low productivity arising from poor working conditions and remuneration. Furthermore, Kolawole and Anigbogu (2004) portrays conflict as a product of political instability, distressed economy and change in government policies. Since GDP growth rate of construction sector can help grow the economy, it is pertinent therefore for sources of these problems to be identified and resolved. This will impact on the nation’s economy through job creation and GDP increase. Thereby positively engaging youths and curbing restiveness.

Furthermore, development of any nation will be hindered without the provision of basic social amenities such as housing, rail and road network, water distribution, power and dam. The identified problems have not enabled construction sector fulfil this role. The rate of investment in the real sector of the economy is one of the parameters for measuring the importance of the construction sector. Mogbo (2004) in Mohammed and Isah (2012) opine that it is an avenue for controlling the economies of nations. The construction sector has not been able to efficiently fulfil this role because of the challenges it is confronted with. The influence of productivity in GDP measurement is equally essential and the determinant of productivity attainment is construction workers. GDP is further affected by the significant role played by Lagos in the economic development of Nigeria. Lagos accommodates 65% of construction companies in the country (Abiodun, 2010). If this issue is addressed in Lagos, its impact will flow to other parts of the country as a result of the influence of these companies in other regions outside Lagos.

However, construction workers according to Odesola and Idoro (2014) are not seen as an important input to project execution in Nigeria. This is responsible for conflict between labour and management identified by Kolawole and Anigbogu (2004). This there after is responsible for low workers motivation as well as low productivity recorded in the sector (Aiyetan & Olotuah, 2006: Ugwu & Coker, 2012; Odesola, et al., 2013; Lawal & Okhankhuele, 2014). The implication of this to the economy is the low turnover of projects and low tax payment by the sector (Dozzi & Abourizk, 1993). The long term effect of poor treatment given to workers is the loss of human capital to other nations. This is inimical to the development of any nation and most importantly Nigeria. This will adversely affect the growth of the economy and constitute barrier to long desired technological advancement of the nation (Chete et al., 2014).

The rate of project abandonment has created nuisance to the environment and provided hideout for miscreants. Report indicates that one of such abandoned properties was used to rape an innocent girl in central Lagos by some boys. This calls for effective strategy to tackle the myriads of problems facing  the sector. If the trend is not addressed through a workable motivation strategy, it will aggravate the existing situation (Abinbola, 2016).

Despite all efforts made through research and policy formulation on health and training towards addressing the issue of low workers productivity; the problem persists, this makes the call for workers motivation imperative (Ugwu and Coker,

2012; Odesola et al., 2013; Lawal & Okhankhuele, 2014). Furthermore, Usman et al., 2014 observe that early completion of projects can reduce the rate at which projects are abandoned. This can be assualised with a productive workforce, thereby reducing the number of abandoned projects. Moreover, productivity increase can be sustained if motivation strategy is put in place and regularly applied. Locke and Lathan (2004) observe that for motivation to be effective, organisational change is inevitable. They argue further that change normally comes with resistance because human beings are not accustomed to change. Moreover, they conclude that what causes this resistance has not been addressed in the field of organisational management.

Furthermore, relationship between construction workers motivation and productivity improvement is yet to be fully addressed thereby creating void that needs to be filled (Olomolaiye & Price, 1989 in Barg et al., 2014; Navarro, 2009). This research therefore investigates the barriers to motivational effectiveness which in this study is referred to as resistance factors to workers motivation as a way of addressing low productivity in the industry. In addition, this study examines the impact of motivation on worker’ performance and the inherent factors that can render motivation strategy ineffective among construction workers. Furthermore, this study assesses the effect of motivation on efficiency. It is envisaged that the outcome of this research will help address the problem of motivation in construction firms in Nigeria and beyond.

1.3 Aim of the Study

The aim of this study is to determine the impact of motivation and resistance to organisational change on productivity of construction workers in Lagos, Nigeria and develop a model of this relationship.

1.4   Objectives of the Study

The objectives for this study are:

  1. To determine the motivating factors that enhance productivity of construction workers in Lagos, Nigeria. ii.To examine the impact of construction worker’ motivation on their

productivity in Lagos, Nigeria. iii. To determine the impact of resistance to change on construction worker’ motivation in Lagos, Nigeria.

  1. To develop a model of the relationship between motivation, resistance and productivity in construction firms in Lagos, Nigeria.

1.5   Hypotheses

The following hypotheses were formulated for the study:

  1. H0: There is no relationship between motivation and productivity.

H1: There is relationship between motivation and productivity.

[Motivation (M) α Productivity (P)] ii.

H0: There is no relationship between resistance to change and motivation.

H1: There is relationship between resistance to change and motivation.

[Resistance (R) α Motivation (M)]

1.6   Research Questions

The research questions for this study are:

  1. What motivation factors enhance worker’ productivity in the construction industry in Lagos, Nigeria.
  2. What are the impacts of motivation on construction workers productivity in Lagos, Nigeria.
  3. To what extent does resistance to change affects motivation of construction worker in Lagos, Nigeria.
  4. What is the relationship between motivation, resistance and productivity in the construction industry in Lagos, Nigeria.

 1.7 Justification

Improved labour productivity is a fundamental requirement for performance measurement in organisations. This can best be achieved when the workforce is well motivated. Theories of motivation according to Olomolaiye (1988) are developed from other fields and are only applied in construction sector. This does not give room for consideration of factors inherent in construction climate. It is therefore necessary that theory that emanates from construction environment gives consideration to these factors. Moreover, the influence of motivation on productivity of construction workers is considered in this study because of the role that productivity plays in growing the national economy. Furthermore, productivity rate in the construction sector will not be mentioned without the involvement of construction workers, hence the choice of supervisors and craftsmen as the study population.

Pohankova (2010) opine that the first aim of a worker is what he can benefit from the organisation. This benefit comes in form of motivational packages. The extent to which this desire is met will form the basis of efforts that individual will expend which will thereafter determine productivity level. Organisational restructuring cannot be possible without effective motivation (Pohankova, 2010). This points to the importance of motivation in the success or otherwise of an organisation. This study therefore explores the area of resistance of workers to motivation effectiveness as a way of improving productivity.

Lagos, Nigeria is chosen as the study area because of the concentration of construction companies in the area and the possibility of having large number of respondents to answer the research question. Furthermore, since the construction sector can be used to regulate the economy, the choice of Lagos is therefore appropriate because it accommodates 65% of construction firms in the country (Abiodun, 2010).

1.8 Significance of the Study

Construction industry contributes immensely to employment generation in nations of the world and most importantly in Nigeria. National Bureau of Statistics (2015) in its 2010-2012 report indicates that the industry in Nigeria engaged 6.4 million skilled and unskilled workers in 2010. This number increase by 3.21% in 2011 and increase further by 4.4% in 2012. The report according to the bureau excludes the statistics of unregistered companies. The effective performance of the construction sector therefore will positively impact the wealth of the nation in terms of its economic well being. It is a good assumption that the more an organisation develops, the more the tendency to expound. Expansion provides room for increase in workforce, thereby addressing the social and political development of the nation.

Nevertheless, an unproductive sector may not be able to achieve this goal. Therefore, the outcome of this study is expected to address the problem of low productivity experience in construction industry in Nigeria and beyond. Through the

recommendations of this study, a better approach to motivation that will be of benefit to players in the construction industry is provided. It will also allow a reappraisal of motivation theories with a view to incorporating the influence of resistance of worker to productivity improvement in future motivation theories. It will be appropriate to state that any construct that will be suitable as expression of motivation model must have resistance input before the issue of low productivity can be addressed. In this regard, it is expected that the proposed model will be a useful tool that will assist managers in addressing the resistance factors to motivational ineffectiveness in their various organisations.

The aim of any organisation is to make profit and contribute to national development; this can only be made possible by productive workforce. It has been reported in literature the abysmal performance in productivity rating of Africa globally, and also the low contribution of construction sector to GDP in Nigeria and other parts of Africa. The above measure is expected to address this trend.

It is believed that if productivity is enhanced, construction industry contribution to GDP will increase and the national economy will be made better. The contractors involved in project execution will equally be able to safe cost, thereby increasing their profits. The outcome of this research is to be disseminated through publications in journals, workshops and conferences to enable academia and policy makers have access to it. It is expected that it will contribute to the body of knowledge that already exists in the field of workers motivation. It will serve as reference material for researchers in the academia as well as those in research centres spread all over the world.  The recommendations of this study should effect policy change that will ignite a new approach to addressing workers motivation thereby enhancing national economic development.

1.9 Study Limitation

This study is limited to workers in construction firms in Lagos, Nigeria and addresses what constitute resistance factors to workers motivation in the construction industry. This limitation is as a result of time and budget constraint. The workers were not divided into trades, all the craftsmen of various trades were considered together, except supervisors that were considered on professional basis. It has been empirically established that there is no significant difference in the level of influence of motivating factors among various trades (Ogunlana & Chang, 1998). This assists in determining the group of workers that is prone to resistance between the construction craftsmen and the supervisors.

The need to consider these groups was as a result of their importance to the success or failure of any construction project as reviewed in literature. It equally helps to know the group of workers prone to resistance with a view of addressing them.  Moreover, supervisors are included because they are considered as captains that issue directive to the work crew under their supervision. They are the middle men between the craftsmen and management, as a matter of fact it is believed that sixty percent of decisions taken on site daily that affect time, cost, quality, and safety is taken by them (Brian et al., 2009).  Therefore, their influence on the success of any project cannot be overemphasised. The performance of construction craftsmen and operatives is dependent on their level of supervision and expertise.   

Further, the study is limited by its little access to historical documents of companies surveyed in terms of cost and time schedule of past projects executed by them.

Moreover, the busy schedule of various companies created little access to workers, most especially the craftsmen with little education that needs to be guided while filling the questionnaire.

1.10 Scope

This study focussed on motivation and its impact on workers’ productivity in construction firms in  Lagos, Nigeria. Specifically, supervisors and craftsmen were identified as the respondents because of their roles in the success or otherwise of construction projects.

The scope is limited to craftsmen and supervisors in large and medium size construction companies because of time limit required for the study. The independent variables considered in the study are motivation and resistance factors while productivity is the dependent variables.

1.11 Study Assumption

Construction labour productivity is influenced by other factors beside motivation. Such extraneous factors according to Shashak et al., (2014) include manpower, managerial, environment, material /equipment, work schedule, safety at work, and quality of work required. However, motivation factor is considered among these factors because it directly affects the morale of the workforce and influences their interest towards the work. This study assumes that other factors identified by Shashak et al., (2014) that could influence productivity will have little or no negative influence on the outcome of the investigation. Nevertheless, to guide against the influence of these extraneous factors on motivation and productivity level; some of these factors were included in resistance variables to assist in measuring its contribution to resistance by workers.

The study also assumes that the structure of the organisations surveyed in terms of management and capacity will not give undue variation in workers response to the research question. The study further assumes that the level of motivation enjoyed by work crew in their various firms is a reflection of tool hour observed during the five minute field rating productivity measurement adopted by the study. This forms the basis for determining their relationship. Company performance is considered in terms of project completion within time and cost schedule. This was achieved through historical records of past projects. Labour productivity was determined based on tool hour of craftsmen. Work study was conducted by the use of five minute field rating. The study presume that the explanation offered to the respondents in group was sufficient to assist them in filling the questionnaire because of the little access the research team had to them.

1.12 Definition of Terms

The following terms were consistently used in the course of this study and used in the context of the definitions provided.

Architect:  An architect designs building plan and he is involved in the supervision of same.

Builder: A builder is someone who is academically trained and professional registered with the council of registered builders of Nigeria, and provides services in the area of building production or construction management of building projects.

De-motivation:  They are factors that cause dissatisfaction if present in work setting (Herzberg, 1968).

Engineer: An engineer is someone who is responsible for the design of structural elements of a building and supervises same. 

Labour productivity: This is the physical progress attained in construction operations per person per hour (Dozzi & AbouRizk, 1993).

Motivation: This is a positive charge that produces motivation current that moves an individual to expend effort that will lead to attainment of organisational goal and meet personal needs (Authors definition adapted from Ohm’ law in Ankahova, 2013). Organisational change: This is an adjustment in structure introduced to an organisation to make it more viable and productive (Hodgetts & Kuratko, 1991). Productivity: This is the ratio of resources input to the output achieved (Dozzi & AbouRizk, 1993).

Resistance: This is the reaction of employee to organisational change in an attempt to maintain existing ways of doing things as against the desire for change by change drivers (Ford et al., 2002 in Yue, 2008).

1.13 Study Outline

The outline discussed next contains the summary of information contained in each chapter of this thesis. Chapter one contains the background of the study; it discusses why the research is undertaken and its significance to productivity improvement in the construction sector. Other areas covered in the introduction include the study objectives, hypotheses and statement of the problem. It goes further to include study limitation, scope, study assumptions and definition of terms. The chapter gives direction to the study through the issues discussed in the sub-headings. Chapter two is the review of relevant literature. Since the focus of the study revolves round motivation, resistance and productivity, the review attempts to link this three together with a view of establishing a relationship between them.

The chapter reviews motivation trends and theory development. Issues relating to organisational change and how it provokes resistance are addressed. The concept of productivity and how it can be measured were also reviewed. The review also provides the basis for determining the theoretical and conceptual frameworks of the study. Chapter three covers the research methodology that the study adopts. Other contents of the chapter are research design, sampling techniques, area of study, method of data collection and analysis as well as the analysis tools employed. The chapter concludes by relating analysis tools with the study objectives. Chapter four provides detailed data presentation, analysis and discussion of results. The contents of this chapter include demographic data, motivating, de-motivating and resistance factors influence on craftsmen and supervisors. Findings were thereafter discussed. Chapter five contains the summary, conclusion and recommendations of the study. Areas for further study have also been identified.  

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