Diversity management: managing migrant construction workers on construction sites in Singapore

Delft University of Technology
Publication Type:
Conference Proceeding
MISBE2011 - Proceedings of the international Conference on Management and Innovation for a Sustainable Built Environment, 2011, pp. 1 - 10
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It is not sustainable for construction projects in Singapore to rely merely on a Singaporean workforce due to the low participation rate of indigenous workers. A typical construction site in Singapore thus comprises migrant workers from several countries. This gives rise to the need for diversity management on construction sites to ensure social sustainability. The aim of this research is to examine styles that project managers adopt when managing multi-cultural migrant workers in construction projects. The specific objectives are to: investigate the socially sustainable managerial practices adopted by project managers when dealing with migrant construction workers from China, India and Thailand; and identify if there are any differences in management practices when dealing with migrant construction workers from different countries. The research method is questionnaire survey, and data were collected from project managers who had managed migrant workers in Singapore. In-depth interviews were also conducted to confirm the statistical results. The research found that project managers tend to use task-oriented more than relation-oriented management style to achieve social sustainability. The management practices that are significantly implemented include requiring workers to be punctual, giving assertive instructions, providing close supervision and enforcing rules so that social sustainability can be maintained on construction sites
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