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1.1      Background of the study

The construction industry plays an important role in the development of the economy of the country. Construction industry is an area influenced by many different factors such as labor, material, equipment and construction methods etc. Among these factors, human resources come first without which, other resources would not be utilized or transformed into productive use. Any improvement in labor productivity would contribute a great deal to the improvement of the overall productivity as identified by Hashim (1995). The motivation concept is generally defined as a composition of powers and mechanisms which help to direct human behavior in a desired manner, or with a more specific context it is described as the all convincing and encouraging actions which help workers fulfill their tasks willingly and to come closer to project objectives. Motivation of the labor force is of paramount importance because the quality of human performance at the workplace depends largely upon motivation. That is, higher motivation brings higher productivity which is suggested by Kazaz et al (2008). According to most researchers there is a positive relationship between motivation and productivity. This means that when motivation increases, a rise in productivity is also expected. This reflects the belief that an increased motivation level causes an increase in productivity. Achieving the results demands that an adequate quality of inputs is provided in this first place and improved construction workforce productivity means a better input and this it will help contractors to be more competent and reliable whilst executing their jobs. The construction sector has a strategic role in all developed and developing countries. Employing more than 7 % of Nigerian’s workforce, this sector is the largest industrial employer on the country (Proverbs et al. 1999). In the US, construction industry accounts for about 14 % of the gross national product and some 8 % of total employment (Thieblot 2002). Similar to them, the sector in Turkey has a share of 4.6 % in the gross national product and 5.3 % in total employment. In addition, the employment share of construction among industrial sectors (which is a real indicator of a country’s development level) is about 27 % (SIS 2005). As can be comprehended from these macro level data, the industry possesses a strong and particular structure all over the world as compared with manufacturing industry. Variations in the construction labor productivity can naturally make a great impact on national economy and productivity, since the sector also augments production capacity of its dependent sub-sectors that are more than 200. If the subsectors procuring inputs for the industry are considered together in Nigeria, the share of construction in the gross national product rises to approximately 33 %, while it includes some 15 % in total employment (SIS 2005). However, construction workforce especially in developing countries is not seen as an important input, although project labor generally make up the most variable and the largest percentage of total project costs. Due to this high cost of labor, labor cost control is a very important function for profitability in the industry. Despite the fact that these costs change with the type of projects in a broad range, site workers typically account for up to 40 % of the direct capital cost in large construction projects.  The labor cost component of electrical and mechanical works also represents 40–60 % of their final cost. Therefore, labor-intensive industries such as construction are considered under high-risk by contractors due to the relatively high labor component, and, thus, any reduction in this wastage presents enormous potential for the increased efficiency. The present situation of the industry makes productivity improvement imperative to the sector. Industry is better characterized by traditional or manual methods and hard labor conditions, besides a low productivity. Labor-intensive technology, on the other hand, requires much more diligence and insight than equipment-intensive construction process, and, thus, labor resource becomes a more important input in the production phase. Moreover, production-related inactivity is not nearly as intuitively obvious in a labor-intensive project and the solutions of the inactivity are not easily found. It means that it is easy for a contractor to be lulled into a false sense of accomplishment, when the crews are all working. Residential and commercial construction is labor-intensive as compared to industrial and heavy constructions tendin to be capital-intensive. In the same way, renovation or retrofitting work, by its own nature, requires a higher labor/capital ratio than the new construction. As in most developing countries, a great portion of the construction labor also comes from farming in Nigeria, and they work both seasonal and contingent on the need for specific skills in a project. The productivity of this type of workers whose abilities and socio-cultural backgrounds vary in a wide spectrum is naturally affected by many factors. Poor productivity of craftsmen was quoted as one of the most daunting human resource problems in developing countries by Olomolaiye et al. (1987) and Kaming et al. (1997). Frequently construction labor efficiency was cited as poor in the US as well (Adrian 1987). According to Thieblot (2002), the reason for this situation is that the industry has rarely been able to have what would be considered normal labor relations and policies. Furthermore, managers may not always consider the factors that can affect the productivity of manpower. The productivity risk factor has also a strong impact on the project duration. Namely, poor labor productivity probably causes time overruns in construction projects (Kazaz, Ulubeyli 2004). The population of the workers compared to the whole workforce of a nation is significant. Anything done to the employees could either make or mar the quality of their work, the speed of progress, the economy of the country and the social well-being of the workers. It follows from the foregoing therefore that workers should be well motivated for high performance and for the production of good quality products. However, despite this significant role the industry plays in the Nigerian national economy, the performance has not been impressive. Eldin and Egger (1990) noted that construction productivity has been declining steadily in spite of the rising cost and large labor intensive nature of construction projects around the world. The decline in the workers’ performance causes the failure of the building industry to deliver projects timely with the obvious consequences of cost overrun. Labor productivity according to Akindele (2003) is defined as labor output per day (man-day). This is often reduced by delayed, unclear or inadequate instructions, provision of poor tools and equipment, unbalanced work gangs, use of working method, lack of incentives, and failure to delegate authority from senior to lower level supervisors (Heap 1987). The productivity of individuals, which in turn affects the productivity of a company, is a very important parameter to watch as it measures a company’s competitive power. It is an indicator of a firm’s profit margin, a measure of the firm’s survival in business, a yardstick for remuneration of employees, and a means of recognition of hard work.


Workers leave organization due to the fact that they are not motivated enough. Some are not willing to leave because they are enjoying some benefit in terms of promotion, which leads to increase in salaries and wages, bonus and some other incentives. The workers of construction firms  prefer financial incentives to non financial incentives ,more especially the junior workers ,due to the fact that such incentives are not used as a motivational technique, the company have the problem and challenges of retention of their employees. Hence low performance and productivity becomes the end result and finally work dissatisfaction. It is in view of this that the researcher intends to investigate effect of basic motivational factors on construction workforce productivity.


The main objective of this study is effect of basic motivational factors on construction workforce productivity. But for the successful completion of the study; the researcher intends to achieve the following sub-objectives;

1.   To ascertain if motivation lead to higher performance and productivity

2.   To find out the problem hindering the success of the employees motivation in the construction company

3.   To investigate the motivational techniques adopted by the construction company

4.   Investigate the relationship between basic motivational factors and workers performance


For the successful completion of the study, the following research hypotheses were formulated by the researcher;

H0:there are no basic factors that lead to higher performance and productivity of workers in a construction firm.

H1:there are basic factors that lead to higher performance and productivity of workers in a construction firm

H02:there is no significant relationship between factors that motivate workers and workers performance and productivity in the construction firm.

H2:there is a significant relationship between factors that motivate workers and workers performance and productivity in the construction firm.


It is believed that at the completion of the study, the findings will be of benefit to the federal ministry of works and workers. It will help to know the basic factors that motivate workers to higher performance and productivity. The study will also be of great benefit to the researchers who intends to embark on research on similar topics as it will serve as a guide. Finally, the study will be of great importance to academia’s, lecturers, teachers, students and the general public.


The scope of this study covers effect of basic motivational factors on construction workforce productivity. In the course of the study, the researcher encounters some constrain which limited the scope of the study;

a) AVAILABILITY OF RESEARCH MATERIAL:The research material available to the researcher is insufficient, thereby limiting the study        

b) TIME:The time frame allocated to the study does not enhance wider coverage as the researcher has to combine other academic activities and examinations with the study.

c)Organizational privacy: Limited Access to the selected auditing firm makes it difficult to get all the necessary and required information concerning the activities


EFFECT: A change which is a result or consequence of an action or other cause.

MOTIVATIONAL: Motivation is a theoretical construct used to explain behavior. It gives the reason for people's actions, desires, and needs. Motivation can also be defined as one's direction to behavior or what causes a person to want to repeat a behavior and vice versa.

FACTOR: A constituent or element that brings about certain effects or results, or indicates a specific multiple, number, or quantity.

CONSTRUCTION: Clearing, dredging, excavating, and grading of land and other activity associated with buildings, structures, or other types of..

WORKFORCE: Workforce group is a diversified Human Capital, Outsourcing and Business Consulting Firm, with expertise in Staffing, Recruitment, Training and Assessment. 

PRODUCTIVITY: Productivity describes various measures of the efficiency of production. A productivity measure is expressed as the ratio of output to inputs used in a production process, i.e. output per unit of input.


This research work is organized in five chapters, for easy understanding, as follows

Chapter one is concern with the introduction, which consist of the (overview, of the study), statement of problem, objectives of the study, research hypotheses, significance or the study, scope and limitation, definition of terms and historical background of the study. Chapter two highlights the theoretical framework on which the study is based, thus the review of related literature. Chapter three deals on the research design and methodology adopted in the study. Chapter four concentrate on the data collection and analysis and presentation of finding.  Chapter five gives summary, conclusion, and recommendations made of the study.

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