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The implications of the construction industry to national wealth

The implications of the construction industry to national wealth The purpose of this paper is to explore how construction projects should be conceived and how the productivity of the construction industry impacts upon a nation’s wealth.Design/methodology/approachThe approach has been to marshal the extant literature about the construction industry, construction industry productivity and the economic value of the built environment. Whilst there are many lenses that are used to understand the industry, different ways to measure productivity performance and differing practices between nations, it has been determined that construction industry productivity improvement significantly lags behind other industries.FindingsThere is a strong argument that construction productivity improvement correlates to advances in a nation’s economy. Nonetheless, it is the decisions about the nature of infrastructure, the standardisation of infrastructure and the effect upon labour productivity that will have the greatest implications for a nation’s economic future. These economic improvements will be inhibited by legacy infrastructure, particularly in densely populated areas. If substantial innovation occurs, the nations currently holding the highest stock of infrastructure might be economically constrained.Research limitations/implicationsThe construction industry is highly fragmented and has the uncertainties of a cyclic industry. It is, therefore, necessary for governments to identify standards and facilitate innovation. The implications for short- and long-term economic performance require that the industry is a fundamental at the highest level of government.Originality/valueScholars can use the propositions to further analyse construction productivity improvement and the provision of different types of infrastructure with regard to a nation’s economic performance. Hypotheses are offered to support future research. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management Emerald Publishing

The implications of the construction industry to national wealth

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© Emerald Publishing Limited
ISSN
0969-9988
DOI
10.1108/ecam-03-2018-0091
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to explore how construction projects should be conceived and how the productivity of the construction industry impacts upon a nation’s wealth.Design/methodology/approachThe approach has been to marshal the extant literature about the construction industry, construction industry productivity and the economic value of the built environment. Whilst there are many lenses that are used to understand the industry, different ways to measure productivity performance and differing practices between nations, it has been determined that construction industry productivity improvement significantly lags behind other industries.FindingsThere is a strong argument that construction productivity improvement correlates to advances in a nation’s economy. Nonetheless, it is the decisions about the nature of infrastructure, the standardisation of infrastructure and the effect upon labour productivity that will have the greatest implications for a nation’s economic future. These economic improvements will be inhibited by legacy infrastructure, particularly in densely populated areas. If substantial innovation occurs, the nations currently holding the highest stock of infrastructure might be economically constrained.Research limitations/implicationsThe construction industry is highly fragmented and has the uncertainties of a cyclic industry. It is, therefore, necessary for governments to identify standards and facilitate innovation. The implications for short- and long-term economic performance require that the industry is a fundamental at the highest level of government.Originality/valueScholars can use the propositions to further analyse construction productivity improvement and the provision of different types of infrastructure with regard to a nation’s economic performance. Hypotheses are offered to support future research.

Journal

Engineering, Construction and Architectural ManagementEmerald Publishing

Published: May 30, 2019

Keywords: Construction; Productivity; Construction management; Value management; Construction planning

References