The “rain dance” of selection in construction: rationality as ritual and the logic of informality

The “rain dance” of selection in construction: rationality as ritual and the logic of... Purpose – Recruitment and selection in the construction industry is ad hoc – the search for workers to match immediate employment needs is unsystematic, usually conducted in a short‐termist manner, and often contributes to, rather than overcomes, persistent recruitment difficulties and skill shortages. The purpose of this paper is to explore the recruitment context and selection practice in the Scottish construction sector, and proposes a model of the selection decision process which may provide an explanation for this apparently unsystematic approach. Design/methodology/approach – A survey based on a sample from the 1998 Scottish Chambers of Commerce Business Survey database was used to examine the pattern of recruitment, contextual influences on recruitment, the qualities sought by employers, and the extent of use of various recruitment and selection methods. Further qualitative data was gathered from a subset of construction and surveyors firms to explore the nature of selection processes. Findings – The data highlighted the lack of rigour in recruitment and selection and the presence of formalised procedures only in the larger firms. Qualitative evidence shows an emphasis on the visual assessment of work, the importance of site managers in making decisions, and the presence of local industry networks. Research limitations/implications – The survey could provide only an indicative description of practice amongst Scottish firms and larger scale accounts of practice would be useful. Nevertheless, the contribution of the qualitative research was to explore the dynamics of selection for a rarely studied work context. Originality/value – Construction firms are found to share many of the constraints in adopting formal HRM practices already identified in small firms in unpredictable environments. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Personnel Review Emerald Publishing

The “rain dance” of selection in construction: rationality as ritual and the logic of informality

Personnel Review, Volume 36 (4): 21 – Jun 12, 2007

Loading next page...
 
/lp/emerald-publishing/the-rain-dance-of-selection-in-construction-rationality-as-ritual-and-S0YL8f6xWC
Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2007 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
0048-3486
DOI
10.1108/00483480710752786
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – Recruitment and selection in the construction industry is ad hoc – the search for workers to match immediate employment needs is unsystematic, usually conducted in a short‐termist manner, and often contributes to, rather than overcomes, persistent recruitment difficulties and skill shortages. The purpose of this paper is to explore the recruitment context and selection practice in the Scottish construction sector, and proposes a model of the selection decision process which may provide an explanation for this apparently unsystematic approach. Design/methodology/approach – A survey based on a sample from the 1998 Scottish Chambers of Commerce Business Survey database was used to examine the pattern of recruitment, contextual influences on recruitment, the qualities sought by employers, and the extent of use of various recruitment and selection methods. Further qualitative data was gathered from a subset of construction and surveyors firms to explore the nature of selection processes. Findings – The data highlighted the lack of rigour in recruitment and selection and the presence of formalised procedures only in the larger firms. Qualitative evidence shows an emphasis on the visual assessment of work, the importance of site managers in making decisions, and the presence of local industry networks. Research limitations/implications – The survey could provide only an indicative description of practice amongst Scottish firms and larger scale accounts of practice would be useful. Nevertheless, the contribution of the qualitative research was to explore the dynamics of selection for a rarely studied work context. Originality/value – Construction firms are found to share many of the constraints in adopting formal HRM practices already identified in small firms in unpredictable environments.

Journal

Personnel ReviewEmerald Publishing

Published: Jun 12, 2007

Keywords: Recruitment; Selection; Construction industry; Best practice; Scotland

References

  • The importance of tacit knowledge in strategic deliberations and decisions
    Bennett, R.H.
  • Bridging the skills gap: a regionally driven strategy for resolving the construction labour market crisis
    Dainty, A.; Ison, S.G.; Root, D.S.
  • Misunderstood and undervalued? Personnel management in construction
    Druker, J.; White, G.
  • Cementing skills: training and labour use in UK construction
    Forde, C.; MacKenzie, R.
  • Women in the construction professions: achieving critical mass
    Greed, C.
  • Constraints on the adoption of psychology‐based personnel practices: lessons from organizational innovation
    Johns, G.
  • Recruiting and selecting professionals: context, qualities and methods
    Scholarios, D.; Lockyer, C.
  • The relationship of staffing practices to organizational level measures of performance
    Terpstra, D.E.; Rozell, E.J.
  • Human resource issues in the construction industry
    Yankov, L.; Kleiner, B.H.

You’re reading a free preview. Subscribe to read the entire article.


DeepDyve is your
personal research library

It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.

Enjoy affordable access to
over 18 million articles from more than
15,000 peer-reviewed journals.

All for just $49/month

Explore the DeepDyve Library

Search

Query the DeepDyve database, plus search all of PubMed and Google Scholar seamlessly

Organize

Save any article or search result from DeepDyve, PubMed, and Google Scholar... all in one place.

Access

Get unlimited, online access to over 18 million full-text articles from more than 15,000 scientific journals.

Your journals are on DeepDyve

Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Elsevier, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.

All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.

See the journals in your area

DeepDyve

Freelancer

DeepDyve

Pro

Price

FREE

$49/month
$360/year

Save searches from
Google Scholar,
PubMed

Create folders to
organize your research

Export folders, citations

Read DeepDyve articles

Abstract access only

Unlimited access to over
18 million full-text articles

Print

20 pages / month

PDF Discount

20% off