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Assessing the effects of workforce diversity on project productivity performance for sustainable workplace in the construction industry

Daeyoun Won, Bon‐Gang Hwang and Soo Jing Chng

Sustainable Development, 2021, vol. 29, issue 2, 398-418

Abstract: Recent studies on workforce diversity have preached that workforce diversity could have a positive impact on productivity if it is managed and utilized well. Due to the global trend of increasing workforce diversity in construction projects, it is crucial to understand the factors affecting workforce diversity and their impact on productivity for developing a sustainable environment for workforce diversity. However, little attention has been given to how workforce diversity may affect productivity performance in the construction industry. Thus, this study aims to assess the impact of workforce diversity on project productivity performance (PPP). Twenty‐one diversity factors were identified via literature review and validated by industry experts, followed by a survey conducted with 58 firms working in Singapore. The responses were analyzed and used to develop a partial least squares structural equation model. The outcomes from the model signified that the diversity aspects such as efficient decision‐making and countering the issue of skilled labor shortages had the highest impact in their respective categories of “Skill and education” and “Age and experience.” Therefore, this study contributes to the core body of knowledge and practice both in defining workforce diversity factors and in assessing the relationship between diversity factors and productivity. Furthermore, feasible strategies that match the factors prioritized by the level of the impact on PPP were proposed. These can help construction organizations to understand the untapped potential of workforce diversity and its impact on PPP, ultimately enhancing the productivity of the industry and sustainable diversity in the workplace.

Date: 2021
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