Trends in productivity improvement in construction projects in Palestine

Adnan Enshassi, Bernd Kochendoerfer, Karem Abed


Labor productivity in construction industry is gaining increasing attention as the industry faces multiple problems related to its workforce. Most of construction projects in the Gaza Strip were suffering from declining productivity and thus causing projects delay, and cost overruns. The aim of this paper is to determine contractors’ perceptions towards the identified productivity improvement factors according to their relative importance in construction projects in the Gaza Strip. A comparison was made with other developed and developing countries. Eighty-three productivity improvement factors were considered in the questionnaire and categorized into eleven groups. A survey was conducted among construction firms in the Gaza Strip to rank these factors by their degree of influence on productivity of construction projects. Ninety questionnaires were randomly distributed among local contractors whereas seventy three valid questionnaires were collected from respondents. The findings of this study indicated that the most significant productivity improvement factors are: closures and economical difficulties, political situation, delivery on time, field management, and material availability. External circumstances group was found the most important group which affects productivity improvement in the Gaza Strip as the unstable political atmosphere affects badly the construction industry. A proactive relationship has to be established among all parties in order to allocate effective productivity improvement plans. It is hoped that, by identifying and ranking the major problems affecting construction productivity should help contractors to facilitate proper solutions as well as determining potentials for productivity improvement. The industry needs to collaborate more with universities and research institutions in order to plan an effective strategy through which construction industry could be enhanced. Training can increase productivity, morale, reduce the load on supervisors, improve safety, and increase organizational stability and flexibility.

Rev. ing. constr. [online]. 2013, vol.28, n.2, pp. 173-206. ISSN 0718-5073.


Construction, contractors, improvement, productivity



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