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Do construction companies need to match employees' expectations?

By Dauda Dan-Asabe and Milan Radosavljevic


Commitment of employees is relatively low in construction. This problem is exasperated by companies inability to attract, motivate, and retain talent that is then often channelled into other more attractive industrial sectors where the prospects, conditions and rewards are perceived to be much higher. The purpose of this study is thus primarily to develop a generic model to maximise employees' engagement, improve their motivation and increase the retention levels. To achieve this aim, the investigation looks into how perceived employment obligations and expectations impact commitment and through that organisational performance. The study is based on the postulations of Luhmann's theory of social systems with communication viewed as a constitutive element of a social system. Consequently expectations of a particular party in an employment relationship are represented in a communicative space requiring the other party's understanding in order to align expectations of both sides in the relationship. Explicitly, alignment of by an employee perceived manager's expectations determines his/ her commitment to fulfil obligations towards the manager. The result of this first stage of research is a conceptual model developed following the substantial supporting evidence in the literature and it forms the framework for mitigation of low commitment, motivation and retention of employees. The model particularly focuses on factors affecting employees' perceived expectations like reneging, incongruence and the process of communication. In the future the model will be validated using empirical data from a combination of observational and enquiry-based research. Once completed, the model will provide a framework for informing Human Resource Management policies with the aim to improve commitment of employees, increase the levels of retention and consequently improve the performance of construction organisations

Year: 2009
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