Human Resource Management And Organizational Performance Of Consulting Firms In The Nigerian Construction Industry

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Human Resource Management And Organizational Performance Of Consulting Firms In The Nigerian Construction Industry


This research work aims at assessing the impact of human resources management of organizational performance of quantity surveying firms in Nigeria. In order to achieve this aim, the study aims at assessing the level of human resource management practice among quantity surveying firms, determining the relationship between human resource management practice and organizational performance of quantity surveying firms and identify which of the human resource management practice mostly influence organizational performance. Extensive welfare reviews was carried out to review what past researcher has done on the topic and the relevance of their work to the present research. A descriptive survey method was adopted in the study where structural questionnaire was sent to the respondents of the study which were selected using purposive sampling technique. Data collected was analyzed using spss tools of frequency, percentages, mean and ranking index.

The results of the study from this research shows that the most adopted of all HRM practices in the construction consulting firms is Job Evaluation which is determination of the worth of a job to an organization. According to this research work also, Job Evaluation is the most important and most influential of all HRM practices which is commonly practiced by the HR departments of respective consulting firms. The study is concluded by recommending measures that should be enforced from the year establishment is the increase in number of employees in the Construction consulting firm which implies the more the number of employees in an organization the more the increase in performance.

Chapter One


1.1 Background to Study

The Nigerian Construction industry is deemed to operate by diversified workforce, hence managing human resource issue deems to be a challenging task. However, as the role of Human factors in the process of business and productive activities, Human Resource Management is the key factor which has the immediate impact to the organizational structure, especially in the Construction Industry, so Human Resources are the most valuable source of Capital, (Phan, 2012)

According to Wikipedia (2001), HRM is a function in organizations designed to maximize employee performance in service of their employer’s strategic objectives. HRM is primarily concerned with how people are managed within organizations, focusing on policies and systems. HRM departments and units in organizations are typically responsible for a number of activities, including employee recruitment, training and development, performance appraisal, and rewarding (e.g., managing pay and benefit systems). HRM is also concerned with industrial relations, that is, the balancing of organizational practices with regulations arising from collective bargaining and governmental laws.

HRM is the process of managing people in a company/firm as well as managing the existing interpersonal relationships. These two processes are key in the success and growth of a business. Human resource management is the management process of an organization’s workforce, or human resources. It is responsible for the attraction, selection, training, assessment, and rewarding of employees, while also overseeing organizational leadership and culture and ensuring compliance with employment and labour laws (Anthony and Kothai, 2014)

HRM is a product of the human relations movement of the early 20th century, when researchers began documenting ways of creating business value through the strategic management of the workforce, (Wikipedia 2004). HRM is concerned with managing people within the employer-employee relationship. Specifically, it involves the performance of people in achieving the organization’s objectives and the satisfaction of personal employee needs. HRM can be a major contributor to the success of the enterprise. HRM has been regarded in various industries as one of the most critical elements of business success.

The successful implementation ofHRM functions are elements for improving personal, team and organizational performance, Dainty, Belout and Gauvreau, (2004). A number of authors state that the basic functions of HRM include planning, job design devising position descriptions, employee selection/recruitment, employee training, performance appraisal systems, reward systems, employee relationships and employee’s health and safety according to Druker, Maloney, Bratton Gold, Koch, Loosemore and Ramlall (2003). HRM substantially influences the output of business, for example, on quality, technology, competitive strategy and development. Furthermore,HRM should include practices, which provide training and development opportunities for all employees to improve individual skills and flexibility of roles (Mullins, 1999).

Human resource management has a significant influence in the QS firms. Although construction technologies and management techniques have advanced rapidly, project managers still need to pay more attention to people management. Human resources still account for the majority of costs in most construction projects (Loosemore et al., 2003). International construction projects normally require a longer time span and more parties are involved (Chan and Tse, 2003). HR issues have positive and adverse implications for construction industries in all countries (Ofori, 2003). HRM is also a significant aspect of the whole planning and project management process in construction projects, in particular international construction projects that involve foreign firms as collaborators or competitors (Bon and Crosthwaite, 2000; Mawhinney, 2001).

The complex international construction climate, caused by increased global price competitiveness, development of technologies, changing industry and employment legislation, and changing workforce composition has prompted project managers to utilise their employees more effectively to gain competitive advantage and project success. In recent years there has been a widespread realisation that improvement ofHRM performance is a critical element to achieving improvement in efficiency, productivity and cost effectiveness in the construction industry. Howes and Tah (2003) describe how the situational model of HRM, the staff performance model of HRM and the socio-technical model of HRM are being implemented in the construction industry.

In view of this research, the aim of looking at the relationship between HRM and performance of contractors’ organisation in the Nigerian construction industry is based on the review of the research questions. This will aid us to know level at which HRM practices has improved the performance level of the contractors’ organisation in the Nigerian construction industry as well as its contribution to the Economy.

1.2 Statement of Research Problem

Construction companies experience many challenges in human resource management and development because of the high number of temporary staff, Alvin (2011). This he says is mainly due to the fluctuation in the demand of the industry not to mention the subjective reasons (i.e. specific procedure in production, material and technology) that limit the workers decision making process.

According to Adeagbo and Oyemogum (2012), human resource development is not regularly practiced in most construction firms in Nigeria. Majority of the firms are small and medium sized with more semi-skilled and unskilled work force than skilled work force.

Lack of timely project delivery of construction projects are influenced by lack of full commitment by workers due to the company’s reward system which causes them job dissatisfaction.

Great expenditures of time, money and resources, both human and material, are wasted each year because of inefficient quality management procedures.

A serious limitation that recent reviews of the literature points out is that the link between HRM and organizational performance is considered like a ‘black box’, i.e., lack of clarity regarding ‘what exactly leads to what’ (Gerhart, 2005).

1.3 Research Questions

  1. What is the level of HRM practices amongst consultants in the Nigerian construction industry?
  2. What are the HRM practice factors that influence the consultant’s organisation performance?
  3. What is the relationship between organisation performance (in terms of growth) and HRM best practice?

1.4 Aim and Objectives of the Study

The aim of the study is to determine the effect of HRM practices in the improvement of organisation performance of the consultants in the Nigerian construction industry.

  1. To determine the level of HRM practices amongst consultants in the Nigerian construction industry
  2. To identify the HRM practices that influence performance of consultant’s organisation
  3. To determine the relationship between HRM practices and organisation performance measured in terms of growth

1.5 Significance of the Study

This study will show the importance of HRM in Quantity Surveying organizations and as well as its influence on employees in Quantity Surveying firms in the Nigerian construction industry

The result of the study will also show the importance and the impact of HRM practices in the development of construction projects in the Nigeria construction industry. The study will also show the relationship level between HRM and contractors and its contribution to the Nigerian economy.

An assessment of the study would provide valuable information on the Influence of Human resource management on organization performance of contractor’s in the Nigerian construction industry.

1.6 Scope and Delimitation of the Study

The scope of this research is limited to the influence of Human resource management basic practices on organization performance of QS firms in the Nigerian construction industry.

The study is limited to Respondents construction organizations within Lagos Metropolitan because Lagos has larger number of organizations practicing and they also have their headquarters in Lagos which will lead to easy access of information by the researcher.

Target respondents for this study are professionals in the contractor’s organization and Lagos metropolitan is to be studied for this research work.

1.7 Definition of Terms

a. Human Resources:

This is the part of the management process that specializes in the management of people in work organizations

b. Management:

Management may be seen as a science or as an art. The image of management as a science is based on the view that experts have accumulated a distinct body of knowledge about management which, if studied and applied, can enhance organizational effectiveness.

c. Employees:

This refers to people that are paid to work

d. Staffing:

This deals with obtaining people with appropriate skills, abilities, knowledge and experience to fill jobs in the work organization

e. Rewards:

This involves the design and administration of reward systems. Practices include job evaluation, performance appraisal, and benefits

f. Job Evaluation:

This is the determination of the worth of a job to an organization

g. Job Satisfaction:

Job satisfaction is the quality, state, or level of satisfaction which is the result of various interests and attitudes of a person.

h. Consulting Organization / Firm:

A consulting firm / organization is a firm of one or more experts (consultants) that provides professional advice to an individual or an organization. The primary purpose of a consulting firm is to provide access to industry specific specialists / consultants and subject matter experts.

1.8 Organization of Study

The study is divided into five chapters. Chapter one deals with the study’s introduction and gives a background to the study. Chapter two reviews related and relevant literature. The chapter three gives the research methodology while the chapter four gives the study’s analysis and interpretation of data. The study concludes with chapter five which deals on the summary, conclusion and recommendation.

Chapter Five

Conclusion and Recommendation

5.1 Conclusions

The aim of this study was to assess the extent to which construction organisations in Nigeria use the various traditional HRM practices to improve the performance of the industry. The study found that recruitment and selection practices in the construction organisation are distinctly different from those of the manufacturing and banking industry and centres on selection of skilled and technically competent personnel for organisation general goal. The study also revealed that training practices in the construction organisation sampled is superficial, aimed at orienting the new employee to the organisation and the facilities for optimum performance rather than employee skill development. Furthermore, challenges of HRM practices identified in the study are more of socio-cultural issues, and bothers on influence of political office holders and other influential personalities, government policies with regards to recruitment using federal character policy, wages and compensation policies and employee turnover in search of better condition of service.

The major limitation of this study is the purposive sampling technique adopted which limits its generalization. Future research should build on this by using simple random sampling technique. Also, it will be interesting to investigate the impact of identified HRM practices on productivity and cost effectiveness of construction projects.

5.2 Recommendation

As a result of the findings from the study, the following recommendations are put forward as possible solution:
First, the public sector should continue to take the issue of Human Resource Managementprograms seriously as a way of improving competency of employees and to improve performance it should be a requirement by having annual HRM activity plan. This can be achieved by a strategic and purposive HRM practices that will improve the quality of HR in the organization.

Secondly, recruitment and retention policies should be aligned with the HRM activities. The available HRM programs should be in tandem with the changing roles and competencies required by the organisation and employees so that it enhances organisational performance. Human resources development policies should ensure that with skilled employees when they are the right people at the job need to be updated with the rapid change in the technology and business environment.

Finally, the Public service should put in place mechanisms for monitoring and enforcing the HRM policy and implementation of proper internal control measures and to strengthen the practices amongst public employees for optimal performance and improvement of corporate image.

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