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Title: Multiskilling as a response to globalisation
Authors: Fox, PW 
Yuen, RWS
Keywords: Construction labour
Issue Date: 2004
Publisher: CIB
Source: In S Ogunlana (Ed.), Globalization and construction: Proceedings of International Symposium, organised by CIB W107 Construction in Developing Economies, Bangkok, Thailand, 17-19 November 2004 How to cite?
Abstract: Globalisation implies that international competitive forces raise the degree of competition in the local construction industry of a country. Given that the majority of projects in Hong Kong are awarded on a competitive bid basis [the traditional procurement system], the scope for main contractors to gain a competitive edge is very narrow. Costs of materials and plant are the same or similar between competitors. The opportunity for cost reduction lies with the management of labour cost. Hence, improvement in labour productivity can provide the necessary competitive edge. Multiskilling can improve productivity and thus be an appropriate response to globalisation. This research presents the findings from survey and interviews conducted with various industry participants in order to evaluate the potential benefits, impediments, limitations, and applicability of multiskilling. Results indicate that benefits are likely to both the workers and projects. However, contrary to earlier findings, quality and safety may not improve. In Hong Kong, major impediments exist, such as worker resistance and high training costs. These can be overcome in the long term through a process of continuing improvement, and so benefit the industry image. Thus, Hong Kong does not match experience in other countries in every respect, and this knowledge may be useful to other countries.
ISBN: 974-8208-56-7
Appears in Collections:Conference Paper

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