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Title: Managing occupational psychological health of Ghanaian construction employees
Authors: Fordjour, Genevieve Ataa
Degree: Ph.D.
Issue Date: 2021
Abstract: Previous research works on the management of health in the construction industry have largely focused on injuries and physical health. There has been a diminutive look into an important, complex issue such as the psychological health and well-being of construction employees, leaving a significant knowledge gap in construction literature globally. Hence, this research aimed at investigating the factors associated with the psychological health of construction employees and develop a framework of preventive psychological health management strategies for the construction industry. The psychological health of construction employees is a more serious concern, especially in less resourced developing countries with extreme weather conditions, warranting extensive research in these countries. Experiences obtained from working with six construction companies in Ghana for internship programmes during undergraduate and graduate study, kindled an interest to investigate into the psychological issues at the construction workplace; the Ghanaian construction industry was therefore chosen as the geographical context for this study. Socio-ecological theory was used to identify the psychological health risks factors and derived solutions from multiple perspectives such as individual level, organizational level, working-groups level and community or country's level. Five research questions were explored to achieve the aim of this study. This study adopted the sequential mixed-methods strategy whereby both qualitative methods of focus groups discussions and interviews and quantitative method of questionnaire survey were employed. A total of 16 focus group discussions with 90 construction employees were held in Ghana to answer the first research question on identifying the causes, effects and coping mechanisms. Questionnaire survey was then conducted with a target respondents of 150 construction professionals and 150 construction trade workers, to confirm the findings from the focus groups discussions, to identify the primary factors and to compare the results from the construction professionals and the construction trade workers. Finally, to answer the research question on identifying the preventive management strategies and factors for effective implementation of psychological health interventions, 53 interviews and 264 questionnaire surveys were conducted in Ghana with construction professionals, construction trade workers, regulatory personnel, and occupational health psychologist. The findings from the study confirm the need for psychological health management and interventions for employees in the construction industry of Ghana and to some extent globally. Despite the apparent indications of occupational psychological ill-being conditions among the construction employees in Ghana, these indications cannot be defined or proved with evidence, as they are based on the respondents' subjective judgment. Notwithstanding, the findings from the study provides valuable insights into occupational psychological health issues in the construction industry of Ghana. Based on the results from the study, preventive psychological health management models were designed for the construction employees and the construction industry. This study recommends the input of construction employees, managers and supervisors in providing organizational psychological health support to enhance the well-being of construction employees. This research contributes significantly to knowledge and practice. For knowledge, the study adds a new dimension to occupational psychological health research in construction literature, which concerns socio-psychological aspects, rather than the traditional, physical, technical and managerial dimensions. For practice, the study offers a holistic framework for policymakers and construction stakeholders to adopt measures to improve the psychological health conditions of construction employees. Similarly, valuable insights are offered for construction organization as to how their occupational health management systems might be improved to promote a psychologically safe and healthy construction industry.
Subjects: Construction workers -- Health and hygiene
Construction workers -- Health and hygiene -- Ghana
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Pages: xxiii, 451 pages : color illustrations
Appears in Collections:Thesis

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