Contents list and editorial ECAM 20.5

ECAM 20.5 Contents

Contractors Perspective towards Factors Affecting Labour Productivity in Building


Ibrahim Mahamid

Organisational culture of construction project managers in

the GCC countries


Martin Jaeger and Desmond Adair

Structural holes in hospital organisations: Facilities

managers as intrapreneurial brokers in the tertiary health



Martin Loosemore and Hock Kang Sherman Heng


A case study analysis of fatal incidents involving excavators in the Australian construction industry


Helen Lingard, Tracy Cooke, Ehsan Gharaie


An analysis of safety advisor roles and site safety performance


Iain Cameron, Billy Hare and Roy Duff


Low carbon retrofit: Attitudes and readiness within the social housing sector


William Swan, Les Ruddock and Luke Smith

ECAM 20.5 has six papers produced by 14 authors, there papers have three authors, two papers have two authors and one has a single author. The international spread of the authors is six from the UK, five from Australia and one each from Singapore, Kazakhstan and Saudi Arabia.

The topics in this issue are labour productivity in West Palestine, organisational culture in the Gulf states, facilities management in hospitals, fatal accidents involving excavators, the role of safety advisors and the adoption of sustainable retrofit in social housing.





The predominant research methods used were surveys, case studies and data collection. My feeling, quite unscientific, is that case studies are emerging as the favoured research method. Case studies put the researchers and practioners face to face and they seem to yield more useful information than surveys.


The two papers in this issue that interested me most were facilities management in hospitals and the role of safety advisors. The facilities management in hospitals resonated with me and facilities management in Universities. Brokering an understanding of what was required was a huge task and this paper reflected that. The role of safety advisors is likely the paper to have the most immediate impact on practice. There is strong evidence here how contractors should approach safety management for the best results.


The papers in this issue are:


Ibrahim Mahamid reports on his study of labour productivity in building construction in West Palestine. The data sources are a survey of 59 contractors and literature. The five main factors identified were rework, lack of cooperation and communication between construction parties, financial status of the owner, lack of labour experience and lack of materials. The location of the survey may have its own special issues but the factors retarding productivity seem to have a universal presence.



Martin Jaeger and Desmond Adair study the organisational culture of construction in Gulf countries. They sought to determine whether there was a common culture although project managers worked for different organisations. Ninety nine organisations were visited as part of this study. The conclusions were that there were two dominant cultures a group culture and a hierarchical culture. This seemed to align with the national cultures in the Gulf. The consequences of this are discussed.

















Martin Loosemore and Hock Kang Sherman Heng explore the activities of facility managers in hospital organisations. The research is based on a case study of a large hospital in Australia. The findings are that the facilities manager need great brokering skills to broker connections a between the different functions with distinctly different cultures in a highly disconnected communications and network system. I found this paper fascinating. I once had some involvement in the University’s facilities management and I recognise much of what was found in this research.


Helen Lingard, Tracy Cooke, Ehsan Gharaie conducted a case study on the nature and causes of fatal accidents involving excavators. Ten cases were analysed and the immediate causes identified. The originating influences could not be identified. This paper adds significantly to the data on causes of accidents and no doubt will be of interest to similar groups of researchers in the community and health and safety organisations.




Iain Cameron, Billy Hare and Roy Duff study the roles of safety advisors and their influence on safety performance, This study was funded by the Institute of Occupational Safety and Health. The roles were identified from literature and the performance measured by Accident Incident Rate and the data was from 101 contractors. Contractors with external safety advisors only had poorer AIRs. Contractors where at least one safety advisor had authority to give orders had a lower mean AIR than those who did not. Other significant

variables were: delivering safety training to employees; vetting sub-contractors; and the inclusion of an environmental management role.

There is powerful information in this paper that will be used to guide how contractors approach the management of their safety provisions.


William Swan, Les Ruddock and Luke Smith assessed the attitudes, strategic readiness, drivers and barriers to the adoption of sustainable retrofit in UK houses.

The data source was a survey of 130 providers of social housing.

The results were that the providers were aware of the sustainable retrofit but the readiness varied greatly. The authors acknowledge that this is a snap shot and does not describe the trajectory of adoption.


Ronald McCaffer