Jobsite Characteristics that Influence Improvised Decision-making on Construction Sites
Kleps, Stephen M.
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This article examines the relationship between specific construction project characteristics and the degree and speed that the foremen are able to improvise in response to disruptive events on the jobsite. Specifically, characteristics such as the number of crew members working under the supervision of a foreman, the occupancy status of the project (i.e., occupied or unoccupied) during construction, the stage of completion of the project, and the levels of turbulence, time pressure, cooperation, collaboration, and organization, were examined. Using a multilevel regression modeling approach, an analysis of 244 disruptions reported by 50 foremen was conducted to determine whether the construction project characteristics could predict more or less improvisation and faster or slower improvisation by the foreman. The findings indicate that on construction projects that are rated by the foremen as more organized, the foremen can make more modest improvised decisions to resolve a disruption, but that on construction projects that were rated by the foremen as more collaborative (i.e., involved joint decision-making), a greater degree of improvisation was deployed. In addition, it was found that on sites that were rated by the foremen as more cooperative (i.e., involved greater willingness to help each other), the foremen required more time to improvise their decisions.