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Effects of Organizational Supports on the Stress of Construction Estimation Participants

Leung, Mei-Yung, Zhang, Hong, & Skitmore, Martin (2008) Effects of Organizational Supports on the Stress of Construction Estimation Participants. Journal of Construction Engineering and Management, 134(2), pp. 84-93.

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Abstract

Forecasting the likely cost of construction work prior to tendering is well known as a hazardous task. Underestimates cause financial difficulties for clients and contractors with limited budgets and may cause projects to become unviable. Overestimates, on the other hand, result in an inefficient use of resources leading to underprovision of necessary facilities for clients and loss or bankruptcy for contractors. In such a situation, it is not surprising that the cost engineering activities can be stressful for those responsible.

Coping with the stresses involved requires action on the part of both the individuals affected and the organizations to which they belong. This paper examines the effect of organizational supports in the process of project estimation through a survey of construction cost engineers in Hong Kong. Using correlation analysis and regression analysis, it is found that: 1) the stressors of autonomy and feedback are directly related to the stress experienced by cost engineers; 2) informal organizational supports (particularly concerning relationship conflict, type A behaviour, work underload, lack of autonomy and unfair rewards and treatment) are far more effective than formal supports in reducing stress; and 3) lack of autonomy and lack of feedback are predictable variables affecting the stress of cost engineers. Cost engineering managers and supervisors need to carefully distinguish between those who prefer hands-on support and those who prefer hands-off support. A good communication and team decision-making process, and fair reward and treatment system may help establish close relationships among cost engineers in a company and ensure sufficient autonomy to cost engineers and the participants in the estimation process. Organizations need to control stressors, manage stress and arrange programmes at different stages of stress management.

Impact and interest:

6 citations in Scopus
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7 citations in Web of Science®

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ID Code: 13414
Item Type: Journal Article
Additional Information: Author contact details: rm.skitmore@qut.edu.au
Keywords: Estimate, Construction, Cost engineers, Organizational support, Stress, Stressor
DOI: 10.1061/(ASCE)0733-9364(2008)134:2(84)
ISSN: 0733-9364
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND DESIGN (120000) > BUILDING (120200) > Quantity Surveying (120203)
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering
Past > Schools > School of Urban Development
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2008 American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)
Copyright Statement: Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Deposited On: 01 May 2008
Last Modified: 20 May 2013 15:31

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