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Journal of Construction Engineering
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 703084, 11 pages
Review Article

Motivating Workers in Construction

Faculty of Applied Science, School of Engineering, University of British Columbia, 1137 Alumni Avenue, Kelowna, BC, Canada V1V 1V7

Received 22 October 2013; Accepted 8 June 2014; Published 9 July 2014

Academic Editor: Manoj Jha

Copyright © 2014 Jason E. Barg et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The study of the motivation of construction workers is limited to a relatively small body of knowledge. Although there is considerable research available regarding motivation and productivity, few researchers have provided a comprehensive analysis on the motivation of construction workers. The research stated that productivity in construction has not improved compared to other industry sectors such as manufacturing. This trend has been echoed in publications throughout the past five decades, and suggested that motivation is one of the key factors impacting productivity. This paper offers a comprehensive review of the published work that directly links the key words—construction and motivation. The findings have been presented in five themes, that is, motivation models, environment and culture, incentives and empowerment, and worker management. This paper concludes with two methods suggested by previous researchers to improve motivation of construction workers: (1) relevant worker incentives (intrinsic or extrinsic) and (2) improved management practices, specifically regarding communication with workers.