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Title: Strategies for managing migrant construction workers from China, India, and the Philippines
Authors: Ling, F.Y.Y. 
Dulaimi, M.F.
Chua, M.
Keywords: Communication
Diversity management
National culture
Work ethics
Issue Date: 2013
Citation: Ling, F.Y.Y., Dulaimi, M.F., Chua, M. (2013). Strategies for managing migrant construction workers from China, India, and the Philippines. Journal of Professional Issues in Engineering Education and Practice 139 (1) : 19-26. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: To overcome a construction labor shortage, the Singapore construction industry employs migrant workers from other countries. The cultural differences between local project managers and foreign workers may give rise to communication problems and mismanagement, leading to low productivity. This study identified the similarities and differences in cultural traits among migrant workers from China, India, and Thailand and recommended strategies to manage diversity among migrant construction workers. The research method was a survey, and data were collected from project managers who had experience in managing migrant construction workers in Singapore. In-depth interviews were also conducted to gain insights into how diversity among migrant workers could be managed. The results show that workers from Thailand tend to exhibit the least negative traits. Workers from China have traits that are significantly different from Indian and Thai workers. The recommended management strategies to deal with cultural diversity are: engage highly skilled migrant workers; administer employment contracts closely; supervise strictly to lessen poor and passive-aggressive attitudes; reward workers who take initiative; and train workers to work safely and produce high quality workmanship. In addition to work-related strategies, project managers should also form concrete personal relationships with workers to create trust and organize social activities to engender interteam spirit. © 2013 American Society of Civil Engineers.
Source Title: Journal of Professional Issues in Engineering Education and Practice
ISSN: 10523928
DOI: 10.1061/(ASCE)EI.1943-5541.0000124
Appears in Collections:Staff Publications

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