Current Practices of Human Resource Management (HRM) in Thai Construction Industry: A Risk and Opportunity Perspective

Review of Integrative Business & Economics Research 07/2012; 1(1):1-14.

ABSTRACT Construction industry accounts for a significant portion of world economic activities,
especially in emerging economies where infrastructure developments are much
needed. Construction industry is typically characterized as a labor-intensive and
low-tech sector. Meanwhile, it is also the sector consistently found the least
productive. Commonly cited reasons for such poor performance in this sector are
fragmentation, project-based culture, and temporary teams. These factors have
something in common; they pointed to the difficulty in managing human resources.
Therefore, one way to increase the performance of this sector is to leverage more on
human capital through the use of human resource management (HRM). In this paper,
we provide an overview of previous research on HRM, especially in construction
industry. We also investigate into the effect of HR policies and practices on three
critical success factors of a construction project: time, cost, and quality. To this end,
we develop a model comparing and contrasting the current HR practices (1) between
construction industry and other industries and (2) between companies in construction
sector and those in other sectors in Thailand. Finally, we provide the critical analysis
of the risks and opportunities of the current HRM practices adopted by Thai
construction companies in domestic and international markets.

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    ABSTRACT: Today, human resource management (HRM) is being renewed in organizations and gradually affirming its strategic role. However, the results of an empirical study conducted by Pinto and Prescott [Journal of Management 14 (1988) 5] within a context of project management, contradict this trend. These authors concluded that the “Personnel factor” was the only factor in their research that was marginal for project success. This paper attempts to retest their conclusions in rethinking issues of validity of the measures used in their study. In line with research by Tsui [Human Resource Management 26 (1987) 35; Administrative Science Quarterly 35 (1990) 458] and some of Belout's recommendation [International Journal of Project Management 16(1) (1998) 21], the construct validity of the human resources factor has been examined and a model proposed. Results show, first of all, that although there was a link between project success and the Personnel factor (based on the correlation analyses), this factor did not have a significant impact on project success. Our results tend also to confirm that the relationships between the independent variables and project success will vary according to life cycle stage. The results also show that for three distinct structures (functional, project-based and matrix), the Management Support and Trouble-shooting variables were significantly correlated with success. Finally, this study confirm a moderating effect between the independent variables and project success, depending on the sector studied. All in all, this research adds another step in conceptualizing HRM in project context which is still very rudimental. In this sense, researchers should, in the future, improve the construct validity of the Personnel variable by improving the psychometric properties of the questionnaires used in the project management context. This study also shows the problem of multicolinearity, which appears to be excessive in the use of PIP. Finally, a fundamental question is posed: does HRM in the context of project management have specific characteristics that make its role, social responsibility and operation different from the so-called traditional HRM?
    International Journal of Project Management 01/2004; · 1.53 Impact Factor
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    Journal of Management in Engineering 01/2005; 21(1). · 1.11 Impact Factor


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Jun 1, 2014