This paper describes a conceptual approach to measure and compare productivity of resource utilization at the firm level, adapting a set of techniques known as Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA). Within this approach, the paper addresses the issues of multiple inputs and multiple outputs of a construction firm, level of detail for data collection, and the required transformations to correct for differences among projects. In particular, we focus on the resource management of subcontractors. Subcontractors manage multiple, concurrent projects and must allocate limited resources across these projects. Interaction between projects and resource allocation creates non-linear effects, and therefore the productivity of the firm is not simply the productivity of its projects. The proposed measurement methodology will allow assessment of the impact of different management policies (including many of those proposed by lean construction researchers) on firm performance. It is hoped that this novel approach to productivity measurement will help subcontractors identify efficient practices and superior management policies, and will promote adoption of these policies.
Construction productivity, construction efficiency, subcontractor resource management, total factor productivity, data envelopment analysis, lean construction.
El-Mashaleh, M. , O'Brien, W.J. & London, K. 2001, 'Envelopment Methodology to Measure and Compare Subcontractor Productivity at the Firm Level' In:, Ballard, G. & Chua, D., 9th Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction. Singapore, Singapore, 6-8 Aug 2001.