Exploiting Motivation in the Change Towards Autonomation in Construction Projects

Antonio N. de. Miranda Filho1, Jorge Moreira da Costa2 & Luis F.M. Heineck3

1Civil Engineer, M.Sc., Ph.D. candidate, Department of Civil Engineering, University of Porto, Portugal, Scholarship Holder of the Brazilian Government (CAPES), anmirandaf@yahoo.com.br
2Civil Engineer, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Civil Engineering, University of Porto, Portugal, jmfcosta@fe.up.pt
3Civil Engineer, Ph.D., Senior Professor, Production Engineering Department, Federal University of CearĂ¡, Brazil. freitas8@terra.com.br


By strictly focusing on variables in the work environment, project managers are likely to overlook why workers behave differently when exposed to similar challenges under the same motivational factors. This is a problem that calls for a better understanding on worker motivation and personality types considered proper to the new production paradigm. The interest in the subject comes from the speculation that the implementation of autonomation in the construction sector may lie beyond the best practice programmes and the discussion of adequate cultural and leadership characteristics. This paper summarizes an empirical qualitative study, which aims to illustrate differences in personal motives and how such differences can be balanced to better suit lean practices. The discussion is based on lessons learned from two case studies where autonomous crews were implemented to react to the vicissitudes of work in a construction projects context. The conclusions show the close relationship between worker motivation and strategic choices in production strategy. This has allowed the identification of two important conditions that need to be attained by firms interested in autonomous crews.


Worker motivation, teambuilding, strategic choices, lean production.



Filho, A.N.D.M. , Costa, J.M.D. & Heineck, L.F. 2007, 'Exploiting Motivation in the Change Towards Autonomation in Construction Projects' In:, Pasquire, C.L, C.L. & Tzortzopoulos, P., 15th Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction. East Lansing, Michigan, USA, 18-20 Jul 2007. pp 442-452

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