The construction productivity debate and the measurement of service qualities
Journal article, 2014
Since the 1960s, researchers have provided short-term and long-term explanations for low productivity growth in the construction industry. In retrospect, the main challenge appears to be the measurement of changes in heterogeneous input and output qualities. The aim here is to review earlier construction productivity research and to compare it with more recent approaches to quality measurement used when analysing services productivity, ultimately intending to provide guidance for using performance data from construction projects. Relying on the EU KLEMS database, industries with similar patterns of productivity growth are identified, primarily the business services industry. In services productivity analyses, the attempts to introduce output quality measures reflecting customer satisfaction are particularly interesting, as this creates a link to productivity effects on clients. A conclusion is that it should be possible to use the increasing volume of performance indicator data collected for construction project benchmarking for extending the range of output quality variables. However, resource constraints imply that it is infeasible to base industry productivity statistics on project level data reflecting customer satisfaction and customer productivity effects.