The construction industry is a high-risk commercial sector. As such, concerns regarding performance, waste, health and safety, insurance, legal/budgetary and cost compliances, and client satisfaction levels are an ongoing challenge. An increasing area of focus is human resources and, in particular, productivity. In place of traditional approaches to dealing with employee performance concerns, better job design and work systems are increasingly being seen as essential in alleviating poor employee/ independent-contractor performance. Academic research on employee empowerment in the construction industry has so far been limited and/or haphazard, despite advocates presenting it as a means to deal with worker dissatisfaction, absenteeism, turnover, poor quality work, and sabotage. This paper reviews the literature concerning the utility of employee empowerment in the construction industry, with particular emphasis on its practical benefits. The aim is to provide direction for future research and development in the construction and civil engineering fields.
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