Factors influencing the form of labour adopted in the construction industry in Kenya: a case of building contractors in Nairobi province
It is now widely recognized that construction activity plays a vital role in the process of economic growth and development, both through its products (infrastructure, buildings) and through the employment created in the process of construction itself. Studies by Ngaruiya (1988) identifies the two major human resource challenges within the construction industry are shortages of specialized skills and those related to underutilized manpower and that by Karuhi (1987) puts emphasis on manpower training. These studies however do not explore the factors that contribute to the adoption of a given form of labour within the construction industry in Kenya. Labour can be categorized into two major forms: formal and informal. The choice of whether to adopt either form of labour depends on several factors. This research established the levels of influences that organizational structures, project types, educational and training levels, types of project clients and the country's economic conditions have on the form of labour adopted within the construction industry. The target population was all the construction firms in Nairobi province and registered with the Ministry of Roads and Public Works, MORPW categories A to E and workers within such sites. Data was collected from the building contractors and labourers using a questionnaire. Data analysis was dictated by the research objectives. The descriptive exposition was done using frequency tables. The data was then correlated so as to establish the degree of relationship between the dependent variable and the various independent variables predominantly using the Pearson's chi-square test- the most widely used method of measuring the degree of relationship between two variables. Critical values were then determined at the 0.05 level of significance and the degree of freedom and finally the decision rule was applied. The report concludes its findings by identifying the following factors as having an influence on the form oflabour adopted within the construction industry in Kenya; organic structure, complex projects, illiteracy levels, professional clients and the economic conditions of the country. The report's recommendations include; the adoption of organizational structure that tend to support formal labour practices, government to come up with legislation that will require all construction clients to request for information that would prove that a given construction finn's workers are formally employed and a need to streamline regulatory and administrative regimes in order to minimize not only the cost of compliance but also the time required to process papers. The research further identified the following areas as in need of further research; exploration of the direction of the factors influencing the form of labour within the construction industry, finding out on what factors hinder the adoption of formal labour within the construction industry in Kenya and investigating how government policies influences the labour practice within the construction industry in industry.