Introduction to Construction Research|
Fletcher Thompson – 800451281|
18th April 2013|
Sedighi F. and Loosemore M. (2012) Employer of Choice Characteristics in the Construction Industry, Construction Management and Economics, Volume 30, Issue 11, pp. 941-950, Version of Record First Published: 05 Jul 2012, Retrieved 2nd April 2013, Taylor & Francis Online |
Sedighi and Loosemore’s article on Employer of Choice (EOC) characteristics in the construction industry is based on the background of the increased difficulty employers are having recruiting and retaining graduates due to the ageing population, skill shortages and the increase in inter-sector labour competition (Sedighi & Loosemore, 2012). The aim of the paper was therefore to identify what workplace characteristics construction management graduates preferred and valued the highest and as a result understand what constitutes an EOC in the eyes of a graduate in terms of recruitment and retention. The method of research used by Sedighi and Loosemore in this article was an electronic survey which required the participants to rate 26 EOC criteria on a seven point ordinal Likert scale ranging from unimportant through neutral to important. Participants were also asked to answer five independent questions including gender, work experience, workplace size, type of course and year of study. The process of conducting the electronic survey was accomplished by contacting 76 heads of programmes throughout Australia and the United Kingdom who then distributed the survey to over 400 students resulting in 160 student responses from 26 universities. Although the use of an electronic survey strategy is far from original, it is an extremely effective strategy when wanting to conduct research across a broad geographical range such as universities across Australia and the United Kingdom. The main contribution of the research conducted by Sedighi and Loosemore is the identification of the most important workplace characteristics for graduate construction management students, the top three being; good quality of work relationships, being able to learn on the job and a workplace that is passionate about work.
To explore and identify the EOC characteristic preferences of construction management graduates, Sedighi and Loosemore chose to conduct a structured electronic survey and this research method was selected for multiple reasons. A structured survey containing ‘closed’ questions provided Sedighi and Loosemore with a quantitative data sample which allowed them to make statistical conclusions about the graduates entering in to the construction industry. This was done by asking the respondents to rate targeted EOC characteristic criteria, all of which had been derived from relevant literature on EOC. This quantitative data sample also allowed for further in depth analysis between subgroups within the data for sample, for example statistics by gender or work experience level, which allowed them to identify subtle differences in response from these groups. If an ‘open’ survey was conducted, for example asking the participants ‘what EOC characteristics do you value highest?’, this would have provided Sedighi and Loosemore with a qualitative data sample which would have been much harder to analyse and could have possibly resulted in different research conclusions. This may have been because the participants may not have been able to clearly articulate what they preferred or considered important from their employer but also depending on their level of work experience, they may not have know what they value highest. Sedighi and Loosemore then chose to conduct this structured survey via an online application as this the most effective strategy when wanting to survey such a wide geographical dispersion of respondents, as in this case, graduates from across Australia and the UK. Choosing to conduct the survey via an online application also...