International Construction Specialty Conference of the Canadian Society for Civil Engineering (ICSC) (5th : 2015)

Investigation on construction workers' social norms and managers' desired norms regarding absence : preliminary… Ahn, Seungjun; Choi, Byungjoo; Lee, SangHyun Jun 30, 2015

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5th International/11th Construction Specialty Conference 5e International/11e Conférence spécialisée sur la construction    Vancouver, British Columbia June 8 to June 10, 2015 / 8 juin au 10 juin 2015   INVESTIGATION ON CONSTRUCTION WORKERS’ SOCIAL NORMS AND MANAGERS’ DESIRED NORMS REGARDING ABSENCE: PRELIMINARY RESULTS FROM A NORM ELICITATION STUDY Seungjun Ahn1,3, Byungjoo Choi2, and SangHyun Lee2 1 Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Alberta, Canada 2 Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Michigan, US 3 seungjun@ualberta.ca Abstract: Researchers have found that construction workers’ absence behavior is under the influence of social norms existing in work groups.  Although the previous research efforts on social absence norms in construction have significantly expand our understanding of how they might develop in work groups and exert on workers’ absence behavior, we have limited knowledge about what the absence norms actually existing in construction work groups are. Given this background, the objective of this research is to measure the absence norms shared by construction workers in their work groups as well as the norms desired by construction managers. To achieve this, a novel approach to elicit norms in organizations that were developed by Krupka and Weber (2013) has been used in this research. In this approach, experiment participants are asked to evaluate several hypothetical actions plausible in a given situation using their understanding of what a typical member of their team would think about the actions as well as their own opinions on the actions. The elicitation of social norms is facilitated by a coordination game structure and monetary incentives in the experiment. Using this method, construction workers’ social norms and personal standards, managers’ belief about workers’ social norms, and managers’ desired norms, regarding worker absence behavior were elicited at a construction site. Analyses on the differences between workers’ social norms and managers’ desired norms reveal that there is a general pattern of alignment, but also a measurable difference, between workers’ social norms and managers’ desired norms regarding absence at the site.             1 INTRODUCTION In their influential paper published in 1982, Johns and Nicholson defined absence culture as “the set of shared understandings about absence legitimacy in a given organization and the established ‘custom and practice’ of employee absence behavior and its control……” Since they introduced the concept of absence culture in organizational behavior research, many researchers have investigated the impacts of such social aspects on employees’ absence behavior in organizations, and have demonstrated that absence behavior is indeed subject to social norms in organizations. Among those researchers, some have looked at construction workers’ absence behavior, and have found that construction workers’ absence behavior is also under the influence of social norms existing in their work groups (Ahn and Lee 2015; Ahn et al. 2014; Ahn et al. 2013; Sichani et al. 2011; AbouRizk et al. 2010). Given that construction work groups are known to have a high level of social identity and solidarity in general, social absence norm is an important subject for studying and improving workers’ attendance at jobsites. 198-1 Although the previous research efforts on social absence norms in construction have significantly expand our understanding of how they might develop in work groups and exert on workers’ absence behavior, we have limited knowledge about what the absence norms actually existing in construction work groups are. For example, some previous research has investigated to what extent construction workers’ absence behavior are influenced by their social awareness (c.f., Ahn et al. 2014), but few research attempts have been made to measure what the actual absence norms (i.e., collectively held opinions and beliefs regarding absence) are. Given this background, the objective of this research is to measure the absence norms shared by construction workers in their work groups as well as the norms desired by construction managers. To achieve this, a novel approach called norm elicitation technique has been used in this research. An overview of this technique is provided in the following section. Subsequently, the results from a preliminary study using this technique are provided, and a discussion on the results will follow.  2 RESEARCH METHOD 2.1  Norm Elicitation Technique Researchers have tried to measure the social norms in work groups in several ways, and among them the most common is survey questionnaire. Although survey questionnaire is a cost-effective and scalable means to collect real world data, one of the main weaknesses of this method is the difficulty in measuring group-level latent variables such as collectively held norms (Burks and Krupka 2012). To address this issue, Krupka and Weber (2013) developed a novel method for measuring social norms in organizations using hypothetical vignettes and a coordination game structure, called norm elicitation technique. In this method, vignettes describing a situation with which experiment participants will be familiar—because it is a situation that they can observe or experience in the workplace on a daily basis—are provided. A vignette is given along with a range of actions a person might choose from in the situation. Then, participants are asked to rate each alternative action for each vignette using a 4-point Likert scale, each of which means ‘Very inappropriate’, ‘Somewhat inappropriate’, ‘Somewhat appropriate’, and ‘Very appropriate’.  In the experiment, participants are asked to repeat the rating task several times for each vignette. First, participants are asked to try to match their ratings to those of a typical member of a group—either a group they belong to or another group, and they are told that their responses will be compared with the responses of a randomly selected respondent from the group, and that they will be paid if their responses match the responses of the target respondent (i.e., a coordination game structure with monetary incentives). Second, participants are asked to provide their personal opinions (i.e., ratings based on their own personal standards) without trying to match their responses with anybody else’s. This technique has been used in this research for identifying social norms of construction work groups (i.e., crews) and personal standards regarding absence. As a first step to do this, a list of behaviors regarding absence with which construction workers will be familiar was developed. A focus group discussion with three construction managers was used in this process. Table 1 shows the list of behaviors regarding absence used in this study, sorted in order of appropriateness as identified by the focus group’s ex-ante ranking. (The behaviors were re-sorted in the experiment, and therefore these behaviors were not presented in this order to participants.) 198-2 Table 1: List of behaviors regarding absence used in the experiment  Behaviors (Situation: James is a member of your crew, and he has been working with you since your crew started to work at your project site) Absence Behavior 1 James takes absence without a notice when he does not want to work. Absence Behavior 2 James takes absence when he does not want to work, and he informs his absence to his foreman early in the morning. Absence Behavior 3 James takes absence when he has a hangover, and he informs his absence to his foreman early in the morning. Absence Behavior 4 James takes absence when he has minor illness such as colds and headaches, and he informs his absence to his foreman early in the morning Absence Behavior 5 James takes absence when he has some personal situation like sickness of a family member, and he informs his absence to his foreman early in the morning Absence Behavior 6 James takes absence when he feels too sick to work well, and he informs his absence to his foreman early in the morning. Absence Behavior 7 James does not take absence at all unless he has an emergent situation like severe injury or sickness. 2.2 Participants For conducting the experiment, a building construction site (“Site A”) in Ann Arbor, Michigan, US, was approached. Site A was a large-sized engineering research complex building construction site located on the University of Michigan campus. At the time the site was contacted, the project was in the final phase of construction, and therefore many on-going processes were for the finishing work. The number of workers operating daily at this site was about 40–50 with some variation.  With an agreement with the construction managers to conduct the experiment at this site, construction workers to participate in the experiment were recruited. The purposes and processes of this experiment were explained to the foremen in a weekly meeting at the site, and the foremen verbally advertised the experiment to their team members. In this way, the construction workers were informed when and where the experiment was going to take place, and the workers voluntarily participated in our experiment. As a result, a total of 26 workers (of 9 different trades and of 10 different companies) participated in the experiment. In addition to this, the 3 construction managers of the general contractor participated in the experiment. 2.3 Experiment Procedure Participants among workers were asked to provide their evaluation of these behaviors twice. On the first pass, the participants were asked to match their ratings with those of a typical member of their own crew; on the second pass, they were asked to provide their personal opinions. As mentioned above, the elicitation of social norms is facilitated by a coordination game structure and monetary incentives in this experiment. The participants were informed that a subset of all of the participants in this experiment will be randomly selected, and their responses on the first pass will be compared with the responses of another randomly selected participant from their crew, and they will be paid $10 for each of their matching responses. This incentivizing method was clearly explained before the experiment began.         Participants among construction managers (of the general contractor) were also asked to provide their evaluation of the behaviors twice, but in a slightly different manner. On the first pass, the participants were asked to match their ratings with those of a typical construction worker working at the site, and on the second pass, they were asked to match their ratings with their fellow managers at the site. The 198-3 construction manager participants were also informed that their responses on the first pass will be compared with the responses of a randomly selected worker participant, and their responses on the second pass will be compared with a randomly selected manager participant.  The experiment was taken during crews’ breaks during work hours (e.g., morning break, lunch time, afternoon break) to avoid interrupting the construction work. Construction workers voluntarily visited the area where the experiment administrators were, and participated in the experiment. When a worker or workers arrive at the experiment place, the experiment administrators briefly introduced the experiment’s purpose and processes, including the information about the incentives. Then, a consent form, the evaluation sheet, and pens were provided to the participants. The experiment administrators gave an instruction, then participants provided their response in each pass. In total, the experiment took approximately 20–25 minutes. Every participant was paid a $10 participation fee at the end of the experiment.   3 RESULTS AND DISCUSSION The participants’ evaluations of the behaviors were converted into numerical scales: -1, -1/3, 1/3, and 1, for “Very inappropriate,” “Somewhat inappropriate,” “Somewhat appropriate,” and “Very appropriate,” respectively. Tables 2 and 3 present a summary of the evaluations for the absence behaviors provided by the workers and the managers, respectively. Each row in these tables corresponds to an absence behavior that was evaluated by the participants, and these tables separately summarize the participants’ evaluations made during the first pass and the second pass (Workers’ evaluations during the first pass and the second pass are labeled as “Workers’ social norms” and “Workers’ personal standards” in Table 2, and managers’ evaluations during the first pass and the second pass are labeled as “Managers’ desired norms” and “Managers’ belief about workers’ social norms” in Table 3.) The columns of these tables present the mean (M) and the standard deviation (SD) of the responses, and then the number of responses for each option (N(-1), N(-1/3), N(1/3), and N(1)), for each behavior in the list. Table 2: Workers’ evaluations summary for the absence behaviors*  Workers’ social norms Workers’ personal standards Behaviors M SD N (-1) N (-1/3) N (1/3) N (1) M SD N (-1) N (-1/3) N (1/3) N (1) Absence Behavior 1 -0.97 0.13 25 1 0 0 -1 0.0 26 0 0 0 Absence Behavior 2 -0.67 0.62 19 3 2 2 -0.85 0.38 22 2 2 0 Absence Behavior 3 -0.51 0.54 12 10 3 1 -0.77 0.32 17 9 0 0 Absence Behavior 4 -0.13 0.48 4 10 12 0 0.0 0.50 3 8 14 1 Absence Behavior 5 0.59 0.37 0 1 14 11 0.56 0.45 0 3 11 12 Absence Behavior 6 0.44 0.44 0 4 14 8 0.49 0.38 0 2 16 8 Absence Behavior 7 0.95 0.18 0 0 2 24 0.92 0.21 0 0 3 23 *Note. The numbers in bold type are the mode of responses for each behavior.    198-4 Table 3: Managers’ evaluations summary for the absence behaviors**  Managers’ desired norms Managers’ belief about workers’ social norms Behaviors M SD N (-1) N (-1/3) N (1/3) N (1) M SD N (-1) N (-1/3) N (1/3) N (1) Absence Behavior 1 -1 0.0 3 0 0 0 -1 0.0 3 0 0 0 Absence Behavior 2 -1 0.0 3 0 0 0 -0.56 0.31 1 2 0 0 Absence Behavior 3 -1 0.0 3 0 0 0 -1 0.0 3 0 0 0 Absence Behavior 4 -0.11 0.31 0 2 1 0 -0.33 0.0 0 3 0 0 Absence Behavior 5 0.78 0.31 0 0 1 2 0.78 0.31 0 0 1 2 Absence Behavior 6 1 0.0 0 0 0 3 0.56 0.31 0 0 2 1 Absence Behavior 7 1 0.0 0 0 0 3 1 0.0 0 0 0 3 **Note. The numbers in bold type are the mode of responses for each behavior.    The fact that the modal response for any behavior received more than 46% of the responses when the task is matching their responses with the responses of a peer shows that there is a general consensus in the belief about the normative evaluations made by the members of their groups, whether it is workers or managers. Also, the fact that a relatively high level of consensus in the normative evaluations exists among all the workers at this site means that to some extent the crews at this site have similar social norms when it comes to which absence behavior is acceptable and which is not. Tables 2 and 3 show a general pattern of alignment, but also a measurable difference, between workers’ social norms and managers’ desired norms regarding absence. The mode of responses from workers and from managers were identical for four behaviors, while the mode of responses for the other three behaviors was measurably different. To visualize the degree of alignment between workers’ social norms and managers’ desired norms, the mean of the responses from these two groups for each behavior was plotted, as shown in Figure 1. Then, each line in this figure can be seen as a profile of norms held by workers or managers. As shown in this figure, workers’ social norms and managers’ desired norms regarding worker absence behavior shows a complete agreement as to valence (i.e., whether a behavior is in the “appropriate” side or in the “inappropriate” side); both groups agreed that absence behaviors 1–4 are considered inappropriate, whereas behaviors 5–7 are considered appropriate. However, the two groups show some disagreement in the intensity of the evaluations. For absence behavior 3, “James takes absence when he has a hangover, and he informs his foreman of the absence early in the morning,” for example, all of the managers said that this behavior is “very inappropriate,” whereas workers were more likely to say that it is just “somewhat inappropriate.” This shows that there is a subtle but measurable misalignment between workers’ social norms and managers’ desired norms about absence caused by alcohol. 198-5 References AbouRizk, H., Lee, S., Gellatly, I., and Fayek, A. 2010. Understanding Withdrawal Behavior in the Construction Industry. Construction Research Congress 2010, 809-816. Ahn, S. and Lee, S. 2015. Methodology for Creating Empirically Supported Agent-Based Simulation with Survey Data for Studying Group Behavior of Construction Workers. Journal of Construction Engineering and Management, 141(1): 04014065. Ahn, S., Lee, S. and Steel, R. 2014. Construction Workers’ Perceptions and Attitudes Toward Social Norms as Predictors of Their Absence Behavior. Journal of Construction Engineering and Management, 140(5): 04013069. Ahn, S., Lee, S. and Steel, R. 2013. Effects of Workers' Social Learning: Focusing on Absence Behavior. Journal of Construction Engineering and Management, 139(8): 1015–1025. Burks, S. V., and Krupka, E. L. 2012. A Multimethod Approach to Identifying Norms and Normative Expectations within a Corporate Hierarchy: Evidence from the Financial Services Industry. Management Science, 58(1): 203-217. Johns, G., and Nicholson, N. 1982. The Meaning of Absence: New Strategies for Theory and Research. Research in organizational behavior, B. Staw and L. L. Cummings, eds., JAI Press, Greenwich, CT, 4: 127–172. Krupka, E. L., and Weber, R. A. 2013. Identifying Social Norms Using Coordination Games: Why Does Dictator Game Sharing Vary?” Journal of the European Economic Association, 11(3): 495-524. Sichani, M. S., Lee, S., and Robinson Fayek, A. 2011. Understanding Construction Workforce Absenteeism in Industrial Construction. Canadian Journal of Civil Engineering, 38(8): 849-858.   198-8  5th International/11th Construction Specialty Conference 5e International/11e Conférence spécialisée sur la construction    Vancouver, British Columbia June 8 to June 10, 2015 / 8 juin au 10 juin 2015   INVESTIGATION ON CONSTRUCTION WORKERS’ SOCIAL NORMS AND MANAGERS’ DESIRED NORMS REGARDING ABSENCE: PRELIMINARY RESULTS FROM A NORM ELICITATION STUDY Seungjun Ahn1,3, Byungjoo Choi2, and SangHyun Lee2 1 Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Alberta, Canada 2 Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Michigan, US 3 seungjun@ualberta.ca Abstract: Researchers have found that construction workers’ absence behavior is under the influence of social norms existing in work groups.  Although the previous research efforts on social absence norms in construction have significantly expand our understanding of how they might develop in work groups and exert on workers’ absence behavior, we have limited knowledge about what the absence norms actually existing in construction work groups are. Given this background, the objective of this research is to measure the absence norms shared by construction workers in their work groups as well as the norms desired by construction managers. To achieve this, a novel approach to elicit norms in organizations that were developed by Krupka and Weber (2013) has been used in this research. In this approach, experiment participants are asked to evaluate several hypothetical actions plausible in a given situation using their understanding of what a typical member of their team would think about the actions as well as their own opinions on the actions. The elicitation of social norms is facilitated by a coordination game structure and monetary incentives in the experiment. Using this method, construction workers’ social norms and personal standards, managers’ belief about workers’ social norms, and managers’ desired norms, regarding worker absence behavior were elicited at a construction site. Analyses on the differences between workers’ social norms and managers’ desired norms reveal that there is a general pattern of alignment, but also a measurable difference, between workers’ social norms and managers’ desired norms regarding absence at the site.             1 INTRODUCTION In their influential paper published in 1982, Johns and Nicholson defined absence culture as “the set of shared understandings about absence legitimacy in a given organization and the established ‘custom and practice’ of employee absence behavior and its control……” Since they introduced the concept of absence culture in organizational behavior research, many researchers have investigated the impacts of such social aspects on employees’ absence behavior in organizations, and have demonstrated that absence behavior is indeed subject to social norms in organizations. Among those researchers, some have looked at construction workers’ absence behavior, and have found that construction workers’ absence behavior is also under the influence of social norms existing in their work groups (Ahn and Lee 2015; Ahn et al. 2014; Ahn et al. 2013; Sichani et al. 2011; AbouRizk et al. 2010). Given that construction work groups are known to have a high level of social identity and solidarity in general, social absence norm is an important subject for studying and improving workers’ attendance at jobsites. 198-1 Although the previous research efforts on social absence norms in construction have significantly expand our understanding of how they might develop in work groups and exert on workers’ absence behavior, we have limited knowledge about what the absence norms actually existing in construction work groups are. For example, some previous research has investigated to what extent construction workers’ absence behavior are influenced by their social awareness (c.f., Ahn et al. 2014), but few research attempts have been made to measure what the actual absence norms (i.e., collectively held opinions and beliefs regarding absence) are. Given this background, the objective of this research is to measure the absence norms shared by construction workers in their work groups as well as the norms desired by construction managers. To achieve this, a novel approach called norm elicitation technique has been used in this research. An overview of this technique is provided in the following section. Subsequently, the results from a preliminary study using this technique are provided, and a discussion on the results will follow.  2 RESEARCH METHOD 2.1  Norm Elicitation Technique Researchers have tried to measure the social norms in work groups in several ways, and among them the most common is survey questionnaire. Although survey questionnaire is a cost-effective and scalable means to collect real world data, one of the main weaknesses of this method is the difficulty in measuring group-level latent variables such as collectively held norms (Burks and Krupka 2012). To address this issue, Krupka and Weber (2013) developed a novel method for measuring social norms in organizations using hypothetical vignettes and a coordination game structure, called norm elicitation technique. In this method, vignettes describing a situation with which experiment participants will be familiar—because it is a situation that they can observe or experience in the workplace on a daily basis—are provided. A vignette is given along with a range of actions a person might choose from in the situation. Then, participants are asked to rate each alternative action for each vignette using a 4-point Likert scale, each of which means ‘Very inappropriate’, ‘Somewhat inappropriate’, ‘Somewhat appropriate’, and ‘Very appropriate’.  In the experiment, participants are asked to repeat the rating task several times for each vignette. First, participants are asked to try to match their ratings to those of a typical member of a group—either a group they belong to or another group, and they are told that their responses will be compared with the responses of a randomly selected respondent from the group, and that they will be paid if their responses match the responses of the target respondent (i.e., a coordination game structure with monetary incentives). Second, participants are asked to provide their personal opinions (i.e., ratings based on their own personal standards) without trying to match their responses with anybody else’s. This technique has been used in this research for identifying social norms of construction work groups (i.e., crews) and personal standards regarding absence. As a first step to do this, a list of behaviors regarding absence with which construction workers will be familiar was developed. A focus group discussion with three construction managers was used in this process. Table 1 shows the list of behaviors regarding absence used in this study, sorted in order of appropriateness as identified by the focus group’s ex-ante ranking. (The behaviors were re-sorted in the experiment, and therefore these behaviors were not presented in this order to participants.) 198-2 Table 1: List of behaviors regarding absence used in the experiment  Behaviors (Situation: James is a member of your crew, and he has been working with you since your crew started to work at your project site) Absence Behavior 1 James takes absence without a notice when he does not want to work. Absence Behavior 2 James takes absence when he does not want to work, and he informs his absence to his foreman early in the morning. Absence Behavior 3 James takes absence when he has a hangover, and he informs his absence to his foreman early in the morning. Absence Behavior 4 James takes absence when he has minor illness such as colds and headaches, and he informs his absence to his foreman early in the morning Absence Behavior 5 James takes absence when he has some personal situation like sickness of a family member, and he informs his absence to his foreman early in the morning Absence Behavior 6 James takes absence when he feels too sick to work well, and he informs his absence to his foreman early in the morning. Absence Behavior 7 James does not take absence at all unless he has an emergent situation like severe injury or sickness. 2.2 Participants For conducting the experiment, a building construction site (“Site A”) in Ann Arbor, Michigan, US, was approached. Site A was a large-sized engineering research complex building construction site located on the University of Michigan campus. At the time the site was contacted, the project was in the final phase of construction, and therefore many on-going processes were for the finishing work. The number of workers operating daily at this site was about 40–50 with some variation.  With an agreement with the construction managers to conduct the experiment at this site, construction workers to participate in the experiment were recruited. The purposes and processes of this experiment were explained to the foremen in a weekly meeting at the site, and the foremen verbally advertised the experiment to their team members. In this way, the construction workers were informed when and where the experiment was going to take place, and the workers voluntarily participated in our experiment. As a result, a total of 26 workers (of 9 different trades and of 10 different companies) participated in the experiment. In addition to this, the 3 construction managers of the general contractor participated in the experiment. 2.3 Experiment Procedure Participants among workers were asked to provide their evaluation of these behaviors twice. On the first pass, the participants were asked to match their ratings with those of a typical member of their own crew; on the second pass, they were asked to provide their personal opinions. As mentioned above, the elicitation of social norms is facilitated by a coordination game structure and monetary incentives in this experiment. The participants were informed that a subset of all of the participants in this experiment will be randomly selected, and their responses on the first pass will be compared with the responses of another randomly selected participant from their crew, and they will be paid $10 for each of their matching responses. This incentivizing method was clearly explained before the experiment began.         Participants among construction managers (of the general contractor) were also asked to provide their evaluation of the behaviors twice, but in a slightly different manner. On the first pass, the participants were asked to match their ratings with those of a typical construction worker working at the site, and on the second pass, they were asked to match their ratings with their fellow managers at the site. The 198-3 construction manager participants were also informed that their responses on the first pass will be compared with the responses of a randomly selected worker participant, and their responses on the second pass will be compared with a randomly selected manager participant.  The experiment was taken during crews’ breaks during work hours (e.g., morning break, lunch time, afternoon break) to avoid interrupting the construction work. Construction workers voluntarily visited the area where the experiment administrators were, and participated in the experiment. When a worker or workers arrive at the experiment place, the experiment administrators briefly introduced the experiment’s purpose and processes, including the information about the incentives. Then, a consent form, the evaluation sheet, and pens were provided to the participants. The experiment administrators gave an instruction, then participants provided their response in each pass. In total, the experiment took approximately 20–25 minutes. Every participant was paid a $10 participation fee at the end of the experiment.   3 RESULTS AND DISCUSSION The participants’ evaluations of the behaviors were converted into numerical scales: -1, -1/3, 1/3, and 1, for “Very inappropriate,” “Somewhat inappropriate,” “Somewhat appropriate,” and “Very appropriate,” respectively. Tables 2 and 3 present a summary of the evaluations for the absence behaviors provided by the workers and the managers, respectively. Each row in these tables corresponds to an absence behavior that was evaluated by the participants, and these tables separately summarize the participants’ evaluations made during the first pass and the second pass (Workers’ evaluations during the first pass and the second pass are labeled as “Workers’ social norms” and “Workers’ personal standards” in Table 2, and managers’ evaluations during the first pass and the second pass are labeled as “Managers’ desired norms” and “Managers’ belief about workers’ social norms” in Table 3.) The columns of these tables present the mean (M) and the standard deviation (SD) of the responses, and then the number of responses for each option (N(-1), N(-1/3), N(1/3), and N(1)), for each behavior in the list. Table 2: Workers’ evaluations summary for the absence behaviors*  Workers’ social norms Workers’ personal standards Behaviors M SD N (-1) N (-1/3) N (1/3) N (1) M SD N (-1) N (-1/3) N (1/3) N (1) Absence Behavior 1 -0.97 0.13 25 1 0 0 -1 0.0 26 0 0 0 Absence Behavior 2 -0.67 0.62 19 3 2 2 -0.85 0.38 22 2 2 0 Absence Behavior 3 -0.51 0.54 12 10 3 1 -0.77 0.32 17 9 0 0 Absence Behavior 4 -0.13 0.48 4 10 12 0 0.0 0.50 3 8 14 1 Absence Behavior 5 0.59 0.37 0 1 14 11 0.56 0.45 0 3 11 12 Absence Behavior 6 0.44 0.44 0 4 14 8 0.49 0.38 0 2 16 8 Absence Behavior 7 0.95 0.18 0 0 2 24 0.92 0.21 0 0 3 23 *Note. The numbers in bold type are the mode of responses for each behavior.    198-4 Table 3: Managers’ evaluations summary for the absence behaviors**  Managers’ desired norms Managers’ belief about workers’ social norms Behaviors M SD N (-1) N (-1/3) N (1/3) N (1) M SD N (-1) N (-1/3) N (1/3) N (1) Absence Behavior 1 -1 0.0 3 0 0 0 -1 0.0 3 0 0 0 Absence Behavior 2 -1 0.0 3 0 0 0 -0.56 0.31 1 2 0 0 Absence Behavior 3 -1 0.0 3 0 0 0 -1 0.0 3 0 0 0 Absence Behavior 4 -0.11 0.31 0 2 1 0 -0.33 0.0 0 3 0 0 Absence Behavior 5 0.78 0.31 0 0 1 2 0.78 0.31 0 0 1 2 Absence Behavior 6 1 0.0 0 0 0 3 0.56 0.31 0 0 2 1 Absence Behavior 7 1 0.0 0 0 0 3 1 0.0 0 0 0 3 **Note. The numbers in bold type are the mode of responses for each behavior.    The fact that the modal response for any behavior received more than 46% of the responses when the task is matching their responses with the responses of a peer shows that there is a general consensus in the belief about the normative evaluations made by the members of their groups, whether it is workers or managers. Also, the fact that a relatively high level of consensus in the normative evaluations exists among all the workers at this site means that to some extent the crews at this site have similar social norms when it comes to which absence behavior is acceptable and which is not. Tables 2 and 3 show a general pattern of alignment, but also a measurable difference, between workers’ social norms and managers’ desired norms regarding absence. The mode of responses from workers and from managers were identical for four behaviors, while the mode of responses for the other three behaviors was measurably different. To visualize the degree of alignment between workers’ social norms and managers’ desired norms, the mean of the responses from these two groups for each behavior was plotted, as shown in Figure 1. Then, each line in this figure can be seen as a profile of norms held by workers or managers. As shown in this figure, workers’ social norms and managers’ desired norms regarding worker absence behavior shows a complete agreement as to valence (i.e., whether a behavior is in the “appropriate” side or in the “inappropriate” side); both groups agreed that absence behaviors 1–4 are considered inappropriate, whereas behaviors 5–7 are considered appropriate. However, the two groups show some disagreement in the intensity of the evaluations. For absence behavior 3, “James takes absence when he has a hangover, and he informs his foreman of the absence early in the morning,” for example, all of the managers said that this behavior is “very inappropriate,” whereas workers were more likely to say that it is just “somewhat inappropriate.” This shows that there is a subtle but measurable misalignment between workers’ social norms and managers’ desired norms about absence caused by alcohol. 198-5 References AbouRizk, H., Lee, S., Gellatly, I., and Fayek, A. 2010. Understanding Withdrawal Behavior in the Construction Industry. Construction Research Congress 2010, 809-816. Ahn, S. and Lee, S. 2015. Methodology for Creating Empirically Supported Agent-Based Simulation with Survey Data for Studying Group Behavior of Construction Workers. Journal of Construction Engineering and Management, 141(1): 04014065. Ahn, S., Lee, S. and Steel, R. 2014. Construction Workers’ Perceptions and Attitudes Toward Social Norms as Predictors of Their Absence Behavior. Journal of Construction Engineering and Management, 140(5): 04013069. Ahn, S., Lee, S. and Steel, R. 2013. Effects of Workers' Social Learning: Focusing on Absence Behavior. Journal of Construction Engineering and Management, 139(8): 1015–1025. Burks, S. V., and Krupka, E. L. 2012. A Multimethod Approach to Identifying Norms and Normative Expectations within a Corporate Hierarchy: Evidence from the Financial Services Industry. Management Science, 58(1): 203-217. Johns, G., and Nicholson, N. 1982. The Meaning of Absence: New Strategies for Theory and Research. Research in organizational behavior, B. Staw and L. L. Cummings, eds., JAI Press, Greenwich, CT, 4: 127–172. Krupka, E. L., and Weber, R. A. 2013. Identifying Social Norms Using Coordination Games: Why Does Dictator Game Sharing Vary?” Journal of the European Economic Association, 11(3): 495-524. Sichani, M. S., Lee, S., and Robinson Fayek, A. 2011. Understanding Construction Workforce Absenteeism in Industrial Construction. Canadian Journal of Civil Engineering, 38(8): 849-858.   198-8  Investigation on Construction Workers’ Norms andProject Managers’ Norms Regarding Absence Behavior:Preliminary Results from a Norm Elicitation Study   Seungjun (Jun) Ahn, PhDPostdoctoral FellowDept. of Civil & Environmental EngineeringUniversity of AlbertaICSC’ 15, Vancouver, June 10, 2015Byungjoo Choi PhD Pre-CandidateDept. of Civil & Environmental EngineeringUniversity of MichiganSangHyun Lee, PhDAssociate ProfessorDept. of Civil & Environmental EngineeringUniversity of MichiganBackground: Absenteeism Problem in Construction Definition of Absence– “Failure to report for work as scheduled” (Johns 2008)– Voluntary VS Involuntary Absenteeism Problem in Construction – Absence rates in construction • 6% - 10% absence rates in electrical construction in US (Hanna et al. 2005)• 8.6%, 9.3%, and 8.5% absence rates in 2006, 2007, and 2008, in Alberta, Canada (Sichani et al. 2011) – Impact of absenteeism in construction • 24.4% of the productivity loss when the absence rate is between 6 and 10%, whereas 3.8% of the productivity gain when the absence rate is between 0 and 5%, and 9.13% productivity loss on average (Hanna et al. 2005)• The cost of absence 50% (carpenter) and 9% (laborer) greater than the his/her daily wage (Nicholson et al. 2006)• Increased likelihoods of accidents (Firns et al. 2006)2Background: Absence Behavior and Norms Social Influence on Workers’ Absence Behavior– Workers’ susceptibility to social controls and the attendance dynamics (Johns 2008)– Absence norms as a key predictor of absence behavior in work places  (Johns 2008; Bamberger and Biron 2007; Rentsch and Steel 2003; Xie and Johns 2000; Gellatly and Luchak 1998; Martocchio 1994; Mathieu and Kohler 1990; Nicholson and Johns 1985)– The variability of individuals’ absence behavior within a unit & across units (Rentsch and Steel 2003)3Background: Behavioral Modeling“Fortunately, most human behavior is learned observationally through modeling.” - Albert Bandura, Social Learning Theory, 1977 [Source: http://hawaii.edu/fishlab/Nearside/Emulation%20vs%20Imitation.jpg/]4Background: Absence Behavior and Norms Group Norms– Values, attitudes, and customs shared by a group of people– Behavioral norms: shared perception of appropriate behaviors (Bandura 1977)– Descriptive norms VS Injunctive norms– Examples of behavioral norms in construction• Safety behavior norms• Break time norms• Absence norms• ….5Background: A Methodological QuestionA Question from the Methodological Standpoint: HOW CAN WE MEASURE THE NORMS?6 “A Vignette”Behaviors(Given Situation: James is a member of your crew, and he has been working with you since your crew started to work at your project site)Behavior 1 James takes absence without a notice when he does not want to work.Behavior 2James takes absence when he does not want to work, and he informs his absence to his foreman early in the morning.Behavior 3James takes absence when he has a hangover, and he informs his absence to his foreman early in the morning.Behavior 4James takes absence when he has minor illness such as colds and headaches, and he informs his absence to his foreman early in the morningBehavior 5James takes absence when he has some personal situation like sickness of a family member, and he informs his absence to his foreman early in the morningBehavior 6James takes absence when he feels too sick to work well, and he informs his absence to his foreman early in the morning.Behavior 7James does not take absence at all unless he has an emergent situation like severe injury or sickness.Method: Norm Elicitation Protocol 7 Rating Task– Very Appropriate ( = 1 )– Somewhat Appropriate ( = 1/3 )– Somewhat Inappropriate (= - 1/3 ) – Very Inappropriate (= -1 ) Method: Norm Elicitation Protocol 8 A Coordination Game Structure“Your responses will be compared with the responses of a randomly selected member of (your in-group), and you will receive $10 for each of the matched responses.”“Your responses will be compared with the responses of a randomly selected member of (an out-group), and you will receive $10 for each of the matched responses.”Method: Norm Elicitation Protocol 9 “Two Passes”Method: Norm Elicitation Protocol Participant 1st Pass 2nd PassWorkersMatching target: Other workgroup membersMatching target: No oneWorkers’ perceived group normsWorker’s personal standardsManagersMatching target:WorkersMatching target:Other managersManager’s belief aboutworkers’ social normsManager’s desired norms10 Site A• A large-sized engineering research complex building • Located at Ann Arbor, Michigan• Experiment conducted during May 2014• 26 workers and 3 project managers participatedMethod: Participants11 Site B• A large-sized library building retrofit project• Located at Ann Arbor, Michigan• Experiment conducted during September 2014• 45 workers and 3 project managers participatedMethod: Participants12 Site C• A large-sized research facility interior renovation• Located at Ann Arbor, Michigan• Experiment conducted during December 2014• 35 workers and 3 project managers participatedMethod: Participants13Results Workers’ Social Norms VS Project Managers’ Desired Norms“James takes absence when he has a hangover, and he informs his absence to his foreman early in the morning”“James takes absence when he has minor illness such as colds and headaches, and he informs his absence to his foreman early in the morning”14Results Project Managers’ Belief About Workers’ Norms VS Workers’ Actual Social Norms  15Social Norms and Social Identities Construction workers’ social identities– Multiple and temporary nature of membership– E.g., workgroup, company, trade, union, project, etc.16Social Norms and Social Identities Significant Correlations Between the Personal Standards-Desired Norms Misalignment and the Social Identification MeasuresMeasuresProject Membership SatisfactionProject Membership PrideTrade-Self Identity OverlapPearson Correlation-0.44 -0.40 0.41Significance level (2-tailed)0.023 0.041 0.036Note. N=26 17Practical Implications of Workers’ Behavioral NormsNormative MessageSocial Control Importance of norms for human resource management– Norm as a “motivational capital” (Akerlof and Kranton 2003)– Durable behavior change (Akerlof and Kranton 2000; Akerlof and Kranton 2005) Application areas– Attendance– Safety– Engagement– And, more…18Acknowledgement National Science Foundation – GRANT #: SES-1127570 Industry Partners– Walbridge– Skanska– DeMaria– University of Michigan, Architecture, Engineering, and Construction (UM AEC)  Collaborators– Dr. Erin Krupka• Assistant Professor of Information, School of Information, University of Michigan– Dr. Richard P. Bagozzi• Dwight F. Benton Professor of Behavioral Science in Management, Ross School of Business, University of Michigan19

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