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 results from a norm elicitation study Ahn, Seungjun; Choi, Byungjoo; Lee, SangHyun


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.

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