Work Stress among Professionals in Building Construction Industry in Nigeria

Eziyi Offia Ibem, Michael Nwabueze Anosike, Dominic Ezenwa Azuh, Tim O. Mosaku


This study was undertaken to identify key stress factors among professionals in building construction industry in Nigeria. This is in view of the fact that to date, very little is known about work stress among professionals in building construction industry in this country. The study involved the administration of questionnaire to 107 professionals including architects, builders, civil/structural engineers and quantity surveyors randomly selected from 60 ongoing building projects in Anambra, Ogun and Kaduna States, Nigeria. The data was analysed using descriptive statistics, and findings show that the principal sources of stress were high volume of work, uncomfortable site office environment, lack of feedback on previous and ongoing building projects, and variations in the scope of work in ongoing building projects. The paper suggests that taking responsibility for work which one has adequate capacity to handle, establishing realistic budgets and time frame for project delivery, provision of spatially adequate, visually and thermally comfortable site offices, adoption of appropriate job design practice and education of professionals on stress management strategies will reduce the incidence of stress among professionals in building industry in Nigeria. 


Work Stress, Building Construction Industry, Professionals, Nigeria

Full Text



Aitken, A., and Crawford, L. (2007) 'Coping with stress: Dispositional coping strategies of project managers', International Journal of Project Management, 25, 666-673,

Anderson, J.R. (1976) Language, Memory and Thought, Hillsdale, New Jersey, Lawrence Eribaum Associates Publishers

Brown, J. D. (2001) Using Surveys in Language Programs, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge

Campbell, F. (2006) Occupational Stress in the Construction Industry, Berkshire, UK: Chartered Institute of Building

Chan, Y.S.I and Leung, M.Y. (2009) Optimizing Stress and Performance of Hong Kong Construction Professionals, VDM Verlag, Germany

Cox, T and Mackay, C.J. (ed) (1979) Response to Stress – Occupational Aspects, Guildford: IPC Science & Technology Press

Dainty, A. R. J., Neale, R. H. and Bagilhole, B.M. (1999) 'Women's careers in large construction companies: Expectations unfulfilled?', Career Development, International, 4 (7), 353-357

Goldenhar, L., Williams, L. and Swanson, N. (2003) 'Modeling relationships between job stressors and injury and near-miss outcomes for construction labourers', Journal of Work and Stress, 17 (3), 218-240,

Halkos, G and Bousinakis, D. (2010) 'The effect of stress and satisfaction on productivity', International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, 59 (5), 415 - 431

Haq, Z., Iqbal, Z., and Rahman, A. (2008) 'Job stress among community health workers: A multi-method study from Pakistan', International Journal of Mental Health Systems, 15 (2), 1-8

Health and Safety Executive (2007) Tackling Work Related Stress: A Manger's Guide to Improving and Maintaining Employee Health and Well-Being. Sudbury: HSE Books

Karasek, R.A.Jr. and Theorell, T. (1990) Healthy Work: Stress, Productivity, and the Reconstruction of Working Life. New York: Basic Books

Kenneth, H.R. (2005) Project Quality Management – Why, What and How, E-books on-line, J.R. Publishing

Lath, S.K. (2010) 'A Study of the occupational stress among teachers', International Journal of Education Administration, 2 (2), 421-432

Larzarus, R.S. (1966) Psychological Stress and the Coping Process, McGraw-Hills, New York

Leiter, M. P. (1991) 'Coping Patterns as Predictors of Burnout: The Function of Control and Escapist Coping Patterns', Journal of Organisational Behavior, 12 (2), 123-144,

Leung, M.Y., Chan Y.S. and Yuen K.W. (2010) 'Impacts of stressors and stress on the injury incidents of construction workers in Hong Kong', Journal of Construction Engineering and Management, ASCE, 136 (10), 1093-1103,

Leung, M.Y., Chan Y.S., Chong A. and Shem J. (2008) 'Developing structural integrated stressor–stress models for client's and contractor's cost engineers', Construction Engineering and Management, ASCE, 134 (8), 635-643,

Leung, M.Y., Sham J. and Chan Y.S. (2007) 'Adjusting stressors – job demand stress in preventing rustout/burnout on estimators', Surveying and Built Environment, 18 (1), 17-26

Leung, M. Y., Ng, S. T., Skitmore, M. and Cheung, S. O. (2005) 'Critical stressors influencing construction estimators in Hong Kong', Construction Management and Economics, 23, 33-43,

Lin, R and Chan, C (2009) 'Effects of heat on workers' health and productivity in Taiwan', Journal of Global Health Action, .2, 1-6, viewed 16th May, 2010

Lingard, H. and Francis, V. (2004) 'The work-life experiences of office and site-based employees in the Australian construction industry', Construction Management and Economics, 22, 991-1002,

Lingard, H., Yip, B., Rowlinson, S. and Kvan, T. (2006) 'Burnout among future construction professionals: a cross-national study', Construction Management and Economics, 24, 335-337

Loosemore, M. and Waters, T. (2004) 'Gender difference in occupational stress among professionals in the construction industry', Journal of Management in Engineering, 20 (3), 126-132,

McVicar, A. (2003) 'Workplace stress in nursing: A literature review', Journal of Advanced Nursing, 44 (6), 633-642,

Martino, V.D and Musri, M (2001) Guidance for the Prevention of Stress and Violence at Work Place. Kuala Lumpur, Department of Occupational Safety and Health, Malaysia

Maslach, C., Jackson, S. E. and Leiter, M. P. (1996) Maslach Burnout Inventory Manual, 3rd ed, Palo Alto, CA, Consulting Psychologists Press

Maslach, C. Schaufeli, W. B. and Leiter, M. P. (2001) 'Job burnout', Annual Review of Psychology, 52, 397-422,

Melia, J.L. and Becerril, M. (2007) 'Psychological sources of stress and burnout in the construction sector: A structural equation model', Psicothema, 19 (4), 679-686

Ng, S.T., Skitmore, R. M. and Leung, T. K. (2005) 'Manageability of stress among construction project participants', Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, 12 (3) 264-282,

Pulat, B. (1997) Fundamentals of Industrial Ergonomics, 2nded, Prosect Heights, Illinois, Waveland Press

Statt, D.A. (1994) Psychology and the World of Work, Basingstoke, Macmillan

Seyle, H. (1978) The Stress of Life, 2nd ed, New York, McGraw-Hills

Somerfield, M. R. and McCrae, R. R. (2000) 'Stress and coping research', American Psychologist, 55 (6) 620-625,

Sutherland, V and Davidson, M. (1989) 'Stress among construction site managers – a preliminary study', Stress Medicine, 5, 221-235,

Wahab, A. B (2010) 'Stress management among artisans in construction industry in Nigeria', Global Journal of Researches in Engineering, 10 (1) 93-103

Whetten, D. A. and Cameron, K. S. (1991) Developing Management Skills, 2nded, Harper Collins, New York, NY, 23-35

Wong, J., Toe, M.and Cheng, Y. K. (2010) 'Cultural determinants of stress in the construction industry' in Proceedings of 2010 International Conference on Construction and Real Estate Management, 1-3 December 2010, Brisbane, Queensland, viewed 12th March, 2011 from

Yip, B., Rowlinson, S., Kvan, T. and Lingard, H. (2005) 'Job burnout within the Hong Kong construction industry: A cultural perspective' in Proceedings of the CIB W92/T23/W107 International Symposium on Procurement Systems held at Las Vegas, Nevada, USA