Human resource management in the construction industry – Sustainability competencies
While environmental sustainability has been the subject of much debate in the last decade, it was not until recently that attention started to shift towards human resource management as an enabler for sustainability. Yet, this is still a relatively under researched area. Much is still unknown about the role of an individual worker in contributing towards sustainable development. This paper addresses the gap by proposing a framework to measure sustainability competencies of employees within the construction industry sector. As part of the framework, four proficiency levels together with relevant descriptions are defined for a total of eight sustainability competencies. Suggested proficiency levels are then mapped to main construction related jobs based on the framework. An example is also given to illustrate the manner in which competencies should be assessed. This framework is original and of practical use to construction managers and human resource practitioners.
Bevan, S. and Thompson, M. 1992, An Overview of Policy and Practice. Performance Management in the UK: An Analysis of the Issues, Institute of Personnel Management, London.
Bratton, J. and Gold, J. 2003, Human Resource Management Theory and Practice 3rd Edition, Palgrave Macmillan, UK.
Centre for International Economics Canberra and Sydney 2007, 'Embodied carbon metrics will avoid higher than desired carbon content and additional costs', London, viewed 24 March 2012,
CRC Construction Innovation 2004, 'Construction 2020: a vision for Australia's property and construction industry, Australia, viewed 19 March 2012,
Dahl, A. L. 2012, 'Achievements and gaps in indicators for sustainability, Ecological Indicators, 17, 14-19.
Deming, W. E. 1982, Out of the crisis: Quality Productivity and Competitive Position, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
Dingsdag, D. P., Biggs, H. C. Sheahan, V. L. and Cipolla, D. J. 2006, 'A construction safety competency framework: improving OH & S performance by creating and maintaining a safety culture', CRC for Construction Innovation, Brisbane, Queensland.
Druker, J. and White, G. 2002, 'Misunderstood and undervalued? Personnel management in construction', Human Resource Management Journal, 5 (3), 77-91.
Dunphy, D. and Griffiths, A. 1998, The Sustainable Corporation, Allen Unwin, Sydney.
Harmon, J., Fairfield, K. D. and Wirtenberg, J. 2010, 'Missing an opportunity: HR leadership and sustainability', People and Strategy, 33 (1), 16-21.
Loosemore, D., Dainty, A. and Lingard, H. 2003, Human Resource Management in Construction Projects: Strategic and Operational Approaches, Spon Press, New York.
McGregor, D. 1960, The Human Side of Enterprise: McGraw-Hill, New York.
Newell, S. and Shackleton, V. 2000, Recruitment and Selection, Blackwell Publishers Ltd, UK.
Spooner, K. and Kaine, S. 2010, 'Defining sustainability and human resource management', International Employment Relations Review, 16 (2), 70-81.
Storey, J. 1992, Developments in the Management of Human Resources, Blackwell Publishers Ltd, Oxford, UK.
Wilkinson, A., Hill, M. and Gollan, P. 2001, 'The sustainability debate', International Journal of Operations and Production Management, 21 (12), 1492-1502.
Wirtenberg, J., Harmon, J., Russell, W. G. and Fairfield, K. D. 2007, 'HR's role in building a sustainable enterprise: insights from some of the world's best companies', Human Resource Planning, 30 (1), 1-13.
Metrics powered by PLOS ALM