Date of Award
Master of Construction Science and Management (MCSM)
Construction Science and Management
The construction industry in the United States is currently facing significant workforce shortages. This issue is compounded by several challenges, including the slower hiring pace of younger generations compared to the retirement of baby boomers. Generation Z (Gen Z) has shown less interest in joining the construction industry, exacerbating the problem. A systematic literature review was conducted toa identify overlaps and gaps between the current construction industry workforce's perceptions of the industry and preferences of Gen Z. Based on the literature review, work-life balance or “Work-life Coexistence (WLC)" was identified as the most preferred factor for Gen Z. The traditional definition of work-life balance has been redefined as work-life coexistence, and 21 factors that contribute to defining WLC have been identified based on the literature review. The goal of this study is to compare work-life coexistence factors between Gen Z expectations and current industry practices. A survey was created and distributed among Gen Z students born between 1996 – 2015, as well as construction industry professionals. The collected survey data, consisting of ordinal data, was analyzed using the R-Project Software. On the Gen Z survey, the weighted mean of each factor was calculated, and comparisons among different groups were made through Kruskal-Wallis tests and Dunn's tests with Holm's method for pairwise comparisons. Then, findings from Gen Zs preferences are compared to the industry's policies and practices of WLC finding. It shows Gen Z values work-life coexistence highly but feels the industry undervalues this. They favor a traditional workweek, yet face industry emphasis on flexible scheduling and shared roles—less valued by Gen Z. While the industry favors per diem and performance incentives, and salary with no overtime payment, Gen Z prefers salary with overtime compensation. However, there's strong industry alignment with Gen Z on professional growth, and commendable organizational support. Addressing these discrepancies is vital to attract and retain the emerging generation of workers.
Amiri, Ameenullah, "Work-Life Coexistence in the Age of Gen Z: A Comprehensive Examination of Expectations and Industry Realities" (2023). All Theses. 4178.
Author ORCID Identifier
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