Labour in Construction

Subject ABPL90332 (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2016:

July, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 25-Jul-2016 to 27-Aug-2016
Assessment Period End 09-Sep-2016
Last date to Self-Enrol 01-Aug-2016
Census Date 05-Aug-2016
Last date to Withdraw without fail 26-Aug-2016

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 36 hours
Total Time Commitment:

170 hours


Admission into one of the following courses:

MC-CM Master of Construction Management
MC-CONMG2Y Master of Construction Management (200 points)
MC-CONMG3Y Master of Construction Management (300 points)

Or approval from the subject coordinator.

Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge:
Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support:


Assoc Prof Valerie Francis



The Eastern Precinct (building 138)
(between Doug McDonell building and Eastern Resource Centre)

Current Student:

Subject Overview:

The construction industry is not only one of the largest employment sectors globally but also one of the most dynamic and complex industrial settings. The industry relies heavily on the skill set of a wide range of workers who are employed within diverse industry settings. This subject investigates the effective management of construction’s most important resource – its people. Overall it explores the importance of human resource management (HRM) in order to develop a high level of consistency between organisational and individual needs.

The subject begins by looking at contextual factors which influence the supply of workers and the management of this resource. A history of industrial relations, as it relates to construction, is provided along with an examination of industrial relations on construction projects today. Employment legislation as it applies in the Australian context is also presented. Individual and team based theories and models of organisational behaviour are then examined and human resource management theories and their key functions are presented providing students with current theoretical approaches to people management. Issues specific to the construction industry such as communication and teamwork; conflict management, negotiation and resolution; employee motivation and retention; organisational and project cultures; ethics and ethical behaviour; equal opportunity and diversity; work-life balance; career development and mentoring are also covered. This subject covers briefly some aspects of occupational health and safety (OHS) of workers (for instance psychological risks) but not issues such as legislation, statutory responsibilities of employers or current theories within OHS management.

Note: Students are expected to complete up to 100 pages of course readings and any other course preparation as outlined on the LMS. The LMS will become available earlier than the start date of the subject.

Learning Outcomes:

On completion of this subject, students should be able to:

  • Understand the a range of human resource management concepts related to contemporary management practice within construction.
  • Appreciate the different viewpoints of managers and construction workers on employment issues.
  • Compare and contrast different approaches to the management of people in construction.
  • Assignment involving individual component (due in week 2) and group presentation (from week 3 onwards during teaching period). This involves a critique of readings relating to various labour topics and is equivalent to 1000 words (20%). Each student will work on one topic only and timing of presentation will depend on student topic selection.
  • Essay equivalent to 2000 words (40%) due in week 6, focussing on a contemporary industrial relations issue within construction employment.
  • Two hour examination equivalent to 2000 words during week 7 (40%) focussing on a wide range of human resource management issues covered during the course relating the employment of construction workers and construction staff in the construction industry.

Hurdle requirement: A minimum mark of 40% has to be achieved in the examination in order to pass this subject.

Prescribed Texts: None
Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

Upon successful completion of this subject students will have had the opportunity to develop the following generic skills:

  • Advanced analytical skills
  • Research skills
  • Communication skills
  • Problem solving skills
  • Team working skills
Links to further information:
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Building
Building Systems and Trade Specialties
Corporate Management
Melbourne School of Design multidisciplinary elective subjects
Project Management
Research and Development

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