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Chan, I Y S, Leung, M-y and Yuan, T (2014) Structural relationships between cultural values and coping behaviors of professionals in the stressful construction industry. Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, 21(02), 133-51.

  • Type: Journal Article
  • Keywords: Construction professionals; Coping behaviours; Cultural values; Emotion-focused; Problem-focused
  • ISBN/ISSN: 0969-9988
  • URL: https://doi.org/10.1108/ECAM-07-2012-0069
  • Abstract:
    Purpose – Coping behaviors are a popular area of research in relation to construction professionals, who are often compelled to face a great deal of stress while striving for good performance in a dynamic and demanding industry. The effectiveness of various coping behaviors on stress and performance of construction professionals have long been identified. However, factors associating with individual adoption of various coping behaviors are still uncertain. People from different cultural environments have different values and hence different preferences for coping strategies, which have different effects on construction professionals. Hence, the papers’ primary contribution to the overall body of knowledge is the establishment of statistical evidence that desired cultural values of construction professionals can influence their adoption of coping behaviors. The paper aims to discuss these issues. Design/methodology/approach – A questionnaire survey was designed and conducted to investigate the relationships between cultural values and coping behaviors of construction professionals in Hong Kong (HK). Surveys were distributed to 500 HK construction professionals by fax, e-mail, or personal contact. Of these, 139 were returned, giving a response rate of 28.0 percent. Based on the data collected, a series of systematic statistical analyses, including factor analyses, regression analysis and structural equation modeling (SEM), were conducted using SPSS 15.0 and Lisrel 8.5. Findings – Based on the results of factor analyses and regression analysis, a SEM was developed which reveals the following: first, interpersonal integration triggers planful problem solving; second, a disciplined work ethos triggers positive reappraisal and alleviates emotional discharge; and third, interpersonal integration triggers a disciplined work ethos. A series of personal-, interpersonal-, task-, and organizational-level recommendations are given on how to encourage construction stakeholders to adopt adaptive coping behaviors through cultivating their cultural values. Originality/value – The current study adopted a series of systematic analysis approaches to provide empirical support of how Chinese values of construction professionals predict their adoption of various coping behaviors in the dynamic and stressful industry. Since different coping behaviors have different impact on performance of construction professionals, the findings provide indications for future studies on enhancing performance through the cultivation of various cultural values and the coping behaviors they thereby adopt.