Case Study: Construction Industry in Iran Current Obstacles and Possible Solutions

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Construction Industry in Iran - Current Obstacles and Possible Solutions

The Construction Industry in Iran: Current Obstacles and Possible Solutions

Case Studies

The construction industry in Iran has many problems, but there are also chances to see solutions presented. Some of the areas where difficulties are currently being seen include economic issues and financing, building materials, education, international sanctions, design, how construction operates, & civil rights. However, when it comes to these problems, there are people in the construction industry in countries other than Iran who have successfully corrected these kinds of problems, and/or avoided them. Examined here will be case studies that relate to these issues, and the ways in which some of them were (and could be) solved both now and in the future.

Economic Issues and Financing

When it comes to economic issues and the financing of construction, how to pay for projects that are being constructed and how to ensure that money will be available for them until completion are both serious issues for many countries (Finkel, 1997). Fortunately, there are several ways in which the project can go forward and be completed. One way is through the use of apprentices, instead of hiring only fully-skilled labor (Gitter, 1985). The apprentices are paid, but they do not make as much money as someone with years of experience. Because they are watched over by highly-skilled individuals, they do not make many mistakes - but they do cost significantly less. However, one has to be careful about wage laws, to ensure that everyone is paid correctly and fairly (Gould & Bittlingmayer, 1980). Not payment of workers could become a problem otherwise, and the work would come to a halt until the workers in question were paid what they were owed.

Building Materials

Building materials have often been a source of problems for the construction industry. They have to be of good quality everywhere they are used, and they have to be stored appropriately so as not to cause damage, danger, or harm to people and surroundings. One of the biggest problems faced by large companies is the materials that are delivered when there are multiple sites and/or many ongoing projects (Smith, 1998). This is an issue because it is hard to keep track of the materials and make sure that quality control stays high. With that in mind, substandard materials can get used, and no one will notice. They simply use what is delivered, because they assume it is the correct thing to be using. Especially on multiple sites, quality control and the proper check-in of materials is absolutely key to ensuring that sub-standard materials are not passed off as being the right ones for the job, or as being high-quality when they are not (Smith, 1998).

Additionally, the way these materials are stored before use is also a subject of concern. Deaths have been caused because people (most notably children) like to play around construction sites (Steinberg, 1999). Changes must be made to make materials, and the entire site, more secure. That does not necessarily mean that someone will not deliberately do what it takes to break in, but it does mean that it will be more difficult to do so, and that there will be less likelihood of problems - as well as lowered liability for death of injury of someone if those things do occur (Steinberg, 1999).

Education

Teaching workers the appropriate techniques is a difficult issue to address. Sometimes, a different technique works better for a particular person. Still, people need to understand that certain techniques are used for a reason, and those are the techniques that need to be used consistently (Steiger, 1988). The labor process has to be organized and controlled, or there will be chaos, injury, unsafe buildings, and projects that do not get completed (Steiger, 1988). There have been suggestions that safety violators not be punished, but instead be educated, so that they understand the reasons behind their unsafe acts and also the reasons why those acts must not be committed in the future (Brinderson, 1997). Often, this education is more effective at stopping problems.

International Sanctions

When there are international sanctions against a company, there is often a good reason. With Iran, it is no secret why there are sanctions from other countries. Still, that makes the construction industry in Iran vulnerable to problems because it cannot work with as many other countries to get what it needs. That creates a lot of liability when it comes to keeping workers safe from harm. Worker safety is one of the most vital areas of construction (Gambatese, 1998). However, regulations of all kinds can make getting jobs and proper materials complex (Northrup & White, 1995). Iran must consider this carefully, because its actions are causing the sanctions, and the sanctions are hurting many different industries within the country, including the construction industry. Whether this is "worth it" is something that only the Iranian government can decide.

Design

The design of a building needs good architects and others who can plan how to build it correctly. If it does not have this, the building could be unsafe, unstable, poorly engineered, or simply look bad and not function the way it was intended. If that happens, the person for whom the building was intended will not be happy, and will seek legal remedy and compensation (Miscimarra & Altschul, 1997). When that takes place, the construction company who built the structure can face legal problems, up to and including bankruptcy if they lose their case to the building's owner. Additionally, a building needs proper design so it does not acquire damage from issues such as mold (Rautiala, Reponen, & Nevalainen, 1998). Those types of problems can ruin a building.

How Construction Operates

Construction has to operate properly. One thing that is done in some countries is to make the construction workers part of a union (Baskin, 1998). That can provide them with protection, but the employees also have to participate in what is around them and consider issues such as absenteeism and how it affects both them and the company (Cox, 1994). Missing a lot of work can get them fired, but it is also necessary to take a day off sometimes, because construction is very hard on a person's body (Krizan & Winston, 1996). If employees have a good union, they are given enough time off to rest and feel whole again, and they are treated properly, it is likely that they will be more apt to come to work as scheduled and perform their job duties. Employees need to be involved in the project they are creating, and have a sense of belonging, in order to continue to work at their maximum level (Maloney, 1961).

Civil Rights

The rights of the workers and the rights of the citizens are both valuable, and they both have to be taken into account where construction work is concerned. This fosters a bargaining structure (Cullen, 1980). Most bargaining is done between unions and employers, but there is no reason that other bargains cannot be addressed. The rights of employees and citizens to be treated fairly, however, is something all construction companies must consider (Korman, et al., 1998; Moccio, 1992). Workers who get hurt need fair compensation, and labor laws have to be carefully addressed (Roy, 1998; Lund, 1990). Often it is the civil rights of the citizens that are affected, but the rights of the workers are just as important and have to be properly addressed in order to avoid legal action and other problems.

Conclusion

It is easy to see that there have been many studies done and many cases addressed where the construction industry is concerned. That industry affects so many millions of people all over the world, and employees large numbers of people who love what they do and who would not want to do anything else with their lives. Because there are so many people involved in the construction trade, how a company handles that trade can affect the lives of many. This is true whether the country is focused on treating people fairly or unfairly, or whether the country simply doesn't have the resources to handle the construction industry correctly. With Iran, there is a lack of resources. However, there is also a lack of concern and knowledge. Little can be done about the resource issue, but knowledge can be gained and concern can be fostered. That will help the construction industry go farther.

References

Baskin, Maurice. "The case against union-only project labor agreements on government construction projects." Journal of Labor Research Winter 1998: 115-24.

Brinderson, Gary L. "Don't punish safety violators." ENR 17 November 1997: 93.

Cox, Robert Francis. Case Studies of Employee Participation Programs in Construction and their Effects on Absenteeism. Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University 1994.

Cullen, Donald and Feinberg, Louis. The Bargaining Structure in Construction: Problems and Prospects. U.S. Department of Labor Management Services Administration, 1980.

Finkel, Gerald. The Economics of the Construction Industry. Armonk, New… [END OF PREVIEW]

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