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Camaraderie and the ‘craic’ : exposing blue-collar relationships in the UK construction industry

Murray, Michael and Langford, David (2006) Camaraderie and the ‘craic’ : exposing blue-collar relationships in the UK construction industry. In: Proceedings of Joint CIB W065 / 055 / WO86 Symposium,, 2006-08-18 - 2006-08-22.

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Anecdotal evidence suggests that the construction industry workforce have a propensity to experience ‘camaraderie’ during their working day. The mutual trust between these blue-collar workers, associated with camaraderie, can cement a lasting bond between colleagues. This foundation of trust can manifest itself in behaviour that can lead to the establishment of group norms that can have both a positive and negative impact on productivity levels within a project i.e. the practice of ‘soldiering’, as exposed by Frederick Taylor almost a century ago continues to be practiced by construction operatives seeking overtime to boost their wage packets. Conversely, the hostile conditions often associated with construction projects can bond colleagues together in adversity against either the management and /or the task at hand and may have an influence on both personal and project performance. This paper seeks to uncover the variables associated with camaraderie amongst blue-collar construction workers by providing insights that will inform the next phase of the project.