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Subjective and objective stress in construction cost estimation

  • Leung, Mei-Yung
  • Skitmore, Martin
  • Chan, Yee Shan
Publication Date
Oct 01, 2007
Queensland University of Technology ePrints Archive
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Cost estimators play an important role in an organization, as they produce the majority of predictions of probable final construction cost. Care is needed as both under and overestimates can be costly. The nature of the task is also such that the work has to be done in a restricted amount of time. It is likely, therefore, that the people involved are likely to experience a considerable amount of mental and emotional stress as a result. Types of stress can be divided into objective stress (OS), occurring as a result of events experienced, and subjective stress (SS) and emotional exhaustion (EE), which are a function of the demands of the situation created by those events. Since stress may be influenced by different stressors, and subsequently affect the type of stress management needed, the research described in this paper examined the relationships between OS, SS, EE and stressors by a survey of 73 construction cost estimation personnel. T-test, factor analysis, correlation analysis and linear regression analysis were applied to identify differences between the professional estimators and other personnel and the types of stress endured. The results indicate that the stress levels of both the professional estimators and other personnel are similar, with OS being significantly higher than SS, which is in turn significantly higher than EE. For professional estimators, increased levels of OS were found to be mainly associated with workload, lack of autonomy and inappropriate feedback. Increased SS and EE, on the other hand, appeared to be a function of conflict (team/value/family), distrust, inappropriate feedback, and unfair reward and treatment.

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