Human resource management in construction Edited by Andrew Dainty and Martin Loosemore, 2nd ed. Routledge, London, 2012. ISBN 978-0-415-59307-6, 296pp, £30 (pb)
Publisher’s description: The construction sector is one of the most complex and problematic arenas within which to manage people. As a result, the applicability of much mainstream human resource management (HRM) theory to this industry is limited. Indeed, the operational realities faced by construction organizations mean that all too often the needs of employees are subjugated by performance concerns. This has potentially dire consequences for those who work in the industry, for the firms that employ them and ultimately, for the prosperity and productivity of the industry as a whole. In this new edition of their leading text, Andrew Dainty and Martin Loosemore have assembled a collection of perspectives which critically examine key aspects of the HRM function in the context of contemporary construction organizations. Rather than simply update the previous edition, the aim of this second edition is to provide a more critical commentary on the ways in which the industry addresses the HRM function and how this affects those who work within the industry. To this end, the editors have gathered contributions from many of the leading thinkers within construction HRM to critique the perspectives presented in the first edition. Each contributor either tackles specific aspects of the HRM function, or provides a critical commentary on industry practice. The authors explain, using real-life case studies, how construction firms respond to the myriad pressures that they face through their HRM practices. Together the contributions encourage the reader to rethink the HRM function and its role in defining the employment relationship.