Business Essays - Turner Construction Engineering

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Turner Construction Engineering


Turner Construction is the firm under study here. Engineering Management as a tool to optimize business processes has come a long way with time in polishing the overall working model of various industries. This paper will look into three areas of concern and see how they have evolved with time in quality.

Job design is looked into with major theoretical advancement over the past few years and its implications in organizations. Employment models are looked into with a special focus on empowerment and the delegation of responsibilities in modern times and progressive organizations. Finally the product quality issue is analyzed with an analysis into technology, the way it is implemented to optimize/automate the quality insurance process.

Job Design - Increasing Job Satisfaction and Motivation

Understanding of motivation in terms of job design and employees has been the focus of many Books and Research Papers throughout the decades. It specially gained more attention by researchers after the publication of the infamous Hawthorne Study and its rather analytical results on all sorts of motivational theories. The major approaches that Terpstra focused on five pillars helped the understanding of all the major research that followed.

The five theories of motivation that aided this understanding were Maslow’s need-hierarchy theory, Herzberg’s two-factor theory, Vroom’s expectancy theory, Adam’s equity theory and Skinner’s reinforcement theory.Terpstra’s first pillar of theory was Maslow who believed that all employees have five levels of needs which included physiological, safety, social, ego and self actualizing. He argued that the satisfaction of lower needed was a pre requisite before the desire of next level was needed.

This hierarchy of need was emphasized on basis of its relative direction as well as interdependence at times not to mention the context in which it must be applied in the developed, industrialized world by Terpstra. Maslow himself laid great emphasis on providing a rather refreshing side to the human mentality at a time when Freud’s dark and dingy theory was dominant, who believed that human beings were lazy animals (Carl, 2004).

Herzberg’s had an entirely different way of looking at the categorization of human motivation into two factors which were motivators and hygiene’s. The belief was that Motivator or intrinsic factors included a sense of achievement and an air of recognition which produced satisfaction in the overall job design for the employees. Hygiene or extrinsic factors were the second factor which was able to instill a sense of security and satisfaction in the job through elements such as job security and pay/bonuses. Vroom’s theory based itself on the belief that effort by employees lead to performance which in return produced rewards.

He believed that these rewards may be in nature, either positive or negative in nature. If the rewards are positive it infers a higher level of motivation in the employees while in the other hand negative rewards would reap a less likely sense of motivation in the employees. Adam believed in his research that all employees strive for equality and equity between themselves and the workers in the premise/firm.

Equity can be achieved, he believed, through the calculation of ratio of outcomes of employee over inputs and its comparison to the outcomes over inputs of all the other employees. He felt this was the analytically just way of keeping a sense of justice and motivation in all employees. Skinner put forward a rather simplified motivation theory forward which based itself on the theory of positive and negative reinforcement in which he believed that all those employees’ behaviors which lead to positive outcomes should be repeated and this probability of repetition will be increased with positive reinforcement by the managers.

In Turner, therefore, Managers negatively reinforce all sorts of behaviors which lead to a rather negative outcome. Industrial Psychologists do not, academically speaking, justify the existence of relationship that may existence between satisfaction of job and performance of the very job.

It has, however, been found in a lot of case studies that a positive attitude in mood relates to higher results and levels in performance and job satisfaction itself. The level of motivation henceforth can be implied, has a link with job satisfaction. Motivation on the other hand has a proven link to job performance as seen in the motivation-performance section of the literature review.

Environmental Protection

The firm made sure all policies take into account the protection of environment. The join concerns shared included first and foremost the potential dangers that were associated with the growing development across the global. These dangers include the degradation of natural environment, structures of society as well as the very cultural heritage of the regions. It was agreed that the lack of protection and value for biological diversity was also a matter of grave concern in the face of seeking a better and responsible image.

It was jointly called for that the value of nature must be upheld henceforth calling for the conservation of species and diversity of ecosystem so as to make sure that the equilibrium of the region in nature is maintained. Vulnerable areas which included islands, mountains and terrestrial ecosystems were considered as needing outstanding steps for their conservations. It was a joint declaration that this achievement of a sustainable form of development is in fact an ethical responsibility of all the stakeholders that are involved ranging from governments to the organizations such as world development organizations and non profits working in respective regions.

The regulations declared the intention to work together with all the stakeholders so as to elaborate the rules and guidelines in a way that they harmonize with the conservation of the ecosystem and nature of region involved. Planning and measures should be developed for the provision of strong infrastructure relating to development as well as operations which may have strong impacts on the biological diversity (Beatley, 2003).

Direct as well as indirect relationships shall be identified. All modes of transport as well as the very framework within which development is developed are to be environmentally friendly. Conscious efforts must be made to reduce any sort impacts which transports may have on the environment Private Sector should be encouraged and rewarded for steps which promote sustainable development. In the same way any steps which are unfriendly to the environment must be punished with the abolition of incentives given the private sector and in extreme cases with legal action.

Development must also be developed in a direction which benefits the inhabitants of the community including the very economy lying at the core and potential workforce. All stakeholders sat down from the development industry as well as all other areas related to it to declare the need to shape sustainable development around the globe. The following were seen as important to encourage sustainable development:

  • To make sure all sorts of negative impacts on the culture, society and environment are countered
  • To work in a framework which comes up with maximum economic benefits for the very inhabitants of the region improving the quality of life and working conditions
  • The declaration decided to empower the subject and people with the ability to have a say in the very decision that has an effect on their own lives and the overall picture.
  • Put soft pressures on all authorities to take steps that work towards the conservation of the heritage that exists in terms of nature and culture for the overall conservation of the diversity of the world.
  • To make sure that all development activities are sensitive to the physically challenged people as well
  • Reinforced the information and results provided by the Development Industry Report of 2002 as well as the work of UNEP related to sustainable development.
  • Work in a proper framework which enforces economic responsibility to calculate any sort of economic impact that it may have on the community. It should in no way disturb the resources used by the local inhabitants.
  • Equitable practices to be enforced where in business ethics are taken care of. All prices to be charged are fair and partnership evolved in a way that minimizes the elements of risk.
  • The framework under which social responsibility is to be enforced was defined in a generic and abstract way (Lynda, 2002).

It is greed upon that the need for sustainable development is one of the most important and deepest aspirations of the very inhabitant of any region. Development can be ambivalent and therefore, it was openly declared that the negative aspect of development no matter how financially rewarding it might be shall be eliminated where as the local culture and workforce will be encouraged. Development shall be fair in the distribution of wealth, income and benefit that comes out of it. The inhabitants, animals and human beings, shall be considered while designing the development plans and framework under which the implementations shall take place.

All relevant authorities, not just limited to the government, should take every action required to strengthen the aids that might be given to the development promotion projects. It must be made sure that the spending are transparent and are directed in a way which gives both social and culture benefits to the region instead of just running after financial gains. It is also important to recognize the entire international as well as regional jurisdiction within and outside the framework of development to make sure that no part of any legal aspect is violated.

Product Quality - Introduction of Technology

Modernization of Infrastructure

The Why

The current working model of Many Corporations lacks in marketing expertise and cost optimization. The running costs and the efficiency of the operations needs to be cut down through modernization of infrastructure for better knowledge management which will effectively aid the marketing department as well for better image building, client base building and market segmentation.

To work towards this improvement, the management must clearly define in quantitative and tangible terms what exactly needs to be improved in terms of modernization. The factors that must be taken into consideration include the when and how this change in terms of modernization should take place. Even Turner, which is a highly sophisticated working environment, works on this modernization from time to time with the following strategy.

The When:

Domain Experts of modernization will co operate with top managerial staff from the firm to make a Gantt chart which identifies measurable milestones which ultimately lead to the objective that this particular strategic change is aiming towards. Any change of this magnitude must take place at the right pace.

If the pace is too slow, the very core purpose of modernization might not come to life with the requirements of improvement in modernization coming to surface quicker than the previous one being met. On the other hand a quicker pace would mean the Human Resource not being able to deal with the new working model and obstacles in the adaptive measures taken by the firm. The pace should be very calculated and moderate so as to take the whole team in a corporation

The How:

Feasibility Reports must be requested from consultancy firms to understand and evaluate different budget/time issues. The optimum package which goes in parallel with both what the firm intends to do in terms of its objective and which protects it from the precautions stated ahead should be selected.

We face two options as far as the integration of the modernized logistic setup with the current entity is concerned.

OPTION 1: The first option would be to wait till the whole objective set at the first stage of this particular strategic objective is completed in terms of manufacturing. This would follow the integration of the whole new setup with the current one.

OPTION 2: The second and more practical option would be to integrated smaller milestones with the current setup as to promote a smoother change for the Human Resource and avoid any sudden reaction from the firm in terms of a sudden U-Turn of logistics approach. This would also allow for a regular critical self assessment of how this shift towards a more modernized approach is going and allows for a much improvement state of the logistics technology by the end of the time line for this particular objective. The management is advised to follow the option 2 for a better and smoother transition of the firm towards the new set of technologies

One of the major challenges that this strategic opportunity faces is the possible backfire-reaction that may take place on behalf of the human resource. Following are the steps that must be taken place to make sure that the very human resource that are going to use this technology are taken into confidence.

Intimating Stakeholders and HR with Change

It is imperative to spread the official word around in all sectors of Stakeholders ranging from the grassroots level human resource to the higher officials of the US Forces with the intentions of this change. Seeing as how this is a positive step which will be taken with open arms in general, it would help spread awareness of the change before it takes place, take the human resource into confidence as well as allow them to feel a part of the very decision of this change.

Take feedback from the whole hierarchy of HR regarding this change which would help direct this change in a way which co ordinates with both the objective of the firm and the mentality of the very stakeholders of this firm. This will also help instill a sense of confidence in the HR upon the implementation phase of the change.


This paper looked into three major areas of Engineering Management through the lens of progression over the past few years in Turner. Job design has progressed in theory as well as practical fields, introducing and emphasizing the importance of motivation in employees in the overall job design itself. Employee Empowerment has crept into the framework of employment models shunning the age old concept of infantilization and technology has gone a long way in automating procedures of quality assurance.

The paper looked into the whys, whens and hows, the training procedures and the overall implications of such issues in Engineering Management. It is safe to say that Engineering Management has evolved a lot in modern times and continue to do so with the passage of time. The Management at Turner has made full use of all three of these concepts, putting them into practical use and getting the best out of their engineering work model.


  • Carl M.Chang (2004) Engineering Management: Challenges In The New Millennium, Prentice Hall
  • Gollan, P.J. (2004). Employee involvement and participation – human resource sustainability and high involvement management. Developing High Performances Workplaces Seminar. Sydney: Macquarie Applied Finance Centre.
  • Wood, S. (1996). High commitment management and payment systems. Journal of Management Studies, 33(1), 53-78.