Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Heuristic decision-making model for electrical foremen when workflow is disrupted
by Pandey, Arjun R., Ph.D., Illinois Institute of Technology, 2016, 157; 10133676
Abstract (Summary)

The decision-making process used by construction foremen at a job site when the workflow is disrupted was investigated in this study. The foremen’s decision-making process was mapped and then modeled to a heuristic model. This study focuses on cognitive decision or psychological heuristic models. The study shows that construction foremen use a heuristic decision model in their decision-making. The capability of heuristic to yield fast decision is very useful in construction because it is common for a construction foreman to experience several disruptions during the course of a single workday. With heuristic decision-making, a work-around decision can be rapidly and effectively made following a construction site disruption. Understanding the ability of heuristics to facilitate rapid and effective decision-making will help the construction industry to save time and increase productivity.

Research was conducted in order to map a decision process that foremen were using in their decision-making and to develop a model for a heuristic decision-making process. Interviews were conducted with 22 construction foremen in the electrical trade in 88 real disruption cases in order to understand how decisions were made after disruptions occurred. Interviews were subsequently conducted with 10 additional industry foremen in 10 real disruption cases to validate the data. Using this data, a heuristic decision-making model was developed. To validate this model, a survey was conducted with another 11 industry foremen. The findings indicate that construction foremen currently use a heuristic decision-making model known as “determinant decision attribute” (referred to as DDA) heuristics model. This DDA heuristic model was compared to the similar model with equal weighing and elimination by aspects (referred to as EW/EBA) to assess the performance of the heuristic. The DDA heuristic model correctly predicted, on average, 91% of the time what foremen’s decisions were as to which decision task to choose to assign or re-assign to crew members. Whereas, the EW/EBA model correctly predicted, on average, 82% of the time, the foremen’s decisions. A computer program was also developed for DDA heuristic model to help foremen expedite the process of their decision-making.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Arditi, David, Menches, Cinday
Commitee: Fu, Gongkang, Mohammadi, Jamshid, Morris, Scott
School: Illinois Institute of Technology
Department: Civil, Architectural, and Environmental Engineering
School Location: United States -- Illinois
Source: DAI-B 77/11(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Civil engineering
Keywords: Decision attributes, Decision-making, Disruption, Heuristic, Work-around, Workflow
Publication Number: 10133676
ISBN: 978-1-339-92251-5
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