CEM212-International Construction Labour Markets: Migrant Workers and Emerging Economies

Module Provider: School of Construction Management and Engineering, School of Built Environment
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded: CEM103 Project Management: Principles and Practice CEM104 Construction Cost Management: Principles and Practice CEM106 Sustainable Heat and Power CEM107 Sustainable Design and Management Principles and Practice
Module version for: 2017/8

Module Convenor: Dr Dylan Tutt

Email: d.e.tutt@reading.ac.uk

Summary module description:
‘Emerging economies’ are a highly heterogeneous mix. Oil rich countries are often grouped along with the newly industrialised countries and even declining economies. While globalisation, urbanisation and infrastructure renewal is expected to stimulate growth in emerging markets over the next decade, there are also common accompanying problems of geographical and societal inequality, cultural dislocation and labour exploitation. Construction is a labour-intensive industry, but issues of implementing effective OH&S and construction management (especially of vulnerable workers) are particularly crucial where the huge potential of markets for investment are accompanied by huge resources of low cost labour. This module will encourage a critical examination of international construction labour markets and the role of migrant workers and emerging economies.

This module will help students develop and broaden perspectives on construction labour markets and the recruitment and management of migrant workers in emerging economies.
The ‘emerging economies’ represent wide economic, social and political disparities, but can often share common construction opportunities and challenges. The module will therefore involve social, cultural and political economic analysis, rather than remaining within a particular construction management sub-discipline. Attempts will be made to consider macro-level environments of emerging markets and project-based and company perspectives, and set this against grounded narratives of individual working lives

Assessable learning outcomes:
At the completion of this module, the student will have greater knowledge and understanding of:
• The impact of globalisation on construction employment relations in specific contexts.
• The ways that major construction industries operate in emerging economies to achieve and maintain competitive advantage.
• Procurement and how the methods differ according to economic, social and political disparities and client perspectives.
• How to develop an analysis of employment relations at different levels, and to relate and connect the workings of states and companies with labour markets and real working lives.
• The contingency of labour-capital relations in time and space, and the characteristics of migrant labour in different emerging economies.
• How to critically analyse information and texts written from divergent perspectives.

Additional outcomes:

Outline content:
The module will cover the following topics:

‘Emerging economies’ in flux: diverse definitions and shifting workforces:
• Diversity of emerging markets as they integrate with the global economy. Including, BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China); South East Asia; Eastern Europe etc.
• The importance of migrant flows of labour into/out of emerging nations.
• Case studies and strategies of managing migrant workforce
• How migrant workers stimulate emerging economies/ remittance etc.

Key labour force challenges in emerging markets:
• Market challenges: recruiting and keeping skilled resources.
• Construction companies in emerging markets: competing for qualified talent.
• Emerging economies challenge: Changing demographics, aging workforce.
• Multinationals from developed countries tapping into emerging markets, domestic and foreign investors in emerging markets, indigenous responses etc.
• How should companies from developed markets approach and utilise opportunities created by the globalization of emerging markets?

Industrial relations and employment relations:
• Employment relations and legislation
• Examine policy debates, within governments, industry, trade unions etc. regarding migrant workers, 'managed migration' of low-paid workers and its effects etc.
• Managing diversity and cultural dynamics
• Business ethics
• Informal economies: Informal routes to work and the business of labour intermediaries, recruiters and providers of temporary work.

Occupational safety & health management in emerging economies:
• Importance as a strategic enabler for sustained economic growth alongside improving societal wellbeing (esp. important where huge potential of markets for investment are accompanied by huge resources of low cost labour).
• Cultural difference and changes in OHS culture in emerging economies
• Case Studies: e.g. Shifou Mountain footpath, China

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
This module will be taught by lectures, tutorial discussions and seminars, some of which will involve selected practitioners and specialist experts in aspects of international construction and labour markets. A particular focus will be placed on learning to critically deconstruct accepted concepts, practices and principles.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 20
Seminars 6
Tutorials 4
Guided independent study 70
Total hours by term 100.00
Total hours for module 100.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 90
Oral assessment and presentation 10

Other information on summative assessment:

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:
Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the University policy. Please refer to page 5 of the Postgraduate Guide to Assessment for further information: http://www.reading.ac.uk/internal/exams/student/exa-guidePG.aspx

Length of examination:

Requirements for a pass:
A mark of 50% overall

Reassessment arrangements:
Students are required to contact the School to confirm reassessment arrangements.

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
1) Required text books:
2) Specialist equipment or materials:
3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
4) Printing and binding:
5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

Last updated: 31 March 2017

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