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Business Research Assignment: Impact Of Labour Shortage Within Australian Construction Industry


Conduct a thorough research and prepare a business research assignment critically investigating the impact of labour shortage in Australian construction industry due to negative cash flow.


According to Dixit, Mandal, Thanikal & Saurabh (2019), it is stated herein business research assignment that the construction industry is known to be experiencing a shortage within the skilled labourers consisting of the expected for taking this in the coming years. In recent days, some of the new apprentices within the construction industry might become insufficient for taking over with the work of a less active or rather retiring of the skilled labourers. There is also known to be a shortage within the skilled labourers of the respective industry which can potentially comprise negative effects within the construction organisations that might be damaging within the longer term. Australia has been planning for the projects of infrastructure and rail across the country. Once it has been completed, Australia can make the commuting much easier regarding the passengers of Australia. Nevertheless, the construction and building industry has been struggling through a massive shortage of labour.

It has been evidenced that being paid within a proper time can result in being harder for all the time and understanding for the way each of the clients pays is seen to be critical for the maintenance of a positive flow of cash within the business (Yap, Chow & Shavarebi, 2019). The poor clients who are paid have been causing many problems regarding the organisations within the construction industry. The tip within this has always been to ensure that one must stay at the top of the payment dates and cash flows as well. Thus, cash flow is known to impact each and every aspect for the construction project along with the process of implementation within the construction industry of Australia. The shortages of cash might lead to failure of projects along with business bankruptcy as well. Thus, the patterns and trends of negative cash flow have not been examined closely. Thus, the present study emphasizes on the shortage of skilled labours within the Australian construction industry because of the negative flow of cash.

Refined problem statement, Aim, Objectives and Scope
The present paper mainly investigates the impact of labour shortage within the Australian construction industry due to a negative flow of cash. As stated by Sanni-Anibire, Mohamad Zin & Olatunji (2020), a shortage within the skilled labours can consist of poor impacts within the construction organisation that might continue in being damaging for a longer duration. There has also been a lack within the skilled labours which also leads to the difficulty based on these respective companies for completion of the jobs through fixation of a deadline and this might force them to turn down the projects as they are known to be ill-equipped. This can also become detrimental towards longevity along with the bottom line for construction business. However, a shortage within the local and skilled labours can also lead to the construction organisations that turn towards the foreign labours for meeting with the respective needs (Elazzazy, 2020). Thus, the present study highlights the Australian construction industry which has in recent days have faced shortages of skills within all the trades. Being an industry to be focussed within its workforce skills it has now been concerned about the productivity; quality and workmanship collaborated with the Australian standard which might inhibit both at the international and national level. Thus, the study signifies to address the influential factors that are concerned with the shortages of skills for the respective industry of Australia.

The aim of the research is to investigate the impact of shortage of skilled labour within the Australian construction industry due to negative cash flow. Thus, the focus of the present study has been within the construction industry of Australia.

Research objectives

  • To investigate the impact of negative cash flow in construction industry
  • To explore the challenges faced by the Australian construction industry
  • To analyse the factors affecting the performance related to construction projects
  • To examine the ways for mitigating the problems of construction industry

Research questions

  • How does negative cash flow impact the construction industry?
  • What are the challenges faced by the Australian construction industry?
  • What are the factors affecting the performance associated with construction projects?
  • What are the ways to mitigate some problems of the construction industry?

Research project justification and potential outputs
The present research depicts the importance of cash flow within the construction industry as it has been universally agreed about the serious impacts related to the cash flow for failure and success regarding a construction project along with an organisation. It has been evidenced by Mahamid (2020), that lack within liquidity for supporting daily activities which has been the foremost cause based on the failure of construction organisation. Failure is known to be undesirable regarding any of the businesses along with being avoided for all kinds of moral costs. The study presents all the consequences that go beyond contracting the organisation along with affecting the industry of construction as well as the society at a larger form. However, both the business owners along with the contractors that works very harder for avoiding the failure. The considerations of cash flow should become the construction organisation for the management as cash has been the most important for the resources based on the construction organisation.

According to Maqsoom, Choudhry, Umer & Mehmood (2019), project delay has been within the common problems for the worldwide construction industry where the present research can help in identifying the causes of the same. The information within the present research can benefit the construction companies with identifying different techniques or rather factors for mitigating the challenges faced by the industry in Australia.

The conceptual framework
Impact of negative cash flow in the construction industry

Cash Flow tends to impact each and every aspect related to construction projects along with its implementation process. The shortages of cash have a probability for leading towards the failure of the project. The level based on insolvencies within this construction industry has been higher while being compared towards the other sector of industries. As per the views of Rose (2019), the management experience and expertise, it is seen that there have been major causes for the lack within a financial control along with its poor management. This indicates that a good flow of cash can enable the construction organisations for being kept in an operating mode along with being healthy financially.

Thus, the negative flow of cash can cause most of the construction organisations for running within a financial trouble that has been led towards a closure as compared to any other causes. However, the profitable projects of construction can also result in dealing with the financial problems of the organisations when there is negative cash flow. This ensures that a steady income of funds within the construction industry is significant for the construction projects. Cash flow is able to procure the pay salaries; materials; funding of new projects along with the finance or rather similar other functions based on the daily operations of the Australian organisations (Albattah, Goodrum & Taylor, 2019). This can eventually be catastrophic for a project as per the money and time.

Challenges faced by Australian construction industry
There have been major challenges that are faced by the construction industry of Australia which in recent days, have been remaining within the rising cost of the projects. This has resulted because of the rise within the metal prices; strong dollars of Australia; oil as well as the rising rates of interest. The respective factors have been affecting the effectiveness related to the construction sector of Australia.

Quality control
As opined by Nasirian, Arashpour, Abbasi & Akbarnezhad, (2019), this has been the most nagging problem which is generally faced by the construction industry of Australia which depends within the midst related to poor productivity and there has been no regulation and law that is established for regulation of the delivered quality services. This has been due to the lack of focus in the industry for the establishment of best services and standards that needs to be delivered. Hence, when there is no such focus, the respective industry can be collapsed gradually.

Reduced productivity of the workforce
An average hour of work can either remain the same or rather can also decrease. This results in being a bigger issue about the construction sector of Australia which is failing to be handled. There are seen to be too many workers who are known to receive a slash down within the working hours. However, some of the proficient workers are found not to get any of the additional time for working towards the boost of productivity. The industry has been displaying a much slower solution based on production.

Shortages of skilled labours
According to Shrestha, Choi, Shrestha, Lim & Nikkhah Manesh (2020), the shortages of skilled laborers must never be underestimated regarding the problems that have been faced by the construction industry of Australia. The nation in recent days has been unable to produce enough professionals who are skilled and also consist of the ability to manage a job. Based on the respective shortages, the particular industry cannot be able to operate in an effective way with some of the skilled workers.

Factors affecting the performance of construction project
There are several factors which tend to contribute to affecting the performance related to the construction industry.

As per the views of Yap, Chow & Shavarebi (2019), working critical is known to be critical for achieving success which must not underestimate the needed capital for pursuing the much more profitable projects along with having cash necessary for funding the respective projects for obtaining the payment progress. Nevertheless, many negative decisions are also made when the organisations are considered in panic because of the cash flow for being tight enough.

Inadequate planning
This indicates understanding about the man power along with the issues related to cash which might determine the failure and success for any of the projects (Durdyev & Ismail, 2019). Hence, the organisations should not overestimate the capabilities for performing the cash flow in an adequate wages of payment; suppliers and similar others. The construction organisations need to map out each and every detail for all the stages of the project along with whatever has been assumed that might happen for the long run.

This indicates a constant review of the plan over reality along with being willing towards making changes when the plan is being seen to fall out or being within risk. This also consists of willingness for tracking along with making changes for learning and plan along with the application of future projects and knowledge.

Reduction of workplace productivity
Studies have also presented average hours of work by remaining the same or rather decreasing (Nasirian, Arashpour & Abbasi, 2019). This is considered to be one of the biggest problems which has been known to be within the construction sector of Australia which has been falling for being handled.

Recommendations to mitigate the problems of the construction industry
It has been observed that Critical Path Program as well as Evaluation and Technique of review (CPM/PERT) has been widely accepted along with being employed through the construction industry for reducing the duration of total projects. These are known to be the traditional allocation of the resource models which treats the available flow of cash being a constrained resource which might not be considered for substitute regarding the finance-based scheduling. Payment is known to be lifeblood based on the construction business due to the performance within any of these activities which is dependent on an uninterrupted flow of funds. On the other hand, the steady flow of funds which is rare along with suffering for the business with some of the worst cases that leads to litigation (Wu et al., 2019). Mitigation of some of the risks within the construction industry might involve avoidance of risk through the elimination of the root cause for a potential problem along with transferring the risk towards another party with the insurance and contractual causes. Apart from this, it also involves the reduction of risks through planning an effective action within the cases where the problems tend to manifest.

Research approach and data sources

Research methodology is known to be a path with which the researchers are found to conduct the overall study. This represents the path which is formulated by the researchers collaborating with their objective and problem along with displaying the result through the obtained data. The main purpose of the respective section has been to design the methodology based on the research approach which eventually supports the researcher for the way to come over the findings of the research (Raju et al., 2020). For this research, the researcher has decided to confirm the research approach by using research philosophy, research approach, and research strategy and research design. Research onion is known to be a very efficient approach to segregate the research path based on the nature of the research path. Research philosophy helps in shaping the foundation of research by understanding the nature of the research. Positivism and interpretivism are most appropriate for this study since the researcher believes in relying on published information to compare the data and draw outputs from the sources. Inductive approach is known to be efficient for the study as deductive approach is more suitable for primary research as it is a more favourable approach to generate data.

In terms of research strategy, primary research and secondary research are applicable, which includes the use of quantitative approach and qualitative approach (Ruggiano and Perry, 2019). There are two data sources for initiating research on the study which are primary and secondary. However, the use of a secondary data source is known to be the most appropriate for the study. It is essential to analyse the situation of the industry by comparing published information since primary resources will not be applicable due to restricted access.

Proposed data collection and analysis techniques

For any study to achieve optimised data, it is essential to draw information from a selected population size which can help in comparing and contrasting data which have been published already. Since the information will comprise published information like journals and articles, therefore it is most likely to draw information from verified sources (van Leeuwen and Janssen, 2019). Hence, to draw credible data, the researcher plans on utilising open source peer reviewed journals, eminent journals and articles. The researcher plans to utilise 5 journals for the study to compare and contrast the information.

To further solidify the research, sampling techniques can further help in shaping the research. However, since the study is based on secondary research, sampling methods are not valid when it comes to secondary research methods as this approach is valid when it comes to retrieving fresh information through primary research which involves the use of population or respondents (Snyder, 2019). Hence, the researcher has decided to opt for a secondary approach as it is a more viable option for the study.

Variables and analysis
The idea or notion behind this research is to understand the present situation of the construction industry and the cash flow situation in Australia regarding hiring professionals in the said industry. In order to pursue the research, the researcher believes in gathering information through secondary sources which involves the use of journals and articles. The analysis of the work is completely dependent on the factors presented in the published journals (Avci, 2020). Apart from that, the study will comprise of dependent and independent variables which will help to shape the study further.

Research project organisation, budget and schedule
Project organisation

The project organisation for the study has been segregated in 5 segments which will be named in chapters. This will help in understanding each element properly.

Chapter 1: The research will utilise a chapter where the researcher will introduce the subjects and the key elements of the study. The research aims, objectives, questions and the research rationale will be discussed and an overview of the industry will be provided.

Chapter 2: The second chapter of the study will be literature review, where the researcher shall discuss the literature of the study by utilising different journals published by eminent authors and comparing the same with current situation to provide a lucid understanding of the study.

Chapter 3: The third chapter shall discuss the research path of the study by undertaking a research onion layer and drawing out the most suitable approach for the study which can help in forwarding the study.

Chapter 4: Data Findings and Analysis: This chapter mainly compares the results of the study by comparing facts presented in chapter 2. The chapter is completely dependent on the research planning, as to what research is most suitable for the research. If the outcome is primary, the researcher shall draw information first hand, and if the outcomes of the research are secondary, the research shall comprise thematic analysis to compare the discussions with chapter 2.

Chapter 5: The last chapter of the study comprises the outcomes and links the outcomes with research objectives and proposes a favourable solution for the same.



Estimated Cost

Literature review 


Data collection


Data analysis


Total Cost 


Table 1: Budget by the research study
Source: (Developed by the Learner)

Project activities



Start date 

Finish date 

Secondary research regarding Australian construction industry and identification of the problem 

7 days 

10th May 2020

17th May 2020

Literature review along with identification of the research

6 days 

11th May 2020

15th May 2020

Secondary collection of data 

10 days 

16th May 2020

26th May 2020

Formulation of conceptual framework

6 days 

27th May 2020

29th May 2020

Development of research methodology 

6 days 

30th May 2020

5th June 2020

Conducting the overall research 

7 days 

6th June 2020 

13th June 2020

Final submission 

0 days 

13th June 2020 

13th June 2020

Table 2: Project activities
Source: (Developed by the Learner)

Gantt chart


1st week 

2nd week 

3rd week 

4th week 

5th week 

6th week 

Secondary research  


Literature review


Secondary data collection 


conceptual framework


Research methodology 


Overall research 


Table 3: Gantt chart
Source: (Developed by the Learner)

Albattah, M. A., Goodrum, P. M., & Taylor, T. R. (2019). New metric of workforce availability among construction occupations and regions. Practice Periodical on Structural Design and Construction, 24(2), 04019003.

Avci, B. (2020). Research methodology in critical mathematics education. International Journal of Research & Method in Education, 1-16.

Dixit, S., Mandal, S. N., Thanikal, J. V., & Saurabh, K. (2019). Evolution of studies in construction productivity: A systematic literature review (2006–2017). Ain Shams Engineering Journal.

Durdyev, S., & Ismail, S. (2019). Offsite manufacturing in the construction industry for productivity improvement. Engineering Management Journal, 31(1), 35-46.

Elazzazy, M. (2020). Factors affecting construction labor productivity in developed and developing countries.

Mahamid, I. (2020). Impact of rework on material waste in building construction projects. International Journal of Construction Management, 1-8.

Maqsoom, A., Choudhry, R. M., Umer, M., & Mehmood, T. (2019). Influencing factors indicating time delay in construction projects: impact of firm size and experience. International Journal of Construction Management, 1-12.

Nasirian, A., Arashpour, M., & Abbasi, B. (2019). Critical literature review of labor multiskilling in construction. Journal of Construction Engineering and Management, 145(1), 04018113.

Nasirian, A., Arashpour, M., Abbasi, B., & Akbarnezhad, A. (2019). Optimal work assignment to multiskilled resources in prefabricated construction. Journal of Construction Engineering and Management, 145(4), 04019011.

Raju, S., Carbery, M., Kuttykattil, A., Senthirajah, K., Lundmark, A., Rogers, Z., ... & Palanisami, T. (2020). Improved methodology to determine the fate and transport of microplastics in a secondary wastewater treatment plant. Water Research, 173, 115549.

Rose, W. (2019). Application of Lean Principles and Performance Improvement of Construction Projects.

Ruggiano, N., & Perry, T. E. (2019). Conducting secondary analysis of qualitative data: Should we, can we, and how?. Qualitative Social Work, 18(1), 81-97.

Sanni-Anibire, M. O., Mohamad Zin, R., & Olatunji, S. O. (2020). Causes of delay in the global construction industry: a meta analytical review. Business research assignment International Journal of Construction Management, 1-13.

Shrestha, B. K., Choi, J. O., Shrestha, P. P., Lim, J., & Nikkhah Manesh, S. (2020). Employment and Wage Distribution Investigation in the Construction Industry by Gender. Journal of Management in Engineering, 36(4), 06020001.

Snyder, H. (2019). Literature review as a research methodology: An overview and guidelines. Journal of Business Research, 104, 333-339.

van Leeuwen, A., & Janssen, J. (2019). A systematic review of teacher guidance during collaborative learning in primary and secondary education. Educational Research Review.

Wu, C., Chen, C., Jiang, R., Wu, P., Xu, B., & Wang, J. (2019). Understanding laborers’ behavioral diversities in multinational construction projects using integrated simulation approach. Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management.

Yap, J. B. H., Chow, I. N., & Shavarebi, K. (2019). Criticality of Construction Industry Problems in Developing Countries: Analyzing Malaysian Projects. Journal of Management in Engineering, 35(5), 04019020.

Yap, J. B. H., Chow, I. N., & Shavarebi, K. (2019). Criticality of Construction Industry Problems in Developing Countries: Analyzing Malaysian Projects. Journal of Management in Engineering, 35(5), 04019020.


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