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Title: Using images to overcome communication hurdles posed by foreign site operatives
Author: McNairney, Fiona
ISNI:       0000 0004 2734 9907
Awarding Body: Glasgow Caledonian University
Current Institution: Glasgow Caledonian University
Date of Award: 2012
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Despite the economic recession there is still demand for foreign labour in the UK construction industry. This presents many construction management problems, not least is the communication barrier. Some research examining the extent of the language barrier within the construction industry has been undertaken. Several of these studies have advocated the use of images as a means of communicating with site operatives who have little English. Other studies have actively created communication material for use in site health and safety communications. The author's research contributes to this existing body of research by exerting a stronger focus on the source -channel - delivery. Furthermore, the research was unique in that it addressed the contribution that the presenter of the communication exerted on the audience, in terms of knowledge gain and perception. The aims of the research were: to determine how images currently used within the industry are understood by site operatives of varying cultural background and language proficiency; ~ how comprehension of site specific information following an induction using images compares to inductions without images; and how the presenter of site inductions can influence audience perception and knowledge gain. An exploration into the nature and extent of the communication problem was conducted via interviews and site visits. A series of tests were then developed and piloted before '? conducting preliminary comprehension testing. Observations of site inductions were then undertaken to assess presenter credibility. Feedback from site operatives was elicited using a likert scale. Finally, knowledge gain was assessed by asking operatives open questions regarding site specific information. Qualitative analysis highlighted that health and safety images currently in use are often misinterpreted by non English speaking operatives, but, simple design changes can drastically alter comprehension toward the intended meaning. The credibility assessment method indicated that it was sensitive enough to differentiate between differences in credibility, but further development of the instrument is required. The final stage of analysis revealed that more information was transmitted to receivers when using pictorial inductions compared with text based inductions.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available