|Texas A&M University
|lean simulation; skilled worker shortage; training; long-term-value
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This research was prompted in part in response to a recent study by the Associated General Contractors (AGC) that there is a shortage of skilled labor in the construction industry and that this shortage is increasing. The QUESTION this thesis seeks to address is: Why aren?t construction stakeholders perceiving the value of training and development of employees? The PURPOSE of the research is to develop and test a simulation that will help identify the way building stakeholders view the impact of employee training on their long and short-term profit margins. The RESEARCH METHOD used was two phased: (a) a preliminary phase involving the iterative development and testing of a 50-minute table-top simulation using readily available materials (i.e. paper and tape); (b) a mature phase where results from a ?perfected? version of the simulation were subjected to statistical analysis from a larger participant pool. The trials each team went through financially at each round were recorded and results recorded via cash flow diagrams. FINDINGS suggest that players tend to underestimate the importance of upfront training and its impact on long-term cash flows. LIMITATIONS of this research include a restricted sample size and a limited number of industry professionals that were tested during this phase. IMPLICATIONS AND VALUE for this work are potentially larger than that of pure research?i.e. as an opportunity to serve as a change agent as well since a number of respondents suggested that the simulation made them think about the long-term value of training, illustrating the first principle of The Toyota Way. This dual-role for simulations fits easily within the culture of lean construction which historically has used simulations both to understand impacts of certain types of stakeholder behavior as well as transfer comprehension of specific lean principles. Advisors/Committee Members: Rybkowski, Dr. Zofia (advisor), L. Fernandez-Solis, Dr. Jose (committee member), Kalantar, Dr. Negar (committee member).