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International Journal of Project Management 28 (2010) 158–165 www.elsevier.com/locate/ijproman

Profiling work motivation of project workers
Ravikiran Dwivedula a,b,*, Christophe N. Bredillet c,d
HRM, IBS Hyderabad, India b LSMRC, France c Univ Lille Nord de France, F-59000 Lille, France d SKEMA Business School, LSMRC, Lille, France Received 21June 2009; received in revised form 8 August 2009; accepted 15 September 2009

Abstract The purpose of this study is to understand the constructs of work motivation in project-based organizations. We first juxtapose work motivation in traditional and project-based organizations to put forward an operational definition of work motivation for our study. We then present the research methodologywhere we profile work motivation as perceived by project workers using principal component analysis. We obtain a five factor structure of work motivation. Finally, we discuss these results by putting them within the project management perspective and suggest managerial implications. Ó 2009 Elsevier Ltd and IPMA. All rights reserved.
Keywords: Motivation; Managing individual; Project management

1.Introduction Work motivation is a driver to organization’s performance. As organizations are increasingly becoming project-oriented, juxtaposing work motivation in traditional and project-based organizations is of primary interest. Though work motivation has been well-researched in organization behavior literature, its understanding has been limited in project management research. Further, anon-managerial perspective of this issue has been ignored. We address this lacuna in research. Thus, we set forth the following objectives of this study:  What is work motivation and how is it different in traditional and project-based organizations?  What are the constructs that constitute work motivation in project-based organizations?

In this paper, we will first bring forward the dimensions ofwork motivation by reviewing content and process based-theories of motivation. Then, we will juxtapose work motivation in traditional and project-based environments. Having established a context and framework for work motivation in projects, we will describe our research methodology to investigate the dimensions of work motivation. This will be followed by a discussion of results, conclusion, andthe managerial implications of this study. 2. Theory 2.1. Origins of work motivation Work motivation is a set of energetic forces that originate both from within and beyond the individual’s being leading to work-related behavior in terms of determining the form, direction, and intensity of this behavior (Pinder, 1998). These notions of work motivation are firmly grounded in theories of motivationsuch as theory of needs (McClelland, 1961), Equity theory (Adams, 1963), Goal setting theory (Locke, 1968), and job characteristic model (Hackman and Oldham, 1976) where references to specific

* Corresponding author. Address: ICFAI Business School, #156, Dontanapally, Shankarpally, Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh 500037, India. Tel.: +91 9949242072. E-mail address: dvsravikiran@yahoo.com (R.Dwivedula).

0263-7863/$36.00 Ó 2009 Elsevier Ltd and IPMA. All rights reserved. doi:10.1016/j.ijproman.2009.09.001

R. Dwivedula, C.N. Bredillet / International Journal of Project Management 28 (2010) 158–165


features of work that are motivating to the employees have been given. Early studies alluding to work motivation was given by Taylor through scientific management and then later byWeber, Foller, and Benedix in the 1930’s. The focus was on managing the job design to improve performance. These studies gave rise to the ‘content based approach’ to motivation. Work motivation was well-researched in content basedtheories of motivation through the works of Maslow (1943; satisfaction of security, affiliate, and recognition needs), Herzberg et al. (1959; nature of work and pay), and...
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