The Impact of a Project Organisational Culture and Team Rewarding on Project Performance*

By Stare, Aljaz | Journal for East European Management Studies, January 1, 2012 | Go to article overview

The Impact of a Project Organisational Culture and Team Rewarding on Project Performance*


Stare, Aljaz, Journal for East European Management Studies


The purpose of this paper is to identify the level of project organisational culture in Slovenian enterprises and the impact of that culture on team motivation and project execution compared with monetary rewards for finalising projects in time and within budget. The research showed a high level of project organisational culture and that only one-third of enterprises have implemented reward systems, while the results of the analysis proved that a project organisational culture along with rewards increase the motivation of team members and consequently reduces project delays and cost overruns.

Der Zweck dieses Artikels ist es, das Niveau der Projekt-Organisationskultur in slowenischen Unternehmen und die Auswirkungen dieser Kultur auf TeamMotivation und Projektabwicklung im Vergleich zu Geldprämien für pünktlich und budgetgerecht abgeschlossene Projekte zu identifizieren. Die Untersuchung zeigt eine hohe Stufe der Projekt-Organisationskultur und dass nur ein Drittel der Unternehmen Vergütungssysteme umgesetzt hat. Währenddessen zeigen die Analysenergebnisse, dass die Projekt-Organisationskultur zusammen mit Belohnungen die Motivation der Teammitglieder fördert und dadurch Projektverzögerungen und Kostenüberschreitungen reduziert.

Key words: project, organisation culture, reward, motivation

Introduction

Although Slovenia is one of the most developed "transition economy countries", in the opinion of many Slovenian project stakeholders and team members the maturity level of project management in the country's enterprises is quite low. Many related weaknesses have been exposed during project management training sessions, interviews and discussions with more than 2,000 team members in the last ten years. First of all, project plans are made in haste, usually without proper risk management, with the result that improvisation is quite a common way of executing projects. The typical project organisation is a matrix, yet project managers (85% of them are entitled project leaders) are not "professional managers", but experts who perform many tasks and also coordinate the project. Despite the official internal rules governing how projects should be implemented, many stakeholders do not consider them. The consequences are a low level of authority enjoyed by project managers, a low level of support of line managers, and unsuitable project teams. Team members also complain that they do not receive any extra bonuses for perfectly executed projects. All of these factors could be subsumed within a project organisational culture, which forms part of a corporate culture. The majority of interviewees believed that a stronger attitude of top and line managers could increase the success of the projects within their enterprises.

Until now, unfortunately no one has carried out any empirical research to determine the real level of the mentioned cultural factors in Slovenian enterprises, or how important they truly are for project success - how much they influence team motivation and, in turn, project execution.

In response to these findings we conducted more extensive research into project management theory to examine the presented issues in theory and practice (a review of researches presented in scientific articles). We developed an overview of the most important factors of efficient project execution (Fig. 1) and focussed our research on two topics: (project) organisational culture and post-project rewards for efficient project execution.

Many researchers have revealed that money is not high on the list of motivating factors and that offering monetary rewards does not automatically ensure motivation and a high performance (Rose/Manley 201 1); if an employee makes enough money to meet all their basic needs, more money matters less than other factors (Turk 2008). In addition, Slovenian salaries are on average not low compared with the majority of less developed countries. However, Slovenian employees prefer to compare their salaries with the higher ones available in nearby, more developed EU countries and this could be a reason for them complaining about not receiving any rewards for their extra work on projects. …

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