Taxonomy of Theories Relating to the Management of Project Teams Achievement Theory The achievement theory was enunciated by David McClelland. This theory proposes that people are generally motivated by three factors: achievement, power and affiliation. Power, in this regard refers to an individual’s aspiration to influence how other members of an organization or team behave; whereas affiliation deals with relationships within group (Heldman, 2009). Acquired Needs Theory This theory is one of the needs-based theories formulated by David McClelland grounded on the principle that specific types of needs are adopted or acquired by individuals in the course of their lifetime, to distinguish from Maslow’s basic and natural needs of men.
Examples of such acquired needs are the needs for power, affiliation or relationship, and achievement (Daft, 2008). Complexity Theory This theory espouses the possibility of utilizing chaos present in the real world by a manager to promote peak performance by team members. This is usually done by allowing individual project members to gain a certain degree of independence to enhance creativity. Employee empowerment and delegation of tasks are the essence of this theory (Curlee & Gordon, 2011). Expectancy Theory In this theory, Victor Vroom suggested that an individual’s motivation towards performing a certain activity is determined by their belief that such activity will lead them to their desired reward.
To ensure success, employee expectations must be set regarding consequences of doing the activity and must be confident in performing it (Koontz & Weihrich, 2007). Contingency Theory Joan Woodward argued that technology is a deciding factor in determining specific organizational components such as span of control, centralization of authority, and the formalization of rules and procedures. Therefore, there is no foolproof solution to company organization.
Managers need to fit their strategies based on the current situation and environment (Rohrbeck, 2011). Equity Theory John Stacy Adams declared that the level of motivation of an individual depends on how fair the reward structure is. If the rewards are inadequate, employees tend to be dissatisfied, produce low quality and quantity of outputs. If they see the system as fair, individuals perform as expected. If the rewards surpass expectations, employees strive to work harder (Koontz & Weihrich, 2007). Goal-Setting Theory The theory of Edwin Locke suggests that an individual’s goals and intentions dictate his behavior in specific situations.
Therefore, a manager may influence employee behavior by the careful setting of goals. A manger should try to set goals together with the employee with focus on determining goal difficulty and goal specificity (Griffin & Moorhead, 2010). Motivation Hygiene Theory - Frederick Herzberg This theory was formulated Frederick Herzberg grounded on the principle that two types of factors are required to foster motivation among members of a team: hygiene factors and motivating factor. Hygiene factors function as a foundation for motivation and include good workplace environment, equitable pay, and harmonious relationships between the project team and his members.
On the other hand, motivating factors are those which serve as incentives to the team members to work more and perform better, including recognition for achievement and opportunities for advancement (Furman, 2011; Robbins, 2001). Reinforcement Theory Reinforcement theory views the association between behavior in a project situation and its consequences, by focusing on changing the on-the-job behavior of team members based on the application of appropriate rewards and punishments (Daft & Marcic, 2011; Robbins, 2001). Theory X, Theory Y, Theory Z The human relations approach developed by Douglas McGregor revealed that employee motivation follows a set of assumptions.
Theory X states that employees naturally dislike work and would want to avoid it as possible. Meanwhile, Theory Y assumes that employees perceive work as play or rest. On the other hand, Theory Z emphasizes on trust, quality, collective decision making, and cultural values on employees (Schwalbe, 2010). References Daft, R. L. (2008). The leadership experience (4th ed. ). Mason, OH: Thomson Higher Education. Daft, R. L. & Marcic, D. (2011).
Understanding management (7th ed. ). Mason, OH: South Western Cengage Learning. Furman, J. (2011). The project management answer book. Vienna, VA: Management Concepts. Griffin, R. W. & Moorhead, G. (2010). Organizational behavior: Managing people and organizations. Mason, OH: Cengage Learning. Heldman, K. (2009). Project management professional exam study guide (5th ed). Indianapolis, IN: Wiley. Koontz, H. & Weihrich, H. (2007). Essentials of Management. New York: McGraw Hill. Parker, D. & Craig, M. (2008). Managing projects, managing people. South Yarra, VIC: Palgrave MacMillan. Robbins, S. P. (2001). Organizational behavior (9th ed. ). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall. Rohrbeck, R.
(2011). Corporate foresight: Towards a maturity model for the future orientation of a firm. Berlin: Springer. Schwalbe, K. (2010). Information technology project management. Boston, MA: Course Technology Cengage Learning.