تعصب و علاقه قوی، شایستگی و عملکرد در زمینه مدیریت پروژه
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|3319||2012||12 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : International Journal of Project Management, Available online 24 September 2012
Obsessive passion is when people have a strong inclination toward an activity that they like, find important, and in which they spend significant time, but also feel internal pressure to engage in. Prior research has demonstrated that obsessive passion typically brings several negative consequences. The present study nuances the picture by showing that there are indeed conditions when obsessive passion can be beneficial and that it has an important role for project management. It develops and tests hypotheses on the role of project leaders' obsessive passion for project goals. Results support that challenging goals are attained to a greater extent if the project leader scores high on obsessive passion. Such obsessive passion, in turn, is a result of the project leader's competence (positive relationship) and the team's competence (inverted U-shaped relationship). These results have important implications for theory and future research on passion, goal theory, and competence in projects.
Practice suggests several examples in which being a competent individual or team does not ensure that challenging goals are reached. Scholars have thus debated whether and how competence contributes to attaining goals. Although the literature has established that competence is often essential to distinguish poor from exceptional performance (Aubry and Lièvre, 2010 and Gillard and Price, 2005), numerous examples attest that very competent people have not reached goals that could be considered challenging. For example, the project management literature has highlighted that recruiting highly competent project leaders and project team members does not guarantee success and that such recruitments may sometimes be disappointing (e.g., Lampel, 2001, McComb et al., 2007, Müller and Turner, 2010 and Jha and Iyer, 2007). Moreover, the project management literature has highlighted that teams that are objectively deemed less competent may sometimes outperform more competent teams (Melkonian and Picq, 2010). Although no foundation exists to argue that competence does not, indeed, contribute to attaining goals, a growing body of research examines how the relationship between competence and goal attainment may be more complex than previously theorized. Furthermore, previous studies have overlooked that competence does not simply turn into goal attainment without some kind of intervention (Dweck, 1992 and Moores and Chang, 2009). Instead, several empirical studies have shown that project leaders need substantial motivation to turn competence into attaining project goals (Baum et al., 2001 and Ferla et al., 2010). Although these studies have not suggested a clear motivational construct that could capture such strong motivation, and hence have not examined such relationships, they identified that a motivational force, which provides a sense of enjoyment may be needed to leverage competence for a team to attain its goals. With the present study, we introduce and acknowledge the strong motivation embodied in the obsessive passion construct (e.g., Bonneville-Roussy et al., 2011, Philippe et al., 2010 and Vallerand et al., 2003). We also test the relevance of obsessive passion for capturing the often-argued necessary motivation of project leaders. The social psychology research on obsessive passion—defined as an uncontrollable urge to take part in an activity—has concentrated on how the experience of obsessive passion impacts the way people behave in goal processes (Vallerand et al., 2008). The relationships among competence, obsessive passion, and goal attainment have not been tested directly (Cardon et al., 2009 and Thorgren and Wincent, in press), yet advancements in this stream of research and the general arguments of goal-setting-theory (Locke and Latham, 2002 and Locke and Latham, 2006) lead us to suspect that obsessive passion may be one of the factors that play a key role in the relationship between competence and attaining goals. By conceptually developing and empirically testing hypotheses regarding the unexamined positive side of obsessive passion that may transfer competence to attaining goals in projects, this research provides preliminary answers to the following questions: Why is competence not positively linked to the attaining of project goals in some situations? Why can project teams with lower levels of experience sometimes reach challenging goals more effectively than teams with higher levels of competence? What is the value of project team competence in the absence of a highly motivated project leader? Using multi-source longitudinal data from 134 large European Union projects, we test a set of hypotheses to produce plausible answers to these questions. Specifically, we first explain how both the project leader's competence and the team members' competence influence how much obsessive passion the project leader experiences. Here we suggest that the relationship is positive, but is characterized by diminishing returns, meaning that at a certain point the competence may create conditions for reduced obsessive passion in the project leader. This is consistent with commonly argued “experience effects,” suggesting that too much competence may reduce motivation (Peterson, 2007 and Mikulas and Vodanovich, 1993). Our tests show that there are no direct effects of competence on attaining goals, but instead support the argument that obsessive passion is important for mediating the competence effects on attaining goals, especially when goals are challenging. Fig. 1 illustrates the hypothesized framework of the relationships this research examines. As shown, we elaborate on a mediated moderation framework in which we posit that obsessive passion plays a central role in facilitating goal attainment in projects with particularly challenging goals.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
The purpose of this study was to examine both theoretically and empirically the links among competence, obsessive passion, and project management. With the first hypothesis, we proposed that project leaders with medium levels of competence will have the highest level of obsessive passion for their project. Our findings indicate that the inverted U-shaped relationship between the project leader's competence and his or her experienced obsessive passion was not supported. Instead, the results showed a positive linear relationship between project leaders' competence and obsessive passion. Our second prediction supports the hypothesis that there is a nonlinear relationship between team members' competence and project leaders' obsessive passion. When project teams are very competent, the extreme levels of obsessive passion in project leaders are likely reduced. This reduced passion level is important in the light of our third finding, which suggested that the hypothesized relationship between goal challenge and goal attainment is positively moderated by the project leader's obsessive passion. Our analyses indicate that at higher levels of goal challenge in the project, goal attainment is higher when the project leaders have higher levels of obsessive passion. Broadly speaking, this finding underscores that the project leaders' obsessive passion as a key mechanism in contexts with high goal challenges and the risk of having overly competent team members in such contexts. When competence levels are extensively high, the strong passion that is needed to attain challenging goals is mitigated among project leaders. This explains why overly competent teams may fail to reach challenging goals, an issue that has been highlighted in previous project management research (e.g., Papke-Shields et al., 2010 and Sotiriou and Wittmer, 2001). This occurs because the project leaders “relax,” which is not an ideal state when leading large and challenging projects. Our research has clear implications for practice and theory. When teams are overly competent, the present study indicates that project leaders lose the anxious feeling that drives them to direct team members to attain goals. Therefore, leaders managing R&D projects, for example, are encouraged to find ways to challenge their teams. By doing so, there will be a greater need for a project leader that guides the team in how to reach goals when there may be a gap between the team's competence and the objectives for which they are aiming. This situation will likely push the project leaders to invest more effort on the project team. In other words, to continually keep the fire burning, project leaders should continually introduce more demanding situations for the project team, even though they may partly doubt that the team's competence is sufficient to reach the goals. This points to that the organization and project leaders alike should consider the importance of their own passion and their team members' competence levels before, during, and after specific tasks are undertaken. Considering that the data showed no direct effect on goal attainment from either the project leaders' competence or the team's competence, this further strengthens indications in prior research that competence is not sufficient for attaining goals. It also adds to insights that passion is one example of a motivational dimension that is needed. We believe, therefore, that much can be learned by reflecting on this study's results. Although previous research has highlighted the negative sides associated with obsessive passion (and thus something that management should manage with extra care), this study advances the notion that it is also important to be aware of the benefits of such passion for work activities when goals are challenging. By examining the relationships between competence and obsessive passion and between goal challenge and goal attainment, our results contribute to discussions about competence, passion research, and goal-setting theory in several ways. First, our study extends previous research on the relationship between competence and goal attainment by testing and supporting the role of obsessive passion. As hypothesized, and consistent with conceptual dialogues and prior discussions (Locke and Latham, 2002 and Locke and Latham, 2006), a motivational dimension must be present for competence to transform into performance. We have demonstrated that obsessive passion is one example of such a motivational dimension. Second, our study contributes to passion research by highlighting the positive role and importance of obsessive passion in certain situations. The present study is one of the first to suggest that obsessive passion can lead to positive consequences, which is something that previous research has overlooked (e.g., Vallerand et al., 2007 and Vallerand et al., 2008). Third, research on attaining goals has shown that high levels of commitment, persistence, and effort lead to higher levels of attaining goals when those goals are challenging (Hollenbeck et al., 1989, Klein et al., 1999 and Locke and Latham, 2002). The present study thus extends the understanding of goal attainment by suggesting that individuals, in this case project leaders, with high obsessive passion are able to achieve goals that are more challenging. This shows that passion is an important factor for individuals' coping with and attaining of challenging goals. The present study, however, is not without limitations. First, it is limited to our reliance on a sample of project leaders of large EU projects. Consequently, we are less certain about our ability to generalize our results to other populations. Second, although we have shown the moderating effect of obsessive passion on goal challenge and goal attainment, there are other possible measures of goal attainment that could quite possibly be used to obtain a broader picture. Finally, each team leader in our study provided information on the competence of a reasonably large number of team members. We thus encourage future research to refine or find alternatives to the measure of the team competence. In conclusion, our findings indicate that the project leader's obsessive passion is an important factor for directing competent team members to meet challenging project goals. We hope that this study's results spur additional research encompassing how individuals' obsessive passion, enjoyment, and strong emotions are important and needed in combination with competence to reach positive outcomes. Such research could further the field's understanding of why certain projects fail, but yet certain others succeed in attaining their goals.