A study of burnout and intrinsic needs fulfillment among project managers

by Emelander, Stanley J., Ph.D., CAPELLA UNIVERSITY, 2011, 241 pages; 3443317

Abstract:

The pace of change is accelerating, affecting every aspect of organizational life. From overlapping waves of communications and social networking technologies to shifting economic landscapes, the difference between yesterday and today is relentlessly increasing for business. The pace of change is felt and accelerated by organizations of every kind as they strive to create, maintain, or augment their place in dynamic global marketplaces. One professional group, project managers, is especially associated with change. Projects are undertaken to facilitate change, and it is a perpetual factor within the project team itself as it transitions from one project phase to the next, adapting to unknowns. If organizations must adapt or perish, and projects are a main vehicle for delivering adaptive change, then the performance news from the project management arena is cause for concern: project success rates continue to be mired at low levels. Project managers are a key element of project success, and their engagement, motivation, and performance are important considerations for firms. They may, however, routinely encounter conditions previous research has associated with debilitating burnout. The research included a quantitative survey field study to explore whether project managers experience burnout and studied the relationship between burnout and satisfaction of the intrinsic motivational needs described by self-determination theory. The findings indicated that the sample experienced moderate burnout, with a significant portion reporting high levels of exhaustion. Significant correlations were found between overall burnout and needs fulfillment, as well as between individual burnout dimensions and the three self-determination theory needs. The research analysis includes recommendations to reduce burnout and support intrinsic needs fulfillment for project managers.

AdviserJean Gordon
SchoolCAPELLA UNIVERSITY
Source TypeDissertation
SubjectsOccupational safety; Management; Occupational psychology; Organizational behavior
Publication Number3443317

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