Human intervention; The Case for Project-based Approaches Institute


Humanintervention The Case for Project-based Approaches



Organization development and change management are key processesnecessary to achieve organizational growth. These processes arehighly dependent on human behavior in the workplace. The humanprocess-based intervention theories rightly acknowledge the role ofhuman behavior in managing change in organizations and attainingorganizational development (Parker, Charlton, Ribiero &amp Pathak,2013). It is also highly encouraged to target human behavior from ateam perspective as opposed from an individual perspective (p. 4). Toadvance the team approach is the project-based management approachsuggested by Parker et al (2013). This approach is a meant to supportchange management models that are designed as a series of steps butcan be hard to apply. The project-based approach is necessary inmanaging change and influencing employee behavior as part oforganizational development.

The project-based approach seeks to carefully plan and design amethod of attaining clearly articulated behavior changes andoutcomes. This approach as applied in business involves accomplishinga number of interrelated tasks with the aim of achieving apredetermined goal within a specified period of time (Parker,Charlton, Ribiero &amp Pathak, 2013). Other approaches rely onregular control and monitoring functions and may not readily drivechange and influence behavior (Parker et al, p. 8). Such failure ofthe conventional approaches can be attributed to the played bymanagers.

Managers in project-based organizations apply project-basedinterventions. Furthermore, project managers are closer to employeesespecially in larger organizations. They also lead through settingexamples in behavior changes (Partker et al 2013). Transformationalleadership in project-based organizations focuses on “organizationalcitizenship behaviors” by project leaders with the same behaviorsprojected to other team members and employees in given projects(Keegan &amp Hartog, 2004, p.610). Furthermore, working in projectteams allows better manifestation of organizational citizenshipbehaviors because employees work more closely and are able to helpone another (Gonzalez-Mule, DeGeest, McCormick, Seong &amp Brown,2014).

Project-based organizations are better equipped in empowering andengaging employees to drive change (Keegan &amp Hartog, 2004).Usually, project-based approaches encourage delegation of duties andempowerment of employees in making decisions to meet specific projectgoals in a specified time period (Petrou, 2016). This differs in manyways from the conventional line department organizations wheredecisions are made by line managers and are characterized bybureaucracy which may hinder change. Simply put, change has more todo with soft skills of employees and thus human resource managersshould be involved in assessing the soft skills of project managersas they drive the organizational agenda (Parker et al. 2013).

A number ofresearchers have opposed the project-based approach in influencingbehavior arguing that projects are temporary and do not provide along term relationships needed to influence behavior (Keegan &ampHartog 2004). Furthermore, project team membership cuts across manydepartments making it difficult to influence department specificbehavior among employees. However, the research by Keegan and Hartog(2004) involving 300 project workers and 400 employees working in theline department disputes this claim. Their study revealed that therewere no major differences in the perception of leadership style ofproject managers and conventional line managers. However, linemanagers provide better social support to employees in case ofwork-related stress. On the other hand, project managers respondbetter to changes because they are better adopted to change that comewith the temporary nature of projects and recorded more impact ininfluencing behavior.

From the argument above, it is clear human process-based theorieskeen on driving change and influencing employee behavior can benefitimmensely from project-based approaches. The project-basedapproaching managing change and behavior have proven to be moreeffective compared to line management approaches through research.Thus, the managing human aspects in organizations are best managedthrough project-based approaches because project managers are closerto employees and have a better understanding of change. This iscritical in attaining organizational development and growth.


Chapter 14.Organization development and change

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some cooperation around here? The mediating role of group norms onthe relationship between team personality and individual helpingbehaviors. Journal of Applied Psychology 99(5): 988–999.

Hornstein, H.(2015).The integration of project management and organizationalchange

management is now a necessity. International Journal of ProjectManagement 33 (2015) 291–298.

Keegan, A. &ampHartog, D. (2004). Transformational leadership in a project-basedenvironment:

a comparative study of the leadership styles of project managers andline managers. International Journal of Project Management 22(2004) 609–617.

Parker, D.,Charlton, J, Ribiero, A. &amp Pathak, R. (2013). Integration ofproject-based

management and change management : Intervention methodology.International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management,62(5):534 – 544.

Petrou, P. (2016).Crafting the Change: The Role of Employee Job Crafting Behaviors for

SuccessfulOrganizational Change. Journal of Management 20(10): 1–27.