Investigation of different alternatives

in order to improve the motivation within a project team



By Charlotte Zago

SKEMA Business School

Lille, France



The purpose of this paper is to analyse the most important factors that influence motivation within a project team, to link them to international contracts and to find the best recommendation for project managers. Indeed, our research question is “How to motivate people on a project team?”.

In order to achieve that goal, we have analysed the causes of demotivation within a project team. Then, we have established some alternatives and we have evaluated each of them by creating a Multi-Attribute Decision Making. The last step was to make a quantitative analysis of the alternatives using the additive weighting technique.

This methodology led us to the conclusion that the best alternative to increase the motivation in a project team is to implement a personal development plan.

Keywords:  Motivation, reward, project team, performance, incentives, recognition, contract, processes.


Motivating is the “process of inducing an individual to work toward achieving an organization’s objectives while also working to achieve personal objectives” [1]. Everyone needs motivation in order to achieve something, personal or professional, and sometimes you need to be motivated by someone else, an external source of motivation. For example, it’s often the case in a company. Employees need to have someone who will motivate them to achieve their goals. This person is usually called the manager.  We all know that if the motivation of a person or an employee is high, the performance will also be high and on the contrary if at some time the motivation decreases, the performance will do the same. In fact, performance is closely linked to motivation. A recent study shows that “72% of the respondents agreed that recognition and appraisal for work done motivates employees to improve their performance”[2].

The motivation within a project team is also a big challenge that can impact the performance and the results of the project. Unfortunately, there isn’t a “magic potion” to keep motivation high during the whole project. However, project managers can find some ways to keep the motivation of his or her team, especially through a contract.

We have to make the distinction between group work and teamwork.   “A group in the workplace is usually made up of three or more people who recognize themselves as a distinct unit or department, but who actually work independently of each other.”[3]

On the contrary, “With a team, individuals recognize the expertise and talents of others needed to achieve the team’s goal. Additionally, teams are often formed for temporary assignments with one specific goal, focus or outcome in mind.”[4] That’s why it is important to think, before the project begins, about how you will motivate your team: what can you give them? Which techniques can you use when the motivation decreases? How can you manage conflicts? It is a lot easier to manage those things when you’ve thought about it before and you have a defined protocol that every team member is aware of. Obviously, a way to structure it is to formalize it in writing, through a contract.

In order to find an effective way to motivate a project team, it’s important to understand what can cause a decrease in the motivation in the team. You can see below a root-cause analysis that highlights some of the most important factors which cause demotivation within a project team.


To read entire paper, click here


Editor’s note: This paper was prepared for the course “International Contract Management” facilitated by Dr Paul D. Giammalvo of PT Mitratata Citragraha, Jakarta, Indonesia as an Adjunct Professor under contract to SKEMA Business School for the program Master of Science in Project and Programme Management and Business Development.  http://www.skema.edu/programmes/masters-of-science. For more information on this global program (Lille and Paris in France; Belo Horizonte in Brazil), contact Dr Paul Gardiner, Global Programme Director [email protected].

How to cite this paper: Zago, C. (2019). Investigation of different alternatives in order to improve the motivation within a project team, PM World Journal, Vol. VIII, Issue II (February).  Available online at https://pmworldjournal.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/pmwj79-Feb2019-Zago-alternatives-to-improve-motivation-in-a-project-team.pdf


About the Author

Charlotte Zago

Lille, France




Charlotte Zago is a student at Skema Business School in the MSc PPMBD « Project and Programme Management & Business Development ».  Born in the north of France, she first studied at the Catholic University of Lille during five years. She studied a dual competence: Business and Sciences and was graduated in 2018.  She decided then to embark on a new adventure: Project Management.  She will be graduated of this programme at the beginning of 2019 and wants to work in the healthcare sector as a Project Manager.  This Paper is her first publication. She wrote it under the tutorage of Dr Paul D. Giammalvo to complete the course on International Contracts.

Charlotte lives in Lille, France and can be contacted at: [email protected]


[1] Wideman Comparative Glossary of Project Management Terms v5.5. (n.d.). Retrieved November 2, 2018, from http://www.maxwideman.com/pmglossary/PMG_M05.htm

[2] Nurun Nabi, Islam M, Dip TM, Hossain AA (2017) Impact of Motivation on Employee Performances: A Case Study of Karmasangsthan Bank Limited, Bangladesh. Arabian J Bus Manag Review 7: 293, from https://www.omicsonline.org/open-access/impact-of-motivation-on-employee-performances-a-case-study-of-karmasangsthan-bank-limited-bangladesh-.php?aid=86681

[3] Fritz, Robin. “Differences Between Group Work & Team Work.” Small Business – Chron.com, http://smallbusiness.chron.com/differences-between-group-work-team-work-11004.html.  30 June 2018.

[4] Fritz, Robin. “Differences Between Group Work & Team Work.” Small Business – Chron.com, http://smallbusiness.chron.com/differences-between-group-work-team-work-11004.html.  30 June 2018.