The Dynamics Of Commitment: An Investigation Into the Emotional Journeys of Project Team Members

Schaefer, Michael (2020) The Dynamics Of Commitment: An Investigation Into the Emotional Journeys of Project Team Members. PhD thesis, University of Gloucestershire. doi:10.46289/KP88Q6Z6

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The research presented in this thesis is an exploration of the commitment experiences of a sample of team members of technical projects in the European electricity sector. The main aim of the research was to understand the dynamics of members’ felt commitment during the project from an individual’s point of view. To inform the research design, a comprehensive literature review was carried out in the fields of commitment and emotion. Focus was given to the literature of commitment in project teams, appraisal, coping behaviours, and critical affective events, the proximal causes of emotional reactions. The review confirmed that research typically focuses on explaining either commitment or emotional experience, but rarely does it address both. Consequently, the commitment dynamics of team members related to their emotional experiences during a project remained unexplained. Thus, primary research was required to understand team members’ commitment dynamics and the underlying emotional processes that contribute to it. Following an exploratory study, the main fieldwork involved two rounds of interviews with 14 project team members and one focus group. The sample included professionals from the electricity transmission industry with three or more years of project experience. The interviews were semi-structured and in-depth, focussing on emotional events during the projects, which were mostly cross-organizational and informed by large-scale changes in the industry. The focus group was conducted to perform a quality check of the interview findings and to encourage reflection. Interpretative phenomenological data analysis was conducted to understand how project members created meaning around their perceived emotional events and to explore each member’s commitment experiences and their ways of coping with their emotions. Finally, changing patterns of commitment and coping responses were captured in a model of each team member’s emotional journey, which was then related to his or her commitment trajectory during the project. This research succeeded in revealing typical patterns of changing commitment, illustrated by three typical commitment trajectories. It was concluded that team members’ commitment is modified by their emotional experiences, appraisal, and coping behaviours. More broadly, the findings make a significant contribution to understanding of the role of emotion and coping during a project and the implications of this for changes in team members’ felt commitment.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Thesis Advisors:
Thesis AdvisorEmailURL
Uncontrolled Keywords: Emotional journey; Commitment; Multidimensional and unidimensional construct
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management > HD66 Work groups. Team work in industry. Quality circles
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > Gloucestershire Business School
Depositing User: Kamila Niekoraniec
Date Deposited: 05 Jul 2023 15:59
Last Modified: 05 Jul 2023 15:59

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