The transactional leadership style may be appropriate for a project management situation. The transactional leadership style is based like the name, on the concept that transactions must be accomplished within an organization, thus team members agree to be paid for their efforts in accomplishing short-term tasks or projects. The leader within an organization has a role of ensuring that team members agree to follow the rules established by the leader when they accept a job or a project. In return for strict compliance with rules and regulations, team members will be rewarded on job completion. However violations of the rules and regulations may result in disciplinary actions, including termination. There are benefits of this style; transactional leadership allows for everyone to have very clear and well-defined roles and responsibilities (MindTools, 2014). Further, this type of leadership style is good for people that are motivated by compensation or similar rewards (MindTools, 2014). However individuals that are looking for greater commitment may be turned off by this leadership approach.
McClelland’s motivational theory suggests that, in a project management situation, a leader has to identify what the dominant factors are that motivate people within the team (Mind Tools, 2014b). Once a leader does this, the leader can use this information to set appropriate goals, apply the right feedback, and reward and motivate team members working on a project in the best possible manner (Mind Tools, 2014b). Leaders can also use this information to group team members in a manner that will improve productivity, so that leaders can craft and design jobs around each team member depending on their intrinsic motivators, creating a better fit (Mind Tools, 2014b). This approach is similar to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, suggesting that people have certain needs that must be met before they are sufficiently motivated to continue in a job, among these including the need for job security. By structuring an approach accordingly, a leader can create the best fit within an organization.
Stress Management Model
The Demand-Control Model of managing stress on the job, developed by Robert Karasek, suggests that the two primary factors that determine stress include how demanding a job is, and how much autonomy workers have in a project (Mind Tools, 2014c). This means the number of stressors at work, including deadlines and pressures, combined with an individual’s ability to control their work environment, directly affect work stress. People who have the most pressure and least ability to control their environment have the greatest stress (Mind Tools, 2014c). Schultz, Wang, Crimmins & Fisher (2010) found this stress was increased for younger workers, particularly among women in white-collar jobs with more years on the job and more hours working. In different project management environments, project managers who give their team members more autonomy may help reduce the stress felt by team members. However, in project management environments where there is high demand, but where the project manager maintains the greatest level of autonomy, stress may feel out of control. To help mitigate this, it may help project managers to work with employees to give them control over certain aspects of the job. A flexible work schedule, for example may help alleviate some job stress. This may result in win-win situations.