Work rhythm, flow and success in a project : a case study research
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Organisations and individuals are shaped and influenced by their environment and interaction with others in a conscious or unconscious manner. Due to increased competitiveness, organisations need to be aware of elements in their environment and how these can affect operations and outcomes. Rhythms in organisations and the employee’s work rhythms are considered to influence flow and the achieved level of success in organisations. This thesis aims to investigate factors setting the work rhythms for organisations and individuals, and to study whether work rhythms influence flow and level of success. Our research question was: “What factors sets the work rhythm and how does the work rhythm influence flow and level of success?” The theoretical foundation that was used to approach this research question, were various terminologies within the field of rhythm, flow and success. Thereafter, a case study was conducted to gain a deeper understanding of the phenomenon. This study is based on interviews with workers in “Nor-Oil”, an organisation working within the petroleum industry. Nor-Oil was responsible for one part of the project studied in this case, project Alpha. Nor-Oil had many challenges during this project, where some of these were considered to influence rhythm and flow of the workers and the level of success. Through this study, we found that the main internal factors setting the work rhythm were: insufficient planning in project organisation, no clear and realistic schedules, contract workers, structured and informative handover meetings and unstructured and inefficient project meetings, in addition to the external factor Acknowledgement of Compliance. In project Alpha, we found that the good temperamental job-fit of the workers was most likely a factor influencing the work rhythm in a positive way. The experience of flow was present for some of the workers, but it become clear that it was a highly individual factor. From this we can state that flow is not a prerequisite for gaining success. Project Alpha maintained the quality of work and was completed within the final deadline, while costs were understood as non-relevant factor for the level of success of project Alpha. From this we can state that factors setting the work rhythm can have an influence on flow, however flow is not a prerequisite for success. However, other success factors can also determine the level of success for project Alpha. One of these is the end-user, since the end-user appeared to be satisfied with the product. Based on our findings, we suggest some improvements for future projects. We believe these factors will increase work rhythm and flow in similar projects. These are the following: • Having a clear and updated organisational matrix • Distributing information to the right people • Prioritising efficient meetings.
Masteroppgave i økonomi og administrasjon - Universitetet i Agder 2013