Critical Chain Project Management: Relationships with Stress, Motivation, Commitment, and Leader-member Exchange

Critical Chain Project Management: Relationships with Stress, Motivation, Commitment, and Leader-member Exchange

Author: 
Donald E. Humpert
Program of study: 
Ph.D./IO Psych
Abstract: 
Project environments are a source of many stressors that can negatively affect project workers. Traditional project management methods commonly fail to prevent project worker stress, which results in lower motivation, decreased commitment, and reduced leader-member exchange among project workers. The purpose of this quantitative multivariate partial least squares structural equation modeling (PLS-SEM) study was to examine the relationships between key elements of critical chain project management (CCPM) on stress, motivation, commitment, and leader-member exchange, and to assess the mediating role of stress, among project workers utilizing CCPM in companies based in the United States. The key elements of CCPM that were studied in this research were workload control, CCPM planning, preparation, buffer management, and focused project execution. Data in this study were collected from project workers (N = 32) using a crosssectional online survey instrument. Bootstrapping was performed in conjunction with PLS-SEM analysis to derive empirical t statistics, confidence intervals, and p-values for the path coefficients between the five exogenous and four endogenous variables. At the p <.05 significance level, the key findings of this study were that workload control was negatively related to project worker stress, that preparation was positively related to affective commitment, and that buffer management was positively related to work motivation potential. Only nonmediation was observed by project worker stress. The results of this study include reasons why leaders might implement CCPM in their organizations or incorporate the key elements of CCPM in other project management methods.
Dedication: 
I dedicate this dissertation to my wife, Judi, for her understanding, support, and encouragement over the course of this doctoral journey. Her seemingly infinite patience and positive attitude gave me the strength to complete this program.
Acknowledgements: 
Although my name is the only one listed on the title page of this study, there are many authors of my success in completing this dissertation research. First, I want to acknowledge and thank my dissertation committee chair, Dr. Kathleen Barclay, for her expert guidance and unwavering support. I also wish to thank my committee members Dr. Mike Vandermark and Dr. Derek Rohde for their assistance and commitment. I owe a debt of gratitude to Dr. Frederick Lawrence, who helped me refine my research design and influenced me to learn more about structural equation modeling. This study would not have been possible without the assistance of colleagues in the theory of constraints (TOC) community who provided me with informal counsel, served as my panel of experts, and assisted me in getting study participants. I would like to especially thank my comrades in consulting and experts in critical chain project management Bill Rhind, Grant Lindsay, Joe Tytor, and Jack Vinson. I am also grateful to Dr. Charlene Budd, Marcia Hutchinson, Christoph Lenhartz, Philip Marris, and Henry Soo for allowing me to advertise my study on their community websites. I want to thank my family, whose encouragement sustained me throughout this project. The total confidence in my ability to finish this program displayed by my children Brad, Kim, and Angela was a constant source of motivation. The admiration of my parents Bob and Marion, and my sister Jen, also inspired me to keep working to overcome obstacles. Finally, I want to acknowledge my wife Judi; I could not have accomplished this life-project without her love and support.