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Keywords:

  • culture;
  • contextual performance behavior;
  • project-based work

Abstract

Successful projects are often characterized by a unique spirit. Phase one results, based on 193 employees partaking in 60 projects across organizations, support a model positing that leader building activities affect employees' emotions, attitudes, and behavioral norms that are focused on expected project outcomes, termed project spirit. Spirit affects employees' contextual performance behavior, which in turn affects success as proposed. Phase two cases, designed to ground these results in technology-driven project contexts, highlight the value of managing the project's intangible aspects captured by spirit. Quantitative and qualitative findings imply that leaders can be coached to execute behaviors that generate a project's spirit, which boosts contextual performance behavior and increases project success.