Stakeholder dissonance: disagreements on project outcome and its impact on team motivation across three countries
When a project perceived to be a failure by one set of stakeholders is perceived as a success by another set of stakeholders we have outcome disagreement. Our objective is to discover if team motivation is affected when developers and managers disagree on a project's outcome. We also investigate if culture influences team motivation. We collected questionnaire data on 290 completed projects from software engineering practitioners based in Australia, Chile, and USA. We asked if the respondent considered their project was successful and if higher level management considered the project a success. We found that more projects were perceived successful by management than by developers. Also, successful projects are associated with higher levels of team motivation than failed projects or projects with outcome disagreement. Culture makes a difference to levels of team motivation for both failed projects, and projects with outcome disagreement. An over-riding influence on team motivation is agreement with other stakeholders. To motivate practitioners, stakeholders need to agree on what constitutes a successful or a failed project before the start of the project.