In Stephen R. Covey’s, The 8th Habit-From Effectiveness to Greatness, in chapter two is a grand pointer of one of the largest problems in many businesses today. The paradigm shift from Industrial Age to Information/Knowledge workers (both Peter Drucker and Alvin Toffler wrote well on this subject) is still rumbling under and through them. Paradigm shifts are hard for many people to accept, and harder even for institutions.
As Covey put it: “The problem is, managers today are still applying the Industrial Age control model to knowledge workers. Because many in positions of authority do not see the true worth and potential of their people and do not possess a complete, accurate understanding or human nature, they manage people as they do things.”
So why can this be a problem for a project manager? Because if this occurring to any of the people on your project, the devaluation and demotivation that this causes can greatly impact a project. You need to know what to look for and how to counter it.
Mission statements can help here, not one handed down; but one created by the participants. You may have to use or develop other tools to counter the effects of paradigm rumble.
If you haven’t already, or it’s been awhile, Covey, Drucker and Toffler are good reads…many time over. My copies are well worn.