Organizational Behaviour and Project Management Case Study


Culture, motivation, and rewards are assessed qualitatively in illustrating the pioneering Heathrow Terminal 5 project. The mentioned factors compare with demonstrated practices and are further integrated into an all-inclusive shift in the behavioral change approach. Hence, it includes handling the social and physical work environment, in addition to personal motivators of risk-taking behavior. In cases of minimal culture maturity, the emphasis is contended on installing productive safety management approaches.

Techniques for workforce governance characterizing the case study include a project-by-project operation via influencing the experts and motivating them. Substandard project management is adverse and can be strenuous to handle, especially for megaprojects necessitating large amounts of money. In regards to the Heathrow Terminal 5 project, the project is a milestone in adopting construction theories. It consequently calls for an entire transition in the culture and mindset of project participants. Despite Heathrow Terminal 5 being a complete project, there are important lessons to be learned from it.

Consequently, operational behavior is discussed in this report to illustrate why culture, motivation, and reward should never be compromised or underestimated in project operationalization. Although they are not automatically considered triumphant due to cost and schedule overruns, projects often become finished and sealed. Individual behavior is among the major factors driving effective project management.

Additionally, creating a collaborative environment may result in the best industry performances and practices in the world. It is paramount that project managers understand the culture, emotions, and behavior well. Therefore, appropriate organizational behavior is especially admissible to long-term projects with high complexity and risk. This method would, however, need an immense cultural transformation before it becomes a norm.

Nature of the Problem

The Heathrow Terminal 5 (T5) project was formally opened in the Heathrow Airport in London on 27 March 2008, to maximize the airport’s passenger volume to ninety-five million annually (Heathrow Terminal 5 building projects, 2019). However, the project’s major issues at the final stages were ensuring the punctual delivery of endowment and steady distribution of risk amongst the suppliers. Here, the timely delivery of investment funds continued to be a key complication due to the universal economy’s subsistent peril drawing at the time to the imminent economic predicament (Winter, 2016). The other striking problem in the T5 project was ensuring that all stakeholders participating in the massive project would complete their allocated responsibilities on time and on their assigned budgets (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, 2016).

Consequently, after the Terminal 5 project was completed, the major problem was identifying problematic sections in the terminal functions and hence stress assessment processes for beyond a year by all stakeholders, including the contracting employers (Drews, 2017). Therefore, the Heathrow Terminal 5 project’s failure was closely tied to two main components- system integration and the collaboration of diverse groups included in the project.

The main systems in need of integration into the Terminal 5 project were communication systems, civil systems, electrical systems, technological contractors, and mechanical systems. The mentioned systems needed joint optimization because their harmonious operation could only be possible under complete reciprocity and total integration (Drews, 2017). In regard to class readings, establishing projects such as the Heathrow Terminal 5 necessitates the induction of factors such as enthusiasm by implementing operational readiness and organizational behaviors such as motivation, reward, and culture. It is imperative to recognize that they must combine into a mega integration despite each project being unique (Hogan, 2020).

Construction is a complex area encompassing a wide range of products, producers, suppliers, construction materials, installers and providers, sub-contractors and contractors, construction clients, professionals, build, design, building services manufacturers, and refurbishment operations contractors.

Consequently, the project’s workforce was diverse in socio-economic groups, cultural groups, and either contracted or permanent employees. This diversity is what trickles down to the apparent requirement of cultural change. organizational culture refers to the shared and ignored implicit assumptions that an organization’s members perceive and hold on to, which dictate their perception, thoughts, and reactions to their different environments. According to Margit (2019), there are different possible problems and benefits related to human resource management theories and other cultural techniques. However, it has been confirmed that extrinsic improved organization behavior techniques and reward systems deliver positive productivity impacts on employees.

The Heathrow Terminal 5 project problems resulted from two major issues- inadequate communication between the operators and the owner and poor personnel training, motivation, and system testing. There were also dire resource mismanagement questions and inadequate engagement with the working team. According to Organization for Economic Cooperation Development (2016), the potential rationale for the T5 project to work would have required abandoning the thought that the stakeholders and employees were completely in conformity with the project’s manifestation. Such recommendations require systematic thinking for the approach to complex tasks such as the T5, which require multi-aspect strategies and multi-steps in the right direction as they are unique in every possible way (Susanne Madsen – Developing Project Leaders, 2019).

It is hard to disagree with the above opinion, especially because it provides convenience in the project approach. Moreover, the organization must handle a ready presentation of the general steps. Therefore, the Heathrow Terminal 5 project lacked building a strategy inclusive of collaborative working, reward sharing (a clear agreement on risk and reward allocation), building contract risks, and team togetherness.

The second problem was the inflexibility and adversity of the project culture. The delivery strategy should have been built around collaborative working, empowerment, training, motivation, and the construction of a culture rooting for reward openness to promote a learning culture. The third issue that seemed to be the Terminal 5 project’s problem was a lack of workforce motivation (Drew, 2017).

According to the class readings, there is an association between behavioral transition and workforce engagement, which means worker motivation contributes to more effective solutions. Structured interventions promote progressive behavior change as it highlights the possible consequences of negative or unsafe behavior or the benefits of safe working operations. Motivation would also include a workforce gap analysis between the desired values or practices and the actual ones. For the identified problems, the following solutions were recommended.

Ways of Solving the Identified Problems

The Heathrow Terminal 5 project exemplifies how the most propitious initiatives go wrong when poor organizational behavior operates. The failure of collaboration amongst different system integrations and groups in the T5 project led to the complete failure and disappointment in its opening. The project’s major problems were the management of people, and resources and the dysfunctional management of processes and decision-making (Polin, 2018). These problems are a classical illustration of the importance of effective organizational behavior. Finances are the main motivator for stakeholder performance.

Therefore, the issues can be solved via implementing a different funding approach for disciplined stakeholders, an improved cultural variation accommodating all the diverse stakeholders and working variations, and a powerful motivational strategy to promote improved stakeholder and workforce engagement (Margit, 2020). The suggested means of solving the identified problems include the following steps: motivation, reward system, organizational culture, and maintenance.


The level at which the workforce contributes to the decisions concerning their safety and conditions at work is referred to as worker engagement. Worker engagement is a means of motivation, and it allows for the generation of more effective workforce loyalty and permanent behavior transformation (Lee and Daschle, 2016). In most successful project accomplishments, a lot of effort and time is directed into all involved stakeholders’ motivation, including suppliers and trade contractors. The T5 project would be necessary to modify latent and immediate contributors to unsafe behavior, reinforce safer practices and include strategies that retain transformation over time. According to the Expectancy Theory, the motivation provided is dependent on the effort provided, either leading to the desired performance or not leading to the desired performance. Therefore, the Heathrow Terminal 5 project should have provided a valence point from which the various stakeholders believe that their excellent performances will be rewarded.

The other relevant phase would be identifying whether or not the appointed rewards are valuable to particular stakeholders. Here, different forms of rewards need to be assigned to the level of relevance to those receiving them (Lee and Daschle, 2016). In this case, the effort is equated to expectancy as the workforce decides if their rewards will result in good performances worth a valuable reward. However, using an integrated approach in this step is recommended because it allows the accommodation of root causes to be aligned with the precision brought about by the organizational behavior approach.

Motivational methods include salaries, training, work conditions, recognition, job security, keeping the job itself, supervision, company policies, job security, and career advancement. Consequently, by motivating the workforce, the change will be instigated through workforce relatedness and self-actualization, as Maslow’s theory of motivation dictates (Margit, 2019). Additionally, tying the motivational techniques to the skill set, aptitude, and understanding of the task of the workforce, would allow the Heathrow Terminal 5’s workforce to expend effort out of choice, persist and perfect their skills out of choice and also maximize the degree of their efforts out of their choice (Patrick, 2020). Consequently, the application of the integrated teams and motivation in the management of the T5.

Reward System

Developing a reward system has a close resemblance to developing a behavioral safety program. According to Hendijani et al. (2016), the process of constructing an effective reward system includes the explanation of what is expected, the involvement of the workforce, describing the dangerous and poor-quality work condition consequences, the establishment of goals, and the provision of performance feedback. In the development of a reward system for the Heathrow Terminal 5 project, implementing a combined reward scheme would be the best strategy. According to Salah (2016), the workforce and contractors of the Terminal 5 project should be introduced to a strategy that values all the stakeholders, including the contractors, the clients, and the workforce with employment rewards, improved health and safety, enhanced welfare and industrial relations stability for its stability. Further, the high costs of the T5 implementation also played a major role in the risk allocation.

As illustrated in the class readings, five theories are considered to develop an effective reward system in Terminal 5’s organizational behavior. The Needs Theory questions the satisfaction of the employee’s needs by the reward system. The Reinforcement Theory emphasizes the consistency and clarity of the messages that are sent out. The Expectancy Theory evaluates the reward’s valence to see if the workforce needs and trusts the reward system. The Equity Theory assesses whether or not the rewards are perceived as fair, while the Goal-Setting Theory emphasizes the organization awarding what they say they want. Therefore, through the application of a productive reward system, the Heathrow Terminal 5 workforce could be reinforced via non-financial rewards, financial rewards, encouragement, and praise.

Additionally, the Goal Setting Theory practiced on a group basis would have resulted in better teamwork and improved overall performance. In that regard, incentives and goal setting should include workforce participation to optimize the strategy’s effects (McClory, 2017). Also, properly laid out and measurable goals promote performance maximization much more than indefinite targets do. The T5 should also post the feedback in a prominent place, avoid the rewarding absence of unsafe behavior, and use incentives for indiscretion.

Organizational Culture

Relying on workforce stability and an organization’s culture maturity, organizations ensure that an effective safety management system is in place before going for management and culture practices and eventually employee behavior as maturity evolves. By embracing the implementation of organizational culture, Heathrow Terminal 5 stands a chance to shape the behavior and structure of the stakeholder’s perception of customs, morals, and laws, which would be passed on to younger or newer group members with time (Marks and Spencer, 2019). However, for the organizational structure to be effective, it has to pass three levels.

The first level is Observable Artifacts, where the manifestation of the T5’s organizational culture would be displayed to all the workers. The second level is the Espoused Values, where the T5’s beliefs and values would be explicitly stated either in writing or verbally. The final organizational culture level is Basic Underlying Assumptions (Grove et al., 2018). Beliefs and values are deeply ingrained in the workforce to the point that they are unconsciously holding those assumptions and taking them for granted. Some of the observable artifacts that the Heathrow Terminal 5 project could use to endorse the establishment of their organizational culture include symbols like uniforms, a webpage, and logos, rituals like laid out routines, and physical structures like open workspaces.

Furthermore, by developing a strong organizational culture with commitment, loyalty and cohesiveness, the T5 project will have consistent performance and guide employee behavior and, consequently, better project results. According to Marks and Spencer (2019), when managed appropriately, organizational culture has the power to transform an organization’s attitude and performance for the better as it elucidates the unseen and unconscious elements of how work is done in a particular organization. It is also essential to understand that culture begins with the founders (Lee and Daschle, 2016). For the T5 to have an effective culture, they should hire and retain workers with similar attitudes and values. It is most likely that the workforce will be indoctrinated into their leaders’ thinking and behavior. Therefore, they should be keen to elaborate on ambition, collaboration, integrity, respect, and excellence.


The final step to solving the suggested problems is maintenance as it is essential to achieve positive transformation. Potential strategies for conservation of change that can be utilized by Heathrow Terminal 5 include obtaining feedback from the implemented measures, repeating training with new content, performance feedback, and monitoring effectiveness. The other strategy is gauging effectiveness to boost morale and counter workforce irregularities, resulting in increased output (James, 2018).

Maintenance’s last strategy is a comparison of the organizational goals with real achievements as often as possible. This way, it is significantly easier to track down mistakes before they escalate into substantial provocations. It will prevent the implementation of sizeable drifts from the originally targeted models (James, 2018). By possessing an internal behavioral system, the T5 would also be able to devote a particular number of resources to observing and monitoring the aimed program delivery, hence seeing its successful completion. Nevertheless, there are possible barriers and obstacles to implementing the recommended solutions, as discussed below.

Barriers and Challenges to the Implementation of the Recommendations

Reduced group cohesion due to competition increment is one of the challenges to the above recommendations. This particular dispute is tied to the reward system when the rewards are based on an individual’s performance (William and Ryan, 2017). However, in the award system, another possible barrier is the unclear “line of sight,” which would reduce the incentives’ effectiveness due to rewards being tied to group performance. There is also a possible protest from the high performers since not all team players are equally productive (Geraldi et al., 2017). A third objection in the reward system recommendation is the diminishment of benefits with the team’s enlargement. For the motivation recommendation, a major opposition would be meeting each individual’s expectancy regarding the expectancy theory of motivation.

Another demonstration of this recommendation is the possibility of the workforce acting contrary to the reinforcement history if the valence is not valuable to them. For organizational culture, the potential barrier is the failure to completely change the already inbuilt culture since strong cultures can be either good or bad. The final challenge to the recommended implementation is that higher reward systems do not always automatically reflect better performance. Therefore, the reward system may result in substandard workforce behavior where workers have selective responsibility based on their returns, conceived goals, and confirmed bias. Overvaluing outcomes and perceived lower accountability situations where there is indirect harm are other possible results.


The Heathrow Terminal 5 project is a landmark in the acceptance of organizational behavior in project management. In the report, an illustration of why reward, motivation, and culture should never be compromised is illustrated. The identified problems include a lack of a building strategy inclusive of collaborative working, inflexible organizational culture and adversity, and poor workforce motivation. Consequently, recommendable implementations are motivation, reward system, organizational culture, and maintenance.

The challenges and barriers are classified according to the step which they are associated with. They include diminishment of benefits with the team’s enlargement, reduced group cohesion due to competition, and the reward system resulting in bad workforce behaviors. Usually, a project is viewed as successful only when finished within the borderlines of quality, scope, time, and cost. Therefore, organizational behavior aims to work together under a common purpose to construct a pragmatic and cohesive strategy for workforce engagement and behavioral change for the effective management of projects.

Reference List

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Geraldi, J. and Söderlund, J. (2017) ‘Project studies: what it is, where it is going?’ International Journal of Project Management, 36(1), pp. 55-70. Web.

Grove, E., Dainty, A., Thomson, D. and Thorpe, T. (2018) ‘Becoming collaborative: a study of intra-organizational relational dynamics’, Journal of Financial Management of Property and Construction, 10(3), pp. 53. Web.

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Polin, B. (2018). ‘The Leadership Exploration Project: development and analysis of a leader definition and persuasive presentation’, Management Teaching Review, 4(2), pp.119-137. Web.

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William, P., and Ryan, J. (2017) Unlocking the key to mega project delivery. Working Paper Proceedings Thesis. The University of Melbourne, Australia. Web.

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