• Understanding employee engagement in un-official projects–A conceptual model based on psychological empowerment and constructive deviance

      Buchwald, Arne; Urbach, Nils; Mähring, Magnus (2015)
      Un-official projects resulting from unsanctioned, bottom-up employee initiatives is a phenomenon that can cause serious resource planning problems in IT project portfolio management, such as when resources thought to be available have actually been spent on projects conducted under the radar. At the same time, such project may also give rise to innovative ideas, solutions and software of potentially great benefit to organizations. Previous research has begun to acknowledge and highlight the innovative potential in bottom-up un-official activities, but little is known about why individual professionals engage in un-official projects. We draw on psychological empowerment and constructive deviance theory to explain such engagement, identifying factors fostering empowerment as well as factors moderating whether empowerment translates into unofficial project activities. Our conceptual model contributes to the theoretical discourse on un-official projects and equips practitioners with knowledge that can help them balance the propensity of individuals to engage in un-official activities.