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virtual world

Run in a virtual world


Motivation in virtual projects faces harder challenges than in traditional project environments. It’s difficult to create an environment that is motivational and effective in promoting production where the parties involved are dispersed and lack face-to-face interaction (Pazderka & Grechenig, 2007). The results of low motivation and performance can be attributed directly to increased hardship in monitoring group performance, miscommunication, misunderstanding and increased perception of isolation within a particular team.

The increase in virtual projects and their relative importance to economic growth makes a compelling case to study factors that affect their performance. For a virtual project to be successful, the project manager must create effective communication and motivate his team to be more productive.

Motivation in Virtual World

The factors that directly motivate employees in the virtual environment are related to intrinsic motivators and which Amabile and Kramer (2011) refer to as the inner life. The management has to make sure that everything works well, all potential barriers are removed and the management appreciates the work done. These factors aim at increasing intrinsic motivators.

Motivation through Gamification and Projectware

Leadership is critical on the path of virtual project success and the leader has to be highly adaptive in style and skills as leadership also provides motivation in virtual projects. Gamification technique aims at amplifying small wins to generate stimuli, enhance engagement, user habit and finally to feed a progressive loop that develops motivation. Gaming technique practically lifts the responsibilities of motivating virtual employees from the leader’s shoulders and distributes them to other team members and the application software in use (Deterding, Dixon, Khaled & Nacke, 2011b).

Projectware applies to software’s that have been developed specifically to manage projects and have related features that include coordination, process, knowledge and motivation. Each package is different from the other and they focus on different features.  Motivational features are heavily present in one of the software’s known as Podio. The software relies on Happy Pack which is the major component that houses the motivational app’ in the software. The App’s include the High five, Praise people who work hard,  Get to know your teammates better, Mystery co-worker, celebrate your victories, reasons to be happy, nominate the employee of the month among others (Kjerulf, 2012).

All these features have been added to motivate the virtual worker to be more productive. However other extrinsic motivators like increased salaries and bonuses also apply when motivating the workers in this paradigm.


Amabile, T. & Kramer, S. (2011). The progress principle: Using small wins to ignite joy,

engagement and creativity at work:  Harvard Business Review Press. Boston: MA

Deterding, S., Dixon, D., Khaled, R. & Nacke, L. (2011:b). From game design elements to

gamefulness: defining gamification. In Proceedings of the 15th international academic Mind Trek conference: Envisioning future media environments, pp. 9-15. ACM

Kjerulf, A. (2012). The Happy Pack: App market at Podio. Retrieved 9 June 2015 from:

Pazderka, M. & Grechenig, T. (2007) Project management maturity models: Towards best

practices for virtual teams,  In Engineering management conference, 2007 IEEE International, pp. 84-89. IEEE

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