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Risk, Motivation, and Project Management | Professor Tsunemi Watanabe


Risk, Motivation, and Project Management


A project is a "molecule" of life. The accumulation of successful life projects contributes to a happier life. Professor Watanabe believes that for all those involved in team projects, it is crucially important to be equally motivated to complete tasks.

Projects can be full of uncertainty and risk and many problems arise from poor risk management. Thus, risk management is considered the very foundation for successful project management, and for the management of other relevant issues such as cost, quality, time, safety, and environment. Enhancing the motivation of project members through appropriate risk management is therefore critical to any project success.

This lecture features three subtopics:

1. The reality and ideal of risk management. Examples of their characteristics and the principle of how they could be transformed.

2. The existence and significance of autonomous motivation. Often project managers believe that the "carrot and stick" approach is the best way to deliver results and gain successful outcomes. However, Professor Watanabe argues that the existence of autonomous motivation would contribute to productivity and public welfare and would generally make any project a far more positive experience for the team as a whole.

3. The link between optimum risk distribution and autonomous motivation. Ideas about this connection are considered via a real-life case study of a successful IT project in Japan.


Tsunemi Watanabe

Tsunemi Watanabe is a Professor in the Faculty of Society & Design at Bond University. Professor Watanabe's area of research expertise addresses risk perception, management and motivation in environment and construction projects. In particular, Professor Watanabe has identified and studied the risk perception of 'lay persons' such as villagers, residents, farmers, and workers who work on construction sites and may suffer with issues of motivation and engagement. The notion of "autonomous motivation", or self-determined behaviour in project management is central to Professor Watanabe's research.

Professor Watanabe is highly published in his field, contributing to both books and international academic journals. He is also a member of the Japan Society of Civil Engineers (JSCE), President of the Georisk Society in Japan, and is a Board Chair for the Technology Research Association of Promoting Utilisation of Stationary Horizontal Job Cranes and Improving Job Enrichment of Construction Technicians in Japan.


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