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A Sustainable Project Management Strategy against Multitasking Situations from the Viewpoints of Cognitive Mechanism and Motivational Belief

Graduate School of Business IT, Kookmin University, Seoul 02707, Korea
School of Management Information Systems, Kookmin University, Seoul 02707, Korea
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2019, 11(24), 6912;
Received: 4 November 2019 / Revised: 22 November 2019 / Accepted: 23 November 2019 / Published: 4 December 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fintech and Logistics in the Fourth Industrial Revolution Era)
In modern society, multitasking is necessary for a worker to accomplish a final goal by their deadline, which could be pursued for either a single goal or multiple goals. Moreover, a worker who has the authority to prioritize their tasks can make plans about the process of behavioral strategies to perform each task by making a to-do list. This strategy is a way of unpacking that which seems to affect the expectancy of goal attainment and heighten the value and importance of the goal. Otherwise, a worker could write a to-do list without specific action plans. These effects of unpacking and packing can be used as management strategies for multitasking engagement and could impact a worker’s cognition differently depending on the goal relations, including if there is a single goal or multiple goals. On the one hand, in pursuit of a single goal, unpacking can facilitate a worker’s judgment of the importance of the task. On the other hand, in pursuit of multiple goals, a worker’s judgment of one task’s importance can conflict with another task due to contradictory unpacking guidelines. Additionally, self-regulation as an intrinsic motivation empowers conscious intentions to neglect the cognitive effects of the to-do list. Therefore, those with low self-regulation tend to be encouraged by the effect of unpacking, but those with high self-regulation have the effects of unpacking inhibited. This theoretical model was constructed to identify the cognitive mechanism and the role of self-regulation on boundary conditions in regard to the different effects on unpacking. This study was confirmed via the two-way experiment (single- and multiple-goal x packing and unpacking) to explore the effects of the cognitive mechanism on task importance. The following test was performed via the three-way experiment, using an additional variable, the levels of self-regulation (low self-regulation and high self-regulation), to verify whether they inhibit cognitive effects. This study suggests that the judgment of task importance is different in accordance with goal relations, packing and unpacking, and self-regulations for sustainable management strategies of multitasking. View Full-Text
Keywords: project management; multitasking; unpacking effect; self-regulation; goal structure project management; multitasking; unpacking effect; self-regulation; goal structure
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Park, J.; Park, D.-H. A Sustainable Project Management Strategy against Multitasking Situations from the Viewpoints of Cognitive Mechanism and Motivational Belief. Sustainability 2019, 11, 6912.

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