IT consultants often work in a complex, stressful environment, perhaps to a greater extent than other hired consultants.
Now, a psychology thesis from Gothenburg University, Sweden, has revealed that work motivation helps reduce stress among IT consultants.
They also experience less stress if they are able to manage their own work and if the demands placed on them in their work are reasonable.
"Knowledge and understanding of employees' work motivation is decisive for the development and profitability of an organisation," said Lars Goran Wallgren of the Department of Psychology at Gothenburg University, who has carried out a study of the psychosocial work environment of IT consultants in his thesis.
Motivated employees are decisive for the development and profitability of an organisation, which requires managers to have knowledge and understanding of what motivates employees in their work.
Because IT consultants are at the edge of constant change, involving new working methods and new technologies, for example, they require a high degree of flexibility and adaptability.
"If the working environment is not motivating and healthy at the individual level, over time that working environment will also have implications at the organisational level," said Wallgren.
The thesis also revealed that in several respects motivation depends on the interplay between consultants and client companies.
IT consultants, who often work at clients' premises outside their own companies, develop dual loyalty - loyalty to the client and loyalty to their own firm of consultants.
According to Wallgren, it is important for managers in a firm of consultants to understand what motivates their employees and what causes them to experience stress and, above all, they should also understand the working environment their employees operate in as consultants.