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Project management control within a multicultural setting

André A. de Waal (HPO Center, Hilversum, The Netherlands) (StatMind Management Research and Development, Maastricht, The Netherlands)
Freke A. de Boer (Universiteit van Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands)

Journal of Strategy and Management

ISSN: 1755-425X

Publication date: 15 May 2017

Abstract

Purpose

There is a growing debate and research stream on the influence of national culture on the type and nature of management control systems (MCSs) used by organizations in the country. A specific case is the management control of projects executed in a multicultural international environment. The purpose of this paper is to describe the findings of a study into the role of national cultures in controlling a project which a multinational undertook in four countries.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on project management control literature a theoretical MCS for international projects is developed. Subsequently, the influence of national culture on this system is discussed, using Hofstede’s cultural dimensions. Then the theoretical system is applied on the project the multinational case company executed in four countries (Austria, Finland, India, and Russia).

Findings

A key finding is that different national cultures do require different types of control, but that this effect is neutralized by the culture of the multinational which is the same all over the world and which supersedes national cultures. This makes it possible to implement a standardized project management control framework.

Originality/value

The research yielded a conceptual project management control framework which in practice seemed to be useful for controlling not only the process and progress but also the product (end result) of a project in a multicultural environment.

Keywords

Citation

de Waal, A.A. and de Boer, F.A. (2017), "Project management control within a multicultural setting", Journal of Strategy and Management, Vol. 10 No. 2, pp. 148-167. https://doi.org/10.1108/JSMA-03-2016-0020

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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