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Article
Publication date: 6 November 2009

Edward Godfrey Ochieng and Andrew David Price

The purpose of this paper is to present literature that suggests that project teams comprising members from culturally diverse backgrounds bring fresh ideas and new…

13525

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present literature that suggests that project teams comprising members from culturally diverse backgrounds bring fresh ideas and new approaches to problem solving. The challenge, however, is that they also introduce different understandings and expectations regarding team dynamics and integration. The question becomes how a project manager can effectively work and influence a multicultural construction project team, at the same time being attentive to the diversity and creating the structure required for success.

Design/methodology/approach

Using a qualitative methodology, participants of heavy construction engineering projects revealed a number of multi‐dimensional factors that either facilitated or limited the effectiveness of multicultural teamwork. These were synthesised into a framework of eight key dimensions that need to be considered when managing multicultural teams. The identified key dimensions include: leadership style, team selection and composition process, cross‐cultural management of team development process, cross‐cultural communication, cross‐cultural collectivism, cross‐cultural trust, cross‐cultural management and cross‐cultural uncertainty.

Findings

The proposed framework has implications for construction managers who work with multicultural teams and are committed to improving team performance and productivity. The utilisation of the proposed framework would not instantly transform multicultural teams into high‐performing ones; however, it does identify eight key cross‐cultural dimensions, which need to be considered.

Originality/value

Though the benefits of culturally diverse teams have been acknowledged within the industry, the study highlighted that cultural differences among project teams can cause conflict, misunderstanding and poor project performance.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 16 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 27 April 2022

Ewald Kuoribo, Peter Amoah, Ernest Kissi, David John Edwards, Jacob Anim Gyampo and Wellington Didibhuku Thwala

Prodigious teamwork is the basis for augmenting the level of productivity on construction projects. Globalisation of the construction market has meant that many…

Abstract

Purpose

Prodigious teamwork is the basis for augmenting the level of productivity on construction projects. Globalisation of the construction market has meant that many practitioners work outside of their geographical spectrum; however, the multicultural dissimilarities of construction workforces within the project management team (and how these may impact upon project productivity performance) have been given scant academic attention. To bridge this knowledge gap, this paper aims to analyse the effects of a multicultural workforce on construction productivity.

Design/methodology/approach

The epistemological positioning of the research adopted mixed philosophies (consisting of both interpretivism and postpositivism) to undertake a deductive and cross-sectional survey to collate primary quantitative data collected via a closed-ended structured questionnaire. Census sampling and convenience sampling techniques were adopted to target Ghana’s construction workforce and their opinions of the phenomenon under investigation. Out of 96 questionnaires administered, 61 were retrieved. The data obtained were analysed by using mean score ranking, relative important index, one sample t-test and multiple regression. The reliability of the scale was checked by using Cronbach’s alpha coefficient.

Findings

From the t-test analysis, 11 variables sourced from extant literature, and the null hypothesis for the study was not rejected and all factors (except high cost of training and improper gender diversity management) were affirmed as negative effects of the multicultural workforce on construction productivity. Using multiple regression analysis, six of the independent variables were shown to impact upon productivity. The goodness of fit was verified by collinearity and residual analysis. The model’s validation revealed a relatively high predictive accuracy (R2 = 0. 589), implying that the results could be generalized. In culmination, these findings suggest that the predictors can be used to accurately predict the effects of multicultural workforce on construction productivity performance.

Practical implications

The findings indicate that multicultural workforce/teams have a substantial effect on overall construction productivity in the construction sector; consequently, stakeholders must address this issue to enhance productivity across the sector.

Originality/value

The current study significantly contributes to our understanding of how multicultural workers/teams affect construction productivity in the construction business perspective and how to respond to the negative menace.

Details

Journal of Engineering, Design and Technology , vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1726-0531

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 27 October 2022

Dhammika (Dave) Guruge

This paper aims to draw attention to multicultural experience as a manager. It is an auto-ethnographic enquiry which comprises own experiences and intercultural and…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to draw attention to multicultural experience as a manager. It is an auto-ethnographic enquiry which comprises own experiences and intercultural and intra-cultural engagement of the author’s self in both mono-cultural and multicultural environments drawing from archival records of personal account of experience.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper adopted auto-ethnographic enquiry of the author’s experience in multicultural environment. The auto-ethnography as a research method is discussed along with its criticisms, validity, reliability and generalisability.

Findings

The findings include power distance, elitism in hiring practices, inclusivity of women, challenges in South Asian Muslim countries, challenges in the non-anglophone country and their implications for a practitioner.

Research limitations/implications

As the author employed an auto-ethnographic enquiry based on the author’s prior experience, this raises questions about wider generalisability and applicable contexts. Findings of the enquiry can be tested using further qualitative enquiries such as in-depth interviews with a sample of stakeholders in a multicultural environment.

Practical implications

The paper provides insights useful in managing in multicultural environments discussed. Also, it provides implications for policy makers in organisations. Practitioners can use the paper to get an insight into the markets the author already have been to and use the learning for decision-making during market development efforts.

Originality/value

Auto-ethnography in multicultural environment is scant. This auto-ethnographical enquiry provides original content of practitioner experience compared with the related theory.

Details

Journal of Organizational Ethnography, vol. 11 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-6749

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 23 January 2009

Ralf Müller, Konrad Spang and Sinan Ozcan

The purpose of the paper is to report on research in cultural differences in decision‐making styles in project teams composed of team members from different nationalities…

6096

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of the paper is to report on research in cultural differences in decision‐making styles in project teams composed of team members from different nationalities. Differences in decision making in mainly German teams vs mainly Swedish teams was assessed.

Design/methodology/approach

A sequential mixed‐method approach was used, starting with interviews to develop a grounded theory, followed by survey to test the theory. Factor and regression analyses allowed for identification of the cultural antecedents of the identified differences in decision making.

Findings

Locus of control differences in decision making were identified, together with factors for differences in decisions, namely decision‐making style, process, and involvement. Correlated cultural antecedents to these factors, in the form of personal attributes, were found.

Research limitations/implications

Although the research design provides for some credibility of the results, the scope of the study is limited mainly to the engineering and construction industry in the two countries.

Practical implications

The study helps team members and project managers to understand the impact of their cultural differences on decision‐making process and style. Through that the study helps to minimize the potential friction when working on multicultural projects. Recommendations for practitioners are provided.

Originality/value

The idiosyncrasies of decision making in multicultural projects are researched using the example of Sweden and Germany. A model is built which extends existing project management theory. The paper also provides insights into the lived experiences of practicing project managers in multicultural teams and gives hints on how to overcome cultural barriers.

Details

International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, vol. 2 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8378

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 23 April 2020

Junying Liu, Zhipeng Cui, Yingbin Feng, Srinath Perera and Jie Han

Cultural differences have been frequently cited as a major source of risks for international joint ventures (IJVs). Cultural differences may cause extensive conflicts in…

1792

Abstract

Purpose

Cultural differences have been frequently cited as a major source of risks for international joint ventures (IJVs). Cultural differences may cause extensive conflicts in technology, norms and emotion among the international joint venture (IJV) partners. The purpose of this study is to explore the interactive effects of national culture differences (NCDs) and conflict management approaches on the performance of international construction joint ventures (ICJV).

Design/methodology/approach

Data were collected using a questionnaire survey method with 143 valid responses. Partial least squares structural equation modeling (PLS-SEM) was used to test the research hypotheses.

Findings

It was found that ICJV performance declined with a high degree of NCDs. The negative effect of NCDs on ICJV performance was mitigated by adopting the cooperative conflict management approach; while it was aggravated by adopting the competitive conflict management approach. The findings may provide an alternative way (i.e. adopting the cooperative conflict management approach rather than avoiding or competitive approaches) to address the cultural conflicts in the multicultural project management teams.

Practical implications

Firstly, as NCD negatively impacts performance of ICJVs, project managers should pay attention to cultural issues and learn how to manage them; Secondly, as cooperative and competitive conflict management approaches have different moderating effects on the relationship between NCD and ICJV performance, project managers must choose appropriate conflict management styles in multination teams. Thirdly, as the avoiding approach has no significant moderating effect on the negative relationship between NCD and ICJV performance, it is important for Chinese partners not to employ avoiding approach to deal with conflicts in ICJV.

Originality/value

This study uniquely adds to the literature on cultural issues in managing ICJVs by integrating the moderating effects of conflict management approaches. The interactive effects of conflict management approaches and national cultural differences on ICJV project performance may contribute to the theories regarding conflict management theory in the context of cross-cultural management.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 27 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 21 May 2020

Raavee Kadam, Srinivasa A. Rao, Waheed Kareem Abdul and Shazi Shah Jabeen

This study aims to examine the influence of diversity climate perceptions (DCPs) on team member’s contribution to team innovation and team performance in a multicultural

1499

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to examine the influence of diversity climate perceptions (DCPs) on team member’s contribution to team innovation and team performance in a multicultural team (MCT). The authors also investigate the moderating effect of cultural intelligence on these relationships.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors draw upon the interactional model for cultural diversity to build their hypotheses. Data was gathered from 43 teams consisting of 217 members using a structured questionnaire. Ratings were obtained from both team members and supervisors. The data collected was analyzed using structural equation modeling.

Findings

Results indicated that when team members have positive DCPs, it had a positive impact on their innovation and performance in the team. Cultural intelligence was also found to have a direct impact on team member innovation but not on team member performance. Furthermore, cultural intelligence was found to positively moderate the DCPs – team member performance relationship but not the DCPs – team member innovation relationship.

Practical implications

Managing diversity is a key concern for organizations worldwide given the exponentially rising cultural diversity within the workforce. This study would enable practitioners to understand that developing positive DCPs and cultural intelligence of team members are critical to the success of MCTs.

Originality/value

Literature has documented mixed results pertaining to team diversity and its effect on performance, resulting in scholars urging the need to explore how the negative effects of team diversity can be mitigated. This research establishes that positive DCPs and cultural intelligence as two key factors contributing to the performance of MCTs.

Details

Measuring Business Excellence, vol. 24 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1368-3047

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 16 October 2003

Joseph L.C Cheng and Danielle L Cooper

Existing international human resource management research tends to omit context in investigating the HR needs of MNCs, and gives little attention to the role of IHR…

Abstract

Existing international human resource management research tends to omit context in investigating the HR needs of MNCs, and gives little attention to the role of IHR managers in strategic decision making. Building on prior works in “context-embedded” research, this paper incorporates an MNC’s strategic context into the analysis of its HR needs and identifies four new research directions that will help advance the academic study of IHRM and its contribution to practice, particularly for firms pursuing a global or transnational strategy. The rationale and significance of each research direction are discussed, and some preliminary propositions are offered to guide future investigation.

Details

Leadership in International Business Education and Research
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-224-5

Abstract

Details

Secrets of Working Across Five Continents: Thriving Through the Power of Cultural Diversity
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80043-011-2

Abstract

Details

Secrets of Working Across Five Continents: Thriving Through the Power of Cultural Diversity
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80043-011-2

Article
Publication date: 1 March 1996

Malcolm Higgs

Discusses the literature on cross‐cultural diversity and team building in a global context. Argues that diversity is to be valued, not seen as a problem. Outlines a…

14641

Abstract

Discusses the literature on cross‐cultural diversity and team building in a global context. Argues that diversity is to be valued, not seen as a problem. Outlines a framework for building cultural understanding and awareness. Proposes a model for developing effective international management teams.

Details

Team Performance Management: An International Journal, vol. 2 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1352-7592

Keywords

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