Presentation on theme: "cultural differences in projects"— Presentation transcript:
1 cultural differences in projects The meaning ofcultural differences in projectsFromDr. Klaus Wagenhals
2 Development of the Questionnaire Application of the Questionnaire GPM- Project Group “IPA NEMA: International Project Activities – New Experiences, Methods & Approaches”Development of the QuestionnaireBased on a previous survey by Prof. Nino Grau und Prof. Reschke (published GPM PM-Forum Oct 2000)IPA NEMA WG Companies questionnaire Version Feb 2001 and Version Oct 2001Application of the QuestionnaireResponses from 50+ people in 40 different German companies - Broad range of different project types and branchesIn most cases project leaders, but as well project coordinators or team membersMajority with > 5 years experiences in international projectsExperiences in all regions worldwide (Europe, Americas, Asia, other regions)GoalCollect and evaluate information from individuals (project leaders,...) experienced in international project workWhich aspects will especially / always lead to problems?Which strategies and tools are proposed to improve international project work?Which additional support and tools are proposed?What is the status of international project work in internationally active companies?
3 Importance of Personal Competences Success in international projects is also a question of the personal competence of those who are involved. …ranking order by numbering the competences serially, giving a ‘1’ to the most important competence and an ‘8’ to the least important!
4 Problem Areas and Difficulties in International Projects Where could (better) preparation and assistance of the project members be helpful for international projects? What do you have in mind specifically?Difficulties and improvement ideas in international projects5101520253035404550Technical qualificationsWorking culturePolitical - legalspecialitiesLocal infrastructureProject ManagementLanguageothers(51 questionnaires)main difficultiespossible improvementsnamed improvement ideasDifficultiesDifferent work culture / work mentalityDifferent expectations about commitments, timing etcLanguageDifferent understanding and interpretation of terms“german mindset”Long decision processesLocal distribution of project teamsDifferent legal and fiscal rules and laws
5 The Path To Cultural Competence nu[LowHighwork with target cultureDevelop ways to workwith target cultureAnalyse own cultureIntroduce system forunderstanding culturesAnalyse “target”culture[nuBuild cultural sensitivity
6 Example from Running A Project Team Either / Or PerspectiveAuthority vs Empowermentu[nHighLowAuthorityEmpowermentnSponsor keeps teamon short leash;''Do as I say''[Team presents solutionfor review/discussionat regular intervals andreceives updates onchanging companyneeds from the sponsorGoal: Develop integrated computer-based GT design system to reduce product development time by 50%Project Team Origins: D, CH, PRC, USA, UK, IRLArgue and fight!uTeam works independentlyof sponsor
8 Levels Of Culture Norms and espoused values Visible organisational structures and processesVisible(hard to decipher)Language, Rituals, Dress, Behaviours, etc.Norms and espoused valuespartly visible, partly subconscious(espoused justifications)Strategies, goals, philosophies, taboosBasic underlying assumptionsinvisible, mostly subconscious(ultimate source of values and actions)Unconscious, taken-for-granted beliefs, perceptions, thoughts and feelingsAdapted from E.H. Schein The Corporate Culture Survival Guide (1999)
9 Kluckhohn’s Five Basic Questions Kluckhohn developed five questions to identify a culture’s basic assumptions:What is the character of innate human nature?What is the relation of humans to nature? (relation to surroundings)What is the temporal focus of human life? (time orientation)What is the mode of human activity?What is the mode of human relationships?
10 Kluckhohn’s Model Orientation Range Basically evil or untrustworthy Table shows three possible orientations to the basic assumptions questionsEach culture displays a preference (and knows all orientations)Differences in orientation are often the root of internal resistance to, stress and or rejection of an action proposed by someone elseOrientationRangeHuman natureBasically evil or untrustworthyMixture of good and evilBasically goodRelationship to natureHumans are subservient to natureHumans live in harmony with natureHumans master natureSense of timePast-orientedPresent-orientedFuture-orientedActivityBeingGrowingDoingSocial relationshipsAuthoritarianGroup-orientedIndividual
12 Kluckhohn’s Model – Sample Results US AmericansJapaneseOrienta-tionRangeHumansNatureTimeActivitySocialOrienta-tionRangeHumansNatureTimeActivitySocial
13 Tips To Ease Cultural Adjustment Travel in a spirit of humility and with a genuine desire to meet, talk with local people.Do not expect to find things as you have them at home for you have left your home to find things different.Do not take anything too seriously for an open mind is the beginning of a fine international experience.Do not let others get on your nerves for you have come a long way to learn as much as you can, to enjoy the experience, and to be a good ambassador .Read carefully the information in your cultural guide and from your host those who have gone before you have good advice to share.Try not to worry for one who worries has no pleasure.Remember your passport so that you know where it is at all times a person without a passport is a person without a country.
14 Tips To Ease Cultural Adjustment/2 Do not judge the people of a country by the one person with whom you have had trouble for this is unfair to the people as a whole.You shall remember that you are a guest in every land for one who treats a host with respect will be treated as an honoured guest.Cultivate the habit of listening and observingRealize that other people may have thought patterns and concepts of time which are very different than yours - not inferior, just different.Be aware of the feelings of local people to prevent what might be offensive behaviour. For example, photography must be particularly respectful of persons.Make no promises to local, new friends that you cannot implement or carry through.Spend time reflecting on you daily experiences in order to deepen your understanding of your experiences.