How Are Project Governance Principles Affected by Different National Cultures?

University essay from Umeå universitet/Företagsekonomi; Umeå universitet/Företagsekonomi


The relation between Culture and Business has caught researchers’ attention long ago; itis not hard to find studies relating to these topics. According to Hofstede et al. (2010, p.18), Hampden-Turner and Trompenaars (2012, p. 8), and Erez and Gati (2004, p. 5),culture can be defined in many levels, for example, organizational culture, and national culture. The field of Business also contains several disciplines, for example, International Business Management, Project Management, and Project Governance. However, not somany studies can be found studying the relation between National Culture and Project Governance; therefore, this study is focused on this relation.This study is designed following a qualitative approach in order to clarify the relation between National Culture and Project Governance Principles. Case studies are used targeting the IT industry of three countries, Spain, Sweden, and Taiwan. These cases also contain the classical theory of cultural dimensions from Hofstede. Hofstede’s dimensionsare Power Distance (PDI), Individualism vs. Collectivism (IDV), Uncertainty Avoidance(UAI), Masculinity vs. Femininity (MAS), Long-term Orientation (LTO), and Indulgencevs. Restraint (IDU). They are applied in this study for distinguishing the differences between countries. This study is also based on the definition of Project GovernancePrinciples from Garland (2009), Klakegg (2008), and Müller et al. (2013). ProjectGovernance Principles are split into two categories as well, hard/ structural principles andsoft/ behaviour principles.In order to clarify the link between National Culture and Project Governance Principles,this thesis’ authors interviewed 19 people, including 10 project managers and 9 experts.All of them have a long experience dealing with Project Management in the three selected countries. Their answers are based on the knowledge and experience of Project Management and Project Governance, as well as their opinions about their own national culture. After analysing the interviews, the authors consider that differences between these three countries in Project Governance and Project Governance Principles do exist. On the other hand, there are also some similar parts, for example, the influence ofcustomers’ orientation and preference. Moreover, respondents, Project Managers and Experts, all mentioned it is also necessary to be aware of the globalized environment, inother words, there is no influence of a single national culture in one country anymore.However, they all admit the importance of their own national culture as well. All these findings from this study encourage further and deeper study in the future.

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