How is decision making in project teams influenced by national cultures?

University essay from Umeå universitet/Handelshögskolan vid Umeå universitet; Umeå universitet/Handelshögskolan vid Umeå universitet

Abstract:

The last decade has seen the huge impact of globalization on the way organizations perform their routine activities with a greater than before extent of focus on project management in order to be in sync with the fast changing environment. Therefore the companies are required to understand a national culture’s impact on decision making in project teams in different countries. This thesis investigates the national cultures influence on decision making in project teams in Thailand and India by focusing on IT industry based on Hofstede’s (1980) five cultural dimensional framework. The researchers intend to identify similarities and differences in decision making styles of both countries. Throughout the study, useful lessons for project team on national cultures impact on decision making can be drawn for IT companies in Thailand and India and future mixed-culture teams. It also provides the insight for the project teams to have concern for and understand why people from different cultures act or respond to various situations differently giving high emphasis to decision making process.

An empirical qualitative research using semi-structured interviews was conducted from a total of 12 IT project team members in Thailand and India based on their experiences on cultural influence on decision making when working in project teams. The research revealed that there are significant differences in decision making styles of Thai and Indian IT teams, and the differences have strong links with cultural aspects. The results also addressed number of similarities in the decision making styles of Thailand and India. The major implication is that the knowledge of the cultural differences and similarities would facilitate better management of mixed Thai-Indian project teams. Therefore, by keeping in mind the importance as well as the impact of various national cultures and presenting each member with social working knowledge of peers within the mixed-culture team, arguments and conflicts due to misconception and pre-judgment can be minimized. Hence it will increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the working process and environment in the project teams.

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