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Project Manager : Project Manager Aug Sept 2013
www.aipm.com.au Project Manager 13 SUCCESSFUL MULTICULTURAL PROJECT LEADERSHIP It would appear that researchers and practising project managers share common beliefs: 1. Multicultural project leadership is not easy, but is a necessary capability in current global project initiatives. 2. Successful multicultural project initiatives focus on establishing strong cultural sensitivity and developing a common worldview within the project team. 3. Appropriate and extensive cross-cultural training is mandatory if a PM is expected to successfully lead multicultural teams. 4. Communication often requires more than 70 per cent of a successful PM's focus. Cross- cultural communication requires even more diligent management. 5. As each culture has its preferred way(s) of working, the successful PM may be advised to leverage the most desired attributes of each culture to enhance the overall capability and contribution of every participant. 6. Establishing entirely new project structures, processes, values and cultural artefacts can sometimes be the most appropriate way to build uniqueness and team cohesion. 7. Techniques and tools from the GLOBE study and other researchers are available for culture mapping and cross- cultural analysis. ( FIGURE 1: Silzer and Hong (2003) provide us with an interesting perspective on culture and community by illustrating how two recurring themes of structure and community could shape our bias and understanding of interactions among multicultural team members. BC AD Strong structure Weak community Strong community Weak structure FIGURE 1: Structure and community Structure refers to differences such as age, gender and class that shape behaviour. Community refers to similarities that reinforce a group's sense of belonging and identity. The combination of these two dimensions presents four different types of cultural ideals: • A= Individuating (weak structure, weak community) • B= Subjugating (strong structure, weak community) • C= Hierarching (strong structure, strong community) • D= Equalising (weak structure, strong community) The preference for a particular cultural type reinforces a cultural bias against the other types, which shows itself in one's cultural judging system. This type of culture modelling has been further developed in the 'Global Leadership and Organizational Behavior Effectiveness' (GLOBE) Research Program, initiated in 1991. FIGURE 2: The GLOBE models indicate that leader effectiveness is contextual. It is embedded in the societal and organisational norms, values and beliefs of the people being led. For example, the Nordic cluster is most dissimilar to the Eastern European. FIGURE 2: GLOBE country clusters Global Leadership and Organizational Behavior Effectiveness (GLOBE) is the most comprehensive study to date to have empirically researched the relationship between culture and leader behaviour in many societies, with many different quantitative and qualitative measures and methods, evident in many different types of organisations and industries. It did so by engaging more than 170 collaborators from around the world who brought to the project an in-depth understanding of their own culture and the practice of leadership. Nordic Anglo Germanic Latin European African Eastern European Middle Eastern Confucian South-east Asian Latin American Denmark Finland Sweden Australia Ireland England South Africa New Zealand Canada USA Austria The Netherlands Switzerland (German speaking) Germany Israel Italy Switzerland (French spe aking) Spain Portugal France Zimbabwe Namibia Nigeria South Africa Kazakhstan Greece Hungary Albania Slovenia Poland Russia Georgia Turkey Kuwait Egypt Morocco Qatar Singapore Hong Kong Taiwan China South Korea Japan Philippines Indonesia Malaysia India Thailand Iran Ecuador El Salvador Columbia Guatemala Argentina Costa Rica Venezuela Mexico Bolivia Brazil
Project Manager June July 2013
Project Manager Oct Nov 2013