This study investigates the role of national and organisational culture in day-to-day activities of multinational project teams, specifically focusing on differences between Chinese and Dutch project managers. We rely on fieldwork observation and interviews with representatives from a diverse set of organizations in China and the Netherlands. Analyses focus on the impact of cultural differences on five project management processes – (1) project planning, (2) cost and quality management, (3) risk management, (4) scope management and project promises, and (5) communication. Although there are many differences observed in these five processes, research subjects report no significant impact of cross-cultural collaboration on project performance. We conclude that cross-cultural project teams can provide critical elements for an effective combination of different project management practices: people from various national and organisational cultures, enriched by different experiences and management theories, with a mix of skills. This study provides insights for those who work cross culturally (especially between western and eastern contexts) and is also a contribution to both the project management and cross-cultural management literatures.

project management, culture, project performance, innovation, China
Business Administration: General (jel M10), Corporate Culture; Social Responsibility (jel M14), Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives (jel O31)
dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2562376, hdl.handle.net/1765/131492

Zhang, Y, Marquis, C, Filippov, S., & van der Steen, M.A. (2015). The Challenges and Enhancing Opportunities of Global Project Management: Evidence from Chinese and Dutch Cross-Cultural Project Management. doi:10.2139/ssrn.2562376