Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://bura.brunel.ac.uk/handle/2438/16181
Title: Relationship between multicultural teams and project performance: evidence from GCC
Other Titles: Relationship between multicultural teams and project performance
Authors: Fadhul, Sayed Mahdi
Keywords: Project;Culture;Project management;Diversity;National culture
Issue Date: 2017
Publisher: Brunel University London
Abstract: Globalisation has always been researchers’ main concern and interest over a long period of the time. One effect of globalisation is that the composition of project teams had become increasingly diverse. The differing national cultural backgrounds of members increases the complexity of team composition, which regulates the success of the project performance. Research has shown that diverse teams outperform homogenous ones. Other studies have investigated the impact of national culture on projects. But our knowledge of how effectively companies can manage a complex, multicultural team project is inadequate and limited. Furthermore, theoretical and empirical studies concerning how the national cultural diversity of teams can impact project performance are limited. Most of the studies are qualitative, either focusing on one country or discussing one aspect of culture, and mainly considering team performance. To fill this gap, this study investigates the national cultural factors that influence multicultural project teams and determine the cultural dimensions that impact on project performance. In particular, it examines the influence of five national culture dimensions developed by Hofstede on multicultural team complexity variables including integration, communication, trust and knowledge-sharing, and to recognise how these factors are related to project performance. The territory chosen for this study was the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, as all of these nations rely intensely upon an expat workforce because of the lack of both skilled and unskilled manpower in the local market. A survey instrument was extracted and developed from previously validated questionnaire scales. Pilot testing was conducted to ensure the scales, format and contents of the survey instrument were appropriate. A range of project team members were targeted, and 329 valid questionnaires were returned. The data obtained was analysed by using two widely used statistical software tools, SPSS and AMOS. The data analysis steps included reliability (Cronbach’s alpha) and validity (Confirmatory Factor) analysis. Structural Equation Modelling (SEM) was used to test the entire model. By using SEM, it was possible to test the parsimonious nature of the model, identify the model, determine whether it makes theoretical sense, and examine its fit to the data. The relationship between national culture, team performance and project performance was analysed using path analysis as part of the SEM. The research outcome showed that national culture has a significant impact on the team performance, especially on integration, communication, trust and knowledge sharing, which will also moderate the relationship between national culture and project performance. The finding of this research study confirmed that there is a relationship between national cultural differences and project success. Understanding the cultural differences among team members, who are from different national cultural backgrounds, is an essential aspect of managing projects successfully. Moreover, mismanaging or ignoring cultural differences of the team members may lead to project failures. Furthermore, the outcomes have obviously shown that the optimal project performance is accomplished when the entire project team is thoroughly integrated and incorporated with the project purpose. This study contributes to the literature by delivering a deeper understanding of the cultural issues that influence the performance of multicultural project teams in GCC countries. In addition, it provides greater insight into national culture within projects context, in particular providing empirical evidence that different nationalities have different cultural orientations and that these different cultural orientations are associated with different levels of performance. In practice, the findings will assist project directors and managers in similar countries to further recognise the role of national culture in the context of enhancing project performance. In particular, project directors and managers can undertake an assessment of their teams’ national cultural background and based on that, forecast the probable team and project performance. Where necessary, action can be taken to manage or even change the cultural orientation in terms of the attitudes and behaviours of project teams. This research expressed the views of professionals who work in a multicultural environment on the extent to which national cultural dimensions may affect the outcome of a project.
Description: This thesis was submitted for the award of Doctor of Philosophy and was awarded by Brunel University London
URI: http://bura.brunel.ac.uk/handle/2438/16181
Appears in Collections:Business and Management
Brunel Business School Theses

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