Improving intercultural competency in global IT projects through recognition of culture-based behaviors

Improving intercultural competency in global IT projects through recognition of culture-based behaviors

Abstract

The success of global IT projects is highly influenced by culture-based behaviors. Issues between individuals arise when behaviors are (mis-)perceived, (mis-)interpreted, and (mis-)judged by using the perceiver’s expectations, beliefs, and values. Misperception results when the behavior is not anticipated because it would not occur in ones own culture. As a result, behavior should be the starting point for cross-cultural research. But, studies have primarily focused on belief and value systems which are more abstract and less specific than behaviors. This paper presents a study that analyzed cultural behavioral differences between Indian project managers and their counterparts in other countries. The conducted qualitative, semi-structured interviews revealed insights into cross-cultural challenges and shed light on the complex ways that culture-based behaviors impact IT projects. The study identified 127 behaviors that significantly affected project success and cross-cultural cooperation between Indian managers and managers from all over the world. These behaviors were grouped into 19 behavior clusters. Understanding these behavior clusters, and correlating these behaviors to values and beliefs, will improve project collaboration, and inform cross-cultural training strategies. In addition, existing cultural dimensions were reduced in scope, additional dimensions were defined for clarity, and new business-related dimensions were identified. Finally, based on the study’s results, the paper suggests four important components that should be added to cross-cultural training programs for international project managers.

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Authors
  • Amster, Richard
  • Böhm, Christina
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Shortfacts
Category
Journal Paper
Divisions
Computer Science Didactics and Learning Research Center
Subjects
Informatik Sonstiges
Journal or Publication Title
International Journal of Information Systems and Project Management
ISSN
2182-7796
Page Range
pp. 5-20
Number
2
Volume
4
Date
2016
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