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Working with Diverse Teams

In this chapter, I have focused my attention in addressing the basic concept of IT project management, its history, failure rate and its success in detail. A brief introduction to the field of IT project management is then followed by a narrow down approach in which a light has been thrown on cultural barriers faced in IT projects. It reports a full explanation on all cultural barriers that are creating serious issues for project managers, specifically those related to communication and language issues between members and project managers. A number of models have been designed to help examine this barrier related to cultural aspect; therefore, Hofstede’s cross-cultural model will be the model of choice as far the topic of study here is concerned. This chapter also investigates whether or not past research studies have developed a relationship between IT project management and Hofstede’s model of cultural dimensions. And finally, because China and Brazil will be the country where this study will take place in and all IT managers who will participate in this study will be from China and Brazil, a report of China and Brazilian culture has been added at the end of the chapter to address the scores given by Hofstede on each dimension based on nature of China and Brazilian culture.

Due to the current technological changes, a large number of organizations and also individuals have a renewed or rather have their interests changed to IT project management. For example, “a website of Project Management Center has been developed by In modern world, people in almost every country and industries are capable of managing projects from the diverse cultural basis unlike at the past this is because of the advanced technologies which have in turn a gained considerable importance in large number of business industries (Kathy, 2011). The use of global and interdisciplinary work teams, computer networks, computer software and hardware has brought a radical improvement in work practices of IT industry.

Support to provide large number of software solutions for helping IT managers in managing small as well as complex IT projects (Schwalbe, 2006).

Motivating the members of a project team is an important consideration of a leader’ or project manager’s role. Without project team motivation, the chances for the failure of a project increases to a considerable level (AACE International & Amos, 2004). The success of an IT project depends on the ability of project team members to show a positive attitude, support each other, develop sound communication with each other and come to work on time (AACE International & Amos, 2004).

Such motivational factors increase the likelihood of bringing the IT project to success on schedule and within a defined time frame. A project leader or manager whose team members show lack of interest shown to have poor attitudes and are unmotivated, there is a high possibility that project will not become successful in delivering desired outcomes (Dorothy, 2007). Keeping the members of the project team motivated throughout the entire process of project is an important factor in ensuring project success within the budget and on time (Dorothy, 2007). Other factors such as cultures of the team members play also an important role in increasing/decreasing the project success rate.

2.4 Cultural Differences:

Figure 1: Hofstede’s Six Dimensions

The importance of Hofstede (2011, 1993, 1984, 1983), Hofstede & Hofstede (2011), Hofstede, Neuijen, Ohayv & Sanders (1990) and Hofstede & Bond (1988, 1984) research towards the deep understanding of cultural differences and this particular dynamic’s importance in being successfully resolved towards effective cultural diversity management teams and work situations is highly pertinent to the study of my research. Hofstede (2011) in his most recent work throughout two decades of writing and researching the issues of cultural diversity has constructed a model called The Hofstede Model which achieves the aim of adding dimension to the various cultures that exist throughout the world and contextualizing these societies towards an understanding of effective cultural diversity in team management and in the workforce. A decade earlier, Hofstede & Hofstede (2001) discuss the consequences in which culture has on the differing values and behaviors that would exist within an organization or an institution towards an understanding of how a given organization and/or institution must adjust to these differences and embrace these differences of culture particularly if they are for the good of the given institution and/or organization. In the particular case of my research concerning Team Management in China and Brazil and multicultural and diverse teams that would work together since the working cooperation with the World Health Organization in 2005, China and Brazil will need to master the various cultural differences of their team management based on levels of gender, culture, sexual orientation, religion and other issues that Hofstede & Hofstede (2001) discuss in their scholarly research in order to succeed in working with international teams.

Hofstede (1993) also discusses the constraints of culture in regards to management levels that exist within organizations and institutions. In order for China and Brazil to be fully incorporating the employment laws which exist globally, now that it is working within an international team management network, access to people that do not look or may even have the same values, beliefs, religion, color, sexual orientation and other factors of cultural difference will still need to rise to levels of management, despite the constraints towards understanding the culture. As Hofstede (1993) notes, there will need to be a strong focus on cultural partnership, cultural understanding and intercultural training that exists for all parties involved with these international team management units where there is a common understanding among those who are not from China and Brazil and those who are.

Hofstede, Neuijen, Ohyv & Sanders (1990) implement a research methodology of measuring organizational cultures using mixed methods of qualitative and quantitative research methods across twenty cases which is useful towards informing my own research methodological theories. More on my own research methodology will be discussed later in this proposal. Hofstede & Bond (1988) again informs my methodological approach through the use of surveys as a research tool later in their research in 1984 which will be discussed soon. Hofstede & Bond (1988) in this research concerning The Confucius connection discusses the great impact that the country of China has had on the international business scene and is even currently and slowly moving from being considered a Third World country into a country with greater economic power. The discussion that Hofstede & Bond (1988) have about China can also be compared to the rising economy of China and Brazil and their recent joining of forces with the World Health Organization in 2005 in order to work in international team management.

Hofstede (1984) is the predecessor to research that has been mentioned of Hofstede & Hofstede (2001) that again poses the research question of culture’s consequences on institutions and/or organizations; however, the original research concept focuses more on international differences in work-related values. Again, this work by Hofstede (1984) informs my research concerning international team management in China and Brazil by indicating the significance of values and how they can sometimes match or mismatch in a work-related situation. Hofstede & Bond (1984) inform my research methodology through the use of surveys. Hofstede & Bond (1984) use the Rokeach’s value survey in order to measure culture dimensions as an independent validation. The work of Hofstede & Bond (1984) is similar to my objectives and aims with this research as well by using international team management in China and Brazil.

A final note on Hofstede’s (1983)’s research. The earliest scholarly article I could find concerning Hofstede was published in 1983. Hofstede (1983) began his research with the concept of the cultural relativity of organizational practices and theories. This particular scholarly article will help to inform my theory formation for this dissertation.

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