The Impact of Culture on International Management: A Survey of Project Communications in Singapore

Dun Tran, Martin Skitmore


Abstract

This paper provides the results of an exploratory survey of construction industry managersin Singapore to isolate some of the common effects of national and organisational culture,together with the personal characteristics of managers, on the efficacy of project communication.By examination of significant correlation coefficients, the various types of influencesare identified. The results of the research suggest that the managers’ attitude andbehaviours toward communication may be guided to large extent by their level of competence.The study also provides evidence to suggest that the individuals’ understanding ofthe communication process and its barriers, the way they behave with other individualsand expect to be treated, varies according to national cultures.

Full Text

PDF

References

Abell, D.F. (1993) Managing with Dual Strategies–Mastering the Present, Pre-empting the Future, Free Press, New York.

Adler, N.J. (ed.) (1997) International Dimen-sions of Organisational Behavior, South-western, Cincinnati, OH.

Appelbaum, S.H., Shapiro, B. and Elbaz, D. (1998) The Management of Multicultural Group Conflict, Team Performance Man-agement, 4 (5), 221–34. http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/13527599810234173

Buxey, G. (2000) Strategies in an Era of Global Competition. International Journal of Operations and Production Management, 20 (9), 997–1016. http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/01443570010339109

Cartwright, S. and Cooper, C.L. (1993) The Role of Culture Compatibility in Successful Organisational Marriage. Academy of Management Executive, 7, 57–70.

Cartwright, S. and Cooper, C.L. (1996) Managing Mergers, Acquisitions and Strategic Alliances: Integrating People and Cultures, Butterworth-Heinemann, Oxford.

Chow, C.W., Shields, M.D. and Chan, Y.K. (1991) The Effects of Management Controls and National Culture on Manufacturing: an Empirical Investigation. Accounting, Organi-sations and Society, 209–334.

Edwards, R.W., O'Reilley, H. and Schuwalaw, P. (1997) Global; Personnel Skills: A Di-lemma for the Karpin Committee and oth-ers, Monash University, Faculty of Business and Economics: Melbourne.

Granell, E. (2000) Culture and Globalisation: a Latin American Challenge. Industrial and Commercial Training, 32 (3), 89–93. http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/00197850010371666

Hall, E. (1959) The Silent Language, Double-day, Garden City, NY.

Hall, E.T. and Hall, E. (1994a) How Cultures Collide, Ginn Press, Needham Heights.

Hall, E.T. and Hall, M. (1994b) Understand-ing Cultural Differences: Key to Success in West Germany, France and the United States, Intercultural Press Incorporated, New York.

Harris, H. and Kumra, S. (2000) International Manager Development–Cross-cultural training in highly diverse environments, The Journal of Management Development, 19 (7), 602–14. http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/02621710010373278

Hodgetts, R.M. and Luthans, F. (1993) 'U.S. multinational' Compensation strategies for local management. Compensation and Benefits Review, March–April, 42–48. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/088636879302500207

Hofstede, G. (1980) Culture's Consequences: International Differences in Work-Related Values, Sage Publications, Beverly Hills.

Hofstede, G. (1991) Cultures and Organisa-tions: Software of the Mind, McGraw-Hill, New York.

Kolde, E. J. (1982) The Environment of Inter-national Business: A critical review of con-cepts and definitions, Kent Publishing Co., Boston.

Lachman, R. (1983) Modernity change of core and periphery values of factory work-ers. Human Relations, 36 (6), 563–80. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/001872678303600605

Lachman, R. (1988) Factors influencing workers. Organisation Studies, 99, 487–510.

Laurent, A. (1983) The Cultural Diversity of Western Conceptions of Management. In-ternational Studies of Management and Or-ganisation, Spring–Summer, 75–96.

Loosemore M, and Al Muslmani H.S. (1999) Construction project management in the Persian Gulf: intercultural communication. International Journal of Project Manage-ment 17 (2), 95–100. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0263-7863(98)00030-1

Numeroff, R.A. and Abrams, M.N. (1998) Integrating Corporate Culture from Interna-tional M & As. HR Focus, June, 12.

Olie, R. (1994) Shades of culture and institu-tions in international mergers. Organisation Studies, 15 (3), 381–405. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/017084069401500304

Oudenhoven, J.P.V. and Boer, T.D. (1995) Complementarily and similarity of partners in international mergers. Basic and Applied Social Psychology, 17, 343–56. http://dx.doi.org/10.1207/s15324834basp1703_4

Padgett, V.R. and Wolosin, R.J. (1980) Cogni-tive similarly in communication. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 39 (4), 654–59. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/0022-3514.39.4.654

Ralston, D. (1993) Differences in managerial values: A study of US, Hong Kong and PRC managers. Journal of Business Studies, 24 (2), 249–75. http://dx.doi.org/10.1057/palgrave.jibs.8490232

Ronen, S. and Shenkar, O. (1985) Clustering Countries on Attitudinal Dimensions: A Re-view and Synthesis. Academy of Manage-ment Journal, September, 435–54.

Runkel, P.J. (1956) Cognitive similarity in communication. Sociometry, 19 (3), 178–87. http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/2785631

Schein, E. (1992) Organisational Culture and Leadership, Jossey Bass, San Francisco.

Sprinks, B. and Wells, N. (ed.) (1994) Organ-isational Communication: A Strategic Ap-proach, Dame Publications, Houston, TX.

Trompenaars, F. (ed.) (1994) Riding the Waves of Culture, Irwin, New York.

Trompenaars, F. and Hampden-Turner, C. (ed.) 1998, Riding the Waves of Culture: Un-derstanding Diversity in Global Business, McGraw-Hill, New York.