Cultural Barriers Summary

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Cultural Barriers to the Use of Western Project Management in Chinese Enterprise: Some Empirical Evidence from Yunnan Province

The Western project management (PM) approach is basically different from the traditional vertical management method. To adopt that approach, an organization needs not only to use PM techniques and tools, but also to develop shared cultural values among the organization’s members that support adoption of PM (Kendra & Taplin, 2004). Culture can be studied at the levels of artifacts, values/beliefs, and/or underlying assumptions. In this research, the PM culture is defined as those values/beliefs that support the PM approach, and the Chinese culture is defined as those traditional values/beliefs that are popular in China and significant in determining the culture of Chinese enterprises. The most likely cultural barriers for Chinese enterprises to use the PM approach could be summarized as the following four points: * The Doctrine of the Mean that stresses to avoid conflict by pushing disagreement under the surface, requires people to be less direct and less open, and encourages people to use compromising and smoothing strategies for dealing with conflict. * The strong hierarchy that requires large power distance between superior and subordinator. * The family consciousness that stresses long-term relationships, singularity of group, the central role of jiaozhang, and guanxi-oriented evaluation of other people. * The boss orientation that stresses to make the boss happy and evaluate people by their hierarchical position.

There is some empirical evidence about the status of the above cultural barriers in Chinese enterprises, which are: * The DOM doesn’t constitute a major cultural barrier to the use of the PM approach. It is generally consistent with the PM’s integration requirement. * The major cultural barriers for Chinese enterprises to use the PM approach are from the family consciousness, strong hierarchy, and...
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