The Challenges and Enhancing Opportunities of Global Project Management: Evidence from Chinese and Dutch Cross-Cultural Project Management

27 Pages Posted: 11 Feb 2015 Last revised: 30 Aug 2017

See all articles by Ying Zhang

Ying Zhang

Erasmus University Rotterdam; Harvard Law School; Harvard Business School; Johnson Graduate School of Management

Christopher Marquis

Cornell University; Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS)

Sergey Filippov

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Henk-Jan Haasnoot

KPMG the Netherlands

Martijn van der Steen

KPMG the Netherlands

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: February 11, 2015

Abstract

This study investigates the role of national and organisational culture in day-to-day activities of multinational project teams, specifically focusing on differences between Chinese and Dutch project managers. We rely on fieldwork observation and interviews with representatives from a diverse set of organizations in China and the Netherlands. Analyses focus on the impact of cultural differences on five project management processes – (1) project planning, (2) cost and quality management, (3) risk management, (4) scope management and project promises, and (5) communication. Although there are many differences observed in these five processes, research subjects report no significant impact of cross-cultural collaboration on project performance. We conclude that cross-cultural project teams can provide critical elements for an effective combination of different project management practices: people from various national and organisational cultures, enriched by different experiences and management theories, with a mix of skills. This study provides insights for those who work cross culturally (especially between western and eastern contexts) and is also a contribution to both the project management and cross-cultural management literatures.

Keywords: project management, culture, project performance, innovation, China

JEL Classification: M10, M14, O31

Suggested Citation

Zhang, Ying and Marquis, Christopher and Filippov, Sergey and Haasnoot, Henk-Jan and van der Steen, Martijn, The Challenges and Enhancing Opportunities of Global Project Management: Evidence from Chinese and Dutch Cross-Cultural Project Management (February 11, 2015). Harvard Business School Organizational Behavior Unit Working Paper No. 15-063. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2562376 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2562376

Ying Zhang

Erasmus University Rotterdam ( email )

Burgemeester Oudlaan 50
3000 DR Rotterdam, Zuid-Holland 3062PA
Netherlands

Harvard Law School ( email )

1585 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Harvard Business School ( email )

Soldiers Field Road
Morgan 270C
Boston, MA 02163
United States

Johnson Graduate School of Management ( email )

Ithaca, NY 14853
United States

Christopher Marquis (Contact Author)

Cornell University ( email )

363 Sage Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.chrismarquis.com

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) ( email )

79 John F. Kennedy Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Sergey Filippov

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Henk-Jan Haasnoot

KPMG the Netherlands ( email )

Martijn Van der Steen

KPMG the Netherlands ( email )

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