Identification of the Impact of Cultural Diversity

CURTIN UNIVERSITY FACULTY OF HUMANITIES (DEPARTMENT OF CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT) IDENTIFICATION OF THE IMPACT OF HOFSTEDE’S CROSS-CULTURAL DIMENSIONS ON THE DETERMINANTS OF PROJECT SUCCESS AMONG MANAGERS IN PRIVATE SECTOR ORGANIZATIONS IN MIRI, SARAWAK, MALAYSIA Uyi Rapheal Edomwandagbon 7e0b8198/14 Mitrabinda Singh Research thesis presented as a part of the requirements for the award of the degree of MASTER OF SCIENCE (Project Management) June 2012 Acknowledgement My most sincere thanks and gratitude goes to my supervisor, Mrs.
Mitrabinda Singh for her consistence patience, valuable advice and guidance throughout this final year project in every aspect. In addition, I would like to express my greatest gratitude to all the lecturers in Curtin University who at one time or the other have been there for me throughout the duration of this Master of Science in Project Management course. I would also like to say a Special thanks to all my course mates and seniors for their contributions and support in the writing of this research.
Last but not least, I would like to thank all of my family both here and back home for giving me this opportunity, Ik and Mathilda for their unrelenting effort in supporting me and Manami for her encouragements and love. Abstract The research focuses on identifying the underlying impact of Hofstede’s cross-cultural dimensions on project success among private sector organisations in Miri, Sarawak, Malaysia. Cultural difference is predominantly existent in most of today’s private sector organisations but the effect has been greatly overlooked.

Following the aim of the study a number of questions has been drawn which the research aims to answer and an in-depth analysis of past literatures and studies has been conducted and used for the purpose of the underlying research and a number of hypotheses have been drawn for testing this study. First, an identification of the factors necessary for project success was done, followed by an analysis of cultural dimensions developed by Geert Hofstede (1984).
The effect of each of the dimensions in relation to organisations success factors was identified and these were applied to develop a correlation between the cultural dimensions and project success. The research study shall be conducted within selected strata of 20 private sector organisation in Miri with only the managers as participants, employing a quantitative approach using a set of questionnaire containing questions with 5-point likert scale and a demographic section of open and close-ended questions distributed among managers in Private sector organisations located in Miri, Sarawak.
The resulting findings and conclusion shall help in establishing this relationship and provide substantial evidence on if cross-cultural differences in Private sector organisations contribute to the success of project in Private sector organisations located around Miri, Malaysia. The relationship as evaluated by Tukiainen et al. (2004) and (Matveev and Milter 2004) is that the heterogeneous group of managers coming from different nations have lower project success and according to Higgs(1996) the heterogeneous group get advantages to get higher project success than the homogeneous group.
The homogenous group here is the group of managers who are Malaysians from Miri private sector organizations. To analyse the group differences an independent sample T-test is conducted. Multiple regressions have been conducted to test the hypotheses. Table of Contents Chapter 11 1. 1INTRODUCTION1 1. 2BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY2 1. 3PROBLEM STATEMENT3 1. 4RESEARCH OBJECTIVES5 1. 5OPERATIONAL DEFINITION OF CONCEPTS AND TERMS5 1. 6METHODOLOGY7 1. 7STRUCTURE OF THE REPORT8 Chapter 29 2. 1INTRODUCTION9 2. 2UNDERSTANDING PROJECT SUCCESS9 2. 2. 1Measuring project success10 2. 3CULTURAL DIFFERENCES13 . 3. 1Understanding Culture and Cultural Difference13 2. 3. 2Hofstede’s Cultural Dimensions theory14 2. 3. 3The Effect of Cultural Difference on Project Success16 2. 4HYPOTHESES DEVELOPMENT19 2. 5CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK AND HYPOTHESIS25 Chapter 326 RESEARCH METHODOLOGY26 3. 1INTRODUCTION26 3. 1. 1Application of study26 3. 1. 2Objectives of the research27 3. 1. 3Mode of enquiry27 3. 2FORMULATION OF RESEARCH PROBLEM28 3. 3CONCEPTUALIZATION OF A RESEARCH DESIGN28 3. 4CONSTRUCTING AN INSTRUMENT FOR DATA COLLECTION29 3. 5SELECTING A SAMPLE31 3. 6WRITING A RESEARCH PROPOSAL33 3. 7DATA COLLECTION34 . 8PROCESSING AND DISPLAYING THE DATA34 3. 9WRITING A RESEARCH REPORT35 3. 10RECOMMENDATIONS FOR IMPROVEMENT36 Chapter 437 ANALYSIS OF RESEARCH37 4. 1INTRODUCTION37 4. 2DESCRIPTIVE ANALYSIS37 4. 2. 1Company Profile (Dem1)38 4. 2. 2Number of employees in organisations (Dem2)39 4. 2. 3Employee Nationality (Dem3)39 4. 2. 4Number of Diverse employees in participating Organisations (Dem11)40 4. 2. 5General Language of communication in Organisations (Dem12)41 4. 2. 6Employee perception of Cultural diversity issues (Dem13)42 4. 3PROFILE OF RESPONDENTS44 4. 3. 1Age of the respondents (Dem5)45 4. 3. Gender (Dem4)45 4. 3. 3Education level of participants (Dem6)46 4. 3. 4Job Profile (Dem7-Dem10)47 4. 3. 5Years in current position (Dem10)48 4. 4SECTION 2: PROJECT SUCCESS FACTORS (Q1-33)49 4. 4. 1Perception of Time, Cost and Quality as measures of Project Success50 4. 4. 2Percentage of Effective team performance51 4. 4. 3Percentage project management process quality53 4. 4. 4Percentage satisfies organisational goal and purpose55 4. 4. 5Percentage perception on benefits to stakeholders, Users and clients56 4. 4. 6Percentage efficient conflict management57 4. 4. 7Percentage benefit to organisation59 4. SECTION C: PERCEPTION OF EMPLOYEES ON CULTURAL DIVERSITY DIMENSIONS (CulD 1-25)61 4. 5. 1I agree that power and authority is being distributed equally among employees in my organisation. 61 4. 5. 2I agree that a certain level of power must be exercised to ensure that team members or employees are dedicated to their work in my organisation (CulD2)62 4. 5. 3I allow my employees to question me or top management when in disagreement with project or work related issues in my org. (CulD3)62 4. 5. 4I agree with the statement that my employees must adhere to my organisations rules even if it jeopardizes our organisational goals. CulD4)63 4. 5. 5I agree with the statement that employee supervision in my organisation is strict (CulD5)64 4. 5. 6I feel I have sufficient time for my family and personal life outside my workplace CulD665 4. 5. 7I agree that my employee appraisal is deserved for doing a good job at my organisation. CulD765 4. 5. 8I agree that an employee with the strongest say wins in matters of conflicts or arguments in my organisation. CulD866 4. 5. 9I like to help others as much as I can. CulD967 4. 5. 10I agree to the statement that working is the only means of livelihood. (CulD10)67 4. . 11I sometimes receive complaints from my employees about being stressed by work load. CulD1168 4. 5. 12I agree that my organisations rules must be strictly obeyed by my employees at all times. CulD1269 4. 5. 13I agree that time is most valuable to my employees when handling tasks. CulD1369 4. 5. 14I agree with the statement that uncertainties and risks are normal features of life. CulD1470 4. 5. 15I believe that simple tasks should be handled first before others. CulD1571 4. 5. 16I allow the contribution of my employees in decision making in my organisations. CulD1671 4. 5. 7I agree that hiring and promotion decisions in my organisations in my organisations should be based on their performance and organisational rules only. CulD1772 4. 5. 18I have a sense of personal satisfaction when I accomplish challenging tasks at my organisation73 4. 5. 19I believe that my employees always follow group made decisions even if their personal convictions are against it. CulD1973 4. 5. 20I have employees who generally prefer to work on their own without their group cooperation (CulD20)74 4. 5. 21I believe that my organisations goals is best measured by the future achievements than the present achievements (CulD21)75 . 5. 22I agree that employee rewards and appraisals should not be based only on their performance (CulD22)75 4. 5. 23I believe that rules should be broken in order to achieve innovation76 4. 5. 24I agree that commitment to my clients and stake holders is important in maintaining my relationship with them CulD2477 4. 5. 25I agree with the statement that my employees value their meal time and breaks even when pressed by challenging tasks (CulD25)77 4. 6FURTHER ANALYSIS78 4. 6. 1Reliability Test78 4. 6. 2Factor Analysis79 4. 6. 3Correlation Analysis81 4. 6. 3. 1Assumptions for correlationError! Bookmark not defined. 4. 6. Test of Hypothesis (H1a – H1e)82 4. 6. 4. 1Multiple Regression Analysis83 4. 6. 4. 2Assumptions checking for regression analysis84 4. 6. 4. 3H1: All the Hofstede’s Cultural dimensions relates to Project Success among managers of private sector organizations in Miri90 4. 6. 4. 4H1a: There is a relationship between Power distance in managers (in private sector organizations) in Miri and determinants of project success. 91 4. 6. 4. 5H1b: There is a relationship between the Societal Collectivism (Individualistic/Collectivist) attribute of managers (in private sector organizations) in Miri and determinants of project success. 91 4. 6. 4. H1c: There is a relationship between gender differentiation of social values (Masculinity/Femininity) among managers (in private sector organizations) in Miri and determinants of project success. 91 4. 6. 4. 7H1d: There is a relationship between uncertainty avoidance or the fear of unknowns among managers (in private sector organizations) in Miri and determinants of project success. 92 4. 6. 4. 8H1e: There is a relationship between Long term orientation for goal accomplishment among managers (in private sector organizations) in Miri and determinants of project success. 92 4. 6. 5Test Of Hypothesis (H2): Independent Samples Test93
Chapter 594 Recommendation and Conclusions94 5. 1Conclusion95 5. 1. 1Identification of the impact of Hofstede cultural dimension on determinants of project success among managers in private sector organizations in Miri, Sarawak, Malaysia. 95 5. 1. 2Hofstede’s cultural dimensions and project success96 5. 1. 3The Identification of whether heterogeneous group of managers coming from different nations get higher project success than the homogeneous groups. 97 5. 1. 4Conclusions relating to the main aim of the study97 5. 1. 5Value of the research98 5. 2Recommendations for future research98 References99 Appendix A104 Appendix C105 Appendix C110
Appendix D111 Appendix E113 List of Figures Figure 2. 1:Research Model25 Figure 4. 1: Company profile38 Figure 4. 2: No of Employees in organisations39 Figure 4. 3: Nationality of Respondents40 Figure 4. 4: Number of Diverse employees in participating40 Figure 4. 5: Number of diverse staffs in organisation41 Figure 4. 6: Respondent language of communication in organisation41 Figure 4. 7: Language of communication42 Figure 4. 8: Do you feel your organisation has no culture problems43 Figure 4. 9: Do you feel these issues do not affect your organisation43 Figure 4. 10: Does your organisation have plans to handle issues in their organisations43
Figure 4. 11: Do you feel these issues do not affect organisational objectives44 Figure 4. 12: Participant Age45 Figure 4. 13: Participant Gender46 Figure 4. 14: Education level of respondents46 Figure 4. 15: Job position of Respondents47 Figure 4. 16: Participant work schedule47 Figure 4. 17: Number of years of Respondents have worked in their organisations48 Figure 4. 18: Number of years working in same position49 Figure 4. 19: Bar chart of respondent response on Cultural Diversity (Culd 1)61 Figure 4. 20: Bar chart of respondent response on Cultural Diversity (CulD 2)62 Figure 4. 1: Bar chart of respondent response on Cultural Diversity (CulD 3)63 Figure 4. 22: Bar chart of respondent response on Cultural Diversity (CulD 4)64 Figure 4. 23: Bar chart of respondent response on Cultural Diversity (CulD 5)64 Figure 4. 24: Bar chart of respondent response on Cultural Diversity (CulD 6)65 Figure 4. 25: Bar chart of respondent response on Cultural Diversity (CulD 7)66 Figure 4. 26: Bar chart of respondent response on Cultural Diversity (CulD 8)66 Figure 4. 27: Bar chart of respondent response on Cultural Diversity (CulD 9)67 Figure 4. 28: Bar chart of respondent response on Cultural Diversity (CulD 10)68 Figure 4. 9: Bar chart of respondent response on Cultural Diversity (CulD 11)68 Figure 4. 30: Bar chart of respondent response on Cultural Diversity (CulD 12)69 Figure 4. 31: Bar chart of respondent response on Cultural Diversity (CulD 13)70 Figure 4. 32: Bar chart of respondent response on Cultural Diversity (CulD 14)70 Figure 4. 33: Bar chart of respondent response on Cultural Diversity (CulD 15)71 Figure 4. 34: Bar chart of respondent response on Cultural Diversity (CulD 16)72 Figure 4. 35: Bar chart of respondent response on Cultural Diversity (CulD 17)72 Figure 4. 36: Bar chart of respondent response on Cultural Diversity (CulD 18)73
Figure 4. 37: Bar chart of respondent response on Cultural Diversity (CulD 19)74 Figure 4. 38: Bar chart of respondent response on Cultural Diversity (CulD 20)74 Figure 4. 39: Bar chart of respondent response on Cultural Diversity (CulD 21)75 Figure 4. 40: Bar chart of respondent response on Cultural Diversity (CulD 22)76 Figure 4. 41: Bar chart of respondent response on Cultural Diversity (CulD 23)77 Figure 4. 42: Bar chart of respondent response on Cultural Diversity (CulD 24)77 Figure 4. 43: Bar chart of respondent response on Cultural Diversity (CulD 25)78 Figure 4. 44: Scatter plot for PS and HCD81 Figure 4. 5: Scatterplot85 Figure 4. 46: Histogram85 Figure 4. 47: scatterplot of standardised residual against power distance86 Figure 4. 48: Histogram for assumptions testing88 List of Tables Table 1. 1 Structure of the research8 Table 2. 1: Five cultural dimensions [as referred by Hofstede (2005)] and attributes drawn from the literature17 Table 3. 2: Coding/Item Generation From Literature To Measure Project Success (DV)30 Table 3. 3: Coding/item generation from literature to measure Cultural Diversity(IDV)30 Table 3. 4: Participating Organizations (Coded)33 Table 4. 1: Respondent perception of Time, Cost and Quality50
Table 4. 2: Employee perception of effective team performance51 Table 4. 3: Respondent perception on project management process quality53 Table 4. 4: Respondent perception on satisfying organisational goal and purpose55 Table 4. 5: Employee perception on benefits to client, stakeholders and users56 Table 4. 6: Respondent perception on efficient conflict management58 Table 4. 7: Respondent percentage on benefit to organisational60 Table 4. 8: Cronbach Alpha for project success (PS)78 Table 4. 9: Cronbach Alpha for Cultural Diversity (CulD)78 Table 4. 10: Factor analysis for project success80
Table 4. 11: Factor analysis for Cultural diversity80 Table 4. 12: Pearson correlation of variables82 Table 4. 13: Correlation statistics82 Table 4. 14: Descriptive statistics of correlation81 Table 4. 15: ANOVA88 Table 4. 16: Model summary89 Table 4. 17: coefficients table89 Table 4. 19 : Independent Sample Test93 1. 0 INTRODUCTION A diverse workforce, built of so many people of different backgrounds has a high contribution to how organizational objectives and goals are achieved due to the availability of a mix of people with completely different understanding, emotions, thinking and attitudes.
But does this affect the success of projects executed in these organizations? Thus, an understanding of the impact of different cultural dimensions is effective in identifying how organizations with cultural diverse employees attain successes in project undertaken in their organizations and knowledge of whether the differences in culture or nationality have a positive or negative effect on their organizational success is important.
The increasing globalization trend today is coupled with surge for the need of skilled labor and has seen the global migration of people from every part of the world to different countries creating a web of organizations with so many cultural diverse employees working together in the same organizations. The impact of the cultural differences is fast becoming the focus of so many researches as it tends to have a relationship with how organizations employing cultural diverse staff function.
This research explores the relationship between the well known cross cultural theory of Hofstede and the determinants of project success outcomes among Private sector organizations in Miri, Sarawak, Malaysia with an emphasis on Private workplace employee relationship and interaction and how the differences of their culture helps or stands as a barrier in their actualization of their goals and objectives.
BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY The differences that are inherent in people such as their dressing, religion, languages and behaviors in their society and organizations values and shows how this differences in people is related to the way they interact with their environment, environment in this context refers not only to their physical environment but also to the people they have to deal as they go along with their everyday life.
Miri, Sarawak, Malaysia is located on the eastern part of Malaysia with a population of about 300,000 people of the 25,581 approximate Malaysia population (Salleh 2007), consisting of Iban, Chinese, Malays, Berawan, Lumbawang, Malanau, Indian, Kayan, Kenyah, Kelabit, Bidayuh, Penan and other non-indigenous groups such as Europeans, Arabs and Africans etc. f different diverse backgrounds and religions and this collection of people are the overall make up of most of the Private sector workforce located here. The impact of these diverse work forces of people is sometimes overlooked and ignored which tends to undeniably affect how managers and employees relate with their counterparts of different cultures. This has an effect on workplace relationship can be a limiting or contributing factor to how their organizational goals are achieved on the long run.
However, there have been a lot of researches carried out on cultural diversity among manager and on organizational themes, but the true impact of its effects on these organizations performance is quite limited to a wider sphere of cross-country organizations and not attributed to places such as Miri. Just as a the combination of different sounds produce music(good) or noise(bad), so does a combination of people of different diverse background could also have results that could be positive or negative in organizations.
PROBLEM STATEMENT During a formal peer coaching session with some colleagues of different cultures, it was easy to recognize the effect that working in Malaysia with others of diverse backgrounds had on diverse employees in carrying out their daily work, in other words, general job satisfaction and if this views could be shared by others of different cultures working in similar multi cultures environments.
Were they generally satisfied with their jobs or are they just there “working to get their daily bread”. A study of the effects of cultural diversity on a joint Russian and British project showed that there is a relevance of cultural differences to project success and that it could affect the output of the project (Murray-Webster and Simon 2004).
Their analysis of the project led to the discovery that although all factors that are necessary for the success of the project were in place, there was an underestimation of how diverse teams could guarantee the success of that project and that it is appropriate that organisations conducting projects should have relevant understanding of the differences in work behaviour and individual preferences of the diverse project teams.
Success of projects in organizations has been attributed to the existence of a comfortable work environment that encourages a workforce where employees feel empowered to exert maximum efforts that enable job satisfaction and comfort, with the ability to be able to deal with uncertainties that may arise. This also puts a stress on the organizations managers and insists that manager should be able to create an atmosphere were goals are clearly nderstood and employee participation is high (Belassi 2007). Kendra (2004) attributes that there is a high rate of failure in projects in organizations which was due to factors such as poor working relationships between employees, lack of trust among team members and proposes that the importance of organizations promotion of a shared cultural value could help in improving their project success rate.
Kendra’s suggestions were based on organizational culture but on an individual level of analysis (were cultural diversity is less observed from) could be related and the impact could be seen from a much expanded view as these refers to groups of people with different backgrounds and understanding based on their cultures.
Following Geert Hofstede (2005) in showing the way countries react to different cultures, there are some outstanding views on the application and adaption of the 5 dimensions of Hofstede on the basis that, although, it was correct, it seemed to be based on just Hofstede assumptions using only country values and it has to be seen from other perspectives which they broke down to be individual, organizational and country (Kirkman, Lowe, and Gibson 2006).
An analysis of the individual level of cultural diversity would help in justifying this statement and thus this research shall be aimed at the individual and organizational level of cultural diversity with managers as our focal point. The willingness of employees to accept and succumb to the issues from difference in culture has a high impact in organizational success. mployees in cultural diverse organizations should have an understanding of their culturally diverse counterparts as it helps to improve their team efficiency and communication which are essential to induce success in the organization, thus cultural differences should not be ignored but appreciated and welcomed in cultural diverse organizations, in other to attain their organizational goal and objectives (Frey-Ridgway 1997).
In other to achieve favorable outcomes by organizations, it is necessary to assume differences in people in an individual sphere and not in the category of culture based differences that is accomplished with a comfortable work atmosphere portraying equality between people (Day 2007), with an understanding and respect for the individual differences that are inherent in people and embedded in the organizations everyday processes (Magdaleno and Kleiner 1993).
In the Malaysian context, the Malaysian employee is said to be Collectivist by nature, and are more open to their local subordinates than an outsider or foreigner in their workplace, but does this have an impact on their culturally diverse counterparts in the same workplace. Nelson and Quick suggests, the Malaysian culture is collectivist in nature but only a section or department of these people (Nelson and Quick 1997). The question arises here is “are managers from Miri private organizations have the same value for Hofstede’s cultural dimensions? ” RESEARCH OBJECTIVES
This research aims at identifying how Hofstede’s cultural dimensions in Private sectors of organizations in Miri, Sarawak, Malaysia affects the determinants of project success and the main objectives of this research are as shown below * Identification of the Impact of Hofstede’s Cultural Dimensions on determinants of Project Success among Managers in Private Sector Organizations in Miri, Sarawak, Malaysia * Whether heterogeneous group of managers coming from different nations get higher project success than the homogeneous group from Miri private sector organizations.
The objectives will be achieved by doing a study on Managers from Miri private sector organization, which at least employ 2 managers from different nationalities. OPERATIONAL DEFINITION OF CONCEPTS AND TERMS The following terms are associated with this research, Hofstede’s cultural dimensions, project, project management process, project success, intercultural communication. A proper definition of these terms would provide a better understanding in the research. Hofstede’s Cultural Dimensions
Hofstede’s cultural dimensions developed (1980-2001) as a measure of culture is the dominant metric of culture as it closely relates to many cultural attributes from many different countries. This study also had used the largest sample for an empirical study on employees of IBM with employees belonging to 66 countries. This study helped to a large extent in bridging the gap between two different/dissimilar cultures (Yoo, Donthu, and Lenartowicz 2011). The five different dimensions are Power Distance, Uncertainty Avoidance, Collectivism, Long-Term Orientation, and Masculinity.
The last dimension was taken from ‘Confucian work dynamism’ (Yoo, Donthu, and Lenartowicz 2011). Culture defines an individual in terms of distinction of people from another group (Kelley and Fitzsimons 1999). (Gomez-Mejia and Palich 1997) suggests that to measure differences in culture we need to calculate the cultural similarity indicators. The five dimensions of Hofstede in this study will be taken as the cultural similarity indicators. Cultural Difference The cultural differences refers to the individual differences in the cultures of people living together in a common society.
By neglecting cultural differences and the refusal for its acceptance has been a problem and as Garcia (2011) suggests in her study of the long non-acceptance or recognition of cultural diversity in Europe and how it stands as a problem to the new Europe and the need for an understanding and education on the issues of cultural diversity for promotion to individuals of the future so as to cultivate an early awareness of it. The cultural difference in this study is identified from the nationality of the participants (managers from private sector organizations). Project Success
Project success can be said to have been achieved when a project is completed with all objectives and goals being fulfilled. Defining project success can be in different ways, for software developers it could be on-time delivery, for designers it could be appreciation of a design, for a project manager it could be on-time, budget completion that meets the required quality of the output. Project success in this research is being defined by success factors which serve as characteristics by which the objectives of the project can be said to have been successful completed.
These factors used in this research as a defining measure of success for projects are, time, cost, budget, efficiency of the project teams, conflict management and project management process, ability to satisfy the organizations goals, finally, benefits to stakeholder, clients and users. Project A project can be defined as any endeavor that has been undertaken to achieve a goal (Project Management Institute 2004). Project Management process A process is a set of interrelated activities and actions performed to achieve a predefined result.
Project management processes are activities that are taken to achieve a project objective. The project management process quality as used in this research refers to the effectiveness of the project management process in the execution of the project. METHODOLOGY The study was carried out following the approach as suggested by Kumar (Kumar 2005) listed below: * Formulate research problem * Compile literature review * Develop the project schedule * Establish a research design * Collect and Analyze and process the data Suggestions and improvements * Establish research conclusions * Finalize report STRUCTURE OF THE REPORT The report comprises of 5 chapters and is structured in table (Table 1. 1) below: Table [ 1 ]. 1 Structure of the research Chapters| Description| Chapter 1. 0 Introduction| This chapter gives us an overview of the report and introduces us to the background of the research, aims and objectives of study and operational definitions of the terms used in the research. | Chapter 2. Literature Review| This chapter consists of reviews of available literatures on project success and Hofstede cultural dimensions. | Chapter 3. 0 Research Methodology| This gives an idea of the overall research process while. It gives us a summary of how the research will be undertaken including the research design, literature review, population and sample, data collection instruments and process. | Chapter 4. 0 Analysis of Research| This chapter presents a detailed analysis of the study based on findings in addressing our aims and objectives and answering our research question| Chapter 5. Recommendations and Conclusions| This chapter gives a summary of the findings in the research study and addresses the value of the research with recommendations for future researches| 1. 0 INTRODUCTION This research shall be accomplished using management studies and articles from past researches by Authors with a focus on Cultural Diversity and Project Success, the identification of past findings in the study of cultural diversity and project success and an exploration of how these findings are related and contribute to this study.
Subsequently a look into the main aims of project management in accomplishing project within the confines of time, costs and quality, management responsibilities as well as the contribution to achieving organizational project success. UNDERSTANDING PROJECT SUCCESS The Project Management Institute defines a project as a temporary endeavour undertaken to create a unique product, service or result (Project Management Institute 2004). From this definition, it can be clearly seen that the word temporary means that it has an end time or duration and being unique means that it has an expected level of requirement or quality.
The goal of every project is to be completed within the confines of time, cost and quality and a failure in any of these factors usually has a relational effect on the others and can undermine the overall goal of that project. For a project to be successful, an understanding of the project objectives and scope by the project team is essential. Recognising the actual needs of the client and satisfying those needs is what actually counts in saying the project was completed successfully, and these all depends on the three factors of the project completion in time, within the budget and with the required quality maintained.
Although, it is inarguable about the Time, Cost and Quality factors for projects success, Dennis Lock suggests that the success of a project, though judged from these three objectives depends on some other factors and actions undertaken during the project and certain of these factors relate directly to employees in the organizations, such as; a strong support for the project and its manager from higher management, sound organizational quality culture, good project communication, well motivated staffs and a quick and fair resolution of conflict (Lock 2007).
These views of other related factors that contribute to project success are instrumental to the measurement of project success and a project that is successful can be subsequently tagged as successful if these factors are met. Measuring project success In the determination of project success, it is essential to establish how we define it. The most common measurement of project success is by the measures of the success factors and the critical success criteria’s. From previous studies there is an undeniable difference between both terms. uccess factors are said to be measures that are put in place to ensure that the project becomes successful i. e. what must be done right to achieve the project success, while the success criteria are the indicators or benchmarks that are used to refer to a project as being successful (Cooke-Davies 2002), in other words, what has been achieved in the project that allows us to say that project has been successful. Basing the measurement of project success as used in this research is based on the simplicity in understanding it as they can easily be recognized and applied.
There are so many factors that can be used to define project success (Prabhakar 2008) and these project success factors are industry dependent, thus there is a contrast in measuring the success of an IT project, a construction project or projects from other industries. A brief literature on the factors for measurement of projects from three industries will help to provide a connection between these factors or a general success factor for these project completions.
For this purpose a look at the factors used in measuring project success from these industries, the construction industry, IT industry and a World Bank project. Chan (2001) developed a framework which he used for measuring construction projects, and he suggests that the success of a construction project can be measured by factors beyond the project management goals of time, cost and quality. Construction projects are different from other types of projects in the way they are taken and rely on different processes that might not be significant in other industries projects such as the IT or software development projects.
Factors such as safety might not be important in describing a software development project success as it doesn’t have to deal with the use of equipments or machineries that are hazardous and although they could be considered but their impacts are too minimal to really have an impact. Baccarini (2004) suggests that project success is dependent on criteria’s based on two components which he called product success and project management success. He discussed that project management success depended on the project processes and stresses the importance of stakeholders and a good managerial process being in place.
Product success has to deal with the final product or output of the project and how it satisfies the purpose of execution. Both of the components identified by Baccarini consists of underlying criteria’s which he used for the measurement of project success which are quite similar to the same criteria’s used by other researchers and are listed below. Project management success component * Meeting time, cost and quality requirements Project management success component * Meeting time, cost and quality requirements * Project management process quality Satisfying stakeholder project management process expectations * Project management process quality * Satisfying stakeholder project management process expectations Product success components * Meeting project owners strategic organizational objectives (client) * Satisfying user needs * Satisfying stakeholder where they relate to the product (users/customers) Wateridge (1998) suggests that in the IT industries, project success can be measured by some factors which he observed from studying other researchers work on project success measurements.
His (Wateridge 1998) research led to his conclusion that IT projects success can be measured through the factors of; Meeting user requirements, achieving purpose, meeting timescale, meeting budget, user satisfaction and quality. An analysis of World bank projects (Ika, Diallo, and Thuillier 2012) suggests that the failure rate of these projects in Africa was at about 50% until 200 and also that these failures can be attributed to managerial and organizational factors, including poor project design, stakeholder management, delays, budget and in execution coordination.
The findings from the study suggested that project success criteria’s that are effective in accomplishing success in these projects can be said to be in the measures of Time, cost, clear objectives, countries, benefits, impacts, sustainability. Atkinson’s studies (1999), on project success, have been widely used as a model by most researches in the measurement of project success. Atkinson’s model for measuring project success was derived from the primary project success measurement criteria of time, cost and quality and he accomplished his by dividing project into three stages, the delivery stage which was concerned with the efficiency of the project management process measured by Time, Cost, Quality and efficiency of the project management process; the post delivery stage which measured the product (resultant system), the product requirements and its benefits to stakeholders and another post delivery stage which measured the benefit and impacts to users and customers (Atkinson 1999).
Based on these arguments, a list of project success factors that can be used as effective measures of success in projects are listed below, * Time, cost and quality are essential for project success * Efficient team participation is necessary for project success * Efficient project management process helps in improving project success and establishing a clearer objective * Ability to satisfy the organisations goals and purpose * Benefits to the user * Benefits stakeholder * Good conflict management * benefits to the clients
CULTURAL DIFFERENCES Understanding Culture and Cultural Difference Edward Hall defines culture as “the way of life of a people, the sum of their learned patterns, attitudes and material things” (Hall 1980). Geert Hofstede (2005) defines culture as “the collective programming of the mind which distinguishes the member of one group or category of people from another”. Programming of the mind as proposed by Hofstede refers to the thinking patterns of every individual developed by their learning through their lifetime.
Following Hofstede’s theories on cultural diversity, it can be inferred that there is an underlying impact on organizations and while some researchers argue that, cultural differences brings creativity and innovation into organizations, others seem to contend that it leads to complexities and indecisiveness. Explicably, these theories will be applied into this research to understand the role of cultural diversity in an organizational framework. The cultural differences refer to the individual differences in the cultures of people living together in a common society.
By neglecting cultural differences and the refusal for its acceptance has been a problem and as Garcia (2011) suggests in her study of the long non-acceptance or recognition of cultural diversity in Europe and how it stands as a problem to the new Europe and the need for an understanding and education on the issues of cultural diversity for promotion to individuals of the future so as to cultivate an early awareness of it. Hofstede’s Cultural Dimensions theory Hofstede’ 5 Cultural Dimensions
Geert Hofstede’s (2005) studies on cultural diversity helped in proposing a systematic framework for Identifying cultural diversity based of the different values of people which is known as the cultural dimension theories. His work on cultural diversity by breaking down the different values into 5 dimensions by studying different cultures has been accepted by so many researchers in the study of cultural diversity and has become one of the focal points in the study of cultural diversity.
Hofstede’s cultural dimensions divided cultural diversity by comparing values between countries and he observed that different countries had different cultural values which he grouped into Power distance Index, Individualism, Masculinity, Uncertainty avoidance and later on, Confucian dynamism or Long-term orientation. EXHIBIT-1 ____________________________________________________________________ Power distance
Hofstede’s (Hofstede and Hofstede 2005) power distance dimension explores the extent to which the less powerful members of an organization or institution within a country expect that power is distributed equally or unequally. This dimension stressed that individuals in a particular institution or organization in a country were not equal and points out the views of power holders in the country and the general acceptance by other less powerful members of the country. Individualism This dimension emphasizes the degree to which members of a society maintain interdependence among its members.
Hofstede (2005) used the relationship of a society of being individualistic or collectivists by nature, individualistic cultures tend to have the attribute of being self committed and are more concerned with their self values and also their immediate families only. Collectivists on the other hand are more group oriented and members of the collectivist society are expected to be loyal to their groups. Loyalty in a collectivist society was important and overrides societal rules and regulations. Masculinity
The masculine society is driven by competition, achievements and success with an emphasis on being on top, this dimension stresses the manliness of cultures and their zeal in trying to be the best. Collectivist societies on the other hand tend to demonstrate a leaning towards feminine values of caring for others and quality of life. This dimension clearly identifies societies and cultures with distinction between male and female roles in the society and stresses on sexual inequality between the male and female species of human beings (Hofstede and Hofstede 2005).
Uncertainty Avoidance This dimension illustrates how a society accepts the unknown, Hofstede (2005) defines it as a the extent to which members of a culture feel threatened by ambiguous or unknown situations and have created institutions and beliefs that try to avoid these unknowns. Rules and norms are usually much emphasized in societies with high uncertainty avoidance rates and there is a fear for taking risks. Time Orientation This dimension was adapted from the teachings of confusions and was meant to illustrate the rapid economic development of some Asian countries.
This dimension emphasizes on the societal values of having a long-term or short-term orientation, and this dimension stressed on how these orientation helps to achieve success using china and other Asian countries as a focus (Hofstede and Hofstede 2005). Organizations today usually promote a long term orientation or short term orientation, long term orientation tends to work with the idea of future success and goals. ____________________________________________________________________ The Effect of Cultural Difference on Project Success
Cultural differences amongst team has been attributed with some negative outcomes such as conflicts, misunderstanding and poor performance (Matveev and Milter 2004). The study suggests that cultural diversity created problems in communication, coordination and control, team dispersion within teams and further suggests that an intercultural competence model for use with multicultural teams depends on three components; cultural knowledge, skills, and personality orientation.
Cultural knowledge relates to the understanding of cultural diversity amongst teams and a recognition of cultural differences in communication styles and interaction, fostered by being skillful in understanding and communicating among cultural diverse members and their personal orientation towards accepting what is represented as culturally diverse, in other words, their reaction towards diverse cultured members based on their emotions and behaviors. Previous studies tend to show an alignment to this understanding of the effect of the differences in cultural dimensions on Project success.
Tukiainen et al. (2004) also affirms that cultural differences in project organisations produces creativity in problem solving but it also leads to problems of higher ambiguity and suspicion among members of global project teams. They also argue that cultural differences, in global projects, leads to problems in the outcome formulation of projects, project execution and outcome assessments, suggesting also that the existent of locus of power also affects the interaction between project teams. Table [ 2 ]. : Five cultural dimensions [as referred by Hofstede (2005)] and attributes drawn from the literature Cultural Diversity| High Index| Low Index| Power Distance| * High discipline within employees. * Poor employee-top management relationship. * Poor group decision making. | * Greater awareness of their responsibilities. * Poor group supervision. | Individualism (Low Individualism is usually collectivist). | * Poor decision making based on individual judgment. * Low conflict identification. * Poor teams. * Good decision making due to greater creativity and innovation. * Emphasis on team work. * Better conflict resolution. * Good group relationship. * And interdependence. * Higher job commitment. | Uncertainty Avoidance| * Low acceptance of innovative ideas. * Low creativity. * High Risk avoidance. * Better product quality. * Less ambiguity| * Better precision in handling tasks. * Better job satisfaction. | Masculinity (Low Masculine Index are Feminist)| * Greater efficiency in handling task. Good productivity. | * Better work relationship between employees. * Better decision making. * Lower job stress. | Long Term Orientation (Low index are short term)| * Task executions are based on attainable ideas. * Adherence to tradition * Persistency in achieving goals. | Greater goal orientation. | The effect of cultural diversity in teams can be seen from Higgs’ (1996) study based on 4 of the cultural dimensions of Hofstede. He suggests that each of the dimensions have underlying advantages.
It was easier to see the impact of cultural differences through the identification of patterns in management styles and motivations and effective cultural diversity management is related to certain positive factors of team performance which he stated as; a shared understanding and commitment to team goals and objectives, a clear understanding of team member roles and contribution, an understanding of the value of diversity and an effective pooling of knowledge and skills (Higgs 1996). The 5 Cultural dimensions and their nderlying characteristics are shown in table 2. 1. HYPOTHESES DEVELOPMENT H1: All the Hofstede’s Cultural dimensions relates to Project Success among managers of private sector organizations in Miri The above hypothesis is drawn based on the past findings of a relationship between Hofstede’s cultural dimensions and its influence on managers and project success. Based on this hypothesis a regression model has been generated to test the varying relationship between each of the 5 dimensions of Hofstede as shown below, Y= 0+1 X1t+2 X2t+… p X5t+et Where p= no. of independent variables and t= no. of respondents. A hierarchical regression analysis will be conducted based on the model below with the 5 cultural dimensions of Hofstede as predictors. PSt = 0+1 PD1t+2 IND2t+3 MAS3t+4 UA4t+5 OAS5t+et (Where PSt = Project Success, 0 is a constant (the intercept) that describes the value of PSt when all Xs’ are 0, PD = Power Distance, IND= Individualistic, MAS = Masculinity, UA = Uncertainty Avoidance, LTO = Long Term Orientation, t= no. Of respondents, et = error term)
H1a: There is a relationship between Power distance in managers (in private sector organizations) in Miri and determinants of project success. The above hypothesis is drawn from the following literature review; In a project organization context, Power distance can be a negating or contributing factor to how their project goals are accomplished that depends on how the relationship between subordinates of different organizational level such as managers and employees influence the achievement of their organizational goal.
K’Obonyo and Dimba (2007) in his study of the impact of cultural diversity on human resource management in Kenya claimed that the impact of the Kenya high power distance index creates a barrier between managers and employees in which employees see themselves as different from managers, while the managers are reluctant to allow the employees to engage in such things such as decision making. High power distance relates to the difference in equality between employees and top management which in turn affects how decisions are made in such organisations, decision making is not collective and the top management makes all the decisions.
This emphasizes that in countries with a high power distance index, decision making is not a collective process and most decisions are usually taken by top management alone without the employee involvement. Power distance is relational to poor employee-top management relationship, with decision making only done by top management. Uncertainty avoidance high dimension was attributed with the non acceptance of innovative ideas and behaviors and low job mobility, that is, employees were more satisfied with their current job situations (Kundu 2001).
Another study on the effect of cultural diversity using Hofstede’s first 4 dimensions was done on construction industries in Singapore and china (Pheng and Yuquan 2002). They suggested that low power distance is prone with less supervision of employees and decentralisation of task. High Power Distance was relevant and would have a similar effect on quality effectiveness in both high and low power distance cultures. (Kull and Wacker 2010) Higgs (1996) suggests that each of the dimensions have underlying advantages.
Low power distance index in organisations tends to create awareness on employees responsibilities and a high power index creates discipline. H1b: There is a relationship between the Societal Collectivism (Individualistic/Collectivist) attribute of managers (in private sector organizations) in Miri and determinants of project success. The above hypothesis is drawn from the following literature review; Individualism and collectivism illustrates the nature of relationships between peers in different countries.
Individualism relates to countries in which there was a low relationship between individuals and is more centered on self while collectivism were countries that are more group oriented (Brewer and Sunil 2011) . Thus, it can be inferred that collectivism contributes to better decision making based on the collection of minds and the interpersonal relationship that exists between them. Kundu (2001) suggests that high individualism contributes to individual decision- making, while collectivist nations had less individual decision making.
Vosedek (2007) researched into the effect of cultural diversity on outcomes of work group tasks based on the individualistic and collectivist dimensions of Hofstede in relation to group and task conflicts. He (Vodosek 2007) suggests that when it comes to cultural diversity in organizations, three types of conflicts were present which he referred to as Relationship conflicts; characterized by incompatibilities between members of culturally diverse organizations and having the attributes such as tension and annoyance.
Task conflicts were characterized by group member disagreements based on the non acceptance of decisions, ideas and opinions and lastly process conflict which was characterized by disagreement on how task should be done or handled. He also suggests that there was a general acceptance of opinions between people of the same group, than those of other outer groups and aligns that the organizational outcomes where harder to actualize in culturally diverse groups due to problems in their process, errors in communication and perceived prejudice that is associated with cultural diverse groups.
Cultural diversity from his studies was related to group satisfaction and indicates the way the group performed in handling tasks. K’Obonyo and Dimba (2007) also suggests that employees in collectivist nations were more involved with group decision makings due to the good relationship and closeness between employees but were very poor at top management appraisal to employees.
Subsequently, Kokt (2003) in his studies of the impact of cultural diversity on team performance in south Africa, suggests that team formation was more negatively realistic in cultural diverse groups than culturally homogeneous groups and that the problems in cultural diverse teams was more based on language, communication (Canen and Canen 1999) and the non recognition of the ability of cultural diverse individuals to be loyal to their groups but, that cultural diverse teams were also attributed with a better management of conflicts and engaged more diverse ways in problem solving and creativity which was positive to organizational success.
His findings also suggests that assertiveness which is an individualistic nature had a negative impact on quality effectiveness as it was characterised low group decision making and poor conflict identification. (Kull and Wacker 2010). Collectivists are generally more committed to their jobs (Higgs 1996). H1c: There is a relationship between gender differentiation of social values (Masculinity/Femininity) among managers (in private sector organizations) in Miri and determinants of project success. The above hypothesis is drawn from the following literature review;
Higgs (1996) suggested that while masculine dimension tends to promote efficiency and increased productivity, feminine dimension tends to personal service and custom building. The view of cultural diversity as an edge to gaining competitive advantage by organizations is important in achieving organizational goals. Feminine dimension tends to contribute to better job satisfaction with organizations of countries of high index as it stresses more on interdependence between employees and reduced stress (Brewer and Sunil 2011).
Low masculinity dimension countries had a good decision making process and lower job stress, while High masculinity cultures had a higher work performance K’Obonyo and Dimba (2007). H1d: There is a relationship between uncertainty avoidance or the fear of unknowns among managers (in private sector organizations) in Miri and determinants of project success. The above hypothesis is drawn from the following literature review; A low uncertainty index is associated with lesser ambiguity and lesser fear of tasking risks, with a staff who were less ambitious (Pheng and Yuquan 2002).
Uncertainty avoidance dimension is effective in improving quality as cultures with high uncertainty avoidance index are more aware of their process controls and ensured the use of quality standards based on the international organisations for standardization (Kull and Wacker 2010). Higgs (1996) found out that high and low uncertainty avoidance creates lower innovation and precision respectively. H1e: There is a relationship between Long term orientation for goal accomplishment among managers (in private sector organizations) in Miri and determinants of project success.
The above hypothesis is drawn from the following literature review; An important factor associated with project success is Quality which depends on an effective quality management system. Study of (Kull and Wacker 2010) on quality management in Asia based on the Globe dimensions which are adapted from Hofstede’s dimensions suggests that future orientation (Hofstede Long term short term orientation) is not significant in improving quality, though, short term orientation are more goal oriented while long term orientation depended on past ideas which are more attainable.
The long term orientation is being used in this correlation but it was not used in Hofstede’s research on Malaysia and so there is no scoring available for the dimension in Malaysia, but can be significant if we derive any result for this particular cultural dimension.
Hofstede (2005) in his study suggested that this dimension in workplaces had an emphasis on family values, in which these organizations where seen as closely knit families with attributes such as having a sense of thrift (saving for future), shame (fear of losing face which breeds commitments in Long term orientation), persistence in achieving goals and respect for tradition (sticking to traditional rules that could impede innovation). H2: There is a group difference between Malaysian and non-Malaysian managers (in private sector organizations) in Miri and determinants of project success.
This hypothesis is developed to find out the inherent difference that exists between Malaysian Managers and Non-Malayasian managers in Miri in actualizing their project success based on this question, Do Malaysian managers get better project success than non-malaysian managers?. Appendix B shows an illustration of the past studies and the possible relationship between Hofstede’s cultural dimensions at workplace and the project success. CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK AND HYPOTHESIS H1c Project success Hofstede’s Cultural Dimensions, (Power distance, societal collectivism, Gender Differentiation, Uncertainty Avoidance and Long term orientation)
Power distance Individualism/Collectivism Masculinity/Feminism Uncertainty avoidance Independent Variables Dependent Variable Long term orientation H1a H1b H1d H1e H1 Nationality (Malaysian/Non-Malaysian) H2 Figure [ 2 ]. 1:Research Model Figure 2. 1 shows the conceptual framework above shows the relationship between the dependent variable and independent variables. The development of hypotheses is directed at answering the research questions and to investigate the relationship between Hofstede’s cultural dimensions and determinants of project success. * RESEARCH METHODOLOGY 1. 0 INTRODUCTION
Kumar (2005) suggests that a research project type is categorised based on three perspectives, which he listed as, * Application of the study * Objectives of the study * Mode of enquiry used in conducting the study This research type has been classified based on this three perspectives and this suggestion is being applied to how this research has being undertaken. Application of study In view of what this research seeks to find out, the research study is an applied research, applied research involves the use of traditional research methods in the collection of information in other to find out or enhance a phenomenon.
Objectives of the research The research is a correlation research. Correlation research is done to discover a relationship between two or more aspects of a situation (Kumar 2005). Thus, this research is deemed to be correlation because it seeks to explore the relationship which Hofstede’s cultural dimensions have on project success among managers in Miri. Stangor (2010) suggests that an advantage of a correlation research is that it can be used in assessing behavior as it occurs in peoples’ everyday life by measuring the research variables and trying to find the linking relationship between the variables. Mode of enquiry
This research employs a structured approach to how it is undertaken. A structured approach involves a research in which all the research process is predetermined. This research employs the use of quantitative research methods for data collection. A content analysis has been carried out to define the constructs and variables that will be used in creating the questionnaires for the quantitative analysis. (Hseih and Shannon) suggests 3 approaches of qualitative content analysis namely; conventional, directed, or summative. We have used directed approach which starts with a theory or relevant research findings as guidance for initial codes.
Due to time constraint the other two approaches cannot be taken which may have more error free coding. The justification for the use of quantitative method is based on the sample collection method, which involves the use of a set of self completion questionnaires aimed at measuring project success and identifying the different existing dimensions of cultural diversity. The research process used is based on research guidelines and operation steps as suggested by kumar (2005), as listed below * Formulate research problem * Conceptualization of a research design * Constructing an instrument for data collection * Selecting a sample Writing a research proposal * Collecting data * Processing data * Writing a research report FORMULATION OF RESEARCH PROBLEM The research was formulated based on the notion to identify an understanding on how cultural diversity can be used as a determinant of how success in projects is achieved in organisations with cross-cultural employees of different diverse background. The cultural dimensions of Hofstede has been used in the identification of different cultural characteristics that are inherent in employees and these has been used as an underlying construct in investigating how it affects project success in these organisations.
Kumar (2005) suggests that a main function of formulating a research problem is to decide what you want to find out in the research. CONCEPTUALIZATION OF A RESEARCH DESIGN A research design helps to provide a workable and doable detail on how a research question will be answered. It involves detailed information on the how, when and where a research is going to be carried out. An in-depth review of past literatures and studies concerned with a research is fundamental to creating a research design and a timeframe in which the research is going to be carried out is instrumental in establishing duration of the research.
This research is carried out by identifying how managers in private sector organisations located in Miri view the impact of cultural diversity in their organisations on project success. The timeframe of this research is developed from the time-frame that was given by the department for the completion of this research and is shown in Appendix A. Kumar suggests that a thorough literature review helps to bring clarity and focus to the research problem, as well as improve the research methodology, broaden the researcher knowledge on the research area and conceptualize the research

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