As organisations embrace greater cultural diversity in the workplace and employees are increasingly required to work in teams, the impact of diversity on team effectiveness has clear implications for business. 1 An intercultural work environment could lead to conflicts that can adversely affect project outcomes. One of the ways this can be avoided is by developing an integrated culture.
There have been numerous studies on the influence of individual cultures on the performance of project teams and the success of these projects. But the influence of varied cultures on the outcome and success of projects is less studied. An inter-cultural interaction model will enable project managers to manage different dimensions of culture within the team and take appropriate decisions and actions for better results.
Geert Hofstede’s cultural dimensions
Geert Hofstede is for many the most well-known theorist on national culture. His research was based on employees of IBM. He conducted an initial study of the company’s employees in the 1960s and continued it for thirty years. Today, this survey covers over 72 countries, and over 116,000 respondents from IBM.
Hofstede identified culture to be a mental programming of the mind. Every person carries within him/her patterns of thinking, feeling, and potential acting, which were learned throughout their lifetime. He
identified three layers of mental programming—individual, collective, and universal—based on which he constructed his ‘Culture Triangle’.
ANEES HAIDARY IS SENIOR MANAGER, BUSINESS EXCELLENCE, AT SASKEN.