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Critical Inter-Cultural Success Factors in Global Project Management

Created on 01 March 2008 Written by Steve Koger
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The ever-increasing globalization of business and the business workforce; and the growing awareness of cultural diversity create the need for a different type of organization, and specifically, a different type of project manager.  Culture is a critical influence on project success that must be examined, understood and continually re-visited.  Factors that affect decision-making such as ethics, country risk, and sensitivity to diversity need to be incorporated. 

The successful and effective project leader will be knowledgeable about cultural influences (e.g. negotiation, religion, dress, dining etiquette, etc.) on business in other cultures and will be able to appropriately identify differing attitudes about work, time, material possessions, and business relationships. As global project leaders we need:

·        To recognize and fully understand the cultural impacts on global project operations;

·        To give serious and careful thought on culture, its characteristics, its sensitivities, and ultimately a comprehensive approach to culture;

·        To study how cultural differences affect the project communication process, in context, in listening, speaking, in reading, and in writing;

·        To understand how global project management is reflected in inter-cultural negotiations (successes and failures), and in the complex challenges of creating worldwide strategic alliances;

·        To plan and cope with international change, particular those driven by technology;

·        To understand about managing and leveraging diversity in the global project culture;

·        To address the role of women in global business; to understand global barriers that hinder the advancement of women in business; to recognize global stereotypes; and to plan for what the future holds;

·        To develop project team members into global leaders through effective mentoring, leadership and training of organizational core competencies, leadership core competencies, interaction core competencies, and cultural core competencies; to develop global project managers that are sensitive to the broader implications of their actions and decisions;

·        To study regional parts of the world and the impact of history, political, geographical, technological advances, labor movements, and societal developments on specific cultures; 


 Steve KogerSteve Koger earned his PMP certification from the Project Management Institute in 2005. He is a member of PMI, the Central Arkansas Chapter of PMI and the Consulting SIG. Steve is an accomplished project manager and independent consultant specializing in project management, organizational management, and business development. See his profile on LinkedIn at and invite him to join your network. 


© 2008 Steve Koger, PMP. All rights reserved

Last Updated on Tuesday, 31 July 2012 23:20
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