Title page for ETD etd-08032011-165628

Document Type Doctoral Thesis
Author Jiang, Dongdong
Email dongdong751212@gmail.com
URN etd-08032011-165628
Document Title Engineering project management in the international context : a Chinese culture-based exploratory and comparative evaluation
Degree PhD
Department Engineering and Technology Management
Advisor Name Title
Prof L Pretorius Supervisor
  • project activities
  • cultural difference
  • international project management
  • Chinese behaviours
Date 2011-09-07
Availability unrestricted
Much of the research in project management focuses on developing better scheduling techniques in order to generate successful engineering and construction projects. However, with the advent of globalisation, project management is not only a domestic endeavour. Better scheduling techniques are not necessarily sufficient to ensure the successful completion of projects. Working with people with different cultural backgrounds and managing in foreign cultural areas is very common today. Cultural differences can actually affect project success and specifically the success of projects of a technological nature.

Five typical Chinese cultural behaviours are identified and discussed in terms of philosophy of life, the "face" issue, personal relationships, communication and conflict solving. The effects of these cultural behaviours on communication, negotiation, conflict resolution, contract process and project team-building are researched through a designed survey questionnaire. Although the questionnaire is designed based on the Chinese culture, South African project managers have also been asked to participate in order to illustrate the cultural differences, where applicable. Researchers and practitioners still find it difficult to define what constitutes cultural differences and how to mitigate the influence of cultural differences on engineering projects. Data analysis and survey results for cultural effects on international engineering team performance are presented in this thesis and a method to mitigate the effect of cultural difference is conceptualised. This thesis contributes to the knowledge of managing engineering and construction projects in multicultural environments specifically in the international context. Moreover, a conceptual model has been developed and evaluated to indicate and explore the relationships between cultural differences, Chinese behaviours, project activities, project management processes and mitigation methods, from the South African and Chinese perspectives.

2011 University of Pretoria. All rights reserved. The copyright in this work vests in the University of Pretoria. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the prior written permission of the University of Pretoria.

Please cite as follows:

Jiang, D 2011, Engineering project management in the international context : a Chinese culture-based exploratory and comparative evaluation, PhD thesis, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, viewed yymmdd < http://upetd.up.ac.za/thesis/available/etd-08032011-165628/ >


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