The impact of cultural dimensions on project management performance

Cinzia Battistella, Thomas Bortolotti, Stefania Boscari, Fabio Nonino, Giulia Palombi

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Abstract

Purpose
Diverse cultures may make people behave differently and this, in turn, can impact project management. While the relationship between culture and project success has been widely explored, there is a need of addressing the gap in the relationship between culture and project management performance outcomes, that is, the performance in implementing project management processes and practices. The purpose of this paper is to investigate this gap by studying the role of cultural dimensions on project management performance.

Design/methodology/approach
An explorative survey including 200 observations relating to the experiences of project managers with a big experience on projects involving many different national cultures has been conducted to collect primary data on the relationship between the nationality observed and the project management performance outcomes shown. Nationality has been used as a proxy to link individual cultural dimensions and project management performance.

Findings
The results of this paper show that individualism impacts project dynamics and project control positively. Moreover, masculinity impacts project dynamics positively, and uncertainty avoidance impacts project control negatively. When recognized, different cultural dimensions can drive project management performance outcomes. The increasing awareness on this topic can be a valid instrument to control the cultural effect and take advantage of it to enhance project success.

Originality/value
This study contributes to the theory of project management by recognizing linkages between cultural dimensions and project management performance. Moreover, this study overcomes the concept of nationality, focusing on individuals and their unique set of cultural dimensions.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages23
JournalInternational Journal of Organizational Analysis
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 22-Mar-2023

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