Cultural distance and its effects on cross-cultural training
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The purpose of this paper is to discover whether Australian (and other) project managers in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are cross-culturally trained and appropriately prepared for their overseas assignment and whether that cross-cultural training is helpful to their success in working in the UAE. An online survey was used for collecting the necessary data. The survey was distributed to human resources managers and project managers already working for Australia companies in the UAE. The reason for choosing only Australian companies to send the survey to was that this research focused on Australian project managers working and living in the UAE, and the study was limited to this defined population. The results of this research indicate that cross-cultural training is paramount to Australian project managers working in the UAE as the cultural distance between those two countries is large. Research has recognised that the more different the expatriate’s country of origin is to their new host country, the more difficult the adjustment that needs to be made will be. This research has concluded that cultural distance has a moderate effect on the cross-cultural training required for the expatriate to succeed in their new environment. Additionally, the learning style of the expatriate plays an important role in how much information they retain from the training. Researchers have discovered that different national cultures prefer different learning styles and environments and companies must deliver training in the most effective manner. This too was confirmed in this research and the authors recommend three stages of cross-cultural training and preparation.
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