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Conference Paper

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Cerimagic, S. (2011, April). Do Australian project managers working in the UAE need cross-cultural training? Paper presented at 36th Australasian University Building Educators Association (AUBEA) Conference, Gold Coast Australia.

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© Copyright, The Authors, 2011


Western corporations have extended their operations to the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Consequently, some problems can arise because many expatriate managers cannot adjust to such a foreign environment. Hence, many projects are likely to fail. However, adequate expatriate preparation can reduce or even prevent expatriate failure. Cross- cultural training intends to assist expatriates enhance their knowledge and skills, which in turn can help the expatriate practise in an unfamiliar host country and to be more productive.

Most Australian project managers working in the Middle East in places such as the UAE have not been adequately prepared for their overseas assignment. This research set out to find out if Australian project managers would like to receive and be thought cross-cultural training.

This research uncovered that cultural training is of utmost importance if the expatriates are to be successful in the UAE. Language study, a preliminary site visit, discussions with local managers and discussions with the team they are going to work with, meeting with anyone who has returned from the same posting are all necessary for their success. However, more importantly, making sure the expatriate is the right person for the position is the most important indicator for success. All these factors must be controlled by the companies to help expatriates adjust and come with the new environment and the challenges which come with it.

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