Project managers: The importance of cross-cultural preparation

Date of this Version


Document Type

Conference Paper

Publication Details

Published Version.

Cerimagic, S., & Smith, J. (2011). Project managers: The importance of cross-cultural preparation. Paper presented at the Twenty-seventh annual Association of Researchers in Construction Management (ARCOM) conference, Bristol, United Kingdom.

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2011 HERDC submission. FoR code: 120201

© Copyright Sabina Cerimagic & Jim Smith, 2011




The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has a large expatriate population of about 80 %. This research focused mainly on Australian (western) expatriates who are working in the UAE. Most of those expatriates neither received any type of cross-cultural training before departure nor after arriving in the UAE. Australian project managers have undertaken a 49 question survey to identify and evaluate key factors relevant to the UAE environment. However, for the purpose of this online survey questions which specifically deal with cross-cultural training and its impact have been discussed in detail. Preliminary findings in the paper indicate that understanding the factors that improve expatriate performance in international environments has become a vital human resource issue. This survey confirms that improving the cross-cultural training and knowledge of expatriates in the Arab culture could provide substantial internal and external benefits to the expatriates and the companies they work for. The success of expatriate project managers is greatly influenced by appropriate preparation before their departure and on site cross-cultural training.



This document has been peer reviewed.