Influence of culture on project practices: Insights from Australian project managers in UAE

Date of this Version


Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Details

Interim status: Citation only.

Cerimagic, S. (2010). Influence of culture on project practices: Insights from Australian project managers in UAE. Education, Business and Society: Contemporary Middle Eastern Issues, 3(4), 277-288.

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2010 HERDC submission. FoR Code: 150308

© Copyright Emerald Group Publishing Limited, 2010


Purpose – The aim of this paper is to explore the workplace behaviours of Australian project managers working in the UAE, as examples of Western cultural adjustment.

Design/methodology/approach – A 49-question survey was developed using SurveyMonkey. This software was used to collect and analyse all the data, accurately and reliably.

Findings – For Western expatriates, working in the UAE (which is a Muslim country with different cultural and religious standpoints) can sometimes prove challenging. No matter, how good technically the project manager may, those individuals can still fail if they are unable to adapt to a foreign culture and if the right team dynamics are not realized. In order to act appropriately, they need adequate expatriate preparation and cross-cultural training which can reduce or even prevent expatriate failure.

Research limitations/implications – Employing the survey method means that some critical characteristics cannot be successfully captured and follow-up questions cannot be asked. Further studies should explore the issues identified in the present study, using, for example, the case study approach.

Originality/value – The findings of this paper could potentially help organizations understand how to help their expatriate project managers to succeed; in return, this will save the organizations thousands of dollars as well as the organization's and the project manager's reputation.

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This document has been peer reviewed.