Project Management Institute

Cultural barriers to the use of western project management in Chinese enterprises

some empirical evidence from Yunnan Province

Current project management practices are strongly informed by traditional Western cultural values and beliefs. Because of this, project managers who live and work in Eastern countries often encounter obstacles when attempting to implement project management within their organizations. This article examines the barriers that the project managers working in organizations based in China's Yunnan Province face when attempting to practice project management, barriers that the authors identified by administering a 40-question survey to 211 postgraduate students in management at Yunnan University. In doing so, it overviews the literature identifying the key cultural values and beliefs common among Chinese organizations; it lists this study's three research questions and compares the managerial differences between project management culture and Chinese organizational culture in relation to four categories: cooperation, authority, teamwork, and orientation.
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