Culture and Project Management – A Book Review
Culture and Project Management: Managing Diversity in Multicultural Projects is an essential guide for professionals in the project management field. The book clearly defines the implications of culture for the reader, and explores how project management practices must adapt and interact with culture. Aware that cultural diversity colors every project we take on today, Culture and Project Management gives project managers the tools they need to avoid cultural miscommunication, expertly navigate project implementation, and have a broader understanding of the business and organizational implications of culture. This book not only provides culture theory, but practical examples for implementation of theory.
The book comes in hardcover as well as an e-book version for Kindle. It has 282 pages and was published in April 2015 under Gower Publishing Limited. The front cover features a dish with words that capture the cultural diversity theme, such as: responsible, democratic, prudent, authoritative, harmony, proactive, and direct. ISBN-10: 1472413822; ISBN-13: 978-1472413826
Culture and Project Management is meant for the project manager or project team that hopes to develop a greater awareness of cultural diversity. It is for professionals looking for tools to navigate culture with sensitivity and flexibility. The tools given are useful in all walks of project management, whether business or organizational.
What Customers Say
Chou Chong (Investment Directer, Aberdeen Asset Management Asia Limited) believes that the book is written in a manner that it can be understood by non-specialists as well, and has the perfect amount of examples and case-studies to match the theory.
Ruth E. Van Reken (co-founder, Families in Global Transition) thinks that the book provides amazing insight into how different cultures look at similar situations or event, and why this can have an impact on business dealings. In addition, the book explains how long-term approaches in a multicultural team differ from a short-term approach to a project, where time is limited.
Egbert Schram, (MD, Itim International and the Hofstede Centre) complements the writer for producing approachable and understandable information including brilliant examples on how culture has a profound impact on project management.
Content, Approach, Style
Culture and Project Management is divided into four parts and three appendixes. The first part explores what it means to understand culture. The second part looks at cultural orientations in relation to project management. The third part looks at culture and the project environment. The fourth part looks at culture and the project team.
The first appendix explores the relationship between individualism and collectivism. The second appendix explores sex, age, sexism, and masculinity. The third appendix looks at on time orientation. The author employs numerous tables and figures to better illustrate concepts.
Why Buy the Book
Culture and Project Management does more than explore how culture affects project management—it gives professionals the tools to work with cultural intricacies in the context of projects. The author says that this book is a culmination of his research and his personal experience in the context of transnational projects. He looks at different theories but also employs practical examples and real life illustrations of these theories played out. Proper communication with stakeholders is crucial to success, and Zein helps readers choose what to communicate and in what way.
Books that Complement
Cultural implications are important to consider before beginning a project. Strategic Project Management Made Simple: Practical Tools for Leaders and Teams looks at other important questions that should be asked before initiating a project.
Another excellent book about the initial stages and minute but important details of a project is Making Things Happen: Mastering Project Management. This book enables project professionals to not only develop a strong foundation, but see projects through to success.
Omar Zein was born in Saudi Arabia, moved to the UK as a teenager, and now lives and works in both the UK and Italy. He is a project management consultant with experience in manufacturing, IT, finance, and European Commission development programs in the Middle East and Europe. He is currently the Director of Projectize Ltd (UK) and President of the European School of Project Management (Italy).