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Svenskt projektledarskap i multikulturella grupper: är en anpassning nödvändig?
Linköping University, Department of Management and Economics.
Linköping University, Department of Management and Economics.
2001 (Swedish)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Magister)Student thesisAlternative title
Swedish Project Management in Multicultural Groups : is adaptation necessary? (English)
Abstract [en]

Background: Having chosen to take a degree in international business, we have had many opportunities to meet people from different cultures. These encounters have, we believe, made our lives richer, but they have not always been problem-free. When different cultures come together, the differences inevitably become apparent. Being among friends, one can maybe laugh at these differences or it may be a good opportunity to get people to talk to each other, taking the time to explain why they do things a certain way. Being at work and experience these differences might not at all have the same ice-breaking effect - rather the opposite sometimes. Since organisations of today often choose to work in international projects we find it to be important to pay attention to conflicts that are based on cultural differences.

Purpose: With this thesis we will investigate if a Swedish project manager has to adapt his/her management style depending on the diversity of the ethnical background of the project workers. If that is the case in what ways could this adaptation be realised.

Delimitations: When it comes to the term multicultural group we define it, in this thesis, as a group of people of different nationalities. We do not include differences in religion, gender, educational background, sexual preference etc. in the definition. When we discuss culture, we refer to the national culture and do not include other aspects.

Method: We have chosen to carry through a qualitative study where our empirical data collection was made through interviews. Five interviews were conducted with project managers from Skanska and Atlas Copco. To develop the analysis we applyed the empirical data on our frame of reference and the analysis finally led to our conclusions.

Results: We can see that an adaptation is almost always necessary judging from our interviews. Different ethnical backgrounds of the people in the project group requires different adaptation. When working with people from countries that value formality, hierarchical order and authority it is necessary for the Swedish manager to become more authoritarian and formal to be able to obtain the respect and power needed to be an effective project leader. We would like to emphasise the importance of not generalising, each nationality has features different from another and when wanting to conduct studies that are cultural based it is important to bear this in mind. That is why it is difficult for us to answer the question "how" a Swedish manager needs to adapt, only that an adaptation is necessary. Different ways of adapting are discussed in the thesis more in depth.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Ekonomiska institutionen , 2001. , 81 p.
Master Thesis in Business Administration (Magisteruppsats från Internationella ekonomprogrammet), 2001:03
Keyword [en]
Business and economics, Peter Gustavsson, project management, culture, Swedish leadership, intercultural communication
Keyword [sv]
National Category
Economics and Business
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-785OAI: diva2:22792
Available from: 2001-02-05 Created: 2001-02-05

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