In what follows we provide a brief description of the most relevant dimensions to managing cultural differences in projects. They are intended to clarify cultural differences and facilitate their understanding to enhance project team performance.Discussing stereotypes at the extremes of cultures can be helpful in understanding these cultures. To achieve project goals and avoid cultural misunderstandings, project managers should be culturally sensitive and promote creativity and motivation through flexible leadership. However, cultural differences and related conflicts can interfere with the successful completion of projects in today's multicultural global business community.
We discuss motivation and training of multicultural project teams and relevant implications for project management. These theories consider relations between people, motivational orientation, definition of self and others, attitudes toward time, risk, control, context, and the environment. This paper describes the most well-known and accepted theories of cultural differences and illustrates them with examples from project management.These dimensions can be grouped into the following categories: Hofstede distinguishes between individualism and collectivism.Trompenaars & Hampden-Turner break down this distinction into two dimensions: universalism versus particularism and individualism versus communitarianism.Hall & Hall (1990) suggest that high-context cultures have extensive information networks and require minimum information whereas low-context cultures require more background information before they can make a decision.Convergers are action oriented, enjoy and are good at getting things done, and prefer to work on manageable, well-defined problems for which there is a single ‘best’ answer whereas divergers prefer reflection and observation, view situations from different perspectives, appreciate different points of view, and prefer to work on vague and ill-defined problems for which there are many alternative approaches.Fatalism is the belief that it is not possible to fully control the outcomes of one's actions and, therefore, trying too hard to achieve something and making long-term plans are not worthwhile exercises.Context is the information that surrounds an event.A significant proportion of the World's Gross National Product is spent on projects, including design and construction of infrastructure, production and telecommunications facilities, software development, pharmaceutical research and development, defense systems, and many other types of projects.World Bank (2007) data indicate that 21% of the world's trillion gross domestic product is gross capital formation, which is almost entirely project-based. Project Management makes a significant contribution to value creation globally (Anbari, Bredillet, and Turner, 2008).