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National cultures are nothing but a framework of various traits that is unique for a group in a distinct geographic region. For any nation, its business organizations and their organizational cultures are influenced by that nation’s cultures only. Company culture can be recognized as a subset of the national cultures as the former interacts with the later. The cultural elements within a company include the employees, their work, location and the customers (Bjorvatn and Wald, 2018). All of these set an identity for every organization. Moreover, in recent times various international corporations are more inclined towards fulfilling the requirements to achieve globalization. That automatically obligates such organizations to interact with diverse cultural factors. In order to experience success every organization needs to acquire successful project management and this crucial element is considerably affected by several cultural factors. A diverse range of cultures can be seen within a single organization as the employee origins are not similar and this in turn tends to influence the management of projects either positively or in a negative way (Shen et al. 2017). Such differences may cause delay in project processes and even can make it fall flat. The effects can be positive also in terms of enhanced cultural exchange, mixing of skills and increased productive communication. In other words the national cultures act as a driver of decision making processes, leadership approaches, management practices in an organization and so have a great impact on managerial activities. Considering the impactful nature of national culture this particular study aims to discuss different influential elements of it that are associated with project management in business organizations, taking the textile industry as an example. This also tends to analyse the potential issues and risks associated with the conduction of this research in future alongside reasoning the importance of carrying out a research on this particular topic.
The aim of the research is to analyze the impact of national cultures on the conduction of management activities in a business organization and to understand how processes of project management are transformed accordingly. This study also focuses on producing a considerable rationale alongside evaluation of challenges related to project management, taking cultural diversity of the nation in account.
Smart Objectives of the research
The objectives of this particular research project are formulated based on the criteria of the SMART strategic tool. As mentioned above the concerned topic deals with the project management and culture of the nation as its influencer, the intention is to produce a SMART objectives framework. The objectives are as follows:
Larger companies are mostly run by the employees from diverse cultural backgrounds. The staff members are from various nations across the globe and so can either be advantageous or foster problems that may hinder business prospects. Similar scenario can be seen in the case of the clothing sector. Not only the employees but also the production management face the impact of diverse cultural perspectives. Different religious beliefs, languages, tastes have often been found to generate challenges within the organizational management. The effects of cultural challenges on organizational management have constantly been a concern for business organizations (Bjorvatn and Wald, 2018). Although globalization has hit the business processes around the globe yet it has not impacted on the national cultural diversity. Generic management thus may not be a successful approach, taking the cultural differences into consideration. Despite the diverse minds of the employees, consumers and other associates a management framework demands mutual understanding and great communication within the organization.
Diverse range of national cultures has been seen to give rise to a diverse company culture and that in turn creates cross-cultural challenges and conflicts in business corporations. From an online source Cgscholar.com (2020) it has become evident that many multinational companies have been found to experience management problems regarding global projects because of the gap in both non-verbal and verbal interactions. Across the world ill treatment and misinterpretation have become intense issues for various sectors. The head of a project management team faces enormous complications while dealing with individuals from varied countries with different cultural beliefs, skills and ideologies. Moreover, the expectations of consumers from an organization also vary, depending on which the management needs to proceed. In order to make a project successful the management needs to conduct hassle free actions, still managers around the globe can be seen looking for ways to resolve such cultural conflicts. Even in developed countries managers fail to understand cultural beliefs of their staff members that they work with. In addition to that management teams often tend to ignore the thoughts and ideologies of the employees. Watt, (2020) opined that misinterpretation of opinions mostly occurs among the individuals coming from different cultural backgrounds and all of these lead to poor product delivery and delay in project accomplishment. It has been seen in multiple cases that in various organizations where different individuals work in a single team, the project environment is determined by cultural dimensions. Sometimes it becomes necessary for a manager to assess various cultural aspects related to a project and decide management procedures accordingly. This ensures that the people from every culture could work within a single and suitable cultural framework designed for a particular project. Now coming to the textile industry the scenario is nothing different. For example the clothing and apparel sector of the UK has become one of the most crucial drivers of their economy. This particular sector has been found to operate in several other regions of Germany, USA, India and many more. All such organizations have felt the need of knowing the impact of national cultures in order to establish a desirable multicultural workplace environment. Management peculiarities within textile corporations are potentially influenced by cultural diversities (Shen et al. 2017). This obligates such organizations to set up a critical management process for successful global projects. Considering these relations between national culture and organizational management, an analytical study can be conducted to enhance the accommodation of diverse cultural minds under a single roof.
Cultural versatility has considerable implications for processing global team management. Cultural differences at national levels can be used as tools to identify management styles, team motivation skills and so on. Knein et al. (2020) stated that such individualism and cultural distance are essential to have knowledge about organizational operations in different parts of different nations especially in the context of project management. Hierarchical distance in relation to national culture indicates that management of global projects are just a segment of the larger company infrastructure. It has been seen that individualistic cultural orientation fosters clashes especially in smaller countries. On the other hand Calza et al. (2016), argued that different cultural dimensions can be advantageous for managerial activities. There can be found strong relationships between cultural traits and team performance regarding global or multinational projects. In the case of Arabian countries it is seen that national culture plays a key role in business development. Cultural traits are found to decide for management practices in various industrial organizations. They even have been found to incorporate a distinct cultural clan that concerns teamwork flexibility.
Human performance is a reflection of satisfaction, creativity and commitment. Cultural distances often show relatedness with overall team performance, for example it is seen in a few cases the larger is the distance in culture among the workers makes a particular group or community obtain more importance. On the contrary a homogeneous cultural environment within an organization shows high potential to achieve success (Deephouse et al. 2016). In some organizations despite the presence of diversified cultural beliefs no significant relationship between work performance and cultural characteristics has been observed. In this context another aspect has drawn attention namely the management of intercultural competence. Many multinational companies of varied sectors have been seen to offer business openness. International and experienced talents, interaction with other cultural characters are often viewed as strengths for an organization performing internationally. According to Ollier-Malaterre and Foucreault, (2017) cultural intelligence, intercultural flexibility and skills, mixed mindset are also important factors of management processes. As project management involves crucial elements like planning, control and execution, a manager needs productive teamwork to make a project reach its goal.
Communication is recognized as the key to foster such effective teamwork and cultural differences have been found to influence meaningful interaction between the managers and their team members. Moreover, in the case of collaborative work with other nations the need to understand that nation’s cultural characteristics becomes a must for project participants along with the stakeholders. From an online review Pmi.org. (2020) it has been seen that in such cases to minimize any project related difficulties appropriate management mechanisms are to be opted for. National culture thus can be viewed as a potential influencer of a project environment in any organization. Multiculturalism has also been appreciated by some experts as if it has added newer prospects to businesses. Managing cross-cultural groups within an organization has been considered to improve decision making processes and provide access to a wider market. Variety of opinions do not always create conflicts, these opinions also widen thoughts that eventually helps to create a vision for a project.
Research philosophy- With the nature of the proposal, the research philosophy to be used would preferably be positivism. This method requires the nature of data to be non-manipulated and the outcomes become according to the data found and based on the social entity observed. The research design and structure to be followed would be based on the philosophy and the methodology highly structured as per the quantifiable observations. The method would also be explanatory due to the way it elucidates the methods to be followed.
Research design- With the emerging fashion industry, the need of textile in the market have been ever increasing. The research focuses primarily on the entire textile manufacturing sector due to its vivid contribution in the total economic development of the nation. With the globalization the increase of these markets in more than one nations makes internationalization all the more important. Thereby the contribution of these people towards the whole economy makes the sector more alluring for project conduction. The basic category of research design involves taking surveys and questioning and interviewing the managers of the textile manufacturing sector along with the employees working there.
Data collection and analysis- The sample size among the entire textile manufacturing sector would be 50 different organizations where interviewing the managers would range from 2-5 depending upon the size of the organization. The employees to be questioned would be approximately 20 each and the whole time of the survey conduction would be maximum 2 weeks. The questionnaire would be distributed through the online platform and employees would be chosen randomly. The interview would be conducted through video conferencing mode thus the whole survey would occur without visiting the places of survey conduction. After the data collection analyzed would be done through evaluation of each answer sheet and further maintaining the below stages. One of the most stable methodologies of the time has been the ‘waterfall model’ due to its stability in the project management and the development cycle. The phases of the model can be summarized into:
Requirement and specifications: The requirement of the market needs to be analyzed and planned according to the demand pull. As influenced by Wu et al. (2018) with proper strategic planning this step forms the base of fail-proof structure with precise forecasting to make the textile manufacturing sectors sketch the plans skillfully and proper knowledge of the competing market along with consideration of the external components. Here nation’s culture plays an important role in planning as the choice and affirmation of the surrounding atmosphere enables the success of a project or its failures.
Design and development: the designing of the plans depends on various internal as well as the external elements surrounding the organizational environment with regards to the nation’s culture. Development depends on proper availability of funds along with smooth running of the organization without any internal and external hindrances (Cordeiro et al. 2019). Deployment teams also need to keep in focus the technological designing with respect to globalization in case of managing overboard teams.
Integration and implementation: This particular phase integrates all the planning and designs for the further implementation of the process. The implementation bears certain steps like the closure of the cultural bridges, allocation of certain tasks to the team members, consideration of the intercultural competencies, filling the technological gaps with the implementation of work to the skilled manpower for the smooth completion of the project within the stipulated time limitation (Oliveira et al. 2019).
Verification and maintenance: In the textile manufacturing unit the methodology terminates after the feedback from the product end users and the reviews of the product usage in the global platform keeping in pace with the cultural needs and demands. Once the completed products have been launched in the market or made accessible to the service seekers, the management teams need to analyze the concerns and the deficiencies of the product and needs to fix them efficiently (Oliveira et al. 2019).
The issues regarding the ethical, legal, social along with security and professional elements
Legal aspects and professionalism:
The inclusion of risks along with threats while studying the projects along with ensuring awareness regarding other aspects of project development could be interlinked both with the topic of concern and during the whole process of conduction. From an online review by Pmi.org. (2020) professionalism occurs at the time of working as either with a part of a professional body or independently after issuing a legal degree for the respective work involved. When a number of people get involved the natural tendency to showcase expertise within the allocated task expands with the increase of responsibility and competency. Similarly while proposing the project and developing one on the impact of national culture in project performance, adherence to ethical practices along with maintaining the codes of conduct and laws related to the technological aspects have to be abided by.
The codes of conduct to be abided by needs to be with respect to the organizational and the management issues regarding the sector chosen while developing the proposal. Taking into consideration the textile manufacturing units should not only reflect the high ethical standards of the land but also the challenges that they face due to the possibilities of exploitation to their employees and also to the consumers. Implementing policies and procedures to mitigate the risks not only impact on the ethical front but also the legal component of the whole process (Amp.org.uk. 2020). This in turn modulates the project proposal and designing of the plan due to the intricacies of each step during the whole procedure.
The requirement to operate in a fair and secure environment and the indulgence of responsibility to ensure safe mode of the people related to the industry in concern shows the viability of the project. The sexual harassment of the workers in the manufacturing sectors along with the hostility of the workers in the destined fields should be equally treated without biased decisions and in a non-judgmental way. Other issues include the legal boundation that the project management and development that needs to comply by when working on the manufacturing sector like the proper registration along with the evaluation and also the authorization of the products used like the chemicals and the vehicles that carry heavy weighted goods (Kroener et al. 2019). The proper analysis of the incorporation of fair-trade licensing and the textile labelling needs to be thoroughly done for the legal aspects of the project development.
Security during the process:
The security of the project development could be attributed to the requirements and the scope the whole process covers. It involves the technicality including the overall lifecycle of the procedure including the deliverables and understanding the knowledge regarding the sequence of the deliverables. From an online review by Amp-theguardian-com.cdn.ampproject.org. (2020) the textile manufacturing units need to incorporate various activities along with the resources and the proper estimate of the project base and the security in the technological field enhances the security regarding the development of the project and also helps in processing strategies in case of setbacks and system crash down. The expertise of the secured issues could be handled by analysis of the information of varied security functionality that could include specification and the implementation with accordance to the circumstantial needs regarding the access control along with the high encryption and the genuine proof of authentication. Despite such securities there could be certain vulnerabilities both at the project manufacturing unit at the textile sector as well as the project development process and thus the expertise of identification of such trespasses leads to a higher secured environment.
The risk factors involved during project management leads to the slowdown and decrease in the productivity and may occur at either any stage of the project lifecycle or during any particular phase. Starting from the planning of a project to its strategic organization, implementation, evaluation and closure each project undergoes certain steps for its fulfilment. In case of lacking in precise strategic goals and chalking out fail-proof planning, the systems may face unwanted risks with regards to the business environment (Nsuworks.nova.edu. 2020). Often due to shortage of time, there could be deficiencies in recruiting proper skilled labour necessary for the job criterion or skipping of training to make the program less time consuming. This in turn increases the risks associated with the shortage of setback plans and shock absorbing agendas to rely on.
During the start of the project the inefficiency to measure and analyze the cost-benefit outcomes often creates pecuniary risks due to the lack of sufficient knowledge and understanding of the economic forecasting. Again when the ideas and the planning of the project originator crashes with those it could lead to diversifying and divisible expectation of the whole process. At the time of organizing the strategies often plans remain unapproved by each and everyone related to the project which could further complicate the whole process in the upcoming days. From an online review by Rand.org. (2020) implementation carries maximum risk and possibilities due to the collaboration among various members of different goals and interests that could finally lead to conflicts making the process inconsistent making the operational risk more complicated. This could also include faulty procurement procedure along with production and the distributing patterns. Choosing a wrong technology for the working pattern may give rise to the strategic risks.
Other risks may be Governance related to the management team regarding the ethics, company rules and regulations and other factors. Again the project development and management could face market risks taking into consideration the textile manufacturing sector could face various competitive risks along with the global factors like the foreign exchange, liquidity and risks from credits. Facing risks associated with the legal factors along with external hazards like the labor strikes, different natural calamities and civil unrest could pose great threat to the overall project development and its management (Lanwdonut.co.uk. 2020). Risk could also be associated with the project closure where the output may not be formally approved by the unit or the associated stakeholders and could lead to facing unusual risks terminally.
Therefore, the interdependence among the employees as well as the need of adherence by the organizational representatives to the nation's culture make smooth running of the business. With the influence of varied expectations from the regional people, the success and the prospect of the particular project vary. With the internationalization and inclusive of global platforms in a broader way, various sectors like the manufacturing units have been flexible enough to adapt with the changes. Through the above mentioned subjects, it has been elucidated that the importance of strategic planning and implementation helps in running the project incessantly. Some setbacks and hurdles during the performance also results in lagging in the research and analysis of the concerning area but the effect of optimistic and holistic approach towards the inclusion of national culture and its related components makes the whole process comparatively less complicated. With the research aim and objectives along with the rationale and methodologies, the need and development of the project management with respect to the nation's cultural aspects have been drawn clearly. Ethical, socio-cultural, legal aspects along with the risk factors enabled the analysis of the organizational performance with respect to its macro environment.
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