Project management in an international context : a cross-cultural study of the impact of the Norwegian culture in FMC technologies and the french culture in Total E&P on project management in Pazflor
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Cultural differences are one of the important factors that can affect whether an international project is going to be a success or failure. Therefore, it is important to be aware of the cultural differences and to take them into consideration when managing an international project. The thesis has conducted a cross-cultural analysis of the Norwegian culture in FMC Technologies and the French culture in TOTAL E&P. The framework for this analysis has been the on-going international subsea project Pazflor. The data that is the basis for the analysis is a combination of data and conclusions from other researchers on similar topics, and in-depth interviews of eight Project Managers from FMC Technologies and TOTAL E&P. The in-depth interviews, which were partly based on a research article by Johnny Wong, Philco N. K. Wong and Li Heng in 2006, have been done at the facilities at FMC Technologies in Asker. The interviews lasted for approximately one hour and were tape recorded and thereafter written down. All the interviews in the thesis are given as appendixes. The results gathered from the research have a foundation from relevant theory which strengthens the quality of the thesis. Theory from among others Hofstede’s Five Dimensions of National Culture, Hall’s Low-Context-High-Context Approach and research conducted by Trompenaars & Hampden-Turner has been used, and this theory has contributed to either confirm or showing the conflicts with the results gathered from the in-depth interviews The thesis has been limited to focus on the challenges that have been evolved as a consequence of the cultural differences. Certainly there would be many differences that could affect Project Management in a positive way, but the focus has been on the challenges. Through the cross-cultural analysis the biggest differences between the Norwegian and the French cultures lies in the control by the hierarchy, the level of need for knowing details before making decisions, the concern of loosing “face” in public, the importance of not showing disagreement with an authority in public and the concern about not offending others in public. These differences may have affected Project Management in Pazflor with regards to among others time consumption, control and predictability, creativity, decision making, negotiations, efficiency, and some other aspects. The results gathered from the research have a foundation from relevant theory which strengthens the quality of the thesis. The thesis contains a presentation of relevant theory and the research methods that have been used. Further on, it gives a presentation of the results and makes an analysis based on the findings. Finally, the thesis discusses the results and analysis before drawing conclusions.
Masteroppgave i økonomi og administrasjon - Universitetet i Agder 2009