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Cultural considerations for Germans working with Japanese in virtual teams for project management

  • In today’s globalized and multinational working world, being part of a team that uses technology in order to cross distance, time zones and even organizations, a so-called virtual team is becoming increasingly common. While extensive research on this topic is available, most of the current research is very theoretical and only in part useful for a member of a virtual team in order to enhance performance. A clear guideline on how to effectively work in an intercultural virtual team is not existent at this point. This research, aims to produce a clear guideline for Germans working in virtual teams with Japanese in the style of the Project Management Body of Knowledge Guide. Identifying the key challenges of virtual teams and the specific cultural differences of Germans and Japanese, based on Hofstede’s cultural dimensions model are the starting point for this research. Due to the specificity and the novelty of this research a grounded theory approach has been taken and in-depth qualitative interviews were conducted with 12 Japanese employees, who regularly work in virtual teams with Germans. Grounded in the experiences and challenges of the participants, the findings help construct a guideline for Germans working with Japanese in virtual teams. Results are structured according to 4 of the key challenges virtual teams face: trust, communication, leadership and technology/knowledge sharing. The guideline addresses the different communication styles of Japanese and Germans, differences in hierarchical thinking as well as the more collectivistic point of view of many Japanese. The guideline, that has been produced, is intended as a quick guide including recommendations for Germans to enhance their virtual team work with Japanese.

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Author:Kevin Henry
Advisor:Nikola Hale
Document Type:Bachelor Thesis
Year of Completion:2019
Granting Institution:Hochschule Furtwangen
Release Date:2019/03/14
Tag:Cultural dimensions; Guideline; Intercultural project management; Japanese-German relations; PMBOK; Virtual team
Degree Program:IBM - International Business Management
Functional area:Production, Operations and Supply Chain Management
Open Access:Frei verfügbar
Licence (German):License LogoEs gilt das UrhG