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Chen, P, Partington, D and Qiang, M (2009) Cross-Cultural Understanding of Construction Project Managers’ Conceptions of Their Work. Journal of Construction Engineering and Management, 135(06), 477–87.

  • Type: Journal Article
  • Keywords: Managers; Construction management; Construction industry; Foreign projects; China; United Kingdom;
  • ISBN/ISSN: 0733-9364
  • URL: https://doi.org/10.1061/(ASCE)CO.1943-7862.0000009
  • Abstract:
    In recent reforms of the Chinese construction industry, significant efforts have been made toward the introduction of Western project management theories and practices. However, little is known about the extent to which Western project management concepts have been supported by the Chinese culture. Because of certain differences between the two cultures, Chinese managers’ conceptions of their work are likely to be different from their Western counterparts. This paper reports an interpretive comparison of Chinese and U.K. construction project managers’ conceptions of their work. The findings reveal three of the most similar and five of the most different aspects between the two cultural sets of conceptions. The identified similarities reflect some key characteristics inherent in the construction project management profession. Two of the identified differences, namely Chinese emphasis on commercial awareness and U.K. emphasis on health and safety, arise from social structural differences in the two nations, whereas the other three differences, namely Chinese attention to relationships, Chinese concern for their company, and U.K. attention to project contract, are due to the cultural differences between the two nations.