Figure Evaluation Of Cultural Patterns Of Two Countries Involved In A Joint Venture

professional experience, experience on this kind of project, knowledge of the language, and host country way of life.

Aside from this information, which can be readily obtained and assimilated, other perceptions must be taken into consideration, such as beliefs, feelings, informal actions and interactions, group norms, and values. These factors strongly affect behavior patterns. A simple way of tabulating the different factors that affect cultural behavior is shown in Figure 31-2. Although the judgment criteria are basically subjective, the chart pinpoints some of the basic differences in culture that tend to affect managerial behavior. In the binational situation used as a basis for this discussion, both sides filled out the charts and jointly evaluated the results.

Based on the analysis of the cultural differences, behavioral standards need to be developed. The objective is to define a desirable behavior or a "project culture" most suitable to the project objectives and the group's culture. In other words, cross-cultural team building must take place so that the individuals' inputs can be effectively channeled to meet the project goals. Forming a project culture is a project in itself; therefore, it must have an objective, a schedule, resources, and a development plan. Its execution becomes the responsibility of the management team. The objective of building a project culture is to attain a cooperative spirit, to supplant the our-side-ver-sus-your-side feeling with a strong "our project" view. The project culture is developed around the commonalities of both groups, identified in the analysis shown in Figure 31-2. As other desirable traits are identified, they must be developed through a training program designed to stimulate those traits.

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