The modern world is characterized by an ever-increasing degree of globalization, which leads to a rise in the role of cultural diversity in all areas. Culture in the global context means that an individual or a team belongs to a particular region, nationality, religion, or ethnic group, which also affects values and beliefs. Tian defines diversity as “when individuals value things differently.”
Effective management of this aspect of interaction allows team members to combine mindsets with working on the overall goal of the project. It is important for the manager to create a united team, despite the existing differences, to avoid possible cultural conflicts. Tian also identifies aspects of multinational teams that affect the performance of a project at all stages of its life cycle.
These include “verbal versus non-verbal communication; team versus individual orientation; space and touching differences; differences of time zone; and differences of background.” Thus, managers need to pay attention to many factors in order to make the most of cultural differences for the advantage of the project.
As part of a globalized modern environment, it is imperative for project managers to work with the cultural differences of the teams. Charlesraj and Khan note that “culture, as well as cultural diversity, are the main concern for every organization across the industries.” In turn, the cultural differences of team members have a significant impact on the performance of multi-national projects.
Interaction between teams from different cultural backgrounds requires special attention to coordination and communication. Effective management of culturally diverse teams can help to achieve better productivity and creativity and stimulate innovation and problem-solving.
Jones et al. indicate that the most important benefit is that “cultural diversity in teams correlates with improved innovation performance.” Thus, effective management of multinational teams within project management generally leads to better productivity and competitive advantage.