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Project culture in the Chinese construction industry : perceptions of contractors

By Jian Zuo, George Zillante and Vaughan Coffey


In recent years culture has become one of the most studied topics in project management research. Some studies have investigated the influence of culture at different levels – such as national culture, industry culture, organisational culture and professional culture. As a project-based industry, the construction industry needs to have more insight concerning cultural issues at the project level and their influence on the performance of construction projects. Few studies, however, have focused on culture at the project level. This paper uses a questionnaire survey to determine the perceptions of Chinese contractors about the impact of project culture on the performance of local construction projects. This is augmented by a series of in-depth interviews with senior executive managers in the industry. The findings indicate that specific project culture does contribute significantly towards project outcomes. In particular, goal orientation and flexibility, as two dimensions of project culture, have a negative statistical correlation with perceived satisfaction of the process, commercial success, future business opportunities, lessons learnt from the project, satisfaction with the relationships, and overall performance. This paper also indicates that the affordability of developing an appropriate project culture is a major concern for industry practitioners

Topics: 120201 Building Construction Management and Project Planning
Publisher: Australian Institute of Quantity Surveyors
Year: 2009
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