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The AMA Handbook of Project Management, 4th Edition by Jeanette Cabanis-Brewin, Paul C. Dinsmore

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CHAPTER 39

Cultural Challenges in Managing International Projects

PAUL C. DINSMORE, PMP, DINSMORECOMPASS

MANUEL M. BENITEZ CODAS, CONSULTANT

The shrinking business world has presented the project management community with a hodgepodge of cultural and communication challenges. Groups from far-flung corners of the earth find themselves intimately coexisting as they implement gigantic civil works and bring complex global systems on line. The cultural challenges vary from basic ethnic differences to language and other communication barriers, including subtle unspoken forms.

A backhanded “V for victory” sign, for instance, is an uncomplimentary gesture in Australia. In Brazil, the American “A-OK” sign is also offensive. These are lessons that some ...

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