Orchestration of Highly Skilled Multicultural Project Teams - What project managers could learn from conductors: A metaphorical journey through symphonic orchestras

Walther, Ronald A (2015) Orchestration of Highly Skilled Multicultural Project Teams - What project managers could learn from conductors: A metaphorical journey through symphonic orchestras. In: Towards Evidence Based HRD Practice: Bridging the Gap, 16th International Conference on Human Resource Development Research and Practice across Europe, 3rd to 5th June 2015, Cork, Ireland.

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Abstract

The different cultural backgrounds of project team members can lead to difficulties in social interaction. Social interaction has been found to have a direct impact on the outcome delivered by the project teams (see e.g. Bouncken (2009), Hong and Boyd (2010), Cortex (2012a), Cortex (2012b), Kerzner (2013)). A rich body of academic literature addresses these problems, but predominantly from a post project perspective (see e.g. Williams and Kendrick (2011)). More research is needed to consider how, from a pre-project perspective, these problems might be avoided, rather than dealing with them later on. This research seeks to answer questions on how the work of world-class conductors can be compared to the work of project managers of highly-skilled multicultural projects, what we can learn from this comparison that might help to reconsider project management models, methods or tools and how highly-skilled multicultural project teams might be organised, or orchestrated, to manage cultural interference? The use of the metaphorical device of the orchestral conductor is employed as an academic research approach rather than a means of illustration. This is because a metaphorical comparison allows for a combination of knowledge from different disciplines. The discipline of conducting originates in the science of art and music performance and production in particular, whilst the discipline of project management has developed from economics and technical sciences. Like project managers, conductors use tools to interact with team members (musicians). By studying the conductor’s tools and behaviours, this study develops a new understanding of how project managers can improve their project management.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Project Management, Project Manager, Project Team, Culture, Diversity, Conductor, Symphonic Orchestra
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management > HD66 Work groups. Team work in industry. Quality circles
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > Business School > Business and Human Resource Management
Research Priority Areas: Applied Business Research
Depositing User: Susan Turner
Date Deposited: 19 Jun 2015 15:36
Last Modified: 26 Aug 2016 09:21
URI: http://eprints.glos.ac.uk/id/eprint/2364

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