Construction project management in samoa: a survey of intercultural communication

Tone, Konelio & Skitmore, Martin (2004) Construction project management in samoa: a survey of intercultural communication. Journal of Building and Construction Management, 9(1), pp. 3-25.


This paper provides the results of a questionnaire opinion survey of the extent to which human and cultural influences impact on international project management in Samoa. It focuses on the particular factors within the categories of culture, human resource management, leadership and communication skills. Furthermore it highlights the practical experience that form the source of personal beliefs; the perceived relative importance for each of the factors in contributing to performance; and the aspects of communication skills and strategies that are employed or evident within projects. It also investigates the communication strategies employed by project managers in Samoa and their effectiveness in communicating within a cross-cultural context.

Virtually all those taking part in the survey agree that communication is vital. All the popular communication strategies are in frequent use; the impact of communication barriers is generally low and all barriers are being overcome quite well. In general, Samoans seem to be more favourable to meetings and planning for improved communication, with Australians using a more responsive approach and the Other Expatriates being less flexible. In terms of their experiences, the Samoans claimed to have suffered from a lack of awareness of their culture, with less flexible, clear and ongoing communication but more planning for communication. The Other Expatriates, on the other hand, recorded awareness of national culture and clear, flexible, communications among their highest achievements (Australians had clear and flexible communications high on their list too). The Samoans also scored many of the barriers to communication higher than the other groups. The need was also identified for non-indigenous managers to achieve an adequate level of cultural competence.

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ID Code: 4131
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: International project management, culture, communication
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2004 (please consult author)
Deposited On: 16 May 2006 00:00
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 13:04

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