Skip to main content
main-content

Über dieses Buch

This book explores the differences in cultural attributes and management factors to enable managers working for Japanese contractors to reduce misunderstandings and misinterpretations when communicating with project team members from different cultural backgrounds. It focuses on Japanese contractors operating in Singapore, since the Singapore construction industry has, for many years, been one of the largest overseas construction markets for the top-5 Japanese contractors. Using Hofstede’s national cultural framework for the cultural studies in construction project management, it reveals various real-world management practices and discusses national cultural differences relating to managers working for Japanese contractors in Singapore as well as the communication weaknesses of current management practices and styles. The results presented provide useful lessons for Japanese contractors operating in Singapore, as well as other parts of the world, to bridge cultural and communication gaps.

Inhaltsverzeichnis

Frontmatter

Chapter 1. Introduction

Abstract
As far as Japanese contractors are concerned, effective communication is one of the critical problems to overcome for business operations and development in international construction projects. However, the current situation of communication by managers working for Japanese contractors undertaking international construction projects still remains unclear to the present-day. This book sets out to explore differences of cultural attributes and management factors that would enable managers working for the Japanese contractors to reduce misunderstanding and misinterpretation in communication with project team members from different cultural backgrounds in international construction projects. The study focuses on Japanese contractors operating in Singapore because the Singapore construction industry has for many years been one of the largest, if not the largest, overseas construction market for the top-5 Japanese contractors.
Kazuhito Suzuki, Low Sui Pheng

Chapter 2. Japanese Construction Industry and Exports

Abstract
This Chapter describes the context of Japanese contractors in more details by reviewing the characteristics of the Japanese construction industry. In order to deepen an understanding of the role of Japanese contractors in Japan, the structure of the Japanese construction industry is reviewed. The position of the Japanese contractors in overseas markets including Singapore is then reviewed. Based on the above reviews including the structure of the Japanese construction industry and the position of Japanese contractors in overseas markets, the problems on communication with people from a different culture that Japanese contractors face in project management for international construction projects are revealed.
Kazuhito Suzuki, Low Sui Pheng

Chapter 3. The Construction Industry and International Firms in Singapore

Abstract
The previous Chapter revealed that Singapore has provided the highest orders for the Japanese contractors in recent years. In order for the Japanese contractors to learn from the successful project operations of the Japanese contractors in Singapore, this Chapter reviews the characteristics of the Singapore construction industry including the history relating to foreign contractors. In addition, the direction of the future Singapore construction industry is studied to deepen an understanding of future foreign contractors’ involvement in the construction industry.
Kazuhito Suzuki, Low Sui Pheng

Chapter 4. National Culture

Abstract
In international construction projects, understanding different cultures is important for the project team members with different cultural backgrounds to communicate with fewer misunderstandings. This Chapter discusses the definition of culture as well as the levels of culture. The national cultural models developed by four research groups are then reviewed. At the last part of this Chapter, the reasons why the Hofstede’s national cultural model was selected for evaluating cultural differences in this present research is explained.
Kazuhito Suzuki, Low Sui Pheng

Chapter 5. Communication Management

Abstract
This Chapter reviews the theoretical development and a central school of communication management in project management. First, the definition of communication, level of communication as well as communication mode related to the operations of construction projects are reviewed. In addition, the management factors that the managers should implement in order to communicate smoothly in project operations are reviewed. Furthermore, the factors necessary for communication with project members from different cultural backgrounds are also presented.
Kazuhito Suzuki, Low Sui Pheng

Chapter 6. Conceptual Framework

Abstract
This Chapter identifies a conceptual framework based on the literature review of culture and communication management from the perspective of international contractors. National cultural dimensions and management factors for communication will be bridged and assessed for their influence on effective communication. The cultural attributes that constitute Hofstede’s national cultural dimensions are discussed based on the literature review. In addition, the components of the five management factors that can facilitate effective communication among people from different cultural backgrounds are also discussed in this Chapter.
Kazuhito Suzuki, Low Sui Pheng

Chapter 7. Research Methodology

Abstract
This Chapter explains and justifies the research design and method as applied to this study. More specifically, this Chapter describes the research procedure carried out in four stages including research model development, survey, case studies and validation exercises. The research model development refers to the literature review and development of the conceptual framework. After the development of the research model, data collection through survey and case studies takes place. This Chapter also discusses the detailed data collection methods and analysis methods. The last section of this Chapter also discusses the approach to implementing the validation exercises to confirm the validity of the data and analysis results.
Kazuhito Suzuki, Low Sui Pheng

Chapter 8. Data Analysis

Abstract
This Chapter presents the data analysis results of the questionnaire survey. Firstly, the demographics of the Japanese managers and the Singaporean managers who provided inputs to this present study were summarized. The data obtained as well as results of the data analysis on the national cultural attributes that the Japanese and the Singaporean managers evaluated are then discussed. This Chapter also discusses the data obtained as well as results of the data analysis on management factors the Japanese and the Singaporean managers have practiced for them to facilitate effective communication. Furthermore, the PLS-SEM analysis conducted to clarify the relationships between an understanding of these cultural differences and management factors of communication are also discussed. This Chapter also examines how the relationship between an understanding of national cultural differences and the management factors of communication relates to the years of experience of international construction projects.
Kazuhito Suzuki, Low Sui Pheng

Chapter 9. Case Studies

Abstract
This Chapter presents the findings of two case studies. The profiles of the projects for the case studies are first introduced. Two different Japanese contractors manage these two projects. One is a building construction project and the other a MRT rail construction project. The organization of the Japanese contractors is mainly composed of the Japanese and the Singaporeans placed in important positions in their organization. Through in-depth interviews, the actual situations for communication among project team members with different cultural backgrounds in their organizations are clarified. Furthermore, by analysing the results of the interviews, the interpretations of the survey analysis on an understanding of the cultural differences, management factors for communication, and the relationships between cultural differences and management factors for communication are discussed.
Kazuhito Suzuki, Low Sui Pheng

Chapter 10. Validation Exercises

Abstract
This Chapter presents the validation interviews conducted with independent experts. Three Japanese and three Singaporean managers with more than 15 years of experience were interviewed to examine the interpretations of data collected from the survey and case studies. This Chapter firstly presents the profiles of the managers interviewed. Then, the findings of the survey and case studies are discussed with reference to the experts’ comments. This Chapter also discusses the experts’ opinions on important factors relating to communication among people with different cultural backgrounds, other than understanding the cultural differences.
Kazuhito Suzuki, Low Sui Pheng

Chapter 11. Conclusions and Recommendations

Abstract
As far as the Japanese contractors are concerned, effective communication remains one of the critical problems to overcome for their business operations and development in international construction projects. While several causes of communication problems in international construction projects have been identified by researchers, the low awareness towards cultural differences appears to be the principal cause of dysfunctional communication with the various stakeholders related to projects that displayed behaviours based on different cultural backgrounds. Given this situation, it is pertinent for the Japanese contractors to enhance their current as well as future business operations and development by increasing their awareness of cultural differences and appreciating the importance of improving effective communication. With this background in mind, this Chapter presents the conclusions as well as recommendations on how international contractors may bridge cultural and communication gaps in overseas markets.
Kazuhito Suzuki, Low Sui Pheng

Backmatter

Weitere Informationen