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Title: Managing a cross-cultural workforce in the construction industry
Keywords: Building
Project and Facilities Management
Ling Yean Yng Florence
2009/2010 PFM
Issue Date: 2-Jun-2010
Citation: CHUA MUI HIA (2010-06-02T03:26:41Z). Managing a cross-cultural workforce in the construction industry. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: In order to overcome labour shortages in Singapore, the local construction industry employs foreign workers from neighbouring countries, especially from China, Malaysia, India and Thailand. This makes cross-cultural management inevitable to site managers interacting with foreign workers and mismanaging cultural differences among workers will lead to low workforce productivity. The aim of this study is to examine how managers can effectively manage a foreign workforce comprising of workers from different cultures by identifying cultural differences among foreign workers using Hofstede’s (1980) framework on cultural dimensions and reviewing the managerial approaches adopted by managers in dealing with the cross-cultural challenges. The research method is based on pre-tested survey questionnaire, and data were collected via electronic mail from managers who have interacted with foreign workers in Singapore to solicit opinion on their cross-cultural management experiences. In-depth interviews were also conducted to gain insights on issues that stood out in the survey questionnaire. Findings revealed that cultural differences exist and they can be associated to cultural dimensions among Chinese, Indian and Thai foreign workers. However, based on Fielder (1964) framework, the leadership styles adopted by managers were similar across the three nationalities. Other factors such as communications, cultural intelligence and groupthink were considered and found to influence management approaches adopted. A framework is proposed to facilitate managers interacting with foreign workers to achieve effective cross-cultural management and high workforce productivity in the construction industry.
Appears in Collections:Bachelor's Theses

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