Title: The impact of national and organisational cultures on intergroup coordination in software development in mainland China: a qualitative analysis

Authors: Minghui Yuan, Xi Zhang, Doug Vogel, Zhenjiao Chen, Chuanjie Guo

Addresses: Department of Information Systems, City University of Hong Kong, Kowloon, Hong Kong. ' USTC-CityU Joint Research Center, USTC Suzhou Institute for Advanced Study, Suzhou, PR China. ' Department of Information Systems, City University of Hong Kong, Kowloon, Hong Kong. ' USTC-CityU Joint Research Center, USTC Suzhou Institute for Advanced Study, Suzhou, PR China. ' University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, PR China

Abstract: Intergroup coordination is critical for the success of large software projects. This paper examines the impact of national culture and organisational culture on intergroup coordination success factors (knowledge sharing, communication, mutual support and stakeholder commitment) through a qualitative analysis of semistructured interviews conducted in mainland China. We draw on a multiple-case study of five different-sized Chinese software companies to identify common patterns of national cultural impact across the cases as well as differences generated due to different organisational cultures. Based on a coding scheme, our research shows that collectivism and concern for |face| have the most salient impact on these factors. Uncertainty avoidance and power distance also have a slight impact. Interestingly, several organisational culture dimensions (harmony, customer orientation, quality orientation and leadership style) can explain part of the differences among companies. The paper contributes to the team coordination literature, particularly to intergroup coordination in software development, and provides research evidence to support the impact of culture on the implementation of the Capability Maturity Model for Software (SW-CMM). It also has implications for Chinese software project management practice.

Keywords: intergroup coordination; software development; China; national culture; organisational culture; knowledge sharing; communication; mutual support; stakeholder commitment; Chinese culture; success factors; software project management.

DOI: 10.1504/IJCCM.2008.019594

International Journal of Chinese Culture and Management, 2008 Vol.1 No.3, pp.325 - 342

Available online: 17 Jul 2008 *

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