Influences of cultural differences on construction project delivery : a case of Gauteng province

Matobole, Khotso, Ogunsanya, Bukunmi and Aigbavboa, Clinton (2016) Influences of cultural differences on construction project delivery : a case of Gauteng province. In: 5th Construction Management Conference; 28-29 Nov 2016, Port Elizabeth, South Africa. (Unpublished)


The Construction Industry is by nature one of the most diverse working environments. The South African Construction Industry is not an exception to this rule. The Industry has witnessed great diversity in its workforce mix at all levels since the return to democracy in 1994. Thus, peoples from erstwhile segregated communities are brought together to work in achieving a common project objective. The intricate influence of this cultural mix and the pressure it exerts paper provides insight into the influence of culture and cultural difference on teams working together towards project delivery. The study adopts a mixed method approach by use of interviews and questionnaires through a convenience sampling of construction professionals in the Gauteng Province, South Africa. Findings from this research confirm that factors such as sociability, masculinity, power, equity, individualism, avoidance, collectivism are cultural dimensions prominent in multicultural teams. The influences of cultural aspects that rank highest are irritation due to misunderstanding, encouraging team building, motivating workers to work harder. The study concludes that while a lot has been done in integrating project teams from different cultures in the South African construction industry efforts should be concentrated on mitigating the effect of masculinity and irritation due to misunderstanding. It is recommended that Project Managers and Construction managers should more sensitive to the influence of cultural dimensions and deploy cultural awareness and appropriate leadership styles in mitigating its effects while channeling the positive influences towards organizational benefits. This research has provided insight into intrinsic cultural dimensions among construction industry workers in the Gauteng Province of South Africa and provides useful policy input for the Construction Industry Development Board and industry practitioners at large. The research is limited to the experiences of Construction Industry professionals in the Gauteng Province of South Africa due to the constraint of time.

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