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Web lecture culture



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  • This presentation/web lecture shows:Problems and strategies to solve the problems with cultural diversity in GSDFocus on Cultural diversity and examples from the real industry.
  • Different Leveles within a Culture:Also every culture has its own cultural diversities: as you can see in the list above.Of coursepeoplefromone country have more closer cultural bindingsthatwithpeoplefromother National cultures.Also per Organisaition you have a different cultural level, a mix of individual culture and the companies culture.Occupational Culture. Like look at us, all of us are software engineers, more or less. We live also in our own culture, maybe in a way more different culture than business and accounting people.Of course, Gender level. Here we dont have it so much, also in Germany its nearly equal (we have Merkel), but in other countries this is a way more bigger deal.In some cultures males are more dominant both at the woprk place as well as in the household.
  • Example:Differing attitudes towards hierarchy and authorityOne manager of Mexican heritage, who was working on a credit and underwriting team for a bank, told us,“In Mexican culture, you’re always supposed to be humble. So whether you understand something or not, you’re supposed to put it in the form of a question. You have to keep it open-ended, out of respect. I think that actually worked against me, because the Americans thought I really didn’t know what I was talking about. So it made me feel like they thought I was wavering on my answer.”Example: Conflicting norms for decision making (UAI)A Brazilian manager at an American company who was negotiating to buy Korean products destined for Latin America told us, “On the first day, we agreed on three points, and on the second day, the U.S.-Spanish side wanted to start with point four. But the Korean side wanted to go back and re-discuss points one through three. My boss almost had an attack.”Reference:Paper Managing Multicultural Teams
  • -Outsourcingdevelopment to othercountriesmayresult in the companygainingthroughpaying low salaries especially in countrieslike India and otherdevelopingcountrieswhere living standards and minimum salaries and taxes are low.-this also gives the outsourcingcompanyaccess to international markets.-knowledge pool is widenedwhencompaniesinvest in foreigncountries as theyget the oppotunity to employ more ambitious and talentedpeople.-the differences in time zones meansthatdevelopmentcanbedone 24/7.
  • - Adaptation - Acknowledging cultural gaps openly and working around them.- Structural intervention -Changing the shape of the team.- Managerial intervention - Setting norms early or bringing in a higher-level manager.- Exit - Removing a team member when other options have failed.Reference: Paper Managing Multicultural Teams
  • Source:
  • -functionaldiversityfocuseson the rolesassigned to a team member. A manager is expected to do certainroles in computer sciencethatmightbe different in socialsciences.-team culture encouragespeople to worktogether as a team and solveorfindworkaround to their individual differences.
  • -observations indicated that in North American businesses, individuals usually make decisions while in Japan, groups make decisions[1].-Mexican groups had higher levels of consensus than USA groups.-USA groups had more comments and unique ideas as compared to Singaporean and Mexican groups-Singaporean groups had higher pre-meeting consensus than USA and they had less changes in consensus and had more equality of influence in decision making
  • -in this case thisresulted in a fasterrealisation of the intendedresult.-the teams also managed to have a solutionfortheirmisunderstandings without involvinghigher management.
  • -in some cultures e.g. bussiness cultures canchoose to use .g. Windows XP while a member in anotherlocationprefers to workwith Linux. Thiscanbe a big problemif none of them is ready to give in and start to use the othertechnology.
  • -misunderstandings are rampant in multiculturalbussinessgroups.
  • space: different cultures have different attitudes towards space material goods: used for power and statusfriendship: interpersonal relationships vary considerably across culturestime: linear time cultures take time and deadlines very seriously in a very rationalist sense. Time is structured, sequential and linearAgreement: expressing agreement and disagreement varies by culture in the level of formality
  • Do you have any Questions?Feel free to ask, now is the time.
  • List of references: If you want to learn more about the studies, please have a look into these papers.
  • List of references: If you want to learn more about the studies, please have a look into these links.


  • 1. CultureIn Global Software DevelopmentWeb lectureUniversity of AmsterdamWithin the scope of the subject Software Processby: A. Dube, P. Darkow, S. Rohde
  • 2. IntroductionWhat is Culture ?Global Software Development (GSD)Cultural DiversityExamples in real IndustryDisadvantagesLessons learnedQuestionsReferencesWeb lecture - Index2
  • 3. Research has been carried out in the field of softwaredevelopment and observations indicate that culturaldiversity in development teams may promote or mayhinder productivity.We want to look at the various types of diversity andtheir effect on the productivity of these teams withthe use of real examples from industry and personalexperiences.Introduction3
  • 4. Definitions: Culture is,“Civilization", including education, manners, artsand crafts and their products.How people think, feel, and act from differentcountries and nations.What is Culture ?4
  • 5. Different Levels of Culture within a Culture:National LevelNational differences through raise and values fromchildhood.Organizational LevelPeople spent a lot of time in organizationsOrganizational differences in practices.Occupational LevelDifferences through occupation.Gender LevelGrade of traditional gender roles.5What is Culture ?
  • 6. To understand Culture and it’s differences, differentmodels were created.G. Hofstede - Five Cultural Dimensions (Most used)E. T. Hall’s - Cultural Factors - (Low and High Context)Alfons Trompenaars & Charles Hampden –Turner6What is Culture ?
  • 7. Hofstede provides five simple dimensions to comparedifferent cultures.Hofstede identifies five national culture dimensions:power distance (PDI)individualism/collectivism (IDV)masculinity/femininity (MAS)uncertainty avoidance (UAI)long term orientation (LTO)What is Culture ?7
  • 8. Direct versus indirect communication (Low / High Context)In Western cultures is typically direct and explicitNot many other cultures, where meaning is embedded in theway the message is presented.Trouble with accents and fluency (language)International business language is EnglishMisunderstandings, deep frustration by non-native speakersaccents, lack of fluency, problems with translation or usageCultural Barriers to success8
  • 9. Differing attitudes towards hierarchy and authoritymulticultural teamwork is by design, with teams that have aflat members from some cultures are uncomfortable on flatteams. (PDI)Conflicting norms for decision making (UAI)Cultures differ enormously when it comes to decisionmaking–particularly, how quickly decisions should be madeand how much analysis is required beforehandCultural Barriers to success9
  • 10. Global Software Development increased the lastdecades. More and more reasons for that are:Reduced development costsNational market turn into international marketsBigger Pool of Knowledge and Talent recoursesDevelopment/testing and Support (24/7)Global Software Development10
  • 11. Top Outsource CountriesSince the 1990’s is a significant rise in GSD withinIreland, India and Israel.Israel ‘s and Ireland’s popularity as locations for low costoffshoring and outsourcing software developmentdecreases.From these initial three I’s, India is the number Onelocation for outsourcing and offshoring softwaredevelopment.Changing Outsource StrategyMore GSD outsourcing in the neighbor countries:GSD Outsource Countries11
  • 12. Map of Popular OutsourcingCountries12
  • 13. This presents challenges in the management of GSD:Team members are from a number of nations withvaried social, economic and cultural backgroundDiverse locations both onsite and offsite, spreadgeographically over time zones.Managers need a sensitive understanding aboutcultures and cultural diversity.Problems in the Domain of GSD13
  • 14. AdaptationAcknowledging cultural gaps openly andworking around them.Structural interventionChanging the shape of the team.Managerial interventionSetting norms early or bringing in a higher-levelmanager.ExitRemoving a team member when other options havefailed.14Strategies to Solve problems in GSD
  • 15. Examples to solve GSD Problems15
  • 16. Cultural differences can create substantial obstaclesto effective teamworkbut these may be subtle and difficult to recognizeuntil significant damage has already been done.Cultural Diversity16
  • 17. Cultural Diversity Video17
  • 18. Research question: “How is cultural diversity managedwithin Indian Software Companies?”The results show that the project managers in Indiansoftware companies have to manage both Nationaland International or Western culture.Experiment Cultural DiversityIndia18
  • 19. National CultureQuestion: ‘Which are the formal and informal languages forcommunication amongst teams and team members.’Result English and Language has never been a barrier forcommunication within the teams.Religion and Festivalevery state in India has its own religious and festive calendarGenderpreference for married female team members because theyare considered to be stable and less chances of relocatingResult India Research19
  • 20. International CultureOnsite Coordinator plan, coordinate and manage thework between teams.Onsite Visits are planned for team members to meettheir counterparts with whom they interact regularly.Training Major initiatives are taken to ensure that teammembers understand culture and related issues.Result India Research20
  • 21. National CultureCollective mental programming of the people of any particularnationality or as inherited ethical habit.Organizational or Corporate CultureCovers many facets of organizational life. This type of culture isstrong for people but weaker for individuals.Professional CultureIs ingrained through highly structured formal education duringformative years and continued through training programs.Types of Diversity21
  • 22. Functional Culturemade up of those norms and habits associated with functionalroles within the organization.Team CultureThat emerges from bonding through common workexperiences.Types of Diversity22
  • 23. Good situationshigher power distance cultures derive greaterproductivity from anonymity and perceive anonymity asadvantageous.Previous qualitative research suggests that multi-sitedevelopment may increase development cycle time.Examples in real industry23
  • 24. Indian manager of IT project found himself frustrated when hemet with two Japanese members to try to get the Japan sectionto deliver its part of the project.The Japanese members seemed to be saying yes, but in theIndian manager’s view, their follow-through was insufficient.He put together an e-Business road show, took it toJapan, invited the whole IT team to view it at a lunchmeeting, and walked through success stories.It was rather subtle, he said, but it worked. In the end, the wholeteam worked well together – and no higher level manager gotinvolved.Good Examples24
  • 25. Bad situationstechnology acceptance may also be an issuethere may be communication barriers due to languagedifferencescompared to same-site work, cross-site work takes muchlonger, and requires more people for work of equal sizeand complexityengineers and managers must add the challenges ofcoordinating work across sites, spanningnational, language, and cultural barriersExamples in real industry25
  • 26. Communication breakdownAttitude, social organization, thoughtpersons, roles, spoken and written language, non-verbal communication and timeCollectivist cultures have a low tolerance of opendispute within a team or between teamsCulture affects tolerances of conflict and thereforethe willingness to confront or withdrawDisadvantages26
  • 27. spacematerial goodsfriendshiptimeAgreementDisadvantages27
  • 28. To manage cultural diversity:The management need to study the other culture andlearn about their habits and interests.The management need to open and should be willing toadapt new cultures.The whole team needs to be open and sensitiveLessons Learned28
  • 29. Check YouTube there are a tons of videos aboutglobal software development and culture.Visit Unicef site and sites of similar organizationsUse our Web LectureWant More?29
  • 30. Questions30
  • 31. [1] - Cultural differences: explaining the differences in results in GSS: Implications forthe next generation by, Lai Lai Tung, M.A. Quaddus[2] - Culture in Global Software Development a Weakness or Strength by SadhanaDeshpande, Ita Richardson, Valentine Casey, and Sarah Beecham[3] - The Effect of Cultural Differences on Software Development by D Patel, C Lawson-Johnson & S Patel[4] - Managing MulticulturalTeams[5] - Culture and Its Impact on Team Effectiveness by Ira Asherman and CatherineMercer Bing[6] - Global Software Development in Practise Lesson Learned by Rafeal Prikladnicki,Jorge Luis Nicolas Audy, and Roberto EvaristoReferences31
  • 32. [7] - Global Software Development by James D. Herbsleb and DeependraMoitra[8] - An Empirical Study of Global Software Development: Distance and Speed[9] - Effect of team diversity on software project performance[10]- Investigating cultural differences in virtual software teams[11] - Top Outsourcing countries:[12] - Map editor:[13] - Hofstede’s country selector and Homepage:[14] - Hall culture: