Cultural values influencing project team success: An empirical investigation in Ethiopia

Fanta Tesgera Jetu, René Riedl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


PurposeInformation systems (IS) research in developing countries (DCs) has attracted increasing attention over recent years. Nevertheless, empirical studies in these countries in general, and particularly those drawing on the cultural values influencing project team success (PTS), are still far from satisfactory. Hence, scholars strongly recommend this specific area as prime research territory to improve the successful development and implementation of IS initiatives in DCs. The purpose of this paper is to provide better insights and an improved understanding about the cultural values influencing PTS. Design/methodology/approachIn order to investigate the cultural values which may affect PTS, data were collected from project experts working on business process reengineering and information technology projects in ten public and private organizations in the service sector in Ethiopia (n=200 questionnaires). A multivariate model was employed to identify the most important cultural values. FindingsThe results indicate that personally focused cultural values (e.g. openness to change) rather than socially focused cultural values (e.g. self-transcendence) have the most significant influence on project team performance. Moreover, cultural values (independent of their designation as personally or socially focused) were found to have a strong relationship with two out of three dimensions of PTS, namely, project team learning and development, as well as project team working spirit, when compared to project team leadership. Originality/valueIdentifying the relationships between cultural values and the dimensions of PTS contributes to the establishment of theoretical insights into the success factors of IS projects in DCs. Moreover, it also assists practitioners, particularly project managers, in maximizing the possibility of PTS, which has been shown to be a major determinant of overall project success.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)425-456
Number of pages32
JournalInternational Journal of Managing Projects in Business
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 14 Jun 2013


  • Business process reengineering
  • Cultural values
  • Developing countries
  • Ethiopia
  • Information systems
  • Information technology
  • Project team success
  • Project teams

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