Discussion Area of interest in Western journals

Chapter Four: Discussion

4.1        Introduction

The project management in China as observed in the above literature review chapter possesses various characteristics, which plays most important role in the success and failure of projects. The characteristics observed mostly in the two hundred western journal articles or books includes law, culture, project management practices, economy, political system, investment opportunities, and Chinese business philosophy. It has been observed that the Chinese authors and Anglo-American authors contradict in various aspects of project management. However, the articles or books related to project management in China mostly emphasize on construction, engineering, and architectural industries. The next section restates the aims and objectives of the paper and presents the discussion and evaluation of results found in the literature review. Additionally, each characteristics of Chinese project management is discussed based on the findings of the results, extracted from the literature review. There is also a discussion on the integrant data analysis that was presented in the literature review part in order to highlight the links among the different characteristics of Chinese project management during various publishing periods.

4.2        Discussion of Findings and Results

4.2.1    Aims and Objectives of Research

The key aim of this research was to conduct a literature review using 200 western journals in order to identify the key area of interest in the Chinese project management practice. In this respect, the main objectives of the research were to identify the key concepts, ideas and theories used by the authors in the western journals to address the issues in the Chinese project management. Furthermore, other objective was comprised of finding the approaches and sources used by authors to address the key questions of the journals. In this respect, the key objective of the research was to compare and contrast Anglo-American authors with Chinese authors including their agreement and disagreement points and methods. Hire online dissertation writer to get help.

Considering the above aims and objectives of the research, the next section presents the evaluation and discussion of the literature review, whether or not objectives are achieved. 

(1)   Law

Based on the literature review and content analysis of law as characteristics of Chinese project management, it is found that law is less likely to be the key area of interest for the western journals, as there is little research conducted, which leaves the western foreign investors at the vulnerability of facing the legal issues.  This vulnerability is led by the lack of knowledge in the area of law and project management practices in China. However, the Anglo-American and Chinese authors have been found equally concerned about the complex nature of legal structure of China in dealing with the project management practice, yet both authors have discussed the corporate and business law as the most important area concerning project management practice in China.  Moreover, it is found that research in the law area in the context of project management practice is limited, as authors have discussed merely complexity of the legal system of China, while limited area of study in the law and project management can influence the decision of investors in the investment into the Chinese business. Therefore, it is recommended that the area of study in the context of Chinese project management and law should be extended to other factors, as other factors such as political and economic factors can be important influential for the complex legal structure in China. Similarly, western journals need to pay special attention to role of legal framework in the success and failure of project management in China because empirical study by the western authors will increase the interest of western investors to comprehend the legal framework in Chinese project management. 

(2)   Investment Opportunities

Unlike law, great interest of western journals has been found in the investment opportunities offered by Chinese project management. However, the reason why western journals are keener to research in investment opportunities is that China has been recognized with unique project management values, beliefs and practice. The fusion of modern and traditional project management practices in China is the key of increasing success of project especially in constructions and financing sectors. Moreover, China has emerged as the growing economy, which is the appealing reason for foreign investors to identify the investment opportunities associated with the project management practice in China. Based on the literature identified in the content analysis, it can be concluded that both western as well as Chinese authors are interested in the investment opportunities associated with Chinese project management practices but key interest of western journals is the financial affairs related to Chinese project management. On the other hand, Chinese authors are more concerned about the other factors involved as the key determinants of investment opportunities such as changing economic conditions, and policy, changing political climate in the country and effects on the policy making in the project management. Besides, western authors have discussed the financial management in the project management leading to increased investment opportunities for the foreign investors while Chinese authors have mainly covered traditional project management in China comparing it with present project management. 

(3)   Culture

A comparative analysis between Anglo-American authors and Chinese authors shows that American authors are more focused towards establishing  joint-ventures between Chinese and foreign organizations in China as they found China as the best and suitable business country where they can invest on large scale for their rapid economic growth. Chinese economy is rising day by day that is why western countries show their keen interest in establishing joint ventures with China as well China has attracted a massive amount of foreign investment and international trade recently. The crucial issue identified is different managerial practices in China and impact of culture differences on the ownership structure of international joint ventures. Furthermore, they are more focused on determining the key differences between the Chinese and American managers, examining the suitable environment for ventures of American businesses in China and identifying the impact of joint ventures and foreign investment in China. Chinese authors are more focused in their business enhancement analyzing different behaviors of Chinese culture, philosophy and management approach exploring the typical model of Chinese project management including health care, sports activity and personal connections between people living in a social network of China. They also focused on the experiences of foreign investors in China project management and the risks in development of Chinese construction industry towards international procurement practices managing projects, culture and relationship of China with the western world.

(4)   Leadership

The role of leadership in Chinese project management identifies seven western journals enhancing the role of Chinese project management. From the above studies, it can be notified that the key area of concerns of Chinese leadership practices in project management includes teamwork, decision making and employees’ motivation. It is found that teamwork increases the efficiency of the project because it can generate a numerous numbers of ideas full of creativity. The main concepts found in the studies are concerned about the need of leadership in the Chinese project management, in which western foreign are more interested as leadership can affect the success and failure of the project. It is found that one of the main areas of focus of Chinese project management is decision making, as it gives the rights to all of the employees of their organization in making decisions, confer valuable suggestions to improve competence and effectiveness level. Moreover, Chinese project management plays an important role in boosting up the employees motivation level as it plays a vital role to give respect to employee opinions and improve their efficacy and value by telling their blunders in positive way. In one of the western journals, there is a comparison of leadership situation in PMP in Asian countries specifically of China. From the comparative studies, it has been observed that flourishing and thriving leadership behavior of today consists of more culturally diverse labor force, as it is one of the very important challenges organizations face. The main drawback, which has been observed in the intact study, is that, there is no Chinese author found in this regard, in contrast, their work in leadership is recognized by few western journals. For the above reason, western journals cannot be compared with Chinese authors and there is a strong need of Chinese authors to work in the area of leadership in the project management as leadership is one of the most important skills required to bring immense changes and effectiveness in the workplace.

(5)   Project Management Practice (PMP)

It has been concluded that the 180 western journals regarding project management practices, written by both Anglo Americans and Chinese authors are effective and consists of up-to-date information and effective future practices. In the western journals, it has been observed that the Anglo American Authors of sixty-five journals are principally focused on the project management concept and described the project management practices in China with various perspectives. Conversely, the Chinese authors that write forty-three journals are mainly focused on the factor affecting the project management and further focused on the various aspect of successful and failure project management in China. Hence, no journals have provided the information regarding to overcome the issues that appear during project management practices and influence Chinese culture.

Therefore, it has been recommended that the Anglo Americans authors should provide the appropriate and effective way of solving the issues that appear during project management practices and need to focus on the barriers, opportunities for project management practices. Conversely, the Chinese authors should focus on to improving the project management practice within China and they should provide the opportunities to reader to learn more about the Chinese culture. Furthermore, for the future development, the journals have some strength that need to make more effective and some weakness that need to be considered to overcome the issues for best outcomes in future. In additions, Anglo Americans and Chinese authors should address the global issue that has appeared due to the inappropriate settings and planning. This will enhance the reading about project management practices and help the people to learn the effective project management strategies.

(6)   Economy

In the western journals, the authors have effectively determined the reforming of global market for offshore IT services within project management in China and its economic success.  Moreover, journals also illustrated the impact of the globalization, privatization, and free market economy on the Chinese project management.  The Anglo American authors have mainly examined the economic policies of China in order to manage the projects utilizing foreign investment and identified that economy of China has grown swiftly over past decade and that change comes from the complete dependence on state owned and collective venture to a mixed economy.  It is recommended that Anglo American authors should also study the project management models of joint ventures in order to understand the investment opportunities within China much more deeply.

However, Chinese authors were more interested to examine the concerns and opportunities of large-scale construction projects in China as well as international project management models of joint ventures in China. The Chinese authors are recommended to study the deeper perspective of restructuring of global market for offshore information technology services within China in order to analyze the economic situations within china significantly.

It is evident from the studies that roles and responsibilities of project management in China has significantly influenced the economic condition of the Chinese projects, and effective  project management practices in the construction industry have accomplished extraordinary growth and has turned out to be the backbone of economy of China (Zuo& Ma, 2003).  Hence, western organizations are recommended to put greater focus on systematic project management practices for the effectiveness of their construction industry.

(7)   Political System

The political system as the major player, factor, and characteristic of project management in China provides various alternatives for the western companies and institutions to operate the projects smoothly in China. The reason behind discussing the political system as a characteristic is that it provides various barriers and constraints in managing the projects successfully in China. However, it has been observed by Anglo-American authors that the western companies face numerous political challenges and barriers in entering the Chinese environment. On the other hand, Chinese authors highlighted various aspects of political systems along with the risks associated to this system and ways to overcome these issues by the companies. Moreover, the Chinese authors also identify the issues in joint ventures by western companies in Chinese environment.

Fundamentally, Ying (1996) provides the evidence that the creation and management of joint ventures of western companies in Chinese environments be influenced by many factors and most significantly political system, which contributes in the success and failures of the projects. Therefore, it is recommended for the western companies and institutions to examine the changes in Chinese environment while considering the essential differences in political system between parent and foreign countries.  

Furthermore, the Anglo– American authors fundamentally discuss the successful initiation of implementing the joint ventures and other projects in China. The Anglo-American authors specifically highlight the issues, practices, previous strategies, and challenges faced by the Western companies and Chinese companies in joint ventures. These authors also address the key issues faced by the western organizations while entering the Chinese market. Thus, it is recommended for the western organizations and institutions that the companies and institutions should consider and study the political system of China before going into joint ventures and Chinese market. In this way, the western companies and institutions are able to find ways and solutions to overcome the potential issues and challenges.

(8)   Chinese Business Philosophy

The Chinese business philosophy acts as another significant characteristic of managing projects in Chinese context. There are various strategies provided for the Western companies and institutions to operate conveniently within China. Thus, the literature review identifies major areas for the Chinese business philosophy under the publications of Anglo– American and Chinese authors.

It can be observed that the Anglo-American authors and Chinese authors are not contradicting in the context of Chinese business philosophy. Both categories of authors provide essential strategies and ways for the Western companies and institutions. It is recommended that the Western companies should consider and study the business philosophies of China for understanding the essential strategies. Moreover, it is also recommended that the business philosophies of China should be implemented in the Western companies and institutions upon entering the Chinese market in such a way that the company can transform and evolve the philosophies and strategies to manage the large-scale and small-scale projects.

However, it is obvious and evident from the study by Sharpio (1991)  that the business philosophy of China plays the essential role in establishing the working environment for the workers in organizations. Therefore, it is recommended that the Western companies and institutions should recognize the importance of working environment along with the Chinese business philosophy.   

4.2.2        Discussion on Integrant Data Analysis

The table 1 presented in literature review shows the integrant data analysis of 200 western journals that were published in approximately 30 years. The journals’ articles are categorized by their publishing year and Chinese project management characteristics. The purpose of this categorization is to illustrate the frequency of discussion on each characteristic in these western journals articles.

 The table demonstrates that during the period of 1980-1885, there was very low focus of western journals was on culture, leadership, project management practices and economy since at that time the western journal mainly focused on the Chinese culture, which might be due to strong cultural attributes in China. In addition, during 1986-1990, the western journal published three articles on investment opportunities, eight articles on project management practices and one article on culture and economy respectively. This reflected that at that time, the focus of western journals was on project management practices because the world has started recognizing Chinese project management practices because of success of various Chinese projects. Conversely, during 1991-1995, the western journals published one article on law, culture, economy and leadership while, three articles were written on investment opportunities and two articles on project management practices. At this time, the investment opportunities in China were at their peak attracting foreign direct investments at global level reducing the focus on other categories.     

As during 1996-2000, China became more developed therefore, the western journals started focusing on various fields including law, investment opportunities, culture, leadership, project management practices, economy and political system. Western journals continued its concerns regarding investment opportunities and project management practices because these were the leading fields of China due to increased globalization. Moreover, during 2001-2005, western journals kept focusing on investment opportunities and project management practices accompanies by the consideration on the Chinese culture too. While law, leadership, economy and political system remained less considerable issues by western journals due to stable market conditions. During the period of 2006-2010, China became stronger and powerful economy therefore, the focus of western journal was also increased and enhanced towards the fields of Chinese project management.

Moreover, figure 1 in literature review depicted the graphical representation of the links between the different key areas of interest regarding the characteristics of Chinese project management, published in western journals. The graph is making clear representation of the fluctuations and focus of the authors in western journals within the period of 30 years. It could be observed from the diagram that the frequency of discussion regarding the Chinese project management characteristics, in the inception of 1990’s was very low as compared to modern times. Not more than 10 journals focused on any of the mentioned attributes of Chinese project management during 1980-1990 periods. The same could be linked to the effects of Gulf war, due to which the most of the academic publications focused on the severe impacts and consequences of the war on the FDI in China rather than on any other topic (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development 2002). 

However, it was also observed that during 1986-1990 much of the stress was on the Chinese project management practices by the western journals as the war opened the door to foreign investment opportunities in China as after the recession of 1990-1991, the economy of China was boosting. This might be due to the increased popularity and enhanced globalization of the Chinese economy in international market. However, after 1990, the slope of the Chinese project management practices went down, which could be the result of the increasing investment opportunities offered in China. The increased investment opportunities diverted the focus of western journals from the management practices, as the investors were keenly taking benefits regardless of the consideration of the management practices. However, after 1995, there was a rise in the publication of PMP again which has been increasing up until 2011. Considering law, politics, economy, Chinese business philosophy and leadership styles in China, an average focus has been given by the western journals to these areas, which could be related to the stable and favorable conditions of the Chinese market. The much hotter topic during the period of 2006-2011 after PMP has been the Chinese culture, which has now become the attentive area in the western journal due to its vast adaptive nature.

4.3  Conclusion

This chapter restated the aims and objectives of the study to evaluate whether or not objectives of the study are achieved. In this respect, the chapter discussed and evaluated the results and findings of the literature review and content analysis. The chapter made the discussion on the key areas of Chinese project management highlighted in 200 western journals. Additionally, by conducting discussion on integrant analysis, it has been found that the western journals are more focused towards writing articles on Chinese project management as China is recognizing itself as more globalized country of the world. Moreover, it has also been depicted that western journals diverted their attentions on various concerns related to Chinese project management from time to time and now number of journals attracted to write on Chinese project management has been also increasing day by day. Further, it has been identified that the most concern topic of western journals article is project management practices and western journals needs to write more articles on Chinese business practices of Chinese project management for getting benefit.

The next chapter would be of conclusion and recommendations illustrating the limitations of the research and recommendations for the future work. In addition to this, the key missing area that lacks in the western journals regarding the Chinese project management are also highlighted. 

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