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The AMA Handbook of Project Management, 3rd Edition by Jeannette CABANIS-BREWIN, Paul C. DINSMORE

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CHAPTER 32Cultural Challenges in Managing International Projects

PAUL C. DINSMORE, PMP, DINSMORE ASSOCIATES

MANUEL M. BENITEZ CODAS, CONSULTANT

A backhanded “V for victory” sign is an uncomplimentary gesture in Australia. In Brazil, the American “A-OK” sign is also offensive. These are lessons that some presidents, diplomats, and businesspeople have learned the hard way. Awareness of such cross-cultural subtleties can spell success or failure in international dealings, whether in diplomatic relations, general business, or the project arena.

Projects conducted in international settings share these sometimes embarrassing communications pitfalls and others as well. They are subject to cultural, bureaucratic, and logistical challenges just like conventional ...

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