WHEN WEST MEETS EAST: The Cultural Challenges of Offshore Project Management

This paper will examine the most common cultural challenges affecting interactions between Western companies and their Indian partners. We will list the five most common complaints (from Western clients), explain the cultural differences at the heart of each complaint, and suggest strategies that Westerners and Indians can use going forward to avoid these cultural challenges.

We should note here at the outset that these five cultural challenges obviously reflect the perspective of Westerners; indeed, the language of these five observations is lifted verbatim from a survey of American employees of a large US global company in which participants were asked what were their biggest challenges working with colleagues in India. In each case, when these criticisms were presented to the Indian counterparts, they vigorously denied all of them!

WHEN WEST MEETS EAST: The Cultural Challenges of Offshore Project Management