The Effect of Geographic Dispersion, Language Differences, and Planning Effectiveness on Communication and Project Effectiveness: A Case Study from a Multinational Environment in the UAE

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The British University in Dubai (BUiD)
The rapid growth of the UAE and the Gulf region in general, has led to a dramatic increase in the number of projects in all sectors. Some of these projects require special expertise and knowledge, and so they are outsourced or run in cooperation with experienced companies from all over the world, with different cultures and ideologies. However, recent failures made organisations question the effectiveness of such multinational projects. Interestingly, researchers in the UAE have not addressed this issue adequately. In this dissertation, we investigated communication and project effectiveness through a real-world case study in the UAE. The research focused on geographic dispersion, language differences, and planning effectiveness as the main factors of communication and project effectiveness. Following an extensive review of literature, we hypothesised that both geographic dispersion and language differences would have negative relationships with communication and project effectiveness, while planning effectiveness would have a positive relationship with the same. Data from 112 questionnaire sets were analysed using quantitative research analysis tools, with some qualitative analysis. Findings rejected the negative relationship between geographic dispersion and communication effectiveness, but supported the negative relationship of language differences, and the positive relationship of planning effectiveness, with communication and project effectiveness. Moreover, recommendations to reduce language differences included providing communication skills training, in addition to English courses. Moreover, planning effectiveness could be enhanced by hiring a project management consultancy company, employing Project Management Professional (PMP) certified people, and providing project management training. Finally, suggestions for future research include investigating geographic dispersion, exploring additional factors, and developing new and existing technologies to enhance communication and project effectiveness.
geographic dispersion, language differences, planning effectiveness, communication, project effectiveness, multinational environment, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Project Management Professional (PMP)