Risk Perception in Multicultural Project Teams

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The British University in Dubai (BUiD)
In projects, managing risks is essential for project success and delivery. However, personal judgment of decision-makers can affect risk management. Subjective evaluation of risk, known as “risk perception,” is an important concept. According to the literature, multicultural project teams are faced with many risks. Researchers argue that different cultures have different attitudes and reactions to risk. In the UAE, cultural diversity in the business environment has been increasing dramatically. Therefore, the main aim of this dissertation is to examine the concept of risk perception in multicultural project teams in the UAE. The relationship between individuals’ specific characteristics (culture, gender and personality) and risk perception was examined in real life project teams. This was undertaken through firstly, thoroughly reviewing the existing literature on several topics including risk perception, decision-making, and culture. Secondly, the study’s variables were investigated through a questionnaire. The major findings indicate that there is a variance in risk perception of team members from different cultural backgrounds. The variance was noted in response to different risk factors and to the probability and impact components of risk. Gender variance has been also noted. No relationship has been found between personality and risk perception. Implications of these findings are discussed and recommendations for both practitioners and future research are provided.
risk perception, multicultural project teams, risk management, United Arab Emirates (UAE)