The influence of culture on conflict management in the Ghanaian construction industry: the project managers perspective

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Globalization has led to an increased emphasis on cultural diversity and its influence on personal, social, and organizational practices. As the world becomes a smaller place, the potential for conflict in our daily interactions is increasing. Therefore, the study was aimed at assessing the influence of Culture on Conflict Management in the Ghanaian Construction Industry from the perspective of the project manager. To achieve this aim, the following objectives aided in the realisation of the aim; to explore the cultural characteristics on construction projects in Ghana, to identify the conflict management styles on construction sites in Ghana and to identify the key effect of culture on the management of conflict in the Ghanaian Construction Industry. Using a purposive sampling, project managers were identified to aid in the collection of data for the research. The study used analytical tools such as relative importance index, one sample t-test and mean score ranking. After analysing the data, it was revealed that, I want to have all issues openly discussed was the only cultural characteristics that was not familiar to Ghanaian project managers. It meant that all the other cultural characteristics one way or the other was familiar to them. Again, emotional expression, avoiding and compromising were somehow not a good conflict management style used by project managers in Ghana. Notwithstanding, the relative importance proved that they were important as conflict management styles as they ranked from fourth to sixth on the table. The study also identified five challenging effects which are predicting the outcome of the conflict, communication problems, concern for self, prejudice in solving cases and decrease in productivity. The study recommended that; project managers treat every worker right devoid of the cultural background of the person. a recommendation also goes to project managers who dominate and neglect conflicts to desist from it as it does not bring any good results.
A thesis submitted to the Department of Construction Technology and Management, College of Art and Built Environment in partial fulfilment of the requirement for the Degree of Master of Science.
Culture, Conflict, Influence, Ghana.