Culture Management and Project Management in Ingos


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Due to the expansion of not-for-profit organisations around the world, the management in the branches of NGOs is faced with many challenges, such as culture conflicts. “International nongovernmental organizations can scale up their work and impact in several ways, but they often find expansion to be difficult to manage.” (Mark, 1999) To find the way to deal with this issue, previous researchers mainly focused on the management in these branches from a macroscopic angle. However, this article would discuss these previous researchers’ studies and point out the method to manage expanded branches in NGOs from a microscopic perspective.

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Culture management

As for the macroscopic angle, the culture management plays an important role in leading the affiliated institutions of NGOs in other nations. Davenport and Prusak suggested that “ knowledge-friendly organizational culture is one of the most important conditions leading to the success of KM initiatives in organizations” (Davenport & Prusak, 1998, cited in Mahalinga & Damodar, 2012). Unfortunately, the different culture backgrounds sometimes trouble them. The previous studies have shown that the branches of NGOs in other countries manage culture with two types of attitudes: some of NGOs are likely to persist their traditional ideal, whereas others are more willing to accept new regulations by sacrificing individual’s culture.

To be more specific, the replacement of individual’s culture by different ideals would probably result in the unsteady development. “ This is because NGOs function under greater unstable environment and face more financial uncertainties than for-profit organizations. Against such crises, adaptive culture of NGOs acts like a shock absorber.”( Mahalinga, 2011)

“In the case of China, the prevalence of GONGOs across the social realm and its overlap with the work of NGOs means that they must be accounted for in the process of social transformation. Our consideration of the role of GONGOs in Africa is thus necessary in this study for that reason. Furthermore, from the state’s perspective there is little meaningful differentiation between GONGOs and NGOs. In short, our usage of ‘NGO’ is broad and all‐encompassing, although we are mindful of potential analytical shortcoming and variances.” (Hsu, Hildebrandt, Hasmath, 2016) Therefore, relying on other cultures by sacrificing individual’s ideal is not a good way for further cooperation and management in both NGOs and other nations.

However, it could contribute to progress continuously if the expanded branches of NGOs learns from others while facing with different cultures. The Eighth World Youth Buddhist Symposium is a successful example. “The program includes interfaith dialogues, keynote speeches, academic research presentation, WeSpeak, discussion panels, meditation sessions and a sightseeing tour etc.The theme of this symposium is ‘Artificial Intelligence and Buddhism’ and this activity had invited renowned academic researchers and influential spiritual leaders, including leaders of other religions, to reflect on A.I and Buddhism.” Thanks to the interactive learning, they have come up with several groundbreaking wisdom theories and the attendances reflected that they have been inspired deeply from them. “Therefore, international nongovernmental organizations have become important actors in international relations.” ( Katharin, 2016)

Project management

On the other hand, apart from the management from macroscopic perspective mentioned above, the project management, as a microscopic angle, also plays an important role in consist of the whole process of institutions. Specifically, the first reason is that a good time management of a project could result in well-organized function and operation, in replace of being disturbed by changing surroundings. Secondly, the reasonable priority and deleveraging between every subset would be helpful to prevent processes from being delayed, and to avoid the ignorance of serious matters. Thirdly, steps within every single task, including the management of controlling, quality, and balance between every element might have an influence on efficiency in every part of a program.

To solve this problem, the “nail principle” could helps. It means that trying to fix all gaps between every step and task in a program to decrease the risk of failure. To be more specific, first of all, disassembling all the objectives, including long-term goals and short-term goals, and make sure they are divided into specific year, month, week, hour, munite and second. The next stage is precise lever: to deleverage priority within programs and interactive steps. Thirdly, to set a general goal and subtasks between every program from their starting. When every subset is operating, to remind the subgoal before, during and after subgoal node. The final stage is clear strategy. For example, the global project prior to the local, and the time prior to the perfection. Meanwhile, controlling time when partial projects are operating, such as 95% period for fulfillment and 5% period for optimization.

In addition, adjusting to changing circumstances would also contribute to efficiency in the expanded branches. This is because people could not balance and transfer conflicts reasonably, when they are faced with emergency. For example, when (research: expanded branches), there were no practical plannings and initiative actions. Therefore, to address this issue,first of all, people need to gain the awareness of the fact that solving new issues requires patience and time to verify, digest and convert. secondly, following the original plans and processes, and ignoring how difficult they matter. Thirdly, controlling demanding tasks management and light tasks management. Fourthly, to conclude and analyze after the end of the project, and make plan b,c,d.

In conclusion, it is common for international nongovernmental organizations mainly focus on culture management in terms of different culture backgrounds, but sometimes conflict cultures are not well-handled. In current study and application, it would be better for the expanded branches of NGOs to pay attention to project management, while managing different culture in other nations by compromise, independence and interactive learning. Future studies could focus on project management more precisely under the multiple cultures background to avoid run the risk of building NGOs’ future on shifting sands which would wash away by the changing world.

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