The essay describes a situation I faced two year ago. In May 2011, I was leading a telecommunication engineering project in Bangladesh. My team members came from Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and China. The team members joined the project at different stage of the project. Although the status of each team members is mainly decided by his position (title) in the project, but the time of joining the project also has slightly impact on the status of team members. At very beginning, the project had only three members: A, Z and I. Both A and Z are Bengalese, and they all worked as a team leader later in the project. The number of members increased to twenty in a very short time with the kick-off of the project. After that, with the growth of the project, the number of members in the project also increases slowly.
When the project came to implementation stage, I applied another team member from Project Management Office in headquarter. The new member, ...view middle of the document...
When the British partitioned the Indian subcontinent, they created a nation called Pakistan for the Muslims in the region. Pakistan consisted of two regions – West Pakistan and East Pakistan – separated by 1,100 miles of Indian territory. East Pakistan seceded from the nation, causing a civil war. India joined the conflict on the side of the East Pakistanis. In 1971, East Pakistan became the independent nation of Bangladesh. Bangladesh had many reasons for separating from Pakistan:
• Bangladesh is only one-fifth the size of Pakistan, it has a larger population.
• The two nations are very different. Pakistan is a mountainous nation with many ethnic groups, while most people in Bangladesh share the same culture. 98% of the people of Bangladesh speak Bengali, yet less than ten percent of Pakistanis speak Urdu, their official language.
• By 1970, East Pakistan paid more taxes than West Pakistan, but the government was dominated by West Pakistanis.
• A violent flood in 1970 killed more than 300,000 Pakistanis. Many people in East Pakistan accused the government of delaying shipments of food and relief supplies to the victims.
Bangladesh was a part of Pakistan at about 40 years ago, after nine months Liberation War in 1971, with some help from India, Bangladesh independent from Pakistan. Although the war had pasted so long time, the Bangladesh people still seem Pakistan as their enemy.
Before this talk I never thought the political and historical background would be an obstacle in business. I thought a professional could abandon the bias between two nations and just focus on the business itself. For example, I don’t have any bias to Japanese and don’t resist to cooperate with them. Now I realize the political factor may impact the relationship of my team members invisibly and I will consider the factor when I establish my team in future. By the way, the consequence is that I assigned R to take charge of subcontractor management, basically his work scope didn’t have any change. But his title was changed from assist project manager to project coordinator and he was on the same level with A in our organization chart. Both of them report to me directly.