Report on Cross Culture Analysis on Netherlands

Windmill Apps –Cross Culture Scenario

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29-Nov-14


Section A: Globalization and Culture of The Netherlands
Introduction

The phenomenon of globalization has provided businesses with the opportunity to stretch its borders and expand to other countries. The global village scenario can be witnessed I reality where brands originating in one country are available in many countries and nothing is out of reach. This extent of globalization has allowed companies to utilize their resources in a better way. The expertise of an employee can be utilized if needed in a different part of the world. Employee relocation is a common factor nowadays among multinational enterprises. This type of globalization is present mainly in the service sector industries. It is highly concentrated in industries involving software companies and IT related industries.
This leads us to the primary aim of this report which is to impart knowledge regarding cross cultural study of business relationship marketing and to gain an insight over the region of Netherlands in a business environment perspective. There are many factors to be taken into consideration before beginning to work in a work area with a different work culture. It is necessary to know the culture of the host country so that it can be known if a certain manner of behavior would disrespect the people. It is necessary to understand different rules and regulations of the country and abide by them. This report was made to have an idea about what needs to be taken into account before entering a work environment in a different country.
Overview of Netherlands

The most basic thing to know about Netherlands is that their people are referred to as “Dutch” people. Netherlands is one of the world’s most densely populated countries and is the tenth largest economy in the world. (Kingdom of the Netherlands, 2014) It is essential to know that to start working in the Netherlands it is compulsory to acquire a Burgerservicenummer (BSN) or a Sofi number. A Sofi number can be obtained from the Dutch tax administration. It is unique personal identification number which is assigned to you. Travelers do not require this ID but people willing to work here need to have this form of identification. For health insurance, it is essential to talk to a Dutch health insurer for queries on health insurance. (Government of Netherlands, 2014)
It is preferable to learn Dutch before going. At least learning some useful phrases is advisable in for safety or emergency purposes. Travelling by trains is the preferred mode of transport. The environment is not warm and it rains very frequently so it is recommended to always have a rain-coat or umbrella. There is a unique culture found here but there are areas here where the culture is influenced from other countries. Indonesia was initially a part of the Netherlands but became independent. Indonesia has a good influence on the Dutch culture and some of the best Indonesian food out of Indonesia is available here which would make a person travelling from Indonesia very homely and would be able t adjust in a better way than most people. (Chalmers, 2014)
Dutch people are punctual and expect punctuality also known to be excellent time-keepers. Gift giving is not very popular among the Dutch and they tend to get right down to business during a conversation. They are reserved but expect eye contact while talking. It is quite convenient for women from outside of the Netherlands to do business here. (Bosrock, 2014)
There is a vast cultural difference noticed between Netherlands and Indonesia. In Indonesia, there is heavy reliance on culture, honor and family values and leaders of business enterprises are referred to as fathers at times. The quality of punctuality remains the same but there is a difference in the way of talking. While in the Netherlands, it is polite to look into the eyes of the other individual and talk but in Indonesia the same thing is considered impolite. Business dealings are done in a slow manner in Indonesia while in Netherlands people get right on the main issue of the talks as they are more concerned about time than others.
Value comparison: The Netherlands vs. Indonesia

According to Hofstede,
“Culture is the collective programming of the mind that distinguishes the members of one group or category of people from others”
(Hofstede, 1980)
The characteristics of individuals are based on certain overlapping factors which are spread across a particular area. Drawing implications from the people of Netherlands, the adjective “reserved” has been applied to them which is a personality trait. The answer to why a personality trait has been used for describing a big chunk of the population is that culture and personality are linked. It is a rather statistical implication as there is a wide variety of people with individual personalities in each culture.
Collectivism can be observed in the culture of Indonesia. Indonesia can be viewed as an extensive family the school leaders, business leaders and the president are addressed to as “father”. People keep some boundaries in talking about sensitive stuff in this type of culture. The preservation of honor and respect is paramount in case of Indonesia as culture displaying collectivism. The Netherlands in this manner shows entirely opposite traits as a nation practicing individualism. The Dutch talk about their feelings very frankly and they are to-the-point in their conversations and see no point in sugar coating a statement. There is also a big cultural trait followed by the Dutch which can be viewed as a part of their individualist society traits. The Dutch prefer to split costs when a group of people goes to a bar or a dinner and every person gives money for what he/she consumed. This tradition is world renowned as “going Dutch” which signifies the extent of individualist traits that are displayed by a culture. (Hofstede, 2011)
The cultural aspect of Tight versus Loose control reflects highly on organizations. The concept of punctuality is affected by this aspect of culture. If the culture is of a tight control type, then punctuality is a must. It is practiced in both Netherlands and Indonesia but Netherlands take timing more seriously. Netherlands has also been viewed as a nation displaying a low level of masculinity from a cultural perspective. (Hofstede, 1980)

Section B: Hofstede’s Cultural interpretations and Globalization
Cross Culture Dynamics in an organizational Perspective

The Current environment of globalization depicts the world as strongly connected and transparent system. Before globalization people in different countries knew very little about the people in other parts of the world and what was known was through representation in movies and literature. Due to globalization not only did people come to know about people living in other parts of the world and their culture but also how different cultures in the world and similar and different in their own way and what kind of factors affect the overall behavior and qualities of the people in other countries through the work of Geert Hofstede. (Hofstede, 1991)
Globalization and Culture

Hofstede suggests that our perspective culture is defined by the people around us and if that element changes, the perceived idea of culture will change. After a very extensive survey, Hofstede came up with with5 dimensions in which the culture of people around the world can be studied and classified efficiently and the reason behind the cultural characteristics are also defined clearly. This was a very influential study which attracted the attention of many researchers in the world who contributed to this work in one or another way. The dimensions described have been used to perceive the cultural aspects of people around the world in an organizational perspective due to the advent of globalization.
According to Hofstede’s Analysis for Indonesia, it was found that it has the power distance indicator at 78 which suggests that the level of inequality of power is comparatively higher than most countries and economic equality is visible. The rating of uncertainty avoidance is 48 which is lower than average which indicates that the tolerance of Indonesian people for uncertainty is low. Both of these indicators can be connected to show that the power of government over the people is very high and stable. (Geert Hofstede, 2014)
At the same time, The Netherlands have a totally opposite frame in culture where the laws are formed by the people and the elements which are not permitted usually in many parts of the world are permitted here. Elements like use of certain drugs, age restrictions and euthanasia have a totally different form here due to the opinion of people that there should be free will and good or bad decisions to be made by people should be in their hands.
Decision Making

The role of a manager requires knowledge of cross cultural dynamics in recent times due to heavy employee relocation. That has happened not only due to the relocation of people belonging to different cultures across the world but also due to the existence of different subcultures in the world. The concept of cultures has a sizable impact on the role of managers both in a direct and indirect manner.
The direct impact can be observed when a manager has to negotiate with a client or convince an employee about something and both of these people belong to different countries. It makes a difference due to the fact that how to hold a conversation with a person from another country makes and difference and the manager might end up offending the other person and lose a client. The understanding of cross culture dynamics also helps a manager to predict certain type of behavior. (Hofstede, 1991)
The decision making aspect of the manager involves many factors which include communication with employees. In a multinational company, there is a high probability that employees belong to different parts of the world and to develop a good relationship with the employee it would help the manager if he/she has an idea about the culture of the employee’s country. E.g. In Netherlands, people are very punctual and particular about time and considering a possibility where a person from Netherlands is a client to a firm in Indonesia, they might end up having their usual routine of chit chat before business talks start and it would create a negative impression on the client. Considering that, a manager should know better.

Section C: Conclusion
It has been observed through analysis of Hofstede’s work and general concepts of globalization that globalization as a factor bring lot of things into consideration how it affects business and how it can be used to benefit a firm. After scrutinizing the culture of Netherlands it can be observed that it will be an easy transition an employee going from Indonesia considering she knows about the cultural dynamics of Netherlands and eases into the work culture. The laws are not so strict and the population of Netherlands reacts well to people from other countries which will be a positive factor for the employee.
There are some points that should be taken care of before the transition of the employee which are:
• The employee should be imparted knowledge regarding the work culture of Netherlands and the laws of Netherlands so that the employee has a smooth transition after arriving at the new workplace. The employee should be prepared to take care of the legal requirements for working in Netherlands.
• Another thing to consider is that the culture of Netherlands is more progressive than that of Indonesia and that might make a difference considering the prejudices of the employee. The performance of the employee doesn’t have an impact so it is required to have a session with the employee regarding her views about the culture structure of Netherlands.
• It is observed that most of the population in Netherlands can communicate in English but it is advisable for the employee to get trained in the basic language attributes and crucial aspects of the language before going to Netherlands.
Bibliography
Bosrock, M. M. (2014). Netherlands. Retrieved 11 29, 2014, from www.ediplomat.com: http://www.ediplomat.com/np/cultural_etiquette/ce_nl.htm
Chalmers, T. (2014). Know Before You Go: Moving to the Netherlands. Retrieved 11 29, 2014, from www.expatarrivals.com: http://www.expatarrivals.com/article/know-before-you-go-moving-to-the-netherlands
Geert Hofstede. (2014). What about Indonesia? Retrieved 11 30, 2014, from geert-hofstede.com: http://geert-hofstede.com/indonesia.html
Government of Netherlands. (2014). Working in Nethrelands. Amsterdam: Government of Netherlands.
Hatmy, H. A. (2012). A Cross-Cultural Study of Business Relationship Marketing:The Case of Construction Industry in the UAE .
Hofstede, G. (1991). Cultures and Organizations: Software of the Mind. London: McGraw-Hill.
Hofstede, G. (1980). Culture’s Consequences: International Differences in Work-Related Values. Beverly Hills: Sage.
Hofstede, G. (2011). Dimensionalizing Cultures: The Hofstede Model in Context. Online Readings inp Psychology and Culture , 1-26.
Kingdom of the Netherlands. (2014). Netherlands Embassy in Jakarta Indonesia. Retrieved 11 29, 2014, from indonesia.nlembassy.org: http://indonesia.nlembassy.org/

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