University of Twente Student Theses


Working as a Dutchman in Poland: Understanding Polish cultural standards

Groote Stroek, Casper (2022) Working as a Dutchman in Poland: Understanding Polish cultural standards.

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Abstract:In an era when increasingly more people come into contact with other cultures, it is also becoming increasingly important to be aware of cultural differences. The broad concept of culture refers to a specific way of thinking and a typical mentality that all Dutchmen share that distinguish them from the Poles. In fact, not being aware of cultural differences may lead to conflict and a deteriorating relationship. Therefore, the aim of this research is to identify Polish behavioural patterns (cultural standards) which are causing clashes with Dutch culture, and understand the cultural logic (value) behind them. This research is a qualitative study in which fifteen Dutchmen with work experience in Poland were interviewed. During these interviews, Dutchmen were asked about incidents on the work floor with their Polish colleagues. These incidents are known as ‘critical incidents’ and help to identify the clashing cultural standards of both cultures. The identified cultural standards are useful for Dutch individuals for understanding where potential clashes come from and thus helping them to cope with cultural differences in a Polish-Dutch cultural interaction. After all, thirteen Polish cultural standards were identified in a Polish-Dutch cultural interaction and further analysed to understand the Polish cultural logic behind the incidents. The Polish values Friends and Family, Respect for authority, Creative solution, and Nobleness, clashed with the Dutch values Work, Self-determination, Order and neatness, and Equality. It is interesting to do further research on Polish-Dutch cultural interactions from a Polish point of view in order to explore cultural frictions that the Dutch are not aware of. As a result, communication and understanding of differences in way of thinking between people of these two cultures will be improved.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:73 cultural anthropology, 85 business administration, organizational science
Programme:Business Administration MSc (60644)
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