University of Twente Student Theses


Cultural differences experienced by the Dutch working in the United Kingdom

Kosse, N.J.A. (2022) Cultural differences experienced by the Dutch working in the United Kingdom.

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Abstract:Nowadays, people are working and communicating more and more around the globalized world. With this increase, it can occur more often that a person from one culture can clash with a person from another culture. This is because, in cross-cultural communication, cultural differences may cause misunderstandings in communication that could potentially lead to clashes. Hence why, for doing business internationally, it gets more important to be aware of the differences in culture. This research is part of the ‘one market, many cultures’ project and this study focuses on the British culture. This study aims to identify typical British behaviour which are named as British cultural standards in this research as perceived by the Dutch. Next to that, the additional aim is to find the cultural logic in the way of underlying values, behind the cultural standards. The cultural standards together with the cultural value to which one belongs form a thick description of the intercultural clashes between the Dutch and the British. This is done with the use of the following research question: ‘’In what situations do Dutch and British people experience problems/frictions in business communication and collaboration?’’ An inductive qualitative methodology is used to try to answer this question through semi-structured interviews. In total, sixteen Dutch participants have been interviewed with the use of the critical incident technique. This technique gave the interviewer information about in which situation the Dutch interviewee clashed with their British colleague in the working environment. After that, the so-called critical incidents have been coded and analysed with the use of the Thematic Analysis Method. The data from the interviewees resulted in the finding of fourteen British Cultural standards. After a thorough identification of these standards, three underlying values were derived. These underlying values are Respect for ‘Authority, Class, and Tradition’, ‘Respectability’ and ‘Competitiveness’ which explain what the cultural logic behind the cultural standards are. These results provide Dutch ex-pats with a thick description of British culture from a Dutch point of view and can be used to improve intercultural (working) relationships between parties.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:02 science and culture in general, 85 business administration, organizational science
Programme:Business Administration MSc (60644)
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