University of Twente Student Theses


Cultural differences between Jordan and the Netherlands: Cultural influence on international business for Dutch expats in Jordan

El-Issa, O.M.T. (2023) Cultural differences between Jordan and the Netherlands: Cultural influence on international business for Dutch expats in Jordan.

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Abstract:During the last decades, the globalization of business has widely increased, and culture has become an important factor when it comes to business internationalization and decision-making of an organization’s business agenda abroad. In the case of Jordan and the Netherlands, there has not been that much mutual business trade and globalization however, there are already a few instances where this has occurred. As of writing this paper, there have not been any researches conducted on exploring the way Dutch expatriates living in Jordan perceive the Jordanian cultural standards and behaviours in both professional and personal areas. This study seeks to explore the Jordanian culture in the perspective of Dutch expatriates living in Jordan by answering the following research question: ‘’How can cultural differences between Jordan and the Netherlands influence international business of a Dutch expat doing business in Jordan?’’. In order to answer the research question in this paper, the qualitative theoretical framework of Thomas (1991) is followed. In this paper, the cultural standards of a specific culture or group are indicated based on certain possible cultural clashes. Due to this, the qualitative research interviewing technique of so called ‘critical incidents’ (Urquhart, et al., 2003) has been used in order to explore the Jordanian cultural standards from the perspective of Dutch interviewees that are currently living in Jordan and are working with Jordanian colleagues and people on a daily basis, and that have perceived the Jordanian culture during interactions with Jordanian nationals on both professional and personal levels. The findings of this study have identified twenty three cultural behaviours that have been clustered in the following eight Jordanian cultural standards: Indirectness, Politeness, Shared community, Social division, Honour, Hospitality, Hierarchy, Acceptance of rules and bureaucracy. Surprisingly, certain critical incidents that were mentioned by the Dutch interviewees have led to new findings in regards to possible cultural standard differences within Jordanian nationals themselves. These differences can be due to different social and demographical factors, such as age, gender, and location of living in Jordan. Moreover, the following tentative values could be the underlying source that impacts the way Jordanians behave on both professional and personal aspects: Harmony, Social relationships, Compliance.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Programme:Business Administration MSc (60644)
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