University of Twente Student Theses


Cultural differences between Dutch and Austrians on the work floor

Cuijpers, Jort (2023) Cultural differences between Dutch and Austrians on the work floor.

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Abstract:In today's global economy, international work opportunities have expanded, facilitating cross-border employment and organizational deployment of staff. However, this globalization presents a challenge: the necessity to navigate and adapt to diverse cultural norms. These disparities can lead to misinterpretations and avoidable tensions. Recognizing this, the current study concentrates on a comparative examination of the Dutch and Austrian culture, particularly from a Dutch perspective. The core objective is to unveil the fundamental principles steering Austrian cultural practices. Thus, the central research question is: "What cultural differences between Austria and the Netherlands do Dutch workers perceive while working in Austrian workplaces?" Employing an emic qualitative approach, sixteen Austrian individuals who have lived and worked in Austria were interviewed. Employing the Critical Incident Technique, interviewees detailed moments where Dutch-Austrian cultural disparities sparked conflicts. These instances, termed "critical incidents," were scrutinized using Thematic Analysis. Sixteen cultural norms emerged, accompanied by three foundational cultural values: Rangordnung, Privatsphäre, and ein gutes Leben. These norms and values provide an in-depth portrayal of Austrian culture, as perceived by the Dutch. Such insights prove invaluable for interpreting and engaging with this culture's behaviors. Ultimately, they offer a means to preempt potential workplace misunderstandings and discord that may otherwise arise.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:85 business administration, organizational science
Programme:Business Administration MSc (60644)
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