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Germany, a border too far? : Motivations and barriers of Dutch inhabitants of the border region for (not) becoming a cross-border commuter in Germany

Vrijkorte, S.A. (2016) Germany, a border too far? : Motivations and barriers of Dutch inhabitants of the border region for (not) becoming a cross-border commuter in Germany.

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Abstract:Purpose - Over the years, expatriating has received increasing scientific attention. A specific form of expatriating which has not been the subject of many studies is cross-border commuting. Furthermore, the few studies only mapped the actual movements of cross-border commuters and disregard the motivations of them to consider a job in the neighboring country. Thus, scientific research lacks to point out the decisive motivations for inhabitants of the border region to consider a job in the neighboring country. The Self-Determination Theory (SDT) will be used to emphasize that individuals can have different forms of motivations and barriers for (not) becoming a cross-border commuter. It is essential to explain this phenomenon, since there is a low number of Dutch cross-border commuters to Germany. This study therefore aims to generate a more in-depth and specific insight in the perceptions and motivations of Dutch inhabitants of the border region and Dutch cross-border commuters regarding working Germany. Lowering the barriers for Dutch inhabitants of the border region will enhance cross-border commuting and stimulate working abroad. Consequently, the level of unemployment in the Netherlands could be decreased. Methodology – Nine Dutch inhabitants of the border region and eleven Dutch cross-border commuters - working in Germany - took part in this study. The inhabitants of the border region also had a connection with Germany, varying for example from Germany as residence to working with German colleagues. This decision has been made to assure the participants’ affinity with the research theme. By means of in-depth interviews, complemented with a card-sort exercise, it was examined which barriers and motivations played a decisive role in the decision process of (not) becoming a cross-border commuter to Germany. Findings – The results of this study revealed that motivations to become a cross-border commuter to Germany displayed the entire continuum of the Self-Determination Theory; both controlled and the autonomous/self-determined motivations play a role in the decision process. However, the more autonomous and self-determined motivations were rated as more decisive. The interviewees had several motivations for becoming a cross-border commuter: the identified regulated (e.g. possibility for personal growth), integrated regulated (e.g. working atmosphere in Germany) and intrinsic motivations (e.g. adventure of working in Germany) were decisive for the participants for becoming a cross-border commuter to Germany. Dutch inhabitants of the border region named several barriers for not becoming a cross-border commuter to Germany. The study emphasizes the importance of the barriers that form an obstacle because individuals perceived a lack of the basic psychological needs competence, autonomy and relatedness, which are needed to be self-determined motivated. In particular, the barriers focusing on a lack of autonomy play a decisive role to reject a job in Germany. Uncertainties and anxiety for working in Germany, bureaucracy and hierarchy in Germany, the working atmosphere in German corporations and a lack of participation within the organization were often mentioned as barriers. Conclusion – It can be concluded that the decision to (not) become a cross-border commuter is complex. Various motivations and barriers played a role in the decision process. This study made the first steps into discovering motivations and barriers that influence Dutch inhabitants in their choice for (not) becoming a cross-border commuter to Germany. Further research is needed to fully understand the motivations of Dutch inhabitants of the border region for working in their neighboring countries.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:02 science and culture in general, 05 communication studies, 10 humanities in general
Programme:Communication Studies MSc (60713)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/71141
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