Cultural Diversity in the Workplace

Topics: Dutch people, Organizational culture, Geert Hofstede Pages: 7 (2117 words) Published: April 6, 2014


Introduction
Purpose:
For my course project I will explore the similarities and differences between the Dutch and the American cultures. I will research their behaviors, their perceptions, their environment and how this parleys into the work environment. Scope:

I will delve into the following areas: lifestyles, satisfaction, communities, management, workforce, economics and politics. What are the input factors that are effecting their behaviors? Are they similar? Gaining insight on how the Dutch structure, organize and process will ultimately help Americans navigate conflicts and negotiations in the work place. Cultural blunders can have damaging impacts with the potential of ruining relationships and alliances for years. It is important to management to develop a knowledge around the context of where Americans differ and where they have similarities to the Dutch. Highlighting the areas to be considerate of when in this mixed group. I will be making a knowledge base of the potential variables that weigh on the behaviors of these two groups. The essence of this knowledge base is to bring a better understanding of these two cultures; how best to initiate a process that will lead to better outcome with a mutual respect and commitment by the firm. Our corporate motto is what binds the two cultures into a single vision. Conclusion:

With this project I will explore organizational behavior as it relates the Americans and the Dutch. At a group level how do they communicate, lead, govern and negotiate. What variables impact these two groups? I will be looking at how the Dutch and the Americans can operate effectively and overcome any cultural differences for an effective work environment.

Problem Statement

The firm has one vision statement with two culturally different groups to align to this vision. There is the socialist society of the Dutch and the capitalist society of the Americans that ultimately will be sharing meeting rooms and interacting on a personal level. These groups come from very divergent backgrounds but will ultimately have to work in harmony and be respectful to the culture in which they operate. Understanding each other's differences and building on each cultures strengths will help the organization reach its potential in the retail industry. Recognizing our organizational cultures and our environments gives us the insight to make the most impactful decisions that will surely lead to a solid sustainable environment.

Literature Review/Research

Our textbooks states that, "Individual difference in personality and culture shape preference for rewards, communication styles, reactions to leaders, negotiation styles......" (1). Additionally, there are differences in organizations internationally. Each having distinct regulations, labor forces and customs. The firm's organizational cultures need to acknowledge the deep-level diversity factors and leverage what will make each environment most successful. Our text states, "the survival of an organization depends not just on how productive the organization is, but also on how well it fits with its environment." (1) The Dutch culture is classified as a strong Feminine culture (2) on the Hofstede's Culture Dimension (Figure 1). The United States, conversely, is seen as a strong Masculine culture. This translation of a Masculine culture is a society the has a preference for achievement, heroism, assertiveness and material rewards for success. Americans live to work so that they can gain status and money. They believe conflict brings out the best in oneself because it makes one strive to win. The Americans see standing out from the crowd as admirable. This is in sharp contrast to the Feminine culture of the Dutch. Feminine culture is a society that has a preference in cooperation, modesty, caring for the week and a quality of life. The low Masculinity score by the Dutch reflect a...

References: 1. Judge, Stephen P. Robbins and Timothy A. Organizational Behavior. Boston : Pearson Edutaion, INc, 2012. ISBN-13: 978-013-283487-2.
2. Grembergen, Wim Van and Haes, Steven De. Business Strategy and Application in Enterprise IT Governance. Hershey : IGI Global, 2012. ISBN-13: 978-1-4666-1780-3.
3. Dimensions. The Hofstede Center. [Online] [Cited: Februrary 16, 2014.] http://geert-hofstede.com/dimensions.html.
4. Lewis, Richard D. When Cultures Collide: Leading Across Cultures. Boston : Nicholas Brealey Publishing, 2006. ISBN-13: 978-1-423-77458-7.
5. Janin, Hunt. CultureShock! Netherlands. Tarrytown : Marshall Cavendish International, 2012. ISBN: 978-0-761-48-061-7.
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