Power Distance In Dutch culture power distance is not a common behavior. “Acting Normal” is the appreciated standard. Dutch people do not accept hierarchy. Egalitarianism plays an important role in the private as well as business behavior. Employees in a lower positions cannot be treated as a “subordinates” or as inferiors who do everything their boss will tell them. Here the director of the company should say “hello” to the cleaning personal and should be careful with giving them the feeling that their job is not as important or is a low profile job. Here you call your boss by his/her first name without using the titles.
Uncertainty Avoidance On one hand Dutch People do not deal easy with uncertainty and therefore there is such an amount of rules, procedures and bureaucratic regulations. This leads them to be not flexible enough to solve some issues or situations. If what you ask is not written or mentioned in rules or procedures you may hear “no”, “its not possible”, “I cant help” much more often that you might expect elsewhere. On the other hand in business they do not hide their heads in the sand when the problem should be solved, but they find the way out through the analysis.
Individualism / Collectivism Dutch culture is a high individualistic culture and individualism increasing here. In many job or position postings you are expected to work independently but team orientated. Some examples takes from the postings of the job opportunities (Blue lynx Employment Agency, Den-Haag) •Able to organize his/her own priorities.
•Ability to take initiatives and to work independently •Organizational talent who is efficient, accurate and on top of business •Self managed and enthusiastic team player •Self-Drive •Strong interpersonal skills, team-oriented, motivated self-starter •Young driven commercial go getter
“Dutch are absolute individualist, refusing to march in lock-step to anybody's orders” (BRUNO FRIEDRICH in De Brom, magazine for local television in Amsterdam 27th July 2004..) In a private as well as business life you are expected to take care of yourself - by yourself.
Masculinity / Femininity Holland is more likely to be feminine country. Here the great amount of time is given to leisure. Working hours in Holland is relatively small. Statistic research from 1998 states that in Holland shops are open lesser amount of time than in other European countries. Long holidays and long week-ends are common. 9 to 5 mentality and a large possibility not to reach your colleague after working hours or on a week-end states that emphasis is on the private life and its quality.
Short/long term orientation On one hand the Dutch culture is a short term culture when we look at the life-style: the houses are renovated for the short period of time from 2 to 5 years, the clothing is bought for one season, mobile phones are given away to the people to change the next year for the new one. Dutch people do not integrate old traditions rather prefer new inventions, which are coming from America in technology, living, dressing up ..etc. On the other hand there are a lot of long-term projects in business, long-term savings, housing. But we would rather think its more of a short term rather than long term culture.
Benevolence / Egoism Dutch people do not easy share their experience, information, their life, asking about the salary is forbidden, if you are a guest then leaving before the dinner time is almost mandatory or you might be asked to do so. In business they try to make deals and contracts with the benefits heavily weighted on their side.
They rather try to get any employee for free rather then pay for a quality. On the other side there are a lot of funds to help poor countries and is acceptable to adopt children in Africa or monkeys in the zoo, so they can have a better life. Out of this experience we tend to conclude that Dutch - in an every day life with their colleges and in private life are egoistic with exception and capabilities to be benevolent outside of their country.
Neutral / Emotional The Dutch have reputation for being very direct in their speech and their approach. Any personal aspect such as mutual liking or humor may be a pleasant extra, but is not strictly necessary to do business or to carry out a transaction. Dutch criticism is barely concealed and certainly not expressed in euphemisms. Critical attitudes and strong opinions are clearly expressed, but usually in a non-emotional manner.
Large part of the Dutch population find a short and unequivocal word as quite enough. Dutch are not heavily expressed with the emotions or rich body language while they speak. Smiling is not required in a business contact or customer service. They are rather a neutral culture than emotional.