Sample Research Paper on Cross Cultural Training for Windmill Apps

International Management & Ethics

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Cross Cultural Training for Windmill Apps


This report is on behalf of an international company that offers management advice services to well renowned international companies, such as Shell International, Google, Al Jazeera, and a newly founded company known as Windmill Apps. The report will feature detailed information on cross-cultural training for Windmill Apps since they want to expand their operations across international boundaries, and one of their managers will be sent for a 2 year assignment to Amsterdam having worked in Indonesia. The manager in question is a female Muslim who has performed exceptionally well for the four years that she has been with the company. Her exceptional performance has earned her two promotions; though she has not yet been trained in preparation for the international post that she is to take up. This report will briefly delve into a cross culture look into the post, current country that she lives, and key factors such as social economic and political factors in both Indonesia and Netherlands. The paper will also look at a value comparison of Netherlands and Indonesia.


The current state of technology has resulted in connection of different spheres in the world. Different companies in different countries have better tools of communication and connecting with their clients; giving them a means through which they can effectively compete with other industry players. Globalization allows companies to remove boundaries that would have e been constricting in the manner and speed of operations needed to ensure that businesses run smoothly. The aim of this report is to give a synopsis of Netherlands: economic, environmental, political, and social aspects, which are important for company executives so that they can use them to make important decisions that can further the company’s agenda. For a communication based company, such as windmill Apps, globalization is bound to be a positive factor that will assist the company to reach new frontiers in terms of market share and growth.

Indonesia vs. Netherlands

Netherlands is located in the continent of Europe with over 80 % of its population being composed of Dutch nationals; over 16.5 million individuals. Dutch is the national speaking language and about 47 % of the population being Christians. Muslims, Hindu, and Jehovah witness religious groups make up just over 5 % of the population (CIA 2014). The capital city of Netherlands is Amsterdam, with a high urbanization rate; population of urban areas forms about 83 % of the country’s population. The Netherlands is one of the most successful nations in the world, with a GDP of about $ 699 billion. The service industry contributes to over 70 % of the country’s GDP. This shows that there is a lot of competition among the service industry. The organizations should offer the best possible services to win and maintain customer’s loyalty. According to CIA (2014), majority of the country’s machinery, chemicals, and fuels imports and exports are traded with fellow European countries, such as Germany, France, and the UK.

The Netherlands is run by a government through a monarchy system, which uses a national constitution. The prime minister comes into power through the decision and choice of the monarch. There is a Senate that debates on laws and makes recommendations on the legislature to be passed. Judges of the justice system are also appointed by the Monarch after recommendations are made by the Senate. There are different political and social based groups that strive to ensure that the government in place puts the needs of its people on the forefront (CIA 2014).


Indonesia is located on the Southeastern art of Asia. The country is prone to natural calamities, such as earthquakes, tsunamis, and floods because. It is located between the Indian and the Pacific Ocean. The country also has active volcanoes and experiences a myriad of other issues, such as poor drainage and sewerage systems and vast pollution, such as water and air. These forms of pollution contribute to poor health outcomes for a high population in the country. Bahasa Indonesia is the official language of Indonesia with the Javanese and sundanese forming the largest ethnic groups in the country with 40 % and 15 % being their proportions respectively. Over 87 % of the country’s nationals are Muslims and about 50 % of the population living in urban areas. There is a high rate of unemployment in the country; about 23 % with most of this proportion being made up of the female members of the society. The country’s population is estimated to be over 253 million. The country is governed as a Republic country according to civil law, which is similar to Roman Dutch rule system (CIA 2014).

Brief Value Comparison of Indonesia Vs. the Netherlands Based on Hofstede’s Work.

There are several differences between the Netherlands and Indonesia from the perspective of Hofstede’s work:


This perspective has its roots in how communities view an individual. In individualist communities, individuals are independent and the family unit in terms of taking care of each other is made up of a nuclear unit. This is in contrast to collectivist societies, whereby the members of the society take care of each other. The basic unit is an extended family where one’s regard is known and taken care of by other members of the society. The Netherlands has a very high score of individualism, especially when compared to Indonesia with scores of 79.5 and 13.5 respectively. In highly individualistic societies, such as the Netherlands, the relationship between the employer and the employee is strict contract based and individuals are expected to take care of themselves to the largest possible extent (Minkov 2011).

Power Distance

This is the level of acceptance and appreciation of the power levels and differences that exist between the upper management level personnel and low level personnel in organizations (Hofstede 2003). In Indonesia, there is a high level of power levels differentiation with managers being inaccessible, delegating duties, and bureaucracy before decisions are made and executed (Murray, Poole & Jones 2006). This is the opposite of the Netherlands where there is close interaction between top managers and low-level employees. Dutch organizations believe in managers coaching their employees, and employees opinions are considered and factored into the decisions that are made especially if they have a direct impact on the team.

Avoiding uncertainty

Businesses come with different levels of varied risks. Different cultures have different comfort levels associated with how they perceive and tolerate risk. The Netherlands score about 50 % on uncertainty levels. If they are asked to choose, the Netherlands culture dictates that they avoid risks as much as they can. Therefore, it is important that rules are established and followed and procedures are followed before innovation is implemented since job security is highly valued. New ways of doing things in an organization would have high probability of disrupting income, which would increate unrest and further negatively affect performance and productivity. Indonesia has a similarly high intolerance for uncertainty. Work relationships are therefore highly valued (Bono & Heijden 2011). Even when an individual is angry with their colleagues or boss, he or she is expected to solve it in a calm manner to maintain harmony in the workplace, and reduce the likelihood of bad relationships that would interfere with performance and productivity.


According to Hofstede (2011), the level of masculinity of a certain culture is determined by how much individuals want to succeed and get recognition among their peers and in the society; increasing the level of competition in an organization. In a highly masculine society, high levels of achievement and success are highly regarded. In Indonesia, the level of recognition is not as highly regarded as the status that is held in an organization or in a society. Individuals strive to achieve high social status levels and minimize their focus on recognition achievement.

Netherlands has low levels of masculinity in organizations. Managers are supportive of their employees in terms of attaining as much work life balance as possible. Team members are also expected to give their input before a decision is made so that they are comfortable with the final decision through which they would have to work with (Hofstede 2011).

Hofstede’s work in the current globalized environment

According to Hofstede (2011), cross-cultural communication is based on beliefs and practices held by people from particular regions. There are several perspectives that govern the communication that occurs between individuals from different cultures in different organizations and countries. The manner in which different roles, gender, and social factors are perceived, determine how communication occurs between different people. These factors are used as a parameter on the differences between individuals from different countries and cultures (Gregory & Moorhead 2013). The manner in which people cope with uncertainty, how they handle inequality, relationship between male and female members of the society, and how they handle working in teams is different among individuals from different cultures (Hofstede 2003). In the near future, there will be a shift towards cultural aspects that have been viewed in highly developed nations, such as high levels of individualism, low power distance, high masculinity and low levels of avoiding risks (Murray, Poole & Jones 2006). These changes will be based on trying to model cases that have been viewed in internationally successful companies; most of which are based in highly developed international centers.

Challenges that business and management face, using appropriate cross-cultural theory

Different managers are bound to experience challenges as they run organizations based on the cultural differences that exist among their workforce. Individuals that operate in highly individualistic communities might suffer from self-esteem issues that might project into their performance, and make the productivity of the company to suffer. Individuals that experience extreme cultures such as masculinity and avoidance of risk might have difficulty coping, especially in relating to their colleagues and supervisors (Bono & Heijden 2011). While a culture, such as the one in Netherlands supports participation of all team members in giving input before decisions are made, in Indonesia, the manager gives directive without regard to what the employees want as their preference. A manager from Indonesia might therefore experience lack of cooperation from employees if he/ she were to impose a decision on the employees, especially if the decision was not considered as being favorable to the team members (Minkov 2011).

Decision Making

Managers from different organizations and cultures are held at different levels and expectations held up to them. In high individualistic societies, managers are expected to be independent and be ready to use their positions to make major decisions that would have a big impact on their department’s or overall organizational performance. In communities with low individualism, managers are expected to consult before they can make decisions; especially those that would have a big impact on the performance of an organization.

Negotiation & Communication

Leaders have different roles in organizations, such as offering guidance, making important decisions that have an effect on the performance of the organization, and influencing employees to follow certain guidelines. In order to be able to handle all these roles effectively, a leader should possess good communication and negotiation skills (Bono & Heijden, 2011). A leader should be knowledgeable about the factors that would serve as motivation factors for different employees in an organization. In this particular case, the Windmill App female Muslim manager should be aware of the different factors; which when provided to the employees in Amsterdam, would result in sustained high or improved productivity for the performance of the department and overall company.

Leadership & Cultural Intelligence Netherlands and Indonesia

Leaders that have the knowledge about different cultures: Netherlands and Indonesia will utilize it to adapt and fit into an organization; to form better relationships with colleagues, clients, and other stakeholders. In the beginning, the new manager from Indonesia should get a mentor to advise on areas that might not be clear, especially from a manager who has worked in a similar international context.


  • Based on the cultural differences between Indonesia and Netherlands, the Windmill Apps manager should enroll for basic Dutch classes in case she does not use it as a foreign language already. The company can also reach out to former colleagues or fiends that live in Amsterdam in an area where the lady could comfortably commute from, before she gets used to the area. It is important to have a familiar person who can assist a new employee into a new area.
  • The manager should be keen on the individualistic factors that differ greatly between Indonesia and the Netherlands. In Indonesia, the employees expect to be directed on most matters, and they are asked about personal matters, such as family; it is not seen as being intrusive. This is in contrast to the Netherlands where most individuals do not expect to be asked many questions about their personal life.
  • The power distance in the Netherlands is quite low compared to the one in Indonesia. In the Netherlands, there is free interaction between top-level managers and low-level employees. Employees are also consulted on matters that affect an organization in the low-level power distance country like the Netherlands. This is in contrast to Indonesia where the low-level employees do not have access to top managers.

Consideration and internalization of these factors and differences will contribute to a smooth transition for the female Muslim manager from the Indonesia market, to comfortably work in Amsterdam at the Windmill Apps organization.


Bono, S., & Heijden, B., 2011. Managing Cultural Diversity. Netherlands: Meyer & Meyer


CIA., 2014. Indonesia: Geography, Economic and Social Factors. Retrieved December 14, 2014

from https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/id.html

CIA., 2014. Netherlands: Geography, Economic and Social Factors. Retrieved December 14,

2014 from https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/nl.html

Griffin, R., &  Moorhead, G., 2013. Organizational Behavior: Managing People and            Organizations. Ohio: Cengage brain.


Hofstede, G., 2011. Dimensionalizing Cultures The Hofstede Model in Context. University of

International Association for Cross Cultural Psychology. Netherlands: Maastricht and Tilburg. Retrieved December 14, 2014 fromhttp://scholarworks.gvsu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1014&context=orpc

Hofstede, G., 2010. Netherlands vs. Indonesia: Retrieved December 14, 2014 from http://geert      hofstede.com/netherlands.html

Hofstede, G., 2003. Culture’s Consequences: Comparing Values, Behaviors, Institutions &

Organizations across nations. California: Sage Publications.

Minkov, M., 2011. Cultural Differences in a globalizing World. United Kingdom: Emerald. Murray, P., Poole, D. & Jones, G., 2006. Contemporary Issues in Management and

Organizational Behavior. Australia: Cengage Learning.

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