It is a highly organised society, so much so that a uniquely Dutch attitude has evolved to accommodate the strains — what is called gedogen, an untranslatable word that implies the ability to tolerate exceptions to the rule. The influence of living in a relatively unfriendly environment over the centuries cannot be underestimated. Most importantly, it has also produced a consensus-oriented society where everyone has his or her say. All Dutch people know the value of their opinions and do not hesitate to give them.
Business etiquette Attitudes and values form the basis of any culture. They reflect both the way people think and behave. Understanding attitudes and values can therefore be of significant importance if you wish to communicate with your counterparts effectively.
Ignorance of these issues can result in a cultural barrier that may inhibit the communication process and have an adverse effect on the success of your activities in a given country. Corporate Social Responsibility As a matter of history, the Netherlands is one of the most environmentally conscious countries in the world.
Owing its existence to a continuous battle against encroaching waters, harnessing wind power in support of its efforts, the country has an intimate and forgiving relationship with nature.
A strong farming tradition, with market gardening and horticulture as a prosperous offshoot, has reinforced the process.
The only major challenge is that, with the current strong emphasis on livestock breeding, the Netherlands has a problem coping with vast quantities of liquid manure. For this reason alone, with the country having three large rivers — the Rhine, the Maas and the Scheldt estuary — water quality is a major issue.
Punctuality The Dutch are generally excellent timekeepers. Punctuality in business is regarded as a virtue, although apologies for a late arrival will be accepted good-naturedly. If you are unexpectedly delayed, call ahead.
If you are invited for dinner, it will not be unreasonable to ask your host what time he or she would like you to arrive. Take that as your target and try to be prompt. Despite the fact that, inspired by their culture, the Dutch are dedicated to business meetings to ensure consensus, they are still conscious of the passage of time.
In addition to a fixed agenda, someone will almost always be given the role of chairperson to keep the agenda moving along, and someone else may even be delegated to act as a time-keeper.
Time keeping is equally important with regard to response and delivery times in all commercial relationships. Quotations should be drawn up rapidly and delivery promises kept. For further information please visit the link below: Moreover, as an aspect of their even-handed approach to most things in life, they do not expect to give or receive anything other than the due reward for services rendered.
As a result, gift giving is not a common aspect of business relationships in the Netherlands. If you decide, however, that some sort of gesture is appropriate, for example on finalising an agreement, make the gift a reasonably modest one and make sure it is neutral — nothing with the company logo, or with your business card attached.
If you are offered a gift, open it immediately and show your appreciation. Some Dutch companies may offer end-of-year gifts and these should of course be acknowledged. If you have the honour of being invited into a Dutch home, by all means take a gift for the hostess — flowers or a houseplant, wine especially if the host is a male or chocolates and sweets or a toy for the children.
The rules on flowers are the same as for most other European countries: A handwritten note of appreciation the following day will also always be welcome.
In most Dutch organisations, it is generally normal to wear a jacket, not necessarily a suit, to take the jacket off when working. Women, the younger generation in particular, may wear trousers, particularly trouser suits. When in doubt about the dress code for a particular business event, it is advisable to be well dressed rather than under-dressed.
Uniforms, except at the janitor level, are rarely worn. Sometimes, choice of clothing will be determined by the means of transport to work. In major cities such as Amsterdam, many people travel by bicycle or tram. If unsure of the dress code and what to wear, it is perfectly acceptable to ask someone from the company you are visiting.
It is often better to find out in advance, so that you can make any necessary changes to your clothing before your introductions. This will help you to feel confident and relaxed in your encounter with the company.
Bribery and corruption While they have rightly earned a reputation as formidable opponents in international trade, the Dutch have a reputation for honesty. A law revising corruption legislation came into force in February This includes a new article to extend the definition of bribery offences, which previously applied only to domestic public servants.Alphaville: Journal of Film and Screen Media Issue 6, Winter 1 Understanding Dutch Film Culture: A Comparative Approach Judith Thissen, Utrecht University.
The Netherlands has for centuries provided a safe haven for ethnic minorities fleeing from discrimination and persecution, with each minority influencing Dutch culture in its own way.
Many Jews from Spain and Portugal and Protestant merchants from the Spanish-ruled southern Netherlands sought refuge in the Dutch Republic in the sixteenth and. Cultural Clues, Do’s & Taboos – A Series of Cultural Tips for Countries from A to Z: THE NETHERLANDS.
Don’t call the Netherlands “Holland” since that term specifically refers to only two of the 12 provinces that make up the country. Generally, the Dutch don’t spend a lot of time socializing before a meeting or other business discussion. The English language debut of Dutch writer Thomas Olde Heuvelt centers on the community of Black Springs, a seemingly picturesque town in the Hudson River Valley that harbors a dark secret.
Learn about business etiquette in Netherlands by understanding their values on punctuality, business dress code, gift giving, bribery and corruption as well as corporate social responsibility.
Despite the fact that, inspired by their culture, the Dutch are dedicated to business meetings to ensure consensus, they are still conscious of the. Without understanding these invisible social structures and where they come from, you can’t use honorifics effectively and understanding culture becomes impossible.
If you don’t want to offend people and embarrass yourself, supplementing your language learning by understanding culture is essential.