Archivo de agosto de 2011

The Dutch decision-making process

Lunes, 29 de agosto de 2011

By Eleonore Breukel

The basis of the Dutch decision making process is;
–The opinion of the employee is valuable in forming the right decision.
–The input of the employee may change and or adjust the proposed
–To motivate the employee to implement the decision. Through this process, the employee feels involved and responsible for the success of the implementation of the decision.
This decision making process derived from the value of Consensus and is linked to the value of Egalitarianism. Therefore each employee should be heard and his/her opinion respected.
However… make no mistake. In reality we see in the Netherlands, that management provides the opportunity to the employee to voice his/her opinion however today decisions are made at the top. Management realizes though that in the case that 70% does not like (different from not agree) they will encounter a problem in the implementation and therefore usually will adjust the decision or Œformulate¹ the decision in a different way.
Having the opportunity to voice your opinion is very important to the Dutch as they feel respected as an employee. It also has an effect of ¬bonding with the organization- and is therefore extremely valuable.
Is this form of decision making effective? On one hand ¬Yes- as everyone feels involved, valued and committed. On the other hand ¬No– this process endlessly delays the decision making and implementation to the great irritation of professionals from other cultures as George Simmons mentioned earlier in this conversation. It creates the perception to those of another cultural background of ¬lack of interest and commitment, incompetence, inflexible, arrogant, slow/lazy, not pragmatic nor effective etc. Etc. In the Netherlands we see this decision making process only in Dutch organizations. Since we are a small country (17 million) many large organizations are multinationals. At the moment many organizations are being taken over by foreign organizations therefore decision making processes change which is complicated to accept by the Dutch employees.
As the decision making process is almost always a point of discussion in intercultural training therefore I can say that many Dutch as well as employees from other cultures feel that the decision making culture of a non-Dutch company in the Netherlands is based on the decision making culture of the parent company in e.g Germany, France, UK, USA Belgian, India? There may be a decision making style in organizations however the reality is that decisions are made in various ways depending on –the context–. Dutch organizations, at times, make decisions at the top without hearing the opinions of the employees. Foreign organizations may, at times, provide the possibility for the employee to voice his/her opinion. For the employee this is confusing and he/she often feels to be taken by surprise. Therefore research on a decision making process in organizations is complicated as it is linked to context as well as the corporate culture. I am looking forward to possible research done on this topic.