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The Euregion Meuse-Rhine was founded to fosterthe economic development in by strenghtening the cross-border concern within this part of boundary lines. However, world shows that the cross boundary line concern within this part between South-Limburg in the Netherlands, Belgian Limburg and their neighbouring portion of North Rhine-WestphaliaA in Germanyhas barely increased. Earlier research about cross-border concern suggests that cultural differences frequently hamper concern development.

In this survey an effort is made to mensurate the extent to which different dimensions of cultural differences occur in the part. The seven dimensions that Hofstede measured in his measurement instrument VSM08 are used to find the nature of the similarities and differences. A study among pupils from Higher Vocational Education degree show that on the dimensions Power Distance, Individualism, Masculinity, Uncertainty Avoidance, and Long Term-Short Term Orientation no important differences occur. Significant differences were found on the dimension Indulgence Versus Restraint between the three parts. Significant differences were besides found the dimension Monumentalism between the Dutch and German parts of the part.

Because among the hereafter directors and enterprisers there are less cultural differences, perchance the hereafter with all its developments, like societal media, electronic mail, and skype, will take to a Euregion that will be one entity with one common civilization and Euregional trade is non cross-border but internal.

Keywords: Euregion, Hofstede, civilization, cross-border concern, dimensions, cultural differences, cultural similarities, cultural propinquity


Accelerated internationalisation is being observed in even the smallest and newest organisations ( Obadia, 2008 ) . Publications from really different parts in the universe point at cross-border concern barriers related to cultural differences with respect to facets like personal features, concern values, legal systems, linguistic communication ( Dis ) similarities ( among many others: ( Adler & A ; Graham, 1989 ; Allen Fish, 1999 ; Alan Fish, Bhanugopan, & A ; Cogin, 2008 ; Limaye & A ; Victor, 1991 ; Stephens & A ; Greer, 1995 ; Sutcliffe, 1998 ) . Given this tendency toward more globalisation it is rather apprehensible that in 2004 the EU formalized the legislative act for a European Company. The purpose was to enable companies to set up amalgamations, retentions or joint subordinates, while avoiding the legal and practical restraints originating from the being of many different legal systems. This act can be seen as acknowledgment of the increasing importance of concern development across boundary lines and as an effort to further such concern within the European Union..

Increased penetration in the functions of different cultural facets in the development of successful cross boundary line concern enterprises can assist to develop schemes to heighten transverse boundary line concern. Within the EU stimulation plans have been developed and implemented to heighten making concern across regional boundary lines. About 65 regional and 2 interregional inducement plans werestarted to do Europe and its parts more attractive topographic points to put and work, to better cognition and invention for growing, to acquire more and better occupations, and to pull off the territorial dimension of European coherence policy. The Chambers of Commerce developed several trans-border cooperations. The five Chambers of Commerce in the Euregion Meuse-Rhineshare a web site which helps houses by offering tools to happen spouses in the Euregion. These plans specifically focus on SMEs.

In malice of all these attempts uncertainty remains about the effectivity of these steps ( “ Chambers of Commerce Euregio Meuse-Rhine, ” 2005 ) . Research indicates that there is less trade within the Euregion than was anticipated given the possibilities the market offers. In a study the Chambers of Commerce Euregion Meuse-Rhine have concluded that the part has some attractive facets, but that concern development is besides hampered by some obstructions. As positive facets they point at short bringing times, good client dealingss, high merchandise quality, and goodservice proviso. Obstacles were among other things system differences sing ordinances and revenue enhancement, cultural and linguistic communication differences, and economic differences happening in gross revenues monetary values and competition ( “ Chambers of Commerce Euregio Meuse-Rhine, ” 2005 ) .

Culture is frequently mentioned as one of the troubles in cross boundary line concern development but it difficult to capture through empirical observation the differences in which it manifests itself in a comparatively little size multicultural part like the Meuse-Rhine part. Culture is a popular research subject. It is used to place and separate diferent groups of people. A perennial issue is that civilization is being defined and measured in different ways. In the past decennaries several bookmans have contributed to the conceptualisation and operationalization of civilization. Among them are Hofstede ( 1984 ; 1988 ; 2008 ) foremost 4, subsequently 5 and late 7 dimensions ) , Trompenaar & A ; Hampden-Turner ( 1997 ) ( 7 dimensions ) , Kluckhohn & A ; Strodbeck ( 1961 ) ( 7 dimensions ) , Burell & A ; Morgan ( 1979 ) ( 3 dimensions ) , Lessem & A ; Neubauer ( 1994 ) ( 2 dimensions ) , Schwartz ( 1994 ) ( 6 dimensions ) , Dulfer et Al. ( 1994 ) ( 6 dimension ) , and Ingelhart ( 2000 ) ( 4 dimensions ) .

Taras ( 2008 ) compared 154 surveies about civilization, which were written between 1953 and 2009. The earliest and most used measuring instrument is the categorization Individualism/Collectivism. This instrument was already used in 1954 by Kuhn & A ; Parkland ( 1954 ) . Other instruments were Power Distance, Uncertainty Avoidance, Masculinity, and Long Term Orientation. Table 1 includes the instruments Taras identified in the 154 surveies to demo how civilization is measured in different ways.







Other instruments of measurings








Table 1: used instrument for mensurating civilization in research between 1953 and 2009 ( PDI=Power Distance, IDV=Individualism, MAS= Masculinity, UAI=Uncertainty Avoidance Index, LTO=Long Term Orientation, IVR=Indulgence versus Restraint )

Beginning: Taras ( 2008 )

Interestingly Hofstede has changed his conceptualisation a few times, seeking to integrate new penetrations and developments. Recently Hofstede extended his list with the two dimensions Indulgence versus Restraint and Monumentalism ( 2008 ) . As our research is focused on the cultural assortment within the Euregion country, within which three or four, if one counts the Dutch and Gallic entities of Belgium seperately, linguistic communication and cultural communities live together, it is interesting to do a image of the cultural differences in this regio through Hofstede ‘s drawn-out factors ‘ lens system. Our planetary premise is that the propinquity of the several different civilizations in the part will correlate with explicitly perceived cultural differences. Such expressed differences have been suggested in research of the Chambers of Commerce ( 2005 ) .

Purpose of the Research

In response to the inquiry why enterpriser in the Euregion Rhine-Meuse do non do more attempts to develop cross-border concern, many enterprisers answer that such concern is hard to develop because of many differences non merely in ordinances but besides in linguistic communication and civilization. Are there really important cultural spreads between the parts in the Euregion Rhine-Meuse? Cultural propinquity may increase troubles in inter-organizational coaction ( Felbermayr & A ; Toubal, 2010 ; Knoben & A ; Oerlemans, 2006 ) . The purpose of our survey is to look into through empirical observation the dimensions in which people ‘s civilization profiles within this part differ. To capture a description every bit comprehensive as possible we apply Hofstede ‘s seven dimensions ( 2008 )

We will utilize his original four dimensions, foremost supplemented with the dimensions Long Term Orientation, subsequently supplemented with the dimensions Indulgence versus Restraint and Monumentalism. Hofstede introduced these two dimensions in his VSM08 ( 2008 ) , a questionnaire he developed for mensurating dimensions. Analogous to the debut of the dimensions Hofstede besides developed and improved a measurement instrument. We will utilize the latest version which refers to the seven dimensions. The information should supply the replies to the undermentioned research inquiry and subquestions:

To what extent do the tonss on the seven dimensions of Hofstede from the three parts of the Euregion Rhine-Meuse differ?

Are there important differences within these tonss?

What is the nature of these differences, sing parts and significance?

Measuring Hofstede ‘s seven civilization factors: Theoretical Background

The Euregion Meuse-Rhine consists of parts of three states ( Germany, Belgium, Netherlands ) and these parts are surely non representative for these states ( the western portion of the federal province North Rhine-Westphalia, the Flemish Province of Limburg and South Limburg in the Netherlands ) . It is non easy to accommodate one of the given theories that fits adequately. Measuring the dimensions of civilization will be done by utilizing a questionnaire. Because of the correlativity in the dimensions the inquiries are taken from the derived questionnaire VSM08 from Hofstede ( Hofstede et al. , 2008 ) . Hofstede has developed a system of cultural dimensions to separate the civilizations of different states. Since 1983 he improved and enlarged his system from four to seven dimensions. In his research at IBM around 1970 he used the dimensions “ Power Distance ( PDI ) , Individualism ( IDV ) , Masculinity Index ( MAS ) , and the Uncertainty Avoidance Index ( UAI ) . Long Term Orientation Index ( LTO ) is the antonym of Short Term Orientation.

Hofstede ‘s dimensions have frequently been copied and sometimes complemented with excess dimensions. In one of these surveies, the survey from the Chinese Culture Connection ( 1987 ) , research workers introduced the dimension Long Term Orientation, which “ stands for a society which fosters virtuousnesss oriented towards future wagess, in peculiar version, doggedness and thrift. Short Term orientation stands for a society which Fosters virtuousnesss related to the past and present, in peculiar regard for tradition, saving of “ face ” , and carry throughing societal obligations. ” . ( Hofstede et al. , 2008 ) . Hofstede adopted this dimension ( Hofstede & A ; Bond, 1988 ) and used this as a 5th dimension. The dimensions Indulgence versus Restraint Index ( IVR ) and Monumentalism Index ( MON ) Hofstede adapted from the research of Minkov ( 2007 ) , which he used in the VSM08 for the first clip ( Hofstede et al. , 2008 ) . Indulgence stands for a society which allows comparatively free satisfaction of some desires and feelings, particularly those that have to make with leisure, merrymaking with friends, disbursement, ingestion and sex. Its opposite pole, Restraint, stands for a society which controls such satisfaction, and where people feel less able to bask their lives. Or put in another manner: work to populate versus unrecorded to work. Monumentalism Index ( MON ) describes the grade in which a society wagess people who are, metaphorically talking, like memorials: proud and unchangeable. Its opposite, Self-Effacement, stands for a society which rewards humbleness and flexibleness. ” ( Hofstede et al. , 2008 ) .

Although one can non compare the mark of the VSM08 with Hofstede ‘s original surveies, because “ comparings of states should be based on matched samples of respondents ” ( Hofstede et al. , 2008 ) like the IBM population, one can state something about the differences in proportion between the tonss of the different groupes when utilizing the VSM08. The research should demo if there is more similarity within the Euregion or if the different parts do tend to the remainder of their states, and if so, how. The outlook is that the differences between the tonss on the cultural dimensions of the Euregion Meuse-Rhine are smaller than the differences between the national tonss of Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands 1s implied, looking at the tonss of the original dimensions of Hofstede. By utilizing the questionnaire we want to acquire a detailled consequence because if we do non cognize the inside informations we can non anticipate to acquire a reasoned penetration in Business Development.

Datas assemblage

The undermentioned subdivisions depict how the research inquiries will be answered, utilizing the Values Survey Module 08 ( VSM08 ) of Hofstede among dwellers of South-Limburg ( 201 ) , of North-Limburg ( 60 ) , other parts of the Netherlands ( 22 ) , Belgian-Limburg ( 33 ) and Nordrhein-Westfalia ( 50 ) . Because the groups, that are to be compared, should be matched groups ( Hofstede et al. , 2008 ) we asked pupils economic sciences from Higher Vocational Education degree to make full in the questionnaire. There 183 first twelvemonth pupils and 100 3rd twelvemonth pupils of Zuyd University in South Limburg, 30 first twelvemonth pupils and 20 3rd twelvemonth pupils of the Fachhochschule Aachen in Germany and 33 first twelvemonth pupils of Hogeschool Hasselt in Belgian Limburg ) . Besides the mean ages were taken into history. For all the parts the mean ages of the respondents are between 21 and 24. Looking at the gender: the proportion between male and female pupils at Zuyd University was 48 % against 52 % , at the Fachhochschule Aachen it was 72 % against 28 % and at the Hogeschool Hasselt it was 62 % against 38 % . North-Limburg and the other parts of the Netherlands are taken as mention groups to look if distance to the Euregion Meuse-Rhine besides plays a function. The group of respondents was chosen as representatives of the hereafter enterpriser. The nature of the inquiries is a motivation. The inquiries taking to the tonss of Long-Term Orientation, Indulgence versus Restraint, and of Monumentalism are really centred on the personal frame of head a individual is in. All the other inquiries are related to the professional frame of head. The expression of The VSM08 are composed of average tonss of the different inquiries. Hofstede suggests the usage of a invariable to acquire tonss between 0 and 100. Since the agencies of the tonss of the different parts are meant for comparing, the invariables will non be used and negativ results will happen.

Cultural Dimension


Power Distance

( PDI ) = 35* ( mean of inquiry 07 – mean of inquiry 02 ) + 25* ( mean of inquiry 23 – mean of inquiry 26 )


( IDV ) = 35* ( m04-m01 ) + 35* ( m09-m06 )


( MAS ) = 35* ( m05-m03 ) + 35* ( m08-m10 )

Uncertainty Avoidance

( UAI ) = 40* ( m20 – m16 ) + 25* ( m24 – m27 )

Long Term-Short Term Orientation

( LTO ) = 40* ( m18-m15 ) + 25* ( m28-m25 )

Indulgence Versus Restraint

( IVR ) = 35* ( m12-m11 ) + 40* ( m19-m17 )


( MON ) = 35* ( m14-m13 ) + 25* ( m22-m21 )

m ( I ) is the average mark for inquiry ( I )

Table 2: Formulas used to cipher tonss dimensions Hofstede

Beginning: ( Hofstede et al. , 2008 )

Hofstede ( 2009 ) adopted and developed all together seven dimensions to depict the different national civilizations. So there are tonss for the Netherlands, for Belgium and for Germany and they differ for the three states. These tonss should be a representation of the entire population, so they are an norm. Since the three parts of the Euregion Meuse-Rhine are non a existent representation of the mean population the existent tonss for each part should differ from the national mark. Furthermore, since these parts portion a rich yesteryear and because of the geographical propinquity, it is to be expected that the parts, on a cultural degree are non that different and so the tonss are expected to be similar. But since the expected cross-border concern remains behind, one can inquire if the premise about the cultural similarity is a realistic 1. This leads to the research inquiries, that will be measured utilizing all 7 dimension in the five parts, including the mention parts. If there is a important opportunity on differences of dimensions, it will be farther analyzed within the Euregion untill an reply can be given, what differences there are, on what dimensions and between which parts within the Euregion.

5. Consequences

Analyzing the information from the questionnaire, using the expression ( Table 2 ) Hofstede suggests, the undermentioned end product is generated for the three parts of the Euregion, completed with the tonss of the Netherlands and of North-Limburg as mentions.

Value Survey Module 08







Power Distance


















Uncertainty Avoidance






Long-run Orientation






Indulgence versus Restraint












Table 3: Mark dimensions Hofstede

Beginning: Own research ( utilizing Value Survey Module 08 )

We want to compare all the groups or parts on the seven dimensions of Hofstede. The relevant results are:

Test Statisticsa, B

Score Power Index

Score Individu-alism

Score Masculi-nity

Score Uncertainty Avoidance

Score Long Term Orientation

Mark Indulgence versus Restraint

Score Monumenta-lism

















Asymp. Sig.








a. Kruskal Wallis Test

b. Grouping Variable: Region

Table 4: comparing of the tonss of all parts

From these consequences we can reason that there is small difference among the parts based on the tonss on these dimensions. And the distance to the Euregion does non play a important function in this. On the different tonss on Indulgence versus Restraint ( IVR ) and Monumentalism ( MON ) : with respect to the p-value with an I± of 0.05 we can reason that there is important difference among the parts based on the tonss on these dimensions. On these two tonss, we want to compare the tonss on the dimensions of the three parts within the Euregion ( South-Limburg, Belgian Limburg and the German portion ) . We compare the tonss pair wise, utilizing the Mann-Whitney U trial, with the undermentioned results: A comparing between Belgian Limburg, South-Limburg and the German portion:

Test Statisticsa B-D

Test Statisticsa B-SL

Test Statisticsa D-SL

Mark Indulgence versus Restraint

Score Monumen-talism

Mark Indulgence versus Restraint

Score Monumen-talism

Mark Indulgence versus Restraint

Mark Monumentalism

Mann-Whitney U







Wilcoxon W














Asymp. Sig. ( 2-tailed )







Table 5: comparing of the tonss of the tonss of Belgium ( B ) , the German portion ( D ) and South-Limburg ( SL )

This leads to the decision that 0n the different tonss on Indulgence versus Restraint ( IVR ) : there is small difference between Belgian Limburg and the German portion and there is a important difference between South Limburg and the other parts, Belgian Limburg and the German portion, which means that the people in South Limburg slope to work to populate, whereas the people in the other parts incline to populate to work. In add-on the thought to populate to work is somewhat stronger in Belgian Limburg than in the German portion.

On the different tonss on Monumentalism ( MON ) : there is small difference between Belgian Limburg and the German portion and between Belgian Limburg and South Limburg and there is a important difference between South Limburg and the German portion. This leads to the decision that the people in the German portion value people that serve as an illustration to others more than the dwellers of the other parts.


Overall we can reason that cultural differences, based on the seven dimensions of Hofstede, are non important with the exclusion of Indulgence versus Restraint ( IVR ) between South Limburg and the other parts and of Monumentalism ( MON ) between the German portion and South Limburg. This means that the false cultural differences between the three parts within the Euregion are in fact barely present, although in South Limburg people are working to populate and people that serve as an illustration are less valued in comparing to the other parts. This indicates a less loyal place to the organisation by people in South Limburg than in the other parts. And so the statement that cultural differences prevent cross-border trade within the Euregion Meuse-Rhine is non a valid statement. This has policy and scientific deductions.

From a policy point of position, it is of the topmost importance that the parts in the Euregion should work and merchandise together since the outlooks for the hereafter of this part are far from positive if the enterprisers do non spread out their mercantile establishment ( Chambers of Commerce Euregio Meuse-Rhine, 2005 ) . They should turn together to better the possibilities of cooperation. Inside their states all the parts are instead far off from the political Centre, and the information refering economic and demographic development does n’t demo mark of a existent positive motion ( EIS, 2007, 2008 ) . This is particularly of import for the cardinal part, South Limburg. For the enterprisers in this portion it is even more of import to hold spouses outside their ain state, since the population in this part is dramatically increasing, combined with the job of a crisp rise in the ageing population and a diminution of the younger population. But figures show a different image ( EIS, 2007, 2008 ) . That civilization is frequently mentioned as a chief obstruction is a surprise since all the parts were at any clip portion of a same state. The research shows that it is merely partially true. Remarkable is, that the two dimensions that Hofstede adopted last are merely the two dimensions that show the divergency and that the original dimensions from Hofstede, that most research workers, that used Hofstede theory, applied do non demo this divergency.

The scientific deductions are that in research about civilization research workers frequently describe civilization and cultural similarities of people in geographic countries, like Northwest Europe, North America, Asia, and of states. Sometimes they study cross-border civilization between two states. In those surveies they seek a manner to depict the differences between the civilizations in a structured manner utilizing individual or multiple dimensions. Less frequently civilization is described as a characteristic belongings of a part within a state. This research non merely looks at a civilization of a part within a state, but of three parts within three states and a possibility to happen corresponding tonss on cultural dimensions alternatively of differences. The consequences, viz. that the differences between the tonss on the dimensions are, with most of the dimensions, non every bit important as was to be expected, looking at the existent rate of cross-border trade and the statements, leads to the premise that here we have to cover with a sort of reversed cultural, geographical propinquity. Since the geographical distance is so little, combined with a common history and development, even the smallest cultural difference is seeable and overdrawn and transformed into a barrier, whereas in fact at that place should non be a barrier at all. In this peculiar context there are grounds to doubt the propinquity premise. Alternatively of underscoring the cultural differences between the neighbouring states and even objecting to them, which is a common phenomenan ( Felbermayr & A ; Toubal, 2010 ) there are barely any differences and it even seems to be, that the parts portion a common euregional civilization. Research among enterprisers ( Chambers of Commerce Euregio Meuse-Rhine. ( 2005 ) shows that cultural differences hinder the cross-border concern. Since this research is conducted among future directors and enterprisers this might hold a positive influence on the cross-border concern development.


The image that is drawn here of a Euregion Rhine-Meuse with limited cultural differences shows a promising development. The respondents were future directors, for whom boundary lines have different dimensions as the present directors. The respondents grew up in a European Union without boundary lines and they use communicating agencies without restrictions like societal media, electronic mail, skype and so on, where lingual differences can be by-passed by utilizing English as a Lingia Franca. When Hofstede executed his original research the universe was a different 1: at the boundary lines you ever had to cover with imposts and communicating was non easy. You had to compose a missive in a hard foreign linguistic communication and telephone did non do it easier. Possibly the hereafter with all its developments will take to a Euregion that will be one entity with one common civilization and Euregional trade is non cross-border but internal.

For future research it could be interesting to compare the information of the four boundary line parts we gathered in this survey with correspondent informations from parts in Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands that are far off from the boundary line. This comparing could give an penetration in the consequence of geographical propinquity or the influence of the modern ways of communicating of which is said that they make the universe into a smaller topographic point.

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