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Faculty Economics and Business opening Academic Year: cultural differences in organisations

24 August 2009

Geert Hofstede, professor emeritus in Organisational Anthropology and International Management, and Roel Louwhoff, Executive Board member of British Telecom Group, will be speaking in Groningen on Tuesday, 1 September. On that day, these alumni of the University of Groningen will open the academic year of the Faculty of Economics and Business. This year’s theme is ‘Cultural differences in organisations’, befitting the international nature of the faculty, which also comes from the increasing number of international students and researchers. The language of communication at the opening will be English.

The Faculty traditionally celebrates the opening of the academic year with staff members, students, and guests. During this festive event, the winner of the Teacher of the Year award, decided by the student’s choice, will be announced as well. Chairwoman of the day is Dr. Floor Rink of the FEB, who is an expert in the field of diversity in teams.

Hofstede and Louwhoff

Being a Dutchman in a British organisation, business alumnus Roel Louwhoff of BT experiences the effects of cultural differences in organisations on a daily basis. In his lecture he elaborates on the cultural changes at BT and the things he himself and his company learned in the process. His comparison of 'What the British say', 'What the Dutch understand', and 'What the British mean' illustrates in a humorous way how differences can lead to misunderstandings in daily business.

Organisational psychologist Geert Hofstede is internationally renowned for his intercultural studies and in particular for his framework for assessing culture. His model is based on a number of dimensions, for example the degree of masculinity, power distance, and individualism. One of his bestsellers is ‘Cultures and organizations: software of the mind'.

Teacher of the Year

FEB students evaluate their teachers. At the end of each year the teachers with the highest evaluation scores are nominated for the Teacher of the Year award. A jury consisting of the faculty’s student representatives ultimately decides who will be the winner.

Location and programme 1 September

Location: Room 15, Zernike Building (J), Landleven 12, Zernike Complex, Groningen

15.30:  Welcome
16.00:  Opening by dr. Floor Rink. Welcome by dean prof.dr. Elmer Sterken
16.05:  Presentation Roel Louwhoff, MSc
16.35:  Presentation prof. Geert Hofstede
17.10:  Announcement Teacher of the Year
After:   Drinks


- drs. Nienke Bastiaans, head of Communications Faculty of Economics and Business, + 31 50 363 37 85
- British Telecom Group
- Geert Hofstede

Last modified:15 September 2017 3.27 p.m.

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