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cultural change and SOA

SOAGeplaatst door Mary Beijleveld do, juni 26, 2008 23:05:55

Rik de Groot posted one of a series of blogs on SOA pitfalls: http://blog.xebia.com/2008/06/23/top-10-soa-pitfalls-1-ignoring-culture-when-introducing-soa/#more-610

and referred to Geert Hofstede's theory about cultural dimensions. However he uses this theory to explain organisational differences instead of cultural differences between countries and societies. So i posted a comment:

"Great post Viktor! (of course it had to be Rik!smiley)

Indeed organisational culture is a very important aspect when introducing SOA. “Managing” change is the largest part of all the effort to, not only introducing, but realising a service oriented architecture and - mindset and - real life implementations.
Awareness, readiness (resistance) for change are not solely SOA related. You better not ’sell’ a SOA to unreceptive audience.

May i state that your reference to Geert Hofstede’s theory is not correct. Geert makes distinctions between countries/societies. Not between organisations.

As for the Netherlands:
Individuality rankes at 80, which ties with Canada as the fourth highest worldwide ranking, behind the US (91), Australia (90), and the UK(89). The high Individualism ranking for the Netherlands is indicative of a society with more individualistic attitudes and relatively loose bonds with others. The population is more self-reliant and looks out for themselves and their close family members. This individuality is integral in the daily lives of the population and must be considered when traveling and doing business in a country. Privacy is considered the cultural norm and attempts at personal ingratiating is unacceptable.
You can see a the interdependency with the notion of “ivory tower”. Dutch people don’t like other people tell them what to do! They have individual pride and want respect for that.

The second highest Hofstede Dimension for the Netherlands is uncertainty avoidance at 53, compared to a world average of 64. A moderate score may indicate a cultural tendancy to minimize or reduce the level of uncertainty within the population by enacting rules, laws, policies, and regulations to cover most any and all situations or circumstances.

The lowest Hofstede Dimension for the Netherlands is masculinity at 14. This relatively low index value may be indicative of a low level of differentiation and discrimination between genders. So, in NL females are treated more equally to males in all aspects of society in comparioson whit other countries. Although i think it represents a more openly nurturing society and our famous ‘poldermodel’ smiley

You must understand that it is not the difference between men or women [female values are almost at the same level in every part of the world(!)] but between the levels of masculinity between (men in) countries or societies.

Actually, looking at the rankings for the Netherlands, compared to other countries, you may expect a full blown smiley SOA in very near future.

When you want to compare organisations, perhaps you better refer to Henry Mintzberg.
If you want to incorporate issues of change management you could refere to R. Chin en K.D. Benne.

I am curious about the wrap up of the SOA pitfall series."

The whole series is very interesting to read and was written by Viktor Grigc, Vincent Partington, Gero Vermaas and Rik de Groot all @Xebia.com.

Mary

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