Zes tijdzones en een wereld van verschil : een discoursanalyse van reclamatie-patronen in een Nederlands – Chinese Handelsfirma
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Intercultural communication can be described as communication between people from different cultural backgrounds. As a consequence of the complexity of the concept “culture”, it is in some cases however hard to indicate the meaning. In this master thesis, intercultural communication between the Netherlands and China is studied. The theme intercultural communication is discussed around the claims procedure in a Dutch-Chinese trading company with her Chinese business counterparts. Under these circumstances, the emphases in the thesis are claim, cultural difference and the outlook for the Dutch – Chinese trading relations. In this research, there is an analysis based on almost 2000 emails. These emails come from Alcochem Steel, a Dutch – Chinese trading company, in the period from February 2007 to June 2007. I’ve used the study from Ohama (1987) as starting point for this research. Her analysis Working in Intercultural Communication can be shortly described as a comparison of the claims procedure between Germany and Japan. The results of the study reconstructs the cultural differences with regard to the claim procedure. The central research question of this master project is: What is the institutional standard complain pattern in Dutch – Chinese trading? This question is further subdivided into several sub questions. 1. Does this standard pattern change if you analyses an intercultural setting? 2. What kinds of tool are used for making complain via e-mail more clear? 3. Are there differences in the realisation of complain pattern in the e-mails between Dutch and Chinese? 4. Which combinations from the pattern positions happened in the e-mails from Holland and China? 5. What are the linguistic characteristics of CN – NL claims? 6. What are the linguistic characteristics of NL – CN claims? From the analysis turns out that the standard institutional pattern will change if it is intercultural analysed. Alcochem use quality report as a kind of help for making damage more clear. Then, Dutch and Chinese have different starting points when they want to claim. Last but nor least, the usage of English as lingua franca shows that the two parties all respect good politeness.