Internship Report deals with German-Indian cooperation
Our former intern Sabine has submitted her internship report for grading. Under the title “Intercultural Cooperation in Non Profit-Organizations in India exemplified by the Gaiatree Foundation”, she has elaborated the specifics of intercultural cooperation based on the people involved and the frame conditions. First of all, she used dimensional models to describe the cultural backgrounds of the involved people. On this basis, she identified problems that have their roots in cultural differences and presented their consequences with the help of real Gaiatree sample cases. Besides, the solutions that have been developed so far were introduced. The report pursues the aim to find and explain new possible solutions that might be implemented in the future to further facilitate the intercultural cooperation at Gaiatree Foundation.exzerpt_report_english.pdf
Sabine’s observations reveal some partly significant cultural differences. These were grouped in the categories communication, organization, gender roles, hierarchies and bureaucracy, prejudices and expectations, dealing with conflicts, independence and proactivity, and self evaluation.
A major problem is the lack of a common language. English may be spoken by most involved people but is nobody’s mother tongue. This results in frequent misunderstandings. Consequently, further language education for all members of the organization is absolutely recommended.
When it comes to organization and hierarchies, Indian and German approaches differ considerably. The Indian society shows strong hierarchies and authorities. Consequently, it is sometimes to difficult for Anke and Mike to confine their activities to the desired consulting roles because they appear too controlling, which creates tensions in the private relationships with the organization’s members and employees.
In her report, Sabine gives many concrete examples that will now be discussed with the local partners. This is a promising basis for the further organizational development, especially for honest and transparent relationships among members. Considering the different to approaches to conflicts – research has identified a tendency to avoid them with Indians while Germans tend to be assertive and even provoke conflicts at times – this appears somewhat challenging. The reason for this could be the so-called relationship orientation, which international research has repeatedly identified to be very strong in the Indian society and significantly weaker in Germany. In India, problems are kept for oneself and discussions are avoided so as to prevent unnecessary tensions in one’s personal relations. For us Germany, there is much to learn, especially tolerance and empathy. The process of mutual approaching is still in the beginning phase.
The comprehensive report provides all externals with profound insight in the way of working, project work and the interpersonal relationships, the daily problems and challenges on the spot in India. In her report, Sabine does not only focus on the bright sides of our cooperation and its successes. She also reveals the challenges that are part of such a vision and highlights the good will and determination with which all Gaiatree Foundation members struggle to find and implement solutions in practice. For those who plan on coming to India or even supporting the Gaiatree Foundation, this basic work constitutes a recommendable document for preparation and insight. For us, the people working on the spot, it functions as a mirror and provides some valuable solutions for our future work.
Thank you, Sabine, for your interesting views and insights in our work.
PS: Exept of the report work will be here. The complete work we have only in german version!!
(ca. 139.8 kByte)