Scientific background


A report from SFI (The Danish State owned Research Centre) based on both qualitative and quantitative studies, and contributing with knowledge related to experience and management of cultural differences within the care sector in Denmark. The report and its conclusions can therefore be used as a basis for issues to be addressed in this project.

Below a few examples:


  • The new employees (with a non-western ethnical background) will meet some challenges in the job. Language can be a problem for some, and it can sometimes have negative consequences for cooperation and for the care provided. Others become victims of racism, for example from users. It seems often to be up to the individual employee to decide how to deal with discriminatory behavior by the user.
  • Especially employees with ethnic non-western background seem to place less emphasis on possessing the ability to communicate. They also to a lesser degree value to work for eldercare principles for example, to assist the 'self-help'. In many cultures the attitude is that you should help the old person to do as LITTLE as possible. In for instance the Danish elder care there is a great focus on making the old person do as MUCH as possible
  • As regards the cooperation with colleagues, most employees were very satisfied across ethnic background. From a management perspective, it is a challenge that employees have different approaches and traditions to work in teams, depending on their ethnic background.


These research findings and others will be used and addressed in this projects content and organization of education initiatives.


Professor Dominique Bouchets research: "The coherent band" from 2008 and "Cultural Differences" from 2010 consists of video material, which is prepared on the basis of Bouchets general research as well as two specific analyzes that he has made.

The results include:


  • The central problem of intercultural communication is that you can easily find clear evidence for yourself that you have interpreted correctly, where you actually have interpreted completely wrong. Both parties were busy confirming their prejudices.
  • Both groups of employees (French and Danish) look completely like each other in the way they blame the other group of employees for being something, it is not. All employees are in fact concerned with doing a good job, to earn respect, to be open to the surroundings, benevolent, dynamic, modern and hospitable. But everyone also gave clear indication that the counterpart certainly did not lived up to these ideals. The study showed that they were wrong.


The idea is that the video material and the associated work issues based on Dominique Bouchets work should form the basis for an adjustment and further development for use within the care sector. Initially based on project participants' knowledge and experience from the care sector and later adjusted and further developed based on the experience of the work-based learning in this project.


Link to Dominique Bouchet video material: