Euregionaler Identität

Borderlanders at Fontys

My name is David Eibich and I am 24 years old. I am from Germany and currently studying International Business at Fontys Venlo University of Applied Sciences in Venlo.

I will research, what it means to be a borderlander and who at the different teams at FIBS can be considered border landers. Furthermore, it will be linked to interculturalization and the vision of Fontys. Therefore, one can describe what changes have to be made to the HR policy of Fontys. In order to acheive that, a questionnaire will be created and scientific research will be done.

Situational Context:

The Fontys International Business School, located in Venlo, follows the vision of the Euregio. This means, that FIBS lays great emphasis on cross border cooperation. The higher education institution in Venlo has gained extensive experience over the years and acquired extensive knowledge of cross-border cooperation. FIBS shares this knowledge with regional companies and organizations. Due to the fact, that Germany and the Netherlands are neighboring countries and therefore closely linked in economic terms, it is important for FIBS to implement Regional elements in the classroom. The Crossing Border Business Development (CBBD) science center, has been operating since 2013, under the name “Fontys Crossing Borders” (FCB). The main task of the CBBD, is to look beyond the borders and to use the opportunities that the Rhine-Maas border region offers. As a result, Fontys Venlo has a unique position as a university in the Netherlands. CBBD's goal is to bind highly qualified graduates to the cross-border region - around Venlo. So-called “borderlanders” or “cross-border commuters” should be made fit for the European job market. The CBBD is currently looking for a research project, that should explain if the current employees of FIBS are in line with the vision. The topic is not only important for FIBS, but also for the Netherlands in general. The king of the Netherlands visited FIBS, to stress the importance of the border region and the research about it. Many critics would say it would cost the state a lot of money, but other people might argue that the people would bring business and money.

Research Objective:

The main objective of this research project, is to provide the CBBD and my client, Mrs. Simonis, with an overview of FIBS employees and their respective opinions and thoughts about the cross-border aspect and if they are in line with the vision of FIBS and the region.

The main research question can be formulated as follows:

Are the current employees of FIBS in line with FIBS Vision of the Region in terms of HR policy and Cross-Border cooperation?

The plan for the Execution of this Project is explained in the following. The research project will start with an introduction, followed by a short company description. In addition to that, a project description will be provided, followed by a preliminary investigation. Furthermore, the project will include a main analysis, a conclusion, as well as recommendations that are generated from the outcome of the main research analysis. 

In order to acquire the required information, primary as well as secondary research will be used. The final project will be finished by January 5th 2021.

Research Approach:

In order to achieve the research objective, two hypothesis have to be tested.

Firstly, the null hypothesis:

H0: The current employees at FIBS are in line with the Vision of FIBS, with regard to the HR Policy and cross border cooperation.

Secondly, the alternative hypothesis:

H1: The current employees at FIBS are not in line with the Vision of FIBS, with regard to the HR Policy and cross border cooperation.

In order to test the hypothesis, several research questions have to be answered.

1st What is FIBS’s Vision and his director?

1.1 What place do the employees have in the Vision of FIBS?

These research questions, will elaborate on FIBS’s Vision of how Employees should align themselves with the regional thought, in order to pass it on to students and colleagues.

In order to answer these research questions, primary as well as secondary research will be used. Firstly, the homepage of FIBS will be taken into consideration to elaborate on the Vision of FIBS. Secondly, an Interview with the director of FIBS will be done, in order to clear any information gaps that could not be answered with the Information from the Homepage.

2nd To which degree is the regional thought embodied in the current employees of FIBS?

In order to answer this research question, quantitative research will be used.

The theoretical framework will be described with the help of the Book “Doing Quantitative Research in Education with SPSS” by Daniel Muijs. Furthermore, other source for quantitative research, found via Fontys library, will be taken into consideration.

Therefore, a questionnaire will be constructed and a cross-sectional survey study will be done, in order to answer the research question.

The population are the current employees at FIBS, wherefore samples of 5 to 20 people from every department at FIBS will be taken into consideration. The questionnaire will consist of rating scales, as well as open and closed questions, in order to get a better overview of the employee’s opinions and thoughts and if they are in line with the Vision of FIBS. Furthermore, the thread of a central tendency problem and a positive response bias, will be minimized with this approach.

The survey will give an overview, if the employees consider themselves to follow the Vision of FIBS and what particular actions they take to support this. In the end, the Data Analysis will be done with the help of SPSS, which is a tool for statistical data analysis, in order to visualize the survey results.

3rd What differences exist between the vision of FIBS and the mindset of the employees, with regard to the HR policy and cross border cooperation?

The outcome of this research question will show, in how far the actions of the employees align themselves with the Vision of FIBS. Therefore, the outcomes of research question one and two will be compared.

After answering the research questions, the hypothesis will be tested and the main research question will be answered.

Contact: David Eibich, d.eibich@fontys.nl, +31 8850 717 33.