"If we had to choose just one social indicator that explained and predicted the relative industrial effectiveness of national cultures, it would be the status which that culture attributed to its engineers and the extent to which their achievements were regarded as important. The Netherlands was made and sustained by engineers. The country really does not have a Harvard or a Yale, an Oxford or a Cambridge, preferring its major educational centers to be relative equals. But the nearest the Netherlands comes to a supreme educational institution is Delft, a school of engineering and architecture....
"Despite considerable contemporary advice on 'getting close to customers,' the emerging shape of successful European and Asian capitalism is that they are close to manufacturing and production. This direction is not taken for primarily extrinsic rewards such as profits or wages, although clearly neither managers nor companies can do without these in the longer term. However, Holland's 60 percent top income tax bracket would kill enterprise were it motivated primarily by money rewards. The reason for working is largely that society gives its approval to certain activities and that its members feel that excellence in these technologies is a value of intrinsic worth."
-- From The Seven Cultures of Capitalism, by Charles Hampden-Turner and Alfons Trompenaars (Currency/Doubleday, 1993)* * *
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