SCANDINAVIAN CULTURES MEET INTERNATIONAL COMPANIES

Background

Relation skills are very import in Scandinavian cultures since we do not have set relations in business as in many other countries. In many other parts of the world the hierarchy is strong, and a leader is a leader and one is working for him. In Norway, this is not the case. Norwegians have a more floating structure and therefore, relations are more important. Additionally, there are differences between the different Scandinavian cultures. The Swedes are known for using discussions to get an agreement, even though this may take some time. They are chatting a lot amongst each other, and they do not mix work and private life. The Danes tend to be more individualistic, determined and result oriented. The Finns have slightly more hierarchy than in the other Scandinavian cultures.

An example

Danish boss, "It is harder to be a leader in Norway than in Sweden and Denmark. Norwegians have less respect for authorities, they are questioning everything and have to be persuaded. I think the Norwegian "Vikings" are thinking different than us other Scandinavians.

Problem

You are part of a team of 10 engineers working on a project in partnership with a team of roughly the same size from a Chinese company. Your team are a mixed group from Scandinavia. Discus the ways in which you can ensure that the project runs smoothly with no disastrous miss-communications, and present a solution to prevent cultural clashes is such situations.