July 01, 2005

Culture clash

I'm on vacation, we're staying with my wife's parents outside Stockholm. Get to read the 'big city' paper Svenska Dagbladet. Today there was an article in the business section about the cultural differences in the different Nordic countries, from the point of view of a manager of a bank with divisions in Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland. According to this article, a typical example of inter-nordic culture clash occured when he presented a new uniform protocol for customer contacts, to be used by all the divisions. The different division representatives grumbled and one said, 'Is that a Swedish decision??' The boss said, 'I was not prepared and didn't understant what was going on, it was the idea that 'Big Brother Sweden isn't going to come here and tell us what to do!''

He also says, 'If we the leadership group reach a decision, the Finn goes home right away and puts it into action, the Swede goes home and tells everybody what a nice meeting we've had, the Dane goes home and does something completely different than what we decided and the Norwegian goes home and neither says or does anything.'

The Swedish boss says that the Danes are not as scared of conflict as the Swedes are, and like to discuss and negotiate everything.


At August 19, 2005 6:59 PM , Anonymous Andrea said...

Now I know where Brian gets it. (Brian's the Norwegian I've been living with for 25 years minus 4 days)


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