NORWAY: If you want to be successful with your business in Scandinavia, you must be aware that Denmark, Sweden and Norway are three widely different countries. In a small series of articles we focus on the characteristics of the three countries. In this article we take a closer look at Norway.
Flat structures and an informal communication
One of the main values in Norwegian business environment is the focus on equality. As a result, you will see little hierarchy, flat structures and an informal communication. Norwegians are less impressed by titles and symbols of power than in other Scandinavian countries.
Employees expect involvement in decisions
Working in Norway means empowerment and that you have to take responsibility and initiative. As a manager, you must be aware of the cultural characteristics where you are not expected to give orders but facilitate and coach your teams. People expect involvement in decisions and see them as the first among equals.
You will achieve results with a flat organisation structure where decisions are usually taken in groups and staff is consulted during the process. Thus, it can take a while to reach consensus.
A high level of trust in authorities
The level of trust is high in regards to the authorities, citizens, employers and employed and also between business partners making the structure very efficient. Both the society and the work place is based on trust.
Healthy work-life balance
Norwegians work to live and there is a healthy work-life balance. A typical working week will not exceed 37 hours and the office workday usually lasts from 8-4 with an early finish on Fridays.
Trust and transparency is crucial
For anyone doing business in Norway, there is a style of distinct professionalism. Norwegians prefer only do business with those they trust and transparency is crucial in order to establish this connection. You must be willing to be open and discuss many aspects of yourself, your colleagues and your business with a potential customer.
High living standards
Norway is rich due to North Sea oil and renewable energy sources. Norway enjoy a high standard of living which supports a superb national infrastructure, excellent education and Norway have a world-class public health service. Norwegians are very proud of their country and what they can achieve with such a small population of about 5 mil people.