Background to Business in Denmark

The industrial landscape of modern Denmark is made up of a great many small to medium-sized organisations.

There are far fewer very large organisations in Denmark than just about any other major industrial nation in Europe with the possible exception of Spain. Danish companies have tended to specialise and Denmark is famous, not for mass-market products, but for production which stresses creativity in design and excellence in the quality of the finished goods.

In the furniture sector for example, Denmark produces top quality office and conferencing products but eschews lower end mass-market opportunities. Danish companies have tended to concentrate on specialised, high margin production and have maintained their position in certain markets, more through product and design innovation, than through improvements in production technology or price competitiveness.

Outside the metropolitan district of Copenhagen, these medium-sized companies often dominate smaller towns and this situation possibly accounts for the importance placed on community relations by Danish industry as a whole and by many individual Danish business people. One concern that has been expressed by prominent Danish industrialists is the danger of tarnishing company
eputation in the local home region through such anti-social activity as downsizing of the workforce. This is possibly a concern replicated everywhere in the world but in few places is it felt as acutely as in Denmark.

A brief overview of some key concepts to consider when doing business in Denmark

Written and Produced by Keith Warburton

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This country profile has been produced to give a short overview of some of the key concepts to bear in mind when doing business with contacts in Denmark. It is intended to be an aid to business people who have commercial dealings with counterparties in the country but should not be seen as an exhaustive guide to this topic or as a substitute for more substantial research should there be a need.

With this in mind, we have covered the areas which are key to a better understanding of the cultural mindset underpinning business dealings in Denmark and which are, quite often, extremely different from the approach and thought processes associated with business in other parts of the world.

Therefore this briefing note is broken into short, bite-sized sections on the following topics:

  • Background to business
  • Business Structures
  • Management style
  • Meetings
  • Teamwork
  • Communication
  • Women in business
  • Entertaining
  • Top tips