The key Norwegian characteristics of egalitarianism, consensus-seeking and lack of ego tend to make Norwegians extremely good team players – but the team must correspond to their idea of what constitutes a good, well-functioning team.
Therefore, the more southern European team (characterised by a group of individuals working in isolation and reporting to a strong, instructive-style leader) is unlikely to succeed. There is a need for the team leader to offer continuous consultation and develop an ongoing buy-in process.
Each team member expects and is expected to perform his or her individual tasks with the minimum of supervision from superiors. Such unwarranted supervision might be seen as a criticism or lack of trust in professional capabilities.
In summary, if handled well, a Norwegian will be an enormous asset to any team but if he or she is left to feel uninvolved or in any way patronised, they are unlikely to do more than the bare minimum.
Written and Produced by Keith Warburton
Norway (and Norwegians) like to maintain a sense of independence and separateness. The country’s geographical position probably helps foster this feeling of apartness and the country’s abundance of natural resources has enabled Norway to become relatively self-sufficient as a nation. Thus Norway has avoided full membership of the European Union preferring to arrange its own special relationship with the bloc which allows it to benefit from the benefits of quasi-membership without having to surrender its sovereignty.
Rich in North Sea oil and blessed with renewable energy sources Norway boasts an enviably high standard of living which supports a superb national infrastructure, excellent education and a world-class public health service. Norwegians have every right to be proud of what a country with such a small population has been able to achieve.
All of these factors point towards Norway being an attractive place to do business. However, doing business in Norway is not without its challenges. An understanding of Norwegian attitudes and approaches to business can help you to develop key relationships and build a sustainable business model. Interpersonal relationships in Norway tend to be governed by a code of conduct referred to as Jante Law and it is well worth gaining an insight into the key tenets of this law – it will help explain a lot of the issues you encounter in Norway.
Who is the best person to speak to within a Norwegian organisation? Should you go straight to the top or is it better to find the subject matter expert? What form of communication works best in Norway and what sales approach should you take?
This country profile provides an overview of some of the key aspects of Norwegian business culture in a concise, easy to follow-format. The document includes information on: