Business Culture in Finland

>> Finnish Business Management Style

Industry and management in Finland has tended to be dominated by engineers. (Indeed, engineers are held in similar social esteem to those as in countries such as Germany.)

The dominance of engineers in the management corpus has led to a strong technical bent with a reliance being placed on systems and well-organised procedures. Managers place more emphasis on effectiveness and order than on flair and initiative (which are more useful in the design and R&D side of the business.)

Finns respect modesty and ironic self-deprecation. People do not like to show any airs and graces, nor do they like to be on the end of a sales pitch. Therefore managers take a low-key approach to managing others. It is not particularly the manager’s role to motivate the troops through pep-talks or positive feedback sessions. Delegation is more a matter of setting tangible tasks and defining benchmarks against which results can be quantifiably and non-emotionally measured. Once tasks have been delegated, the manager would not expect, or be expected, to closely scrutinise progress.

Within larger companies, major decisions would tend to be made by a team of senior executives in a collective fashion. This process can be slow and painstaking – Finns have a history of conservatism and change happens only after very deep consideration by all involved parties.

Latest version updated 23rd March 2017

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