Global Business Cultural Analysis: Sweden
Meghan P. Durrett
In this age of global business, organizations are driven to expand their boundaries, providing goods and services to an increasing number of countries and communities around the world. With that being said, the expansion of globalization plays an increasing role in a society's culture, particularly influencing a business organizations corporate culture. The purpose of this analysis gain a better understanding of the elements and dimensions of culture that drive Swedish culture as they relate to other national ...view middle of the document...
According to the World Economic Forum (2013),
Sweden: Like Switzerland, the country has been placing significant emphasis on creating the conditions for innovation-led growth. The quality of its public institutions remains first-rate, with a very high degree of efficiency, trust, and transparency. Private institutions also receive excellent marks, with firms that demonstrate excellent ethical behavior. Nevertheless, we registered a slight but consistent deterioration in the country’s institutional framework over the past three years. Additional strengths include goods and financial markets that are very efficient, although the labor market could be more flexible (ranking 92nd on the flexibility subpillar). Combined with a strong focus on education over the years and a high level of technological readiness (1st), Sweden has developed a very sophisticated business culture (5th) and is one of the world’s leading innovators (4th). Last but not least, the country boasts a stable macroeconomic environment (13th), with a balanced budget and manageable public debt levels. These characteristics come together to make Sweden one of the most productive and competitive economies in the world.
With the abundance of strengths and success, could Sweden's proven economic success of been influenced by the elements and dimensions of the Swedish culture?
Religion. Religion, linked to both regional characteristics and language, also influences business culture through a set of shared core values. The Church of Sweden affirms the Lutheran branch of Christianity, including a membership of nearly 7 million Swedes. With a membership that large in nature, The Church of Sweden has proven to be the largest Lutheran Church internationally. Although The Church of Sweden holds the title of largest Lutheran Church with a membership of over 75% of Sweden citizens, it is noted by Kwissentenial (2004) that only 2% of the members attend church services on a regular basis.
Egalitarian approachSwedish business life is more relaxed and egalitarian than that of many nations with which the country trades. The boss is one of the team, decisions are reached by consensus, the vacations are long, and the coffee breaks are sacred.
Egalitarianism style. Egalitarianism is explained by Arneson (2013) in Egalitarianism as a philosophical view "favoring equality of some sort: People should get the same, or be treated the same, or be treated as equals, in some respect" (para. 1). Furthermore, it is suggested by Arneson (2013) that "an alternative view expands on the view that people should be treated as equals, should treate one another as equals, should relate as equals, or enjoy an equality of social status of some sort" (para. 1). Egalitarianism is a significant factor of Swedish culture with in society and in the business environment, and is more relaxed and egalitarian than other countries that they interact with through globalization.