Cultural Differences in Doing Business in Sweden and Austria

Pages: 4 (1230 words) Published: November 13, 2011
Essay: Differences of doing business in Sweden and Austria

For analyzing the cultural differences between Austria and Sweden, I searched through the internet and I consulted the literature concerning Hofstede’s dimensions. Doing business in another country requires a sound knowledge of the society and culture there.


Egalitarianism is the most dominant social value in Sweden. People believe in the genuine equality of individuals. Therefore, consensus and compromise are ingrained into business and social life. As a consequence, decision-making in business can be a slow process since everyone has a right to contribute and decisions will tend to be made only once everyone is in agreement. Egalitarianism explains both organizational structures and management approach in the country. The management style is very democratic – bosses are more like coaches or mentors. Organizational structures are designed to be pragmatic and systematic and to allow people to perform their tasks effectively and with as little disruption as possible. The hierarchy in a company is very flat.

Hofstede’s dimensions

Hofstede established a culture framework which is widely used to develop the field of cross-cultural management. The culture model basically includes five dimensions: Power distance; Individualism versus collectivism; Masculinity versus Femininity; Uncertainty Avoidance; Long-term Orientation versus Short-term Orientation. He used these five dimensions to analyze which different cultures exist and revealed the unexamined rules by which people in different cultures think, feel, and act in business, family, schools and organization.

Power distance

Power distance is a measurement of the interpersonal power or influence between people such as between a boss and a subordinate. The Power distance index (PDI) is the extent to which the less powerful members of organizations and institutions accept and expect that power is distributed unequally. The...
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