Course description

Intercultural Management: A Scandinavian Perspective

Introduction

An empathic understanding of how people from different parts of the world differ when it comes to opinions, attitudes, and beliefs or even what it takes to develop motivated and committed employees, is crucial for managers in today’s global world. The assumption that national cultures are still playing important roles in forming people’s values and attitudes, more than indicates that definitions and concepts of culture and cultural differences at national, organizational, and managerial level should be covered during a course like this.

One aspect of the course focuses on the importance of national culture in determining communication and’ behaviour in international business. The course provides an overview of culture, Scandinavian management, digital relationships with data analytics: Scandinavian trends, communication strategies and cross cultural negotiations.  Learning approaches will include lectures, case work, teamwork and blended learning. We also gain key insights through guest speakers from the industry and visits to leading Norwegian companies to see Scandinavian management in practice.

The other aspect focuses on the so called ‘"Scandinavian Model"’ where gender and economic equality dominate and specific employment rules and rights must be applied. In particular, the ”"Norwegian Working Environment Act"” is covered.

Specific global industries where Norwegian firms have excelled such as shipping, oil and gas, and energy will also be investigated during the course.

Course content

The course is divided into three main areas of focus:

I. Culture, framework for comparing cultures

  • Culture’s impact on communication behaviour
  • Cultural stereotypes, differences and similarities

II. The Scandinavian Management Model

  • A focus on different Norwegian firms and sectors as well as on laws and regulations of work
  • Competencies for managing intercultural interaction; implications of cultural differences at intra and interorganizational levels

III. Digital relationships with data analytics: Scandinavian trends

  • Understanding digital stakeholder communication
  • Design thinking to develop and visualize stakeholder relations
  • Introduction to data analytics – applying data in visual communication: Scandinavian trends

IV. Negotiation skills

  • Negotiation behavior profiling in an intercultural context
  • Analyzing and understanding successful integrative bargaining strategies
  • Gaining meaningful insights and developing communication skills within strategic/empathetic thinking and creativity techniques

Learning outcome knowledge

The objectives of the course are to provide students with an overview of research on intercultural management and to apply this knowledge creatively in the Scandinavian/Norwegian context.

  • Students should have an overview of key concepts of culture, cross cultural negotiations, the Scandinavian Management Model, creative communication planning.
  • Students should also be able to recognize key intercultural management issues within the Scandinavian/Norwegian context and communication strategies in a global context.

Exam organisation

  • Written exam: 40%
  • Presentation and discussion: 60%