So, taking the culture groups in the order they were presented in the lecture series, here's the Nordic cluster.Key Values in Nordic Culture
Dos and Taboos
- Nordic culture was developed in response to surviving harsh, natural conditions. In terms of cultural values, the Nordic cluster is very individualistic, low power distance, cooperative, high on the “being” side of the being versus doing scale, very low context, and very loose in terms of its acceptance of a plurality of ideas.
- It can be a bit confusing to think about where Nordic culture falls on the individualism versus collectivism scale because of the insistence on doing what’s best for people as a whole. The concern with blending in and not standing out above the rest is really important and is similar to what you would see in many collectivist cultures across Asia or Latin America.
- However, the greatest concern within that collective is promoting room for autonomy, so the reason for pursuing collective ideas is to support the strong concern about protecting the rights of the individual.
- The Nordic cluster is very low power distance; this reflects Jante’s law. Leaders downplay directive, authoritative styles. Of course, this is not always successful. For example, there has been tremendous difficulty in Denmark assimilating the Muslim minority, but it’s also very low power distance, where there’s incredible disdain for inequality.
- The other crucial thing to understand about Nordic culture is its strong orientation toward “being” on the being versus doing continuum. There is a strong belief in the importance of working to live rather than living to work.
- Most Nordic businesses are closed for the month of July, and in Sweden, every employee (including graduate students) gets five weeks of paid vacation, three of which can be consecutive if desired. This is not just because they want to be generous with labor and workers; they actually believe they’ll build a better society when people have a whole life.
- A related characteristic of Nordic culture is the commitment to protect the natural environment. Nature plays a big role in Norwegians’ lives, and a lot of their nonwork time is spent outdoors. This is one of the primary differences between the Nordic cluster and the Anglo cluster—especially the United States. Nordic cultures view environmentalism as a high value.
Ranking & Score
- Punctuality for a business meeting is very important, and they will expect you to call with an explanation if you are delayed.
- If you want to blend in, dress neatly, but limit the bling.
- Be precise and clear—don’t exaggerate.
- People will be interested in your hobbies and interests more than your job.
- There is a relaxed attitude toward nudity; you will find nude people at the beach or parks, and saunas are generally nude.
Nation / Ranking / Score
Denmark 6 8.56
Estonia 15 8.46
Finland 8 8.53
Iceland 18 8.41
Latvia 23 8.29
Lithuania 22 8.32
Norway 17 8.40
Sweden 11 8.50Personal Freedom
Nation / Personal Freedom / Rule of Law / Security & Safety / Movement / Religious Freedom / Assoc., Assem., & Civil Soc. / Expression & Information / Identity & Relationships
Denmark 9.24 8.7 9.8 10.0 7.7 9.5 8.9 10.0
Estonia 9.02 7.8 9.7 10.0 8.3 9.5 9.6 9.0
Finland 9.27 8.6 9.8 10.0 7.9 10.0 9.7 9.0
Iceland 9.08 7.8 9.9 10.0 8.1 10.0 9.6 9.0
Latvia 8.85 6.7 9.6 10.0 8.5 10.0 9.4 10.0
Lithuania 8.76 6.8 9.4 10.0 8.5 10.0 9.5 9.2
Norway 9.26 8.6 9.9 10.0 7.4 10.0 9.8 9.2
Sweden 9.45 8.5 9.8 10.0 8.9 10.0 9.7 10.0Economic Freedom
Nation / Economic Freedom / Size of Government / Legal System & Prop. Rights / Sound Money / Freedom to Trade Int'l / Regulations
Denmark 7.89 4.7 8.1 9.8 8.5 8.4
Estonia 7.89 6.2 7.4 9.3 8.4 8.2
Finland 7.80 4.7 8.8 9.4 8.2 7.9
Iceland 7.74 5.8 8.4 9.5 7.3 7.7
Latvia 7.73 6.8 6.3 9.3 8.4 7.9
Lithuania 7.88 7.4 6.6 9.2 8.2 8.0
Norway 7.62 4.9 8.5 9.6 7.6 7.6
Sweden 7.56 4.5 7.7 9.3 8.2 8.0Averages
Personal Freedom: 9.12
Rule of Law: 7.94
Security & Safety: 9.74
Religious Freedom: 8.16
Association, Assembly, & Civil Society: 9.88
Expression & Information: 9.53
Identity & Relationships: 9.43
Economic Freedom: 7.76
Size of Government: 5.63
Legal System & Property Rights: 7.73
Sound Money: 9.43
Freedom to Trade Internationally: 9.10
A note about the Size of Government rating, don't forget that this is from a Libertarian thinktank, so the more intrusive the government the lower
the rating is going to be. The subcategories for this rating are Government Consumption, Transfers and Subsidies, Government Enterprises, Top Marginal Tax Rate, and State Ownership of Assets.
Ideas are far more powerful than guns. We don’t allow our enemies to have guns, why should we allow them to have ideas?
To educate a man in mind and not in morals is to educate a menace to society.