What about Norway?
If we explore the Norwegian culture through the lens of the 5-D Model, we can get a good overview of the deep drivers of Norwegian culture relative to other world cultures.
This dimension deals with the fact that all individuals in societies are not equal – it expresses the attitude of the culture towards these inequalities amongst us.
Power distance is defined as the extent to which the less powerful members of institutions and organisations within a country expect and accept that power is distributed unequally.
Norway scores low on this dimension (31) which means that the following characterises the Norwegians style: Being independent, hierarchy for convenience only, equal rights, superiors accessible, coaching leader, management facilitates and empowers. Power is decentralized and managers count on the experience of their team members. Employees expect to be consulted. Control is disliked and attitude towards managers are informal and on first name basis. Communication is direct, participative and consensus orientated.
The fundamental issue addressed by this dimension is the degree of interdependence a society maintains among its members. It has to do with whether people´s self-image is defined in terms of “I” or “We”.
In Individualist societies people are supposed to look after themselves and their direct family only. In Collectivist societies people belong to ‘in groups’ that take care of them in exchange for loyalty.
Norway with a score of 69 is considered an individualistic society. This means that the “Self” is important and individual, personal opinions are valued and expressed. Communication is explicit. At the same time the right to privacy is important and respected. There are clear lines between work and private life. Job mobility is higher and one thinks in terms of individual careers. The employer-employee relationship is based on a contract and leaders focus on management of individuals. Feedback is direct and nepotism is not encouraged.
Masculinity / Femininity
A high score (masculine) on this dimension indicates that the society will be driven by competition, achievement and success, with success being defined by the winner / best in field – a value system that starts in school and continues throughout organisational behaviour.
A low score (feminine) on the dimension means that the dominant values in society are caring for others and quality of life. A feminine society is one where quality of life is the sign of success and standing out from the crowd is not admirable. The fundamental issue here is what motivates people, wanting to be the best (masculine) or liking what you do (feminine).
Norway scores 8 and is thus the second most feminine society (after the Swedes). This means that the softer aspects of culture are valued and encouraged such as leveling with others, consensus, “independent” cooperation and sympathy for the underdog. Taking care of the environment is important. Trying to be better than others is neither socially nor materially rewarded. Societal solidarity in life is important; work to live and DO your best. Incentives such as free time and flexibility are favoured. Interaction through dialog and “growing insight” is valued and self development along these terms encouraged. Focus is on well-being, status is not shown. An effective manager is a supportive one, and decision making is achieved through involvement.
The dimension Uncertainty Avoidance has to do with the way that a society deals with the fact that the future can never be known: should we try to control the future or just let it happen? This ambiguity brings with it anxiety and different cultures have learnt to deal with this anxiety in different ways. The extent to which the members of a culture feel threatened by ambiguous or unknown situations and have created beliefs and institutions that try to avoid these is reflected in the UAI score.
Norway scores 50 and thus becomes a fairly pragmatic culture in terms of uncertainty avoidance. This means that both generalists and experts are needed. There is focus on planning, and they can be altered at short notice and improvisations made. Emotions are not shown much in Norway, people are fairly relaxed and not adverse to taking risks.
Long term orientation
The long term orientation dimension is closely related to the teachings of Confucius and can be interpreted as dealing with society’s search for virtue, the extent to which a society shows a pragmatic future-oriented perspective rather than a conventional historical short-term point of view.
Norway scores 44 making it more of a short term orientation culture. This is evident in that leisure time is important, absolute truths needed and there is concern for stability. Quick results are expected and there is a focus on the bottom line and people spend for today.