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The Estonian business culture - from the eyes of swedish managers
2004 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor)Student thesis
Abstract [en]

As more and more organisations cross national borders, people will need to broaden their views on competition and, more importantly, other national behaviours. We all need to know more about the differences rather than concentrating on the similarities. We have to recognise that the underlying and often hidden cultural assumptions give rise to different beliefs and values about the practice of management. These assumptions are also manifest in the behaviour of managers and employees. It is important to realise that the values, beliefs, behaviours and practices have different meanings making them more or less acceptable in different cultures. The establishment of Swedish companies in Estonia has increased considerably during the last years. Estonia obtained their independence as a state in 1991, when they broke away from the Soviet Union. The forty years of communism regime in the country still should be reflected in the business structure. Estonia is since the 1st of May 2004 a member state of the European Union. The membership and the rapide growth of the Estonian eonomy will attract even more Swedish companies and therefore we decided to study the Estonian business culture. The purpose of this essay is to analyse the Estonian business culture through the eyes of Swedish managers. To fulfil our purpose we have two questions to answer: - What cultural differences do Swedish managers who establish in Estonia experience? - What are the characteristics of the Estonian business culture, using Hofstede’s dimensions? Hofstede’s dimensions of national cultures have had an important impact on cross-cultural studies and therefore we based this essay on these. The dimensions are power distance, uncertainty avoidance, individualism /collectivism and masculinity /feminity and they treat people’s preferences in terms of leadership style and work environment. Through sending questionnaires to Swedish managers working in subsidiaries in Estonia, we obtained a picture on how they experience the business culture. Finally the empirical investigation was connected to the theory to constitute for our analysis and conclusion. The transformation from planned economy to market economy has been extensive but there are still traces from the communism reflected in the business structure. According to our respondents, the Estonian business culture is more hierarchical and authoritarian than the Swedish. The employees prefer the boss taking all decisions and working with as little responsibility as possible. Hofstede and other cultural researchers, mean that values are deep rooted in one’s mind and therefore can not change over one night. Our respondents argue that the young generation entering the labour market, apprehend the Swedish leadership style positively and they prefer having responsibility. We interpret this as a sign that the cultural values are changing. Since the Estonian business culture is still transforming, the differences that exist at present will probably decrease and be of diverse character in the future.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2004. , 37 p.
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-51466Local ID: FEK C-118OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-51466DiVA: diva2:1099959
Subject / course
Business Administration
Available from: 2017-05-29 Created: 2017-05-29

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Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf