The role of cultural differences between Norway and Russia in business relationships: Application to strategic management in Norwegian companies
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In this thesis I investigate the cultural differences between Norway and Russia and their impact on the business relationships that Norwegian companies establish with Russian counterparts. The emphasis is on how to take these differences into account in the company’s strategic management processes. The main source of data in this study is the interviews with the Norwegian managers who have the experience of business relationships with Russian counterparts. I have also relied on the various publications on the subject. In the first chapter, I suggest that as soon as the company starts the operations in the other country’s market it faces the national culture different from the domestic one: people think, feel and act not the same way. These differences will affect everyday communication and work practices; one of the factors determining the company’s performance on the foreign market will be its ability to accommodate the particular characteristics of the national culture. My argument is that the internationally-operating company needs the knowledge about cultural characteristics of the host countries; this knowledge should be integrated into the company’s decision making and strategy development processes. As the increasing number of Norwegian companies is operating in the Russian market, there is a need for the studies that will provide an insight into the cultural characteristics and the social functioning, will point out the possible areas of the cultural clash and will suggest some way to avoid it. These reflections led me to formulate the initial research questions for the study: What are the cultural challenges related to Norwegian-Russian cooperation? How can this challenges be considered in the company’s strategy?