Business Practices in Norway
- The Fundamental Principles of Business Culture
- Norwegian business culture is similar to other Scandinavian countries. Be punctual, always call ahead if you're late for a meeting. Norwegians are informal, egalitarian and direct. There will usually be very little small talk before meetings and people go straight to the point. Punctuality is valued, so respect schedule promises and deadlines.
- First Contact
- Make an appointment for the first meeting by telephone or e-mail. Avoid scheduling meetings in July and August because of the holiday season.
- Greetings are casual, with a firm handshake, direct eye contact, and a smile. Shake hands and greet individually when arriving or departing.
- How to Present Yourself
- Norwegians usually introduce themselves using their first names and surnames. After the first presentation, most people use only their first names. "Herr" (Mr.) or "Fru" (Mrs.) plus the surname are unusual between Norwegians. Norwegian business people are not addressed by their titles.
- Business Relations
- Professional. Norwegians rarely mix business and personal. Norwegians are usually somewhat reserved in nature and it takes a lot of time to form a personal relationship. Personal matters are not a suitable topic for discussion, so it's best to keep conversation light and general.
- If invited to a Norwegian's home, bring flowers, potted plants, chocolates or pastries. Wine is also gratefully recieved, although perhaps less commonly presented as a gift because of the strict alcohol laws. Flowers should be given in odd numbers. Do not give carnations, lilies or white flowers as they are used at funerals. Giving gifts to obtain favorable treatment is regarded as corruption.
- Business Communication
- Emphasise facts, benefits and profitability, but also point out possible disadvantages. Analytical thinking is valued and disagreeing with people in a business context is acceptable. Norwegians are down to earth and like modesty and humility. Don't be overconfident or self-promoting and don't hype up or exaggerate your business presentations.
- Dress Code
- Dress conservatively until your host gives you another expression. Dark suit and tie are a safe option for men. Women wear suits, a blouse with a skirt or pants. Dress code is of course also industry dependant. Keep jewellery and accessories to minimum.
- Visiting Cards
- Business cards are exchanged in the first meeting and there are no special traditions regarding the use of them. English is widely spoken, sot it's not necessary to translate English-language business cards.
- For Further Information
Norwegian business culture
Norwegian business culture
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