Managing Cultural Diversity as a Strategic Asset: Case Nordea
Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
The subject of this thesis “Managing Cultural Diversity as a Strategic Asset – Case Nordea” arises from the strategic viewpoint of perceiving cultural diversity as a resource rather than a threat. Focus of this thesis is thus to analyse how management and cultural diversity relate to each other in a resource-based context. The empirical focal point of this thesis is to analyse how Nordea’s management is taking cultural diversity into consideration in their strategic thinking, and the purpose of this thesis is to analyse how cultural diversity could be managed in a way that strategic objectives of organisations could be reached more efficiently. According to the theoretical review the elements that seem to be essential when viewing cultural diversity as an asset are personality traits and national values of individuals, which should reflect corporate values. The means for organisations to recognise these values are organisational learning, staffing policy and development of structures that support communication. Looking at cultural values from both national and organisational perspectives, “elastic generalisations” that are created through independence of own cultural assumptions would seem to be a key tool in identifying the essential values for a corporation. Hence in the relationship between national and organisational contexts possibilities to exchange these values within the organisation can create value for the corporation itself. The empirical findings show signs of how historical events still effect today’s business behaviour in many ways. The basic nature of Finns and Swedes is considered to be fairly similar, but on a more detailed level significant differences are found. The findings also show that Nordea has put a lot of effort on cross-cultural cooperation, for example with cultural seminars, cross-national meetings and value definition processes, but that there still are many things to do in order to find synergy and create competitive advantage out of cultural diversity. Conclusions drawn from the case indicate that the theoretical construction regarding how to view cultural diversity as a resource is valid, but that its implementation in practice is difficult due to the constant business development and current economical turmoil. Subsequently, managerial implications regarding harvesting the synergies of cultural diversity are also drawn.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-3613OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-3613DiVA: diva2:192946