To date (mid-2004), the Reputation Quotient (RQ) study has been carried out in 24 individual countries. In early Spring 2004, however, the first attempt was made to apply the RQ in a regional context. During May–June 2004, RQ Scandinavia results were simultaneously released in the three Scandinavian countries of Denmark, Norway and Sweden. Although Denmark has carried out the RQ three times, this was the first time Norway and Sweden have used the instrument. The Scandinavian countries are often seen and treated by businesses as one and the same. The inhabitants and the culture are often seen as homogeneous and this is supported by the fact that residents from all three countries can normally converse in and read each other's native language. This paper discusses the similarities and differences that the Scandinavian RQ research found in Sweden, Denmark and Norway. The analysis is based on the findings of the 15 most visible companies in Sweden and Denmark and the 16 most visible companies in Norway. The analysis shows many similarities, but also some surprising differences. One of the most obvious similarities is that, parallel to other RQ studies, emotional appeal is also the most important driver of corporate reputation for Scandinavians. Further, the majority of visible companies in the three Scandinavian countries have a local heritage. Finally, the general public agrees on the importance of corporate social responsibility (CSR) in all countries and considers ‘treatment of employees’ and ‘treatment of the environment’ as the most important dimensions of CSR. This analysis also revealed many differences. One of the most obvious concerned the level of trust in each country. The aggregated RQ average of all the Danish companies was 74.2, the Norwegian average was 64.9 and the Swedish average was 60.7. The aggregated average of the Top 5 in each country, however, showed that the Norwegian results were the lowest on all six reputational dimensions. The authors also found differences between the countries in relation to how much the companies should communicate about their CSR activities. Danes are more reluctant than Swedes and Norwegians on the subject of companies communicating their good deeds.
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Apéria, T., Brønn, P. S., & Schultz, M. (2004). A Reputation Analysis of the Most Visible Companies in the Scandinavian Countries. Corporate Reputation Review, 7(3), 218-230. https://doi.org/10.1057/palgrave.crr.1540222