Komparativ analyse af amerikansk & dansk forretningskultur

Majbrit Badsberg Gerginova

Student thesis: Master thesis


This paper aims to identify factors in the US business culture which are crucial for Danish companies’ survival on the American market. According to theory, the two business cultures share many similarities, nevertheless there are significant differences which can create barriers when Danish companies interact with the US. The focus is to point out the main differences in the US and Danish business culture, and furthermore to identify the cultural parameters that influence members in the two cultures. This will be followed by a discussion of Danes’ experiences with the US business culture. Lastly, from a Danish and international perspective, I will study how these differences affect the collaboration with the US. The methodology adapted is a mix of the qualitative and quantitative methods. Firstly, the term business culture is shortly elaborated to gain a better understanding. Hereafter, theory by Geert Hofstede, Fons Trompenaars and finally Richard Gesteland is applied. All together, their dimensions resemble one another, describing the same problem only from different angles, revealing significant differences in the two cultures. The next two sections aim to identify the cultural parameters in the cultures, e.g. the US is characterized as a multicultural mosaic of over 260 million people of varying races and cultural heritages - a culture that portrays a strong sense of ethnic identity. Denmark is characterized by the feminine values where social network, free education and health care are highly prioritized. The next section is an investigation of Danish employees’ experiences with the US business culture. A survey is undertaken in two Danish companies operating in Houston, in the US. Here, answers conclude that the majority of the respondents believe that there is a stronger hierarchy as well as promotion is relatively easier to achieve in the US. The next section focuses on other companies and their experiences with the US, which helps outline some important differences and illustrate what should be considered, before conducting business with the culture. In conclusion to above, it is clear that a basic knowledge of business culture is crucial, when companies engage in international business. Cultures are very complex entities, which is also evident in the US built upon the cultural inputs from various countries. Especially, the US is a heterogeneous culture making it a unique entity on the world’s business stage. With the world’s largest economy and home to nine of the top ten global companies, the US offers enormous potential for Danish businesses wishing to expand or launch new products. Therefore, in order to succeed on the US market, businesses are required to be competitive on all levels and aware of the cultural aspects.

EducationsMA in International Business Communication (Intercultural Marketing), (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2009
Number of pages92