Nation Branding af Danmark som arbejdsland: En undersøgelse af regeringens kommunikation ved tiltrækning af udenlandsk arbejdskraft

Marie-Louise Lykke Henrichsen

Student thesis: Master thesis


The welfare state is essential to Danes understanding of themselves and of their country. But the welfare system as we know it in Denmark is threatened by multiple demographic challenges. The last fifty years of success of the welfare state partially rest on a foundation of growth due to women’s entry to the workforce. Today the Danes are facing receding numbers in birthrates which will eventually cause a stagnation of the number of active members of the workforce combined with a growing number of people in the old ages. Today Danish companies are already facing losses due to difficulties in finding competent employees. Since 2001 foreigners are staying shorter and shorter time in Denmark. The causes for this are many: high taxes, the administrative burdens when moving to the country, or just the fact that Danes as a people are perceived to be reserved. In April 2007 the Danish government presented a range of new initiatives in order to strengthen the reputation of Denmark. A total of 412 million Danish kroner are earmarked over a period of four years to implement the initiatives. The initiatives are described in the Action Plan for the Global Marketing of Denmark. The direct inspiration to the Action Plan is the Government’s Globalization Strategy from 2006. The Action Plan and the implementation of the initiatives are the driving forces in passing on a positive message about Denmark. Furthermore, the hope is to strengthen Denmark’s position in the global competition for creative and competent employees, tourists, students, investments and global market shares. The aim of this master thesis is to examine how the communication of the Danish Government affects the efforts made to attract foreign workforce. A critical review of the framework for The Action Plan and The Action Plan itself will be carried out, followed by a discussion of some of the initiatives. An example of the governments communication will be examined through a discourse analysis in order to investigate how the government constructs’ Denmark and Danes. This is followed by an analysis of foreign employees own perception of Denmark and the Danes. The theoretical framework includes social constructionism, Discourse Analysis, Nation Branding theories and Luhmann’s theorie on social systems. This thesis on Nation Branding of Denmark as a Work country concludes that the work carried out by the Government is insufficient when communicating to foreigners about Denmark and the Danes. The gap between the communicated image of Denmark and the Danes and the perception the foreigners themselves have from living in Denmark is wide and filled with consistent differences. This misalignment in the communication can cause many foreigners to leave the country within a short time because of disappointment. The thesis therefore recommends a thorough investigation of how Denmark and the Danes actually are perceived by foreigners and that the perceived image is communicated to the world with help from consultants with intercultural experience. Furthermore it is suggested by this thesis that future nation branding plans should be focused more on structural branding than on communicative branding only.

EducationsMA in International Business Communication (Intercultural Marketing), (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2010
Number of pages160