NPP och Stoneridge: Svenskt ledarskap i Estland
Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Since the fall of the Soviet Union, the Baltic countries, and primarily Estonia, have gone through some dramatic political and economical changes. The liberation, as well as the membership in the European Union, has increased the openness towards the west. The quickly expanding economy and the low wage rates have made Estonia a popular business partner, and companies from Sweden and other western countries, have moved their production, completely or partially, to Estonia. Although the transformation of Estonia has erased some of the differences between the country and the west, as well as some of the obstacles in making business with western NPP och Stoneridge countries, it is still important to acknowledge that many differences remain. For example it is reasonable to assume that the more than five decades long influence of the Soviet Union has left its marks on the Estonian culture and ways of living and doing business. In this thesis we will shed some light on cultural differences that are important to acknowledge when Swedish managers from Swedish companies, working in Estonia, are managing Estonian staff. We had the opportunity to collect the information for the thesis in cooperation with two Swedish companies, NPP and Stoneridge electronics, which both have moved parts of their production to Estonia. The thesis is based on interviews with the two Swedish managers, interviews with five Estonian employees of the two companies, and a questionnaire. To analyse the information we have used three of Geert Hofstedes dimensions of national culture; power distance, uncertainty avoidance and individualism/collectivism. Through the analysis we have come to the conclusion that Estonians are far more individualistic than the Swedes but that the differences in power distance and uncertainty avoidance are smaller. The high individualism shows, for example, through the low affiliation with worker unions in Estonia. Another sign of individualism is that Estonians show some difficulties in working as a team, and the workers are more focused on their own performance than on the groups. The high individualism may be a counter reaction to the ideal of communism forced upon the Estonians by the Soviet Union. The power distance is not very high in the two companies studied, and the study shows that the Estonians find their Swedish managers easy- going and that they are less afraid to express disagreement with their Swedish managers than had the manager been Estonian. The workers also express an interest in being included in the decision making in the company; this too indicates low power distance. The uncertainty avoidance in the companies shows for example in the detailed work descriptions and unwillingness to take own initiatives, but although we find the uncertainty avoidance to be higher in Estonia than in Sweden it is still quite low. We propose an internal program for employee development, in order to facilitate the work in Estonia for the companies, consisting of an opportunity to work at the Swedish plant, team working, and basic training in market economy.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Företagsekonomiska institutionen , 2005. , 42 p.
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-7604OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-7604DiVA: diva2:131258