What are the key cultural differences between Danes and Americans?

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What are the key cultural differences between Danes and Americans?

  • cultural differences, culture, Fashion, hierarchy, Hofstede, individualism, Liz Jones, long term orientation, masculinity, power distance, uncertainty avoidance

Here are some views on the cultural differences between Danes and Americans!

Liz Jones from the Foreign Ministry in New York put together this slide for the Fashion meeting in Copenhagen and Herning, October 2015, from the source iPhone App Culture GPS, a global positioning system to navigate through intercultural differences based on the 5-D model of Professor Hofstede, author of Culture and Organizations. Software of the Mind (McGrawHill 2005)

Measurement of US vs DK cultures Hofstede


Americans and Danes are fairly similar on most dimensions – and comparatively low  on Long Term Orientation, Uncertainty Avoidance

Both high on Individualism – and US even higher than Denmark

Biggest differences are:

Power distance: the extent to which the less powerful members of society except and accept that power is distributed unequally

Masculinity: A preference in society achievement, heroism, assertiveness and material reward for success. American society at large is more competitive. ‘Live in order to work’, big and fast are beautiful, admiration for the successful achiever, decisiveness

Liz’s recommendations for Danish companies:

When working with customers who are more masculine (American) than you, consider the following points:

  • Customers will probably want to get straight to business; avoid asking personal questions in business situations
  • People will discuss business anytime, even at social gatherings
  • Meetings should be ‘to the point’ and with a clear objective (time is money)
  • Look for persons with a high level of influence and urgency for a project ; they can drive the decisions
  • Expect people  to be both polite and adversarial
  • Boast about your own and/or your product’s accomplishments 🙂

You’ll find a few other interesting viewpoints here, from presentations made at Danish Export Association’s annual meeting May 2017:

Dennis Nørmark: Interkulturelle Kompetencer i Eksporten

Vijay Jain: Culture Clusters in International Sales

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