Contouring Sustainability: Cultural Configurations of Nordic Firms
Research Question: This article outlines and explains a unique cultural configuration of organizations in the Nordics – the region that embodies linkages between sustainability, societal, cultural context, and organizational culture. Motivation: Our goal was to offer a holistic approach that incorporates national and organizational perspectives as they apply to Nordic organizations’ culture, as culture is typically examined either through a) the lens of its national culture, or, b) through specific assumptions, beliefs and values, and artifacts that exist in the institution itself. Idea: Building on theoretical underpinnings from models of national culture and a separate framework for examining organizational culture, we examine how the links among cultural artifacts, espoused values and beliefs, and basic underlying assumptions are established in Nordic organizations and how they complement previous findings about the Nordic cultural cluster in general. Findings: This integrative analysis suggests that the highly prominent central tendencies of the Nordics across core cultural dimensions are deeply rooted as basic underlying assumptions within the Nordic culture that are ultimately translated into a set of observable artifacts. Likewise, the moderately expressed tendencies have not yet been transformed into underlying assumptions and are accompanied with mixed artifacts. Contribution: This paper expands our existing understanding regarding the interplay of national and organizational culture in specific cultural cluster – Nordic cluster, which is characterized by high achievements in sustainability-orientated societal-level outcomes.
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