Discovering Diversity in Scandinavia!

After visiting several companies around the three countries, Sweden, Estonia, and Finland. We recognized that diversity is an important aspect in the Scandinavian work place. Diversity is not only an important aspect of corporate culture, but in the Scandinavia culture as a whole. We have been aware that Scandinavian companies are very modern and progressive but we have never imagined that it would be this diversified. Now that we understand this, we realize that diversity has played a huge role in creating a productive environment, which helped them in maintaining a desired level of competitive advantage and become the way they are now, seen as a progressive successful business area.

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There are many advantages of diversity, which are reflected by the level of competitive advantage. Having different people who come from different backgrounds and cultures, encourage creativity in groups and enable them to find different ways and solutions to solve a problem or achieve a goal. Therefore, the more diverse the group is the more ideas and solutions are suggested. Furthermore, Diversity helps I increasing the chances of expanding into the global market. An example can be seen when we visited the Swedish organization, Sandvik Group, during out first day in Stockholm. Our speaker was from Austria and she emphasized on the value of diversity within the Swedish company. When a Swedish organization, hires an Austrian employee, the company will increase the likelihood of having a successful deal when they communicate with a German-speaking country, which implies more exposure to the world and therefore more growth. Also, diverse employees will be able to have a better understanding of different kinds of customers’ groups and categories, which helps in understanding their needs and developing the products and services according to that.

Generally, citizens from any member of the European Union are able to work in any other member country with just a work permit. For example, talking with one of the employees in the Sqore company, who is South African, we learned that since she has an Swedish boyfriend, she could apply for a job in Sweden, they do not even have to be married to do that. Theses flexible policies help in creating a high level of diversity and attract different qualified work forces all around the world. Another example of diversity can be seen at Volvo as well. Volvo maintain a level of foreign employees.

In fact, although the European union seems to share a lot of similarities, however, there are many cultural and lifestyle differences that occurs within the area. These differences help to develop organizations and bring them to the next level. Therefore, we believe that every employee who desires to work abroad must study the area and learn about cultural differences in order to be able to adapt with the new workplace.


The concept of creating a competitive advantage throughout increasing diversity requires the involvement of diversity in all organizational processes. It needs to be a part of decision making, strategy, product development and promotions. Therefore, it is not only related to hiring people from different places around the world. To demonstrate, managers can maintain their competitive advantage level throughout diversity by developing new goals and strategies and conduct some gap analysis in order to have a clear vision of what the current situation of the company is and how far it has to go to accomplish the desired state.