Intercultural Communication: a Nordic Perspective

ELE11 Intercultural Communication: a Nordic Perspective

Autumn 2018

  • Topics

    In this course, we look at intercultural communication from a Nordic perspective. Drawing on theories from Nordic researchers on intercultural communication and cross-cultural management, we discuss the basic concepts with examples from the Nordic cultures and with a special attention to business practices.

  • Learning outcome

    You will, on completion of the course:

    1. have knowledge about intercultural communication theories from a Nordic perspective
    2. be able to identify and reflect on the values underlying behaviour and communication in daily life and business practices in the Nordic cultures
    3. have intercultural competence to reflect on cultural similarities and differences, with special attention to communicating with people from the Nordic countries

  • Teaching

    • Lectures
    • Discussions
    • Case studies
    • Fieldwork

    The course requires the students `active participation.

  • Restricted access

    Enrollment to this course is limited to 30 students

    Priority enrolment is given to incoming students exclusively from NHH's partner universities. (copy URL). Incoming students applying for admission must be nominated by their home university and will be ranked based on the following criteria: grade point average and motivation letter.

    If slots become available, NHH-students applying for admission will be ranked based on the following criteria, grade point average and motivation letter.

  • Requirements for course approval

    Submission of a daily reflection log on specific questions

    Attendance is mandatory for 75% of the lectures

  • Assessment

    Home examination: to be handed in digitally 14 days after the end of the course.

  • Grading Scale

    Grading scale: A - F.

  • Computer tools

    Active use of Itslearning

  • Literature

    Obligatory readings (other articles distributed in class):

    • Gertsen, M. C., Søderberg, A.-M., & Torp, J. E. (1998). Different approaches to the understanding of culture in mergers and acquisitions. In M. C. Gertsen (Ed.), Cultural Dimensions of International Mergers and Acquisitions (pp. 17-38). Tubingen: Walter de Gruyter.
    • Grenness, T. (2003). Scandinavian managers on Scandinavian management. International Journal of Value-Based Management 16, 9-21.
    • Kleppestø, S. (1998). A quest for social identity. The pragmatics of communication in mergers and acquisitions. In M. C. Gertsen (Ed.), Cultural Dimensions of International Mergers and Acquisitions (pp. 147¿166). Tubingen: Walter de Gruyter.
    • Louhiala-Salminen, L., Charles, M., & Kankaanranta, A. (2005). English as a lingua franca in Nordic corporate mergers: Two case companies. English for Specific Purposes, 24(4), 401-421.
    • Louhiala-Salminen, L., & Kankaanranta, A. (2012). Language as an issue in international internal communication: English or local language? If English, what English? Public Relations Review, 38(2), 262-269.
    • Ly, A. (2013). A critical discussion of Hofstede's concept of Power. SYNAPS, 28 (August 2012), 51-66.
    • Marschan, R., Welch, D., & Welch, L. (1997). Language: The forgotten factor in multinational management. European Management Journal.
    • Rygg, K. (forthcoming) "Typical Norwegian to be impolite." Impoliteness to whom?
    • Smith, P. B., & Andersen, J. A., & Ekelund, B., & Graversen, G., & Ropo, A. (2003). In search of Nordic management styles. Scandinavian Journal of Management 19 (4), 491-507.
    • Søderberg, A.-M., & Holden, N. (2002). Rethinking cross cultural management in a globalizing business world. International Journal of Cross Cultural Management, 2,103-121.
    • Vaara, E. (2000). Constructions of Cultural Differences in Post-Merger Change Processes: A Sensemaking Perspective on Finnish-Swedish Cases. M@n@gement, 3(3), 81-110.
    • Vaara, E., Risberg, A., Søderberg, A.-M., & Tienari, J. (2003). Nation talk. The construction of national stereotypes in a merging multinational. In A.-M. Søderberg & E. Vaara (Eds.), Merging Across Borders: People, Cultures and Politics (pp. 61-86).Copenhagen: Copenhagen Business School Press.
    • Warner-Søderholm, G. (2012). But we're not all Vikings! Intercultural Identity within a Nordic Context. Journal of Intercultural Communication 29, August 2012.


ECTS Credits
Teaching language


Course responsible

Annelise Ly, Department of Professional and Intercultural Communication

Kristin Rygg, Department of Professional and Intercultural Communication