International Human Resources Management: A Look Into Swedish Norms and Successes

If I were to consider starting a new career and leaving the United States, I would most likely move to Scandinavia. For the purposes of this assignment, I will write as if I had just been offered a leadership position in Sweden. To start off, outside of the HR environment, I would look at the overall wellbeing of the citizens of this nation.Since the year 2002, a global  survey has been conducted ranking the happiest countries in the world; every single year, Sweden has ranked in the top ten (World, 2023). Sweden obtained the same high ranking of the healthiest countries in the world for the last 10 consecutive years. Generally, Swedes are doing quite well, this speaks volume to the institutions, cultural norms, and systems at work in this nation. In all categories mentioned above, as well as many others, Sweden outranks the United States.

Focusing on the cultural dimensions discussed in class, I think that my personal values would align quite well with the values prioritized by Swedish culture. According to a paper published in 2021 analyzing Sweden using Hoftede’s Cultural Dimensions, Sweden tends to act with more individualistic ideals (Sadikhova, 2021). Like the United States, organizations in Sweden aim to cultivate originality and creativity (Leibensperger, 2015). That being said, however, Sweden aligns greatly with the feminine side of the masculine/feminine index (Sadikhova, 2021). Empathy, support, and quality of life are amongst the most valued traits in the Swedish workplace. They lean far more to the feminine side than the United States (Leibensperger, 2015). Additionally,  there is a low power index in Sweden compared to the United States (Leibensperger, 2015). Swedes are independent and always strongly value equal rights. It is stated that in Sweden companies, hierarchies exist primarily for their convenience (Sadikhova, 2021). Leaders often are able to have quite comfortable and relaxed conversations/relationships with their employees. 

From what I have read, Sweden sounds like the ideal workplace for me. As someone who prioritizes my career but wants to sustain a work-life balance and maintain positive relationships with all of my coworkers, I think the cultural dynamics of this nation would fit me far better than the tendencies of the United States. For these reasons, I would happily accept the job offer and begin a career in Sweden. 

Leibensperger, M. S. (2015, November 28). Hofstede’s Cultural Dimensions Theory & Employee Behavio. PennState. https://sites.psu.edu/leadership/2015/11/28/hofstedes-cultural-dimensions-theory-employee-behavior/ 

Sadikhova, J. (2021, November). Sweden according to Hofstede’s cultural dimensions – Researchgate. ResearchGate. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/356564962_Sweden_according_to_Hofstede’s_Cultural_Dimensions 

World Population Review. (2023). Happiest Countries in the World 2023. Happiest countries in the world 2023. https://worldpopulationreview.com/country-rankings/happiest-countries-in-the-world