In Norway today, non-Norwegians comprise approx. 15% of employees and 10% of students. There are however, no other books in the Norwegian market explaining formal and unwritten rules in Norwegian working life, as well as the social codes for people who did not grow up in Norway.
I have conducted the ‘Working with Norwegians’ training course for many thousand non-Norwegian employees in Norway, and I have seen many of them struggle with cracking the hidden codes of what is expected in Norwegian workplaces and social life. Even those who have been in Norway for many years get ‘lightbulb’ experiences when they learn to crack these codes. This book was written to reach out to a wider audience than those who are offered intercultural courses through their employer. The content and tips in this book are based on 30 years’ experience from multicultural environments in Norway, and are also substantiated with research results.
After this book was published, I have received feedback from young Norwegians who say that the book was also helpful for them. Apparently, Norwegian newcomers to the workplace also find it hard to understand what is expected of them, and to figure out how to handle the lack of clarity.
The aim of this book is to boost the confidence of people who did not grow up in Norway in their interaction with Norwegians, by understanding the expectations and what is considered acceptable behaviour in Norwegian jobs.
‘Working with Norwegians’ will give you tips on how to handle the challenges in Norwegian workplaces, such as the lack of clarity, often combined with little follow-up and feedback, as well as the apparent lack of ability to make decisions. The book also tries to give a sincere description of the less appealing sides of Norwegian leadership and working life.
‘Working with Norwegians’ is easy-to-understand and practical, with several quizzes where you can test your cultural understanding, as well as a chapter full of real-life exercises, all with suggested solutions and explanations.
‘Working with Norwegians’ will cover topics that are not so well known amongst Norwegians, and it is therefore not very common to explain these things to their foreign colleagues or friends. If you are in a role where you facilitate for foreigners in Norway, either as a leader, colleague, mentor or sponsor, then this book should be very relevant.
Norwegian readers may use this book to reflect on their own culture, and to gain an awareness of the traits of Norwegian culture that are difficult to understand for foreign colleagues and friends. I hope this book will assist Norwegian leaders and employees in taking the right measures to help their foreign colleagues find their path in the workplace.
You may also find this book useful if you are planning to go on a long-term stay abroad, as by understanding what is perceived as challenging with one’s own culture, you will achieve increased cultural awareness and be more adaptable whilst in other cultures.
Sample feedback from readers of the book :
I just went through both of your books and I would like to express my gratitude for your efforts!
Working with Norwegians really helped me to grasp the way my Norwegian boss behaves. I was asking many questions at the beginning and he was struggling to explain the rules, but after finding what “frihet under ansvar” is it all came in my mind into one piece. 🙂 It is both my boss and me who benefit from this book! Now I share the book with my office colleagues so more people can benefit from it . 🙂
Finally a book about the Norwegian workplace culture. The book is an insightful guide to working with Norwegians. Having lived and worked in Norway for 6 years I still had quite a few things to learn from this book. It has eye opening perspectives, real-life examples which I could relate to and a great collection of tips and practical advice. Foreigners in Norway could save themselves a lot of frustration by reading this book.
This book is also published in Norwegian under the title ‘Kunsten å arbeide med nordmenn’, please see the Norwegian version of this page for information about this edition.