National Culture and Workplace Design (02-22-17)

Grenness’ work indicates the importance of aligning national culture and workplace design.  He reports on research done with Telenor, a Norwegian firm.  In Norway, an open-plan, flexible workplace, that reflected the country’s egalitarian social structure worked well.  This was not the case in areas in Asia.  Regarding the design of its offices outside Norway, Grenness reports that “Based on the interviews, it was fairly obvious that Telenor had not given the issue [of alignment with national culture] much thought.  Its overall strategy was to copy the design of its head office in Norway . . . and begin its operations in various Asian countries without much further consideration.”

Tor Grenness.  2015.  “Culture Matters:  Space and Leadership in a Cross-Cultural Perspective.”  In Arja Ropo, Perttu Salovaara, Erika Sauer, and Donatella De Paoli (eds.).  Leadership in Spaces and Places. Edward Elgar Publishing:  Northampton, MA, pp. 199-214.