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1 Brief historical backround

 Until the early twentieth century, Finland was part of Sweden or Russia. In 1155,
the first missionaries arrived in Finland from Sweden. Sweden ruled Finland
from the twelfth to the nineteenth centuries. Russia ruled Finland from 1809 to
1917, when Finland finally won its independence.
 The political and social character of the Finnish people has been shaped by their
relationships with Sweden, Russia, and, in the twentieth century, the Soviet
Union and the West.
 Finns value being close to nature, the agricultural roots are embedded in the rural
lifestyle. Finns are also nationalistic, as opposed to self-identification with
ethnicity or clan.

 The two main official languages of Finland are Finnish and Swedish. There are
also several official minority languages: three variants of Sami, Romani, Finnish
Sign Language and Karelian. Finnish is the language of the majority, 91% of the

2 Business advice

 Russians tend to have lengthy business negotiations whereas Finns can take a
decision quickly

3 Similarities
 Both Finns and Russians don’t do much small talk when negotiating but go straight
to the point
 Official business meetings should be always held in offices as both Finns and
Russians prefer it this way.

4 Expectations/values,

 The Finns have developed a strong national identity, an ancestral love of their land
and a national pride that envelopes them, instilled in them from birth and through
good education. They remain a forest people at heart. They are naturally reserved,
especially towards foreigners, and are likely to seem very formal and aloof.

 Finns have a strong sense of national identity. They would be happy if visitors knew
something about the achievements of well-known Finns in sports and culture.

5 Communication
 Finns have a special attitude to words and speech: words are taken seriously.
“Take a man by his words and a bull by its horns,”- Finnish proverb. Small talk, a
skill at which Finns are notoriously lacking, is considered suspect by definition, and
is not especially valued.
 Businessmen and persons in public office are expected to distribute business cards
as a means of ensuring their name and title are remembered. There are no special
rituals related to exchanging business cards in Finland. For a visitor, receiving a
business card provides a convenient opportunity to ask how a name is pronounced
or what a cryptic title might mean.

 When greeting, the parties shake hands and make eye contact.

6 Organisation
 In the Finnish business community all relationships are equal. The structure of the
hierarchy in this country is growing more vertically, and there is no difference
between men and women in business.

 If there are any differences in business, they are all quickly resolved through
diplomatic negotiations. This shows high uncertainty avoidance.

 In Finnish working culture, it is important to adhere to the things that have been
agreed upon. When something has been decided together, the employees and
employer assume that everyone will do what has been decided.

7 Leadership
 Finnish leaders are strong authorities who ultimately bear the responsibility and are
able to make large decisions alone.
 In Finnish organizations is also important that the leader is present and available
because employees are accustomed to the fact that the leader is always attainable
when needed
 Finnish leadership style is characterized by rapid decision-making because the
Finns will appreciate the performance. The Finns go willingly straight to the
business in business negotiations so that the implementation itself will be achieved
as soon as possible since the planning phase .
 One of the special features of Finnish management is impatience. Solving problems
and handling in the chaotic circumstances is normal for the Finns. Often the task
will begin although exact plans have not yet been fully performed

8 Etiquette

 Finns endeavour to make productive use of their time. They follow timetables and
other plans faithfully and expect the same of others. Being late is considered very

 Do not schedule meetings between June and August as many Finns take vacation
during the summer.

 You should arrive at meetings on time or slightly early.

 Send an agenda before the meeting as well as the biographies of your team.
 Meetings begin and end on time.
 Finns seldom ask questions. The presenter is expected to make his/her case with
sufficient detail that their Finnish colleagues do not need to ask questions.