Scandinavian management model makes good bottom lines

If you want a glimpse into the successful management models of the future, Denmark and the other Scandinavian countries are good laboratories to visit. Here, modern, anti-hierarchical management principles are widespread, and that leads to engaged and innovative employees, say many management experts. Today, management has handed over responsibility for the detailed planning of production to autonomous groups of employees in up to 60 per cent of Danish businesses. "The Scandinavian model means that the contact  between management and employees happens easily and quickly, so that you can quickly react to new situations," says the former director of the international service giant, ISS, Waldemar Schmidt.

Management in Denmark and most of Scandinavian is different from the rest of the world. While workers in many countries look to the manager for instruction or to report results to, the managers in the Nordic countries often seek out employees and tap them on the shoulder to hear what they are up to.

Make no mistake. This is not a euphemism for a lack of hard work, discipline or initiative. Quite the opposite. The special Scandinavian management structure creates more engaged, idea-rich and responsible employees than many other countries’ management regimes – and it releases the creativity which is absolutely fundamental for success in the innovation-driven economy of the future.

“There is no doubt – a Scandinavian management model exists which differentiates itself from the rest of the world, and which is more tuned in to the demands of the future than other management models,” says professor Henrik Holt Larsen, from the Copenhagen Business School (CBS), who researches management and is familiar with Nordic-wide research projects in management.