Which cultural traditions of Norway and Pakistan manifest themselves in the organisational culture and leadership style of Telenor Norway and Telenor Pakistan? Which strategies does Telenor (as a particular example of Norwegian leadership) use ‘to survive’ in a global business arena? These are the questions I have decided to consider in my thesis.
My fieldwork, which can be divided into two parts, was conducted in Telenor’s offices in Norway and Pakistan. This thesis aims to show how an anthropological approach can provide a more fruitful framework for understanding organisational culture and leadership. I have applied the anthropological method by looking at the unique cultural traditions of Norway and Pakistan and seeing how they manifest themselves in the organisational and management dynamics in Telenor Norway and Telenor Pakistan.
The analytical source of inspiration in grasping organisational culture and leadership anthropologically has been the cultural anthropologist Andrew Jones. Sørhaug’s concepts of trust and power are valuable concepts that I have applied to the analysis of trust and power in the multinational company of Telenor. Dahl-Jørgensen’s theories about Norwegian leaders wanting to hold onto the ‘local’ in meeting with the ‘global’ are also central to my analysis.
To analyse the cultures of the two countries I have found Gullestad’s analysis of Norwegian culture and Alvi’s theories on Pakistani culture particularly useful. I have therefore applied their perspectives (and other theories which derive from anthropological thought) to show how the unique cultural qualities of Norway and Pakistan manifest themselves in the organisational culture and leadership styles in Telenor.
My thesis suggests that even though Norwegian workers and leaders are part of a global business arena, their approach is in many senses local. This is, I argue, in contrast to Pakistani workers and leaders, who are mainly part of a local arena, but have in many senses a global approach.