Over the last decades Norwegian corporations have increasingly established an international and global presence. Many of the large Norwegian corporations have established themselves in Brazil. This study is an attempt to explore some of the aspects of the interaction between Norwegian and Brazilian business people. The analysis is divided into two parts:
First, I explore how the employees in a local Brazilian company acquired by a Norwegian company experienced the changes introduced after the acquisition. In analysing this process, the growing use of organisation theory and ideas of how to run organisations and businesses become a central element.
Secondly, this thesis investigates how the Norwegian business people in Brazil experience working as managers and conducting business transactions, and how this in turn is experienced by their Brazilian employees. I attempt to investigate local knowledge and practices by looking at the interface between Norwegian and Brazilian business people in general; how working and doing business in a different context challenges management and business ideas, values and practices.
In short, I argue that the acquired company has moved towards a system leaning on certain management principles. This implies a shift from hierarchical control-compliance, to a “trust-based organisation” involving delegation of responsibility and participation. Nevertheless, some of the employees indicated that the practices introduced by the new owners in some areas need to be adjusted to local practices, needs and concerns. I also point to how the perception of risk and trust are embedded in the particular local contexts in which the actors operate. I have for example indicated that when people have a low level of trust in macrostructures, one may instead seek to establish trust on a personal level in market transactions. Finally, I found that most of the Norwegian managers in Brazil seem to believe that the Norwegian leadership ideal represents the best practice, and that the employees must adjust to their leadership practices.