Culture, Context and Change
This is the first of several industry-specific chapters in which we look at three breweries, one in each of the three countries. The purpose is not industry analysis in the conventional sense, but rather to use these matched-by-industry companies to test out the idea of Scandinavian homogeneity in matters of business culture and management behaviour. The three companies are Brewery Group Denmark (BGD), Falcon Brewery in Sweden, and Hansa Borg in Norway. In this and in subsequent industry chapters we are concerned with two broad questions. First, when we hold industry constant do these matched companies offer evidence of shared Scandinavian culture and practice? And second, is it in fact possible to tease out any differences? INDUSTRY DEVELOPMENTS Before moving into brewing in Scandinavia, however, a word on developments in the industry may be helpful. Probably the first general thing one would say about brewing is that it is a mature industry. Beer brewing is centuries old, with most of the breweries we know today having been founded in the nineteenth century or earlier, or at least having their corporate origins in this period even if there have been name and ownership changes. This leads to the next consideration, namely that beer consumption in traditional beer-drinking countries – Northern Europe, North America and Australia – is stagnant or gently declining in part due to competition from wine. This in turn leads brewing companies to seek sales outside their domestic markets, in areas where consumption may be growing. Earlier studies have noted a...
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