How Do The Top 50 Economies of the World Rank in Business Culture Complexity?

 

Let's Find Out With The Business Culture Complexity Index™

 

* The higher up the league table, the easier the business culture; the lower, potentially the more difficult.

According to our 2019 Index, Denmark has the least complex business culture, while Nigeria has the most complex business culture.

The index was formulated using economic, cultural and social data from 14 sources.

You can read more about the data sources here and you can also learn about the different country’s business cultures here.

 

The Business Culture Complexity Index™ League Table 2019

 

* Rank
Country
Score
1.
Denmark
20,5235
2.
Norway
19,4764
3.
Finland
19,1240
4.
Netherlands
18,8470
5.
France
18,7611
6.
Switzerland
18,6920
7.
Belgium
18,2006
8.
Sweden
18,1859
9.
Austria
17,9846
10.
Spain
17,5503
11.
Germany
17,3348
12.
United Kingdom
16,3296
13.
Italy
16,1585
14.
Ireland
15,4324
15.
Argentina
15,1705
16.
Canada
15,1056
17.
Australia
14,9963
18.
Czech Republic
14,3409
19.
United States
14,0705
20.
China
14,0590
21.
Israel
13,8501
22.
Hong Kong
13,8433
23.
Chile
13,5943
24.
Japan
13,1468
25.
Singapore
12,9401
26.
Vietnam
12,6556
27.
Saudi Arabia
12,2079
28.
Poland
10,8282
29.
Russia
10,7940
30.
South Korea
10,5920
31.
Mexico
10,0943
32.
Taiwan
10,03378
33.
Brazil
10,02648
34.
United Arab Emirates
9,65588
35.
Turkey
9,63382
36.
Romania
9,2,4179
37.
Iran
8,989035
38.
Colombia
7,641585
39.
Peru
7,56967
40.
Philippines
7,490969
41.
Thailand
7,375162
42.
Iraq
6,683614
43.
Malaysia
6,476568
44.
South Africa
6,161241
45.
Egypt
5,673496
46.
Bangladesh
3,410533
47.
Indonesia
3,305801
48.
Pakistan
2,733758
49.
India
2,037199
50.
Nigeria
0,968393

 

About the 2019 Results

Why is Denmark the least complex business culture?

Denmark comes out on top for lots of reasons:

• The data shows that the Danes are very trusting of others, with one of the highest trust scores.
• As a society they are one of the happiest, pointing to a well-functioning country that looks after its citizens, provides jobs, welfare, etc. This is also reflected in Denmark’s scores in areas such as the Human Development Index.
• The lack of religiosity perhaps points to a more open culture when it comes to dealing with outsiders and a less collective and protective approach to business and commercial relationships.
• Scores for Ease of Doing Business, Economic Freedom, Press Freedom and Corruption are excellent, again pointing to a more transparent commercial environment providing minimal barriers to entry.
• Culturally-speaking, the data points to an egalitarian culture, where hierarchies are relatively flat, perhaps reflected in its to relatively relaxed business culture.
• Denmark’s leaning towards individual responsibility explains the greater emphasis placed on values such as rule of law, fairness and equality which in themselves are also expressed in the way business is done.

In conclusion, we can surmise that Danish business culture is very open, trusting and transparent where the rule of law governs how things get done. Here's a blog with a more detailed overview of the data.

 

Why is Nigeria the most complex business culture?

Nigeria comes out bottom for the following reasons:

• Nigeria scores as one of the lowest countries in terms of trust, pointing to a sceptic culture where there may be many barriers to entry, whether personal or professional.
• Happiness-wise, Nigeria has one of the most dissatisfied populations as well-documented challenges in bringing the country up to par with international standards continue to stymie progress. This is reflected in the poor internet usage in the country.
• Nigeria’s Ease of Doing Business, Economic Freedom and Corruption scores were all on the lower end of the scale highlighting the multi-layered complexity of doing business in the country.
• Nigeria scores amongst the most religious countries which matches with the central place religion takes within identity politics in the country. As a result, there are more barriers to entry as groups try to protect their own.
• Culturally-speaking Nigeria was the most “Embedded country” meaning that people put the group’s needs way above their own, matching in with the point above.
• Similarly Nigeria was also one of the least Egalitarian countries, which potentially points to a business culture in which hierarchies, protocol and procedures are very important, all of which are very tough to navigate as an outsider.

In conclusion, Nigeria’s fractured society at a cultural level, its emphasis on protecting the group and its lack of a robust business environment make it potentially the most complex business culture of all.

 

Business Culture Complexity Heat Map

 

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Notable Correlations

By cross-referencing and analysing the data, we found some interesting correlations.

* Human Development & the Internet

  • The highest statistical correlation we found between the different measurements were that of Human Development and the use of the internet.
  • The higher the internet usage of a country, the higher its score in the Human Development Index, essentially drawing a powerful argument for the positive impact the internet makes on modern day life.

 

* Human Development & Corruption

  • The second most significant correlation was between Human Development and Corruption.
  • The data illustrates that a society in which people are happy, healthy and prosperous, the need for corruption is lessened dramatically.
  • On the other hand, those countries in which the populations are not so well cared for, corruption is much higher.

 

* Religion & Group Orientation

  • On a cultural level one of the highest correlations we found in the data was between how religious a society is and how much emphasis they place on group bonds and connections.
  • As we would expect, due to years of intercultural research, the data showed that the more religious a country, the more group orientated they were.

 

* Group Orientation & Human Development

  • Interestingly our data also found a link between the Human Development Index score and the level of group orientation within a country (i.e. Schwartz’s Embeddedness).
  • It suggests that the more group orientated a country, the potentially more developed the society, which in many ways makes sense and a higher social awareness would naturally lead towards wanting to look after others too.
  • Similarly, we also found a high correlation between a country’s Happiness Ranking and their level of Embeddedness.
  • Again, pointing to a link between people’s sense of happiness and how group orientated a culture is.

 

About the BCCI

The Business Culture Complexity Index ™ (BCCI) was created by Commisceo Global Consulting Ltd.

We wanted to use data to see if we could create a league table that could highlight the potential complexity of a country’s business culture.

The scores we have produced are based on the following 14 data sets for the world’s 50 largest economies.


1. Trust in Others – Measuring the amount of trust people have in others. Source: Esteban Ortiz-Ospina and Max Roser (2019) - "Trust". Published online at OurWorldInData.org. Retrieved from: 'https://ourworldindata.org/trust' [Online Resource]

2. Happiness – Measuring how happy citizens of countries say they feel. Source: The World Happiness Report is an annual publication of the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network. http://unsdsn.org/happiness/ [Online Resource]

3. Internet Use – Measuring the internet penetration of a country. Source: Julia Murphy and Max Roser (2019) - "Internet". Published online at OurWorldInData.org. Retrieved from: 'https://ourworldindata.org/internet' [Online Resource]

4. Religiosity – Measuring how important religion is considered within a country. Source: Pew Research 2018 http://assets.pewresearch.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/11/2018/06/12094011/Appendix-B.pdf [Online Resource]

5. Ease of Doing Business – Measuring how easy it is to do business in a country. Source: The World Bank https://www.doingbusiness.org/en/rankings/ [Online Resource]

6. Economic Freedom – Measuring a range of personal, social and economic freedoms. Source: https://www.heritage.org/index/about [Online Resource]

7. Corruption – Measuring the perceived corruption in a country’s public services. Source: https://www.transparency.org/ [Online Resource]

8. Press Freedom – Measuring the amount of freedom granted to the press and media. Source: https://rsf.org/en/ranking [Online Resource]

9. Human Development Index – Measuring factors such as standard of living, education and life expectancy. Source: Max Roser (2019) - "Human Development Index (HDI)". Published online at OurWorldInData.org. Retrieved from: 'https://ourworldindata.org/human-development-index' [Online Resource]

10. Tourist Arrivals – Measuring the number of tourists that visit a country. Source: http://www2.unwto.org/content/data [Online Resource]

11. Literacy – Measuring the rates of literacy within a country. Source: Max Roser and Esteban Ortiz-Ospina (2019) - "Literacy". Published online at OurWorldInData.org. Retrieved from: 'https://ourworldindata.org/literacy' [Online Resource]

12. Position in World Economy – Measuring how important the country is within the global economy. Source: https://ceoworld.biz/2018/12/28/gdp-rankings-of-the-worlds-largest-economies-2019/ [Online Resource]

13. Embeddedness (Schwartz) – Measuring how group orientated a country is. Source: “The 7 Schwartz cultural value orientation scores for 80 countries” https://www.researchgate.net/publication/304715744_The_7_Schwartz_cultural_value_orientation_scores_for_80_countries [Online Resource]

14. Egalitarianism (Schwartz) – Measuring how much emphasis is placed on independence and equality within a country. Source: “The 7 Schwartz cultural value orientation scores for 80 countries” https://www.researchgate.net/publication/304715744_The_7_Schwartz_cultural_value_orientation_scores_for_80_countries [Online Resource]

 

Caveats

It is important to remember that the scores, the table and the index are not meant to reflect reality. It is simply the results of a particular algorithm we have developed and used against a particular set of data.

  • The results are produced as a matter of interest, to stimulate speculation, generate debate and to encourage more people to take an interest in business culture and cultural awareness.
  • The data should not be used in any way so form decisions, whether business or personal.
  • It is important to recognise that the data, its interpretation and the findings have all come from a Western perspective. As our audience is primarily from N. America and Europe, many of the results will make sense to them, however this will not necessarily be the same for people from Asia or Africa. What is “complex” to one culture, might be simple to another.
  • Bear in mind that much of the data used has been economic in nature. It was very difficult to find data on things such as social attitudes or intercultural research with scores on all the 50 countries.
  • In a few cases, Schwartz did not have any scores for a few of the countries on the list, so we used common sense and created mean scores based on countries with very similar cultures.

 

Linking and Citations

You are more than welcome to link to this page or reference it.

If you would like to show the table or map on your website, or in any other format/form, then please contact us first for permission.

Source: Business Culture Complexity Index ™ (2019) by Commisceo Global Consulting Ltd. Published online at https://www.commisceo-global.com/resources/bcci

 

Discover Global Business Culture

Click to find out more about the culture of a country. If there is no link it means we are still working on that page.

Argentina - Australia - Austria
Bangladesh - Belgium - Brazil
Canada - ChileChina - Colombia - Czech Republic
Denmark
Egypt
Finland - France
Germany
Hong Kong
India - Indonesia - Iran - Iraq - Ireland - Israel - Italy
Japan
Malaysia - Mexico
Netherlands - Nigeria - Norway
Pakistan - Peru - Philippines - Poland
Romania - Russia
Saudi Arabia - Singapore - South Africa - South Korea
Spain - Sweden - Switzerland
Taiwan - Thailand - Turkey
United Arab Emirates - United Kingdom - United States
Vietnam

 

Business Culture Training Courses

We specialise in cultural awareness training and consultancy including:

 

The Data

You can download the raw data from all 14 sources in an Excel file here.

 

Any questions?

Please contact us if you have any further questions.

 

FAQs

"Will this be updated every year?"

We plan on updating the table every two years as much of the data will not shift significantly enough from year to year.

"Can I cite this in my school paper?"

Yes of course, you can cite this in any school or academic research just as long as you follow the correct protocol in terms of referencing.

 "Can I link to this page from my website?"

Yes, as per above, please use the correct citation.