Business Culture Complexity Index™ Ranks Denmark Easiest Business Culture, Nigeria Most Difficult

Industry: Business

The Business Culture Complexity Index™ Ranks the Top 50 Economies of the World According to the Potential Challenge they Pose for Foreign Business Professionals

London, UK (PRUnderground) July 23rd, 2019

A new index that ranks the top 50 economies of the world according to the complexity of their business cultures has found that Denmark has the easiest business culture, while Nigeria has the most complex.

Commisceo Global, a consulting firm specializing in online cultural sensitivity training for global organisations, has launched The Business Culture Complexity Index™ to highlight potentially challenging business cultures around the world.

The index, presented in the form of a league table and world heat map, scores the top 50 economies of the world according to a specific algorithm the firm created in conjunction with a team of mathematicians.

The algorithm pulls on 14 different sources covering social, cultural and economic data from sources such as The UN and the World Bank and academic research into cultural differences.

According to the index, Denmark has the easiest business culture with the authors pointing to the country’s very egalitarian society, lack of complex social structures, low religiosity, high standards of living, transparent commercial environment and respect for the rule of law as all contributing to its ranking at the top.

“The interpretation our algorithm makes is that the Danes are an open culture. They are trusting of others and seem to have created a society centred around transparency, equality and fairness. Danish business culture is therefore much easier to navigate as it’s not so concerned about things such as protecting group interests, hierarchy, face, etiquette, protocol and relationships. It tries to be straightforward, and is,” explains Managing Director, Neil Payne.

At the other end of the scale comes Nigeria, ranked potentially the most challenging of business cultures. Its very complex cultural and religious make-up combined with well-documented economic and political challenges over the past few decades have created an equally complex business culture.

A sceptic culture, a highly dissatisfied population fragmented along group and religious lines and an unstable commercial environment tainted with corruption and bureaucracy all contributed to Nigeria receiving the lowest score of all 50 countries.

“Culturally-speaking, the data highlighted that Nigerians were the most group orientated as well as one of the most hierarchical.  This translates into a business culture where who you know is incredibly important. It’s much more important in such cultures to pay attention to things such as showing respect, giving gifts, building personal relationships and doing favours. As an outsider it’s potentially a much harder culture to crack,” adds Payne.

Other ‘easy business cultures’ included Norway and Finland while at the other end of the scale, Pakistan and India join Nigeria as being classed as more difficult.

Interestingly, in the face of the current US-China trade stand-off, both countries produced very similar scores pointing to commercial and cultural parallels between the two.

On a global scale the index’s world heat map clearly shows Europe as being by far the easiest continent to do business.

Despite the data producing some fascinating results, the authors warn caution in taking the index too seriously. For one, the results are only an interpretation of a specific set of data using a specific algorithm. Secondly, ‘business culture complexity’ is a relative concept, meaning different things to different cultures.

“We are very conscious of the fact that this has been produced from a Western perspective, using data from Western sources. It’s crucial to remember that what is complex to one culture, may be easy for another. For example, Nigeria may be a cultural minefield for someone from Denmark, but for someone from the Arab world, it may make a little more sense due to some common traits,” elaborates Payne.

To see the full table and explanations behind the scores of The Business Culture Complexity Index™, please visit  

About Commisceo Global

Founded in 2004, Commisceo Global specialize in cultural sensitivity training and online courses, working with global organizations to better prepare their employees for international working.

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