Kursbeskrivelsen finnes ikke for perioden du ba om. Viser deg aller siste versjon.

ELE 3741 Vikings Roots to a Feminine Society: Reflected in Norwegian Literature


ELE 3741 Vikings Roots to a Feminine Society: Reflected in Norwegian Literature

Responsible for the course
Gillian Warner-Søderholm

Department of Communication - Culture and Languages

According to study plan

ECTS Credits

Language of instruction

In the international business community, being able to read people is at least as important as being able to read a spreadsheet or a budget. Just as education in finance and accounting is needed to achieve numeracy, education in how people relate to each other and what values motivate their actions is necessary to achieve literacy in human interaction - the foundation of good leadership. The study of a culture’s literature, learning to read between the lines, gives an almost first-hand experience of situations that allows us to come as close as possible to actually experiencing that culture's mores, business and otherwise. Norwegian literature presents us with a composite picture of this society's history, psychology, ethics, and sociology over time; reading Scandinavian leadership and management theory in conjunction with this literature sheds even more light on Norwegian values, management practices, leadership style, and gender roles. Using this combination of sources, the course will monitor the evolution of Norwegian values, from their Viking roots to the feminine society of 21st century Norway - and view these values from a managerial perspective. Being able to use a culture’s literature to gain in-depth understanding about that culture will make our students more well-rounded individuals, better able to learn about and thus do business not only in Norway, but also in other cultures they will encounter in their future careers.

Learning outcome
Acquired knowledge
After completed course should have:

  • Learned how basic elements of Norwegian/Scandinavian leadership style are reflected in a selection of Norwegian literature that portrays Norwegian value patterns over time.
  • Learned how the actions of present-day Norwegian public figures - organisational leaders and politicians - relate to these values patterns.
  • Refined their independent research capabilities through group assignments and researching Norwegian business leaders/politicians.

Acquired skills
After completed course students will be able to:
  • Interpret management and leadership texts as well as analyze literary texts.
  • Make connections between Norwegian business leaders/politicians, their leadership styles and the values presented by course literature.
  • Use their creative abilities and do independent research; write literature of their own reflecting course material and focusing on a selection of Norwegian leaders - men and women.

This course should whet our students’ appetites, inspiring them to turn to literature, Norwegian and other, as a source of intellectual and emotional challenge and enlightenment. Students should be able to reflect upon how powerful a mirror literature holds up to a society, and be motivated to apply their analytical skills to and learn from other literature, about other cultures.

The ability and desire to read – a lot.

Compulsory reading
Arnold, Martin. 2007. The Vikings : wolves of war. Rowman & Littlefield. Chapter 1, pp. 15-31 From Odin to Christ
Asbjørnsen, Peter Christen and Jørgen Moe. 2010. Norwegian folk tales. Font. Selection of fairy tales, ca. 18 pages. Translated from the Norwegian by Pat Shaw
Collett, Camilla. 1991. The district governor's daughters. Norvik Press
Hofstede, Geert. 2010. Cultures and organizations : software of the mind : intercultural cooperation and its importance for survival. 3rd ed. McGraw-Hill. Chap. 5 - "He, she, and (s)he
Kvideland, Reimund and Henning K. Sehmsdorf, eds.. 1991. Scandinavian folk belief and legend. Norwegian University Press. ca. 2 pages
Terry, Patricia, translated by. 1969. Poems of the Vikings : the Elder Edda. Bobbs-Merrill. pp. 13-38
Trompenaars, Fons. 2012. Riding the waves of culture : understanding diversity in global business. 3rd ed., rev. and updated. Nicholas Brealey. Chapters 4-8, 10-11
Undset, Sigrid. Kristin Lavransdatter. The Wreath. Grosset & Dunlap. (353 pages). Penguin har en oversettelse fra 2005: 978-0-143-03916-7

Bjerke, Bjørn.. 1999. " Scandinavian Culture" from Business Leadership and Culture.. Edgar Elgar: Cheltenham, UK. Chap. 8
Excerpts: The Burning of Njal
Ibsen, Henrik. 1855. Lady Inger of Ostrat. Penn State Electronic Classics Series Publication
Ibsen, Henrik. 1879. A Doll's House. Oxford University Press
Ibsen, Henrik. 1892. The Master Builder. Oxford University Press
Sandemose, Aksel. 1933. The Law of Jante
Schramm-Nielsen, J., P. Lawarence, K.H. Sivesind. 2004. "Chap. 1 Making the Case," and "Chap. 2 Context from Management in Scandinavia". Edward Elgar, Cheltenham, UK. Chap. 1 - Chap. 2, pp. 1-49
Vik, Bjørg. 1974. Two Acts for Five Women
Øverland, Arnulf. 1937. Du må ikke sove
Ås, Berit. 1979. Master Suppression Techniques

Recommended reading

Course outline
  • Week #1 (4):
    Introduction to the Course: Cultural value definitions, for example, masculine vs feminine. Viking mythology:"From Odin to Christ," “The Beginning and the End,” Hávamál, excerpts, “Sayings of the High One.” Excerpts:
    The Story of the Burning of Njal. (Film)
  • Week #2(4):
    Henrik Ibsen:
    Lady Inger of Ostrat. (1855) (Film)
  • Week #3(2):
    “Envy and Fear in Scandinavian Folk Tradition.” Selected memorats: “My What an Appetite She Has,” “To Make a Girl Love You,” “Envy Kills,” “Inger Petterst.” Selected fairy tales: “The Princess Who Always Had to Have the Last Word,” “The Old Woman Against the Stream,” “White-Bear-King Valemon,” “The Ash Lad and the Good Helpers.”

Group Assignment #1: Due Week 5
  • Week #4(4):
    Scandinavian Leadership and Management: Tor Grennes
  • Week #5(2):
    Camilla Collett:
    The District Governor's Daughters (1855)
  • Week #6(4):
    Henrik Ibsen:
    A Doll’s House (1879) (Film)
  • Week #7(4):
    Henrik Ibsen: The Master Builder (1892) - Guest lecturers: Marianne Mørk Larsen & Frank Jørstad
Group Assignment #2: Due Week 9
  • Week #8 (4):
    Flow of Values, USA/Norway. Guest lecturer: Steinar Bryn. Women leaders in Norway.
  • Week #9 (4) Sigrid Undset: Kristin Lavransdatter – The Wreath (1920) (Film)
  • Week #10(2):
    Arnulf Øverland - Du må ikke sove (1937) Guest: Frank Jørstad Aksel Sandemose: "The Law of Jante" (1933)
  • Group Assignment #3: Due Week 12.
  • Week #11(4):
    Bjrg Vik:
    Two Acts for Five Women (1974). Berit Ås: "Master Suppression Techniques" (1979 Guest lecturer: Guri Hjeltnes ?? / Berit von der Lippe ??
  • Week #12(2):
    Yet to be decided upon.

Computer-based tools

Learning process and workload
Students will attend lectures and view selected films in connection with the reading list. They must have read the literature assignment before coming to class and be prepared to discuss it. Guest lecturers will bring added insight into these discussions. Students will work in groups to prepare 3 assignments which involve independent research on assigned present-day Norwegian businesspeople and politicians. They will be asked to present their research and then to write a "short story" centered on this character in which they bring the Norwegian values into play which have been identified in the course.

Recommended use of hours:
Participation at lectures
Assigned Reading
Preparation of 3 group assignments 3 x 15 =
Individual 3-hour Final Exam:
Total recommended use of time

    Final grade in the course will be based on the following activities and weighted as follows:

    - Portfolio evaluation: accounts for 60 % of the grade in the course.
    The portfolio shall consist of the three (3) obligatory group assignments. This part of the grade will be based upon the two best of the three.
    - A three (3) hour individual written exam: accounts for 40 % of the grade in the course.

    Both portfolio and individual exam must be passed to obtain final grade in the course.

    Examination code(s)
    ELE 37411 - Portfolio evaluation: accounts for 60% of the grade in the course.
    ELE 37412 - Individual written exam: accounts for 40% of the grade in the course.

    Examination support materials
    No support materials permitted for the final examination.

    Re-sit examination
    A re-sit for the final examination is held at the next scheduled course. Students who have failed the group requirements will be able to re-take that activity either the following year (if still relevant) or by appointment with the course responsible.

    Additional information