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Google

In Denmark

Research Paper
Management 462
Comparative Management
Nestor Martinez
Professor: Kalyan Chakravarty
March 1st, 2016

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“At Google, we don’t just accept difference - we celebrate it, we support it, and
we thrive on it for the benefit of our employees, our products and our
community. Google is proud to be an equal opportunity workplace and is an
affirmative action employer”.

Introduction

In today’s competitive economy, many people receive job offers abroad due to

current company relocation or through a job offer. Regardless of the circumstances,

accepting a job offer can always be challenging, particularly when it involves moving to

a different country. Since I have received a job offer at Google in Copenhagen,

Denmark as a Vendor Operations Manager and External Telesales Operations, my

research paper will provide an analysis of the many factors that need to be taken into

consideration when working abroad, such as operations at this location and how it is

influenced by its government regulations, cost of living conditions, cultural traditions,

and economy. Lastly, I will explain the reasoning as to why I have decided to work

abroad in Denmark.

MNC subsidiary

Google was founded in 1998 by Larry Page and Sergey Brin, who met in 1995

while attending Stanford Univesity. Currently, the main headquarters is located in

Mountain View, California. It has 70 offices (36 in Europe) in over 40 countries and it

employs over 40,000 Googlers.

“[As seen in Figure 1-6] though no two Google offices are the same,
visitors to any office can expect to find a few common features: murals
and decorations expressing local personality; Googlers sharing cubes,
yurts and "huddles"; video games, pool tables and pianos; cafes and
"microkitchens" stocked with healthy food; and good old fashioned
whiteboards for spur-of-the-moment brainstorming”(Google locations,
2016).

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Figure 1: Google in Copenhangen, Denmark Figure 2: Google in Zürich, Switzerland

Figure 3: Google in Aarhus, Denmark Figure 4: Google in Lübeck, Germany

Figure 5: Google in California, USA Figure 6: Google in London, UK

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Google in Denmark is located at the heart of the capital, Copenhagen, at Google

Denmark Sankt Petri Passage 5, 2nd floor1165 Copenhagen K. This office staffs a

variety of teams ranging from Developer Relations and technical solutions, Sales and

Account Management, Product and Customer Support, Sales Operations and

Marketing and Communications while the other office in Aarhus, Denmark employs and

engineer and design team. Both offices work closely with Google London, which is the

European main headquarters, in helping many companies grow their business in

Europe and Africa. Despite having many locations all around the world, Google’s

mission is to

“organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and


useful, by creating a suite of powerful, user-friendly products that are
changing the way billions of people use the web. Products like Drive,
Maps and AdWords offer solutions that help businesses of all types reach
their customers. With Android, we’ve created the fastest growing mobile
operating system in the world. And devices like Chromebooks, Nexus
phones and tablets, and platforms like our Play store enable users to
access great information and entertainment from anywhere”(Mountain,
2016).

As a vendor operations manager I will be working with the Denmark’s

management and Marketing team while overseeing part of the outsourced small and

medium business acquisitions and vendor’s performance. My team will focus on the

AdWords Sales and work closely with neighboring central teams located in Dublin and

main headquarter in California.

My position in Google would not be greatly impacted since Denmark’s

government is based on a democracy. As long I have an approved work permit to

avoid any issues with immigration during my stay.

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“The basic principle of the Danish welfare system, often referred to as the
Scandinavian welfare model, is that all citizens have equal rights to social
security. Within the Danish welfare system, a number of services are
available to citizens, free of charge. This means that for instance the
Danish health and educational systems are free. The Danish welfare
model is subsidized by the state, and as a result Denmark has one of the
highest taxation levels in the world” (Government and Politics, 2016).

Denmark’s government consists of a Danish parliament also known as the Folketing, a

prime Minister and a Supreme Court. The Parliament contains 179 members, 13

political parties, which means that no one party can have the majority. The Folketing is

responsible for deciding on the state’s budgets and having control of the government

and any international business (Satellite view, 2016). The great advantages of this type

of democratic government is that many of the political groups cooperate with each

other and it is supported by the parliament. Since a great deal is spent on creating

efficiencies in the public arena and the economy, it allows a greater degree of

transparency and accountability of the political institutions which is evident by their low

level of corruption.

Living conditions in Copenhagen

Copenhagen is considered one of the world’s most environmentally friendly

cities with one of the best quality of life. Based on the cost of living index, Copenhagen

ranked 15, whereas, Los Angeles, ranked 22. It is the largest city of Denmark with a

chief port. As such, it is very difficult to find a great affordable place to rent in this city

particularly during the start of the school year, since it is considered one of the most

expensive cities to live in. According to locals, it is recommended that foreigners

consider someone who is looking for a roommate by posting ads in social network and

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to expand the searches beyond the center of the city. A compromise must be made

between living in a trending area versus living away from the center of the city, which

can provide more flexibility in terms of price. Prices for a shared room range from

$3000-$5600 kroner (equivalent to $450-$840 USD) for apartments that are far from

the center of the city such as Nørrebro, whereas a one bedroom apartment in the

center of Copenhagen cost approximately $1350 including utilities. Nørrebro, a

neighboring city known for its vibrant colors has become one of Copenhagen’s hottest

accommodations due to its multicultural mix, hence attracting the younger crowd.

Therefore, I will most likely search for apartments on this area since I will feel right at

home, like in Los Angeles, which is known for its diversity and multiculturalism as well.

Based on the data provided in Table I (published on Feb 2016), no much difference

exits between living conditions in Los Angeles and in Copenhagen. The key will be

able to budget for what is important during the first year and be able to save for an

emergency.

Table I: Cost of Living comparison between Los Angeles (US) and Copenhagen (Denmark)*

Items Los Copenhagen,


Difference
Restaurants Angeles, US Denmark
15.00 $ 16.23 $
Meal, Inexpensive Restaurant +8.17 %
(101.69 kr) (110.00 kr)
Meal for 2 People, Mid-range Restaurant, Three- 56.00 $ 88.50 $
+58.04 %
course (379.66 kr) (600.00 kr)
7.00 $ 10.33 $
McMeal at McDonalds (or Equivalent Combo Meal) +47.50 %
(47.46 kr) (70.00 kr)
5.00 $ 6.64 $
Domestic Beer (1 pint draught) +32.75 %
(33.90 kr) (45.00 kr)
6.12 $ 5.90 $
Imported Beer (11.2 oz small bottle) -3.67 %
(41.53 kr) (40.00 kr)
3.99 $ 5.01 $
Cappuccino (regular) +25.46 %
(27.06 kr) (33.94 kr)
1.82 $ 2.97 $
Coke/Pepsi (11.2 oz small bottle) +63.07 %
(12.37 kr) (20.17 kr)

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1.53 $ 2.12 $
Water (11.2 oz small bottle) +38.81 %
(10.36 kr) (14.38 kr)
Markets
3.86 $ 3.71 $
Milk (regular), (1 gallon) -3.99 %
(26.18 kr) (25.14 kr)
2.62 $ 2.19 $
Loaf of Fresh White Bread (1 lb) -16.44 %
(17.75 kr) (14.83 kr)
1.66 $ 1.00 $
Rice (white), (1 lb) -39.86 %
(11.28 kr) (6.78 kr)
3.90 $ 3.71 $
Eggs (12) -4.87 %
(26.41 kr) (25.13 kr)
4.55 $ 5.42 $
Local Cheese (1 lb) +18.97 %
(30.87 kr) (36.72 kr)
4.65 $ 4.71 $
Chicken Breasts (Boneless, Skinless), (1 lb) +1.38 %
(31.53 kr) (31.96 kr)
Beef Round (1 lb) (or Equivalent Back Leg Red 5.65 $ 7.21 $
+27.75 %
Meat) (38.28 kr) (48.91 kr)
1.96 $ 1.53 $
Water (1.5 liter bottle) -22.28 %
(13.32 kr) (10.35 kr)
11.75 $ 8.85 $
Bottle of Wine (Mid-Range) -24.68 %
(79.66 kr) (60.00 kr)
Transportation
1.75 $ 3.54 $
One-way Ticket (Local Transport) +102.29 %
(11.86 kr) (24.00 kr)
100.00 $ 59.00 $
Monthly Pass (Regular Price) -41.00 %
(677.96 kr) (400.00 kr)
3.38 $ 5.90 $
Taxi Start (Normal Tariff) +74.82 %
(22.88 kr) (40.00 kr)
3.23 $ 5.96 $
Gasoline (1 gallon) +84.54 %
(21.89 kr) (40.40 kr)
Utilities (Monthly)
Basic (Electricity, Heating, Water, Garbage) for 915 121.41 $ 172.22 $
+41.85 %
sq ft Apartment (823.09 kr) (1,167.55 kr)
1 min. of Prepaid Mobile Tariff Local (No Discounts 0.10 $ 0.12 $
+17.31 %
or Plans) (0.69 kr) (0.81 kr)
49.19 $ 31.00 $
Internet (10 Mbps, Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL) -36.97 %
(333.50 kr) (210.19 kr)
Sports And Leisure
41.40 $ 34.63 $
Fitness Club, Monthly Fee for 1 Adult -16.36 %
(280.65 kr) (234.75 kr)
14.00 $ 14.75 $
Cinema, International Release, 1 Seat +5.36 %
(94.91 kr) (100.00 kr)

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Clothing And Shoes
48.18 $ 112.28 $
1 Pair of Jeans (Levis 501 Or Similar) +133.03 %
(326.66 kr) (761.23 kr)
78.03 $ 117.99 $
1 Pair of Nike Running Shoes (Mid-Range) +51.21 %
(529.02 kr) (799.92 kr)
103.84 $ 154.58 $
1 Pair of Men Leather Business Shoes +48.86 %
(704.01 kr) (1,047.96 kr)
Rent Per Month
1,763.07 $ 1,182.90 $
Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Center -32.91 %
(11,952.91 kr) (8,019.57 kr)
1,333.18 $ 840.07 $
Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Center -36.99 %
(9,038.39 kr) (5,695.35 kr)
Salaries And Financing
3,077.12 $ 2,830.02 $
Average Monthly Disposable Salary (After Tax) -8.03 %
(20,861.66 kr) (19,186.44 kr)
Mortgage Interest Rate in Percentages (%), Yearly 3.94 3.03 -23.11 %
February,
Last update: February, 2016
2016
Contributors: 356 254
Data from past: 18 months 12 months
Currency: USD
* data obtained from http://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/comparison.jsp

Danish traditions and festivals are derived from Christian calendar, some of the

most important ones are Easter and Christmas. Danish know the importance of

gratitude and love to use it in everyday life such as children are expected to express

thanks before dinner, when greeting school teachers and bus drivers and anyone who

you encounter in the streets. According to Sharmie, a tourist from the USA, “once you

have a Danish friend, you have a friend for life. If you have a problem, they will come to

your rescue and will be there for you in thick and thin. They can be the warmest and

kindest people you know, giving and helpful” (Nine essential tips, 2016). Although it is

recommended that foreigners learn Danish, most of the population speaks and

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understands English in the metropolitan area. Nevertheless, in the long term, it is

highly recommended to understand more of their culture.

What makes Copenhagen eye-catching is the amount of attractions and

historical landmarks, and best of all are all within walking distance. The main famous

attractions are 100 year old amusement park “Tivoli Gardens”, the statue of the Little

Mermaid, the town of Christiania, the Amalienborg Palace – home to the royal family.

In addition, the city is known for its bistros and Michelin-starred restaurants. “The

restaurant scene is among the World’s most distinct and innovative, and it caters to all

budgets. When dining out try the much appraised Nordic kitchen at least once. It is

known for being of high quality and with a focus on using local and seasonal produce”

(Restaurants, 2016).

Public transportation in Copenhagen consists mainly of trains, metro, buses and

waterbuses. They tend to be very reliable and punctual and most can be accessed with

the same pass or ticket. Copenhagen is divided into 9 different zones which apply to all

public transportations, the center of the city is located in Zone 1 which is where the

Google office can be found at. Depending of the destination, the fare can be

calculated, or a monthly pass can be obtained. Tickets can be purchased at each of

the stations, 7-eleven kiosks or using the Google app “Mobilbilletter Hovedstaden.”

Based on attached zone information and Google map and information on table I, it

takes only ~13 minutes by train to reach my job and it will cost approximately

$59/month if I used a monthly pass.

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Copenhagen zone information Map – Google in Copehangen to Nørrebro

Denmark’s labor market is best known by flexicurity, a model that successfully

manages globalization while guaranteeing a steady growth in the economy and

employment. As such, Danes are not afraid of losing their jobs, since it is a great

opportunity to find a new and better job, which makes them more adaptable. Also

shown by the Gini Coefficient (statistic measurement of a countries’ inequality in terms

of income) and the research data from Bruenig figure #7, Denmark has shown that

they have been able to maintain low poverty and low income inequality in comparison

to the US who ranked 5th among 141 countries whereas Denmark was ranked at 69.

Figure #7 – Gini coefficient and per capita Income (US vs Denmark)

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Denmark uses a golden triangle model called Flexicurity, a combination of flexibility,

security and active labor market policy. While companies have the flexibility to lay off

employees during downturns and hire when business increases, employees are

guaranteed unemployment benefits and the active labor market system offers

guidance, job education to everyone who is unemployed. This explains why “about

25% of Danish private sector workers change jobs each year. [There are dual

advantages of the Danish system, since it] “ensures employers a flexible labor force

while employees enjoy the safety net of an unemployment benefit system and an

active employment policy” (Welfare, 2016). This model has been adopted by many

countries in Europe.

Figure #8 - Work Benefits/health insurance- United States vs. Denmark*

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Figure #8 - Work Benefits/health insurance- United States vs. Denmark* (continued)

*data obtained from Bruenig, M. (n.d.). United States vs. Denmark, in 17 Charts. Retrieved February 17,
2016, from http://www.demos.org/blog/10/20/15/united-states-vs-denmark-17-charts

On the other hand, although, Denmark taxes are higher(see figure #8), they are

able to offer better working conditions by giving generous time off for vacation and

parental leave in order to focus on what matters – family(data trend in figure #8).

According to Bruenig (2016), “these are policies like public employment services,

retraining, and employment subsidies that help unemployed people get back into work.

Denmark spends twice as much on active labor market policies than the US spends on

unemployment benefits and ALMP combined”.

Why work for Google in Denmark?

While many aspects must be considered when accepting the job offer at Google

in Copenhagen, I have taken into account the factors listed below.

Working for Google at Copenhagen, is not only a great opportunity for career

advancement, but also, it will bring a great positive experience and a sense of personal

accomplishment. I must admit that moving to a foreign country might be challenging at

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first, but I am confident that my leadership and personal skills that are needed will help

me overcome all the obstacles in the new working environment. Even though the job

offer might seem perfect at first, I must ensure whether the new position will offer

stability and job security by negotiating the terms of the job and make sure that it is “an

international contract, [otherwise], if a local contract [is signed, I] will be bound by all

the employment laws of the host country and may not be offered some of the traditional

expat benefits I may be seeking” (3 things, 2016). Also, another factor that must be

included in the contract is the need for equalization in the “expatriate compensation

package. When agreeing a salary and benefits [I] should always seek to ensure that

the payment and compensation offered are financially the same, or better off” [that

what is offer in the US] (3 things, 2016). Several of the websites seem to suggest

extensive research on the cost of living to ensure that the information is accurate which

I have already done in Table I. One last thing that must be taken into account is the

length of the contract and what will happen if the contract is terminated or the job does

not turn out to be a success. Therefore, it is important that the repatriation package

includes severance & benefits, the period of coverage and what will happen if the visa

and work permit are no longer valid. During my research, I came across various types

of work permits- unlimited job contract versus a temporary one. The unlimited one

does not have an expiration date and will normally allow me to work in Denmark for up

to 4 years with the option of extending it as long as I remain on the same company,

while the temporary one will allow me to stay for the duration of the job plus an

additional 6 months.

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Once the terms of the contract are clear and approved, other reasons that I

have taken into consideration are the lifestyle and quality of life, “Danes consistently

come out as the happiest people in the world on international happiness indices

and Copenhagen has been nominated the most livable city in the world in both 2013

and 2014”, [it will not be too difficult to become acclimated to the living environment

and social environment. In addition] “with a residence and work permit [I can] have

access to the full range of Danish welfare services, including free medical care and

education” (10 Good reasons, 2016). Besides, since LA is also known for its high

volume of traffic and hectic fast pace environment, switching to a more relax lifestyle

will be very beneficial for my health and well being.

Also, since Google has a great influence in Europe, based on the international

transparency index published in 2014, Denmark is considered the lowest in the world in

terms of corruption (in comparison to the US ranked at 17), which makes it more

attractive for new business expansion. Furthermore, “Copenhagen Airport is consider

the most efficient airport in Europe - is the main hub in the Nordic and Baltic region with

57 operating airlines serving altogether 132 destinations and handling approximately

380,000 tons of airfreight each year with the shortest goods transit times of all

European airports”(10 Good reasons, 2016).

When considering the economy and job security, the Danish’s model of

Flexicurity seems to promote flexibility in the workplace. This practice has made its

“workforce [one of] the most productive in Europe and no restrictions apply regarding

overtime work, allowing companies to operate 24 hours a day, 365 days a year” (10

Good reasons, 2016). Since education is free in Denmark, there is a highly educated

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work force and most are known to speak English. Therefore, while working at Google

in Copenhagen, I will not only learn to be productive, but will also be greatly

compensated for my hard work and dedication and I might also be able to take classes

for free.

In regards to business, Stefan and Kleiner (2015) state that the most important

rule in Denmark is to follow punctuality as business etiquette. The Danish are very

punctual when it comes to meetings and appointments. My Mexican American

background may be misjudged because Mexicans are not a punctual as Danish

people. In terms of masculinity, Denmark ranked 16 in which it means it is low

compared to Mexico’s ranking is 69 or US is 62. I can get used to Danish men being

lenient and easy going. Danish people have a high degree of interdependence ranking

74 as opposed to Mexicans individualism ranking is 30. However, US rank in

individualism at 91. Denmark is almost similar to the United States. Power distance in

the US and in Mexico is higher than Denmark, in which it means that there is less

inequality. I prefer equality in a business and society because I want to be treated

equal in salary and in all other aspects of a business environment. On the other hand,

Mexico rank is 81 because there is corruption and inequality in the entire country.

Unfortunately, the citizens suffer in poverty and as a consequence immigrate to the

US. The Danish people have a low uncertainty avoidance, as for me personally I would

have a high uncertainty avoidance since a lift my guard up just like the US and Mexico

rank higher than Denmark. I should not have a difficult time adapting to this country

now that I am much more educated and will not overstep bounds. I know the limits. I do

not have family to attain or wife. Facebook is how I keep in touch with all my friends

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and family. Skype is another great way to stay in touch with my loved ones. My life may

be very busy meeting new people in Denmark because I enjoy socialization. Working

for Google will be amazing because they motivate employees to enjoy working and

relaxation. They provide amenities to help relieve the stress. There are some aspects

that a stressful like increasing profits and impacting the company in a positive way. The

only challenges are leaving my parents and siblings behind.

In conclusion, I believe my research above has covered many of the areas that I

need to take into consideration before accepting to work in Denmark. While I have

learned a lot about Danish’s culture, traditions and lifestyle, I am excited and thankful

for this great opportunity and experience Google has offered me and I have greatly

accepted to embark on this new journey. I would love to join a company who believes

in diversity and promotes it all over the world.

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References

Bruenig, M. (n.d.). United States vs. Denmark, in 17 Charts. Retrieved February 17, 2016, from
http://www.demos.org/blog/10/20/15/united-states-vs-denmark-17-charts

Cost of Living Comparison Between United States and null . (n.d.). Retrieved February 25, 2016, from
http://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/compare_cities.jsp?country1=United States

Cost of Living Index. Updated Feb 2016. (n.d.). Retrieved February 25, 2016, from
https://www.expatistan.com/cost-of-living/index

Google locations – Company – Google. (n.d.). Retrieved February 13, 2016, from
https://www.google.com/about/company/facts/locations/

Government and Politics. (n.d.). Retrieved February 13, 2016, from


http://denmark.dk/en/society/government-and-politics/

How corrupt is your country? (n.d.). Retrieved February 25, 2016, from
https://www.transparency.org/cpi2014/results

How we hire - Google Careers. (n.d.). Retrieved February 13, 2016, from
http://www.google.com/about/careers/lifeatgoogle/hiringprocess/

Mountain View (Global HQ) - Google Careers. (n.d.). Retrieved February 26, 2016, from
http://www.google.com/about/careers/locations/mountain-view/

Nine Essential Tips if You Are New to Denmark. (n.d.). Retrieved February 26, 2016, from
http://denmark.dk/en/meet-the-danes/ninetips/

Restaurants. (n.d.). Retrieved February 25, 2016, from


http://www.visitcopenhagen.com/copenhagen/gastronomy/restaurants

Satellite View and Map of the City of Copenhagen (København). (n.d.). Retrieved February 13, 2016,
from http://www.nationsonline.org/oneworld/map/google_map_Copenhagen.htm

Stefan, M., & Kleiner, B. H. (2015). What Managers Must Know To Conduct Business in Denmark.
Management Research News, 18(3/4/5), 48-60.

The Danish Labour Market. (n.d). Retrieved February 22, 2016, from
http://www.investindk.com/Establishing-a-business-in-Denmark/The-Danish-Labour-Market

The U.S Ranks 4th in Income Inequality. (2013). Retrieved February 19, 2016, from
http://inequalityforall.com/fact-4/

Welfare. (n.d.). Retrieved February 13, 2016, from http://denmark.dk/en/society/welfare/

3 Things That Expats Overlook When Negotiating Their Contracts. (n.d.). Retrieved February 25, 2016,
from http://www.expatinfodesk.com/blog/2011/01/15/3-things-that-expats-overlook-when-
negotiating-their-contracts/

10 Good Reasons to Invest in Denmark  . (n.d.). Retrieved February 25, 2016, from
http://www.investindk.com/Why-Denmark/10-good-reasons

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