Success factors in small swedish companies

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SUCCESS FACTORS IN SMALL SWEDISH COMPANIES
by
Bo Lindquist

The thesis is part of the following degree
Master of Business Administration

School of Management
Blekinge Institute of Technology

Supervisor: Anders Hederstierna

Date: 2006-06-29
ABSTRACT
Title: Success factors in small Swedish companies

Author: Bo Lindquist

Supervisor: Anders Hederstierna

Department:School of Management, Blekinge Institute of Technology

Course: Master’s Thesis in Business Administration, 10 credits.

Background and Problem Discussion: To be able to be a successful company in the US you need to possess certain factors. Jim Collins and his research team have found that successful companies in the US have six factors in common. His findings are described in the book Good toGreat .
This thesis tries to find out if these success factors also can be found in small successful Swedish companies.

Purpose: To see if the Collins’ findings are “universal” and independent of the size of the company.

Method:
• Select a couple of small successful Swedish companies based on how their stock price had developed during the last 10 years.
• Interview the selectedcompanies’ CEOs to get hold of information about the reasons for their company’s success.
• Compile the success factors in Swedish companies and try to find common denominators.
• Compare the findings of Collins with my findings to see if they are similar.

Theory: According to Collins’ research, successful US companies in have six common factors that make them unique compared to lesssuccessful/unsuccessful companies; a leadership on level 5, first who then what, accept and face the reality, the Hedgehog concept, a culture based on discipline, technology as an accelerator. My assumption is that it would be possible to find some common factors in small successful Swedish companies as well.

Analysis: When comparing the results found by Collins with my findings, I analysed if they werefully compatible, to some degree similar or if they completely differed with the findings of Collins.

Conclusion: I have found that several factors are common among the analysed Swedish companies. All of my findings could also be related to the findings of Collins and his research team. Two of Collins findings were not directly apparent but explanations around this will be found in thethesis.

Thesis Collins
Strict compliance to a clear and simple business model
The Hedgehog concept
Strengthening the company by selling off or acquiring businesses
Strong, long-term committed owners
Accept and face the reality
Skilled employees
A culture based on discipline
Usage of internal resources rather than external consultants
First who, then what
A high degree of delegationTechnology as an accelerator
Leadership on level 5

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
There are several people that I would like send my thanks to. First I would like to thank Alf Ekström, Anders Nylander, Mats Årjes, Jan Svensson and Nicklas Storåkers. Without their kind help I would not have got a deeper understanding of their companies.
I also would like to thank Harry Matilainen at SIX and JanneEngwall at OMX/Stockholmsbörsen (Stockholm Stock Exchange).
There are a couple of people both at the analysed companies and at other institutions that have helped me and given me information that I owe my gratitude to.
I also would like to thank my supervisor Anders Hederstierna for his help and advise during the process of writing this thesis.
And finally I would like to thank my partner Susannefor giving me good advices, support and being someone to discuss ideas with.


TABLE OF CONTENTS
ABSTRACT 1
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT 3
TABLE OF CONTENTS 4
ILLUSTRATIONS 6
CHAPTER 1 BACKGROUND 7
CHAPTER 2 METHOD 8
CHAPTER 3 GOOD TO GREAT 10
3.1 LEADERSHIP ON LEVEL 5 11
3.2 FIRST WHO, THEN WHAT 11
3.3 ACCEPT AND FACE THE REALITY 12
3.4 THE HEDGEHOG CONCEPT 12
3.5 A CULTURE BASED ON...
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