International growth through cooperation: Brand-driven strategies, leadership, and career development in Sweden
Publikation/Tidskrift/Serie: ACADEMY OF MANAGEMENT EXECUTIVE
Förlag: ACAD MANAGEMENT
Corporate growth is often viewed as being either internally generated or externally achieved through mergers and acquisitions (M&As). During the last decade, strategic alliances have become an increasingly popular third alternative to either internal or acquired growth. Alliances can be cheaper, more flexible, and faster than internal or M&A growth. However, they suffer from a major drawback that makes many practitioners wary, namely the difficult issue of sharing control. One of the comparative strengths of Swedish corporate culture is the ability to cooperate laterally through sharing control. Several Swedish multinational corporations such as IKEA and H&M have turned this national trait into a successful strategic growth virtue. In this article, we discuss how some important Swedish organizational, leadership, brand, and career characteristics have been combined into a powerful international growth recipe. The Swedish "growth cocktail" of combining brand-driven, forward, internal growth with resource-saving supplier alliances with minimal loss of control can be deployed by other companies of different nationalities. These complementary forward and backward expansion forms can be enhanced through matching the external brand image and internal brand identity. Pluralistic career management is also essential to sustaining such international growth combinations.
- Business and Economics
- ISSN: 0896-3789