Leadership in Foreign owned Subsidiaries

by Siegfrid, Karin; Johansson, Martina

Abstract (Summary)
In 1993 the Swedish stock exchange opened up for foreign buyers. Since then, more and more Swedish companies have become foreign owned, which in turn means that more and more employees are getting foreign employers. The ongoing globalization process is indicating this trend will continue. The question is if the foreign investor will prioritize development in Sweden or if the research and development departments will be moved out from Sweden. A common effect of foreign acquisitions of Swedish companies has been the move of head offices out from Sweden, which can cause Sweden to lose competences in how to lead a large organization. Moreover, most foreign owned companies are controlled by a foreign company or investor from any of the countries Norway, the USA, United Kingdom or Denmark.The purpose of this study is, from a management perspective, to investigate and discuss if and how a manager’s role and leadership style is influenced by having a foreign owner. As a part of the discussion the study will also examine which impact a foreign owner has on a Swedish subsidiary according to its leader.To accomplish the purpose of the study a qualitative approach has been applied. Telephone interviews of a semi structured character have been conducted with six managers with leading positions within middle-sized and large-sized companies.Foreign owned subsidiaries tend to be managed rather independently from within the parent companies. In general, the subsidiaries have autonomy to a certain degree decided by the frames which have been set up by the parent company. Any larger cultural differences have not been found, which appear to be a result of the subsidiaries’ independency. To summarize, having a foreign owner do not seems to have a direct influence on the managers’ role and leadership style.
Bibliographical Information:


School:Högskolan i Jönköping

School Location:Sweden

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:leadership foreign owned companies subsidiaries culture


Date of Publication:06/15/2007

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