Småländsk världsindustri - en studie om entreprenörer och kluster 1950-2002
The thesis describes and analyzes six companies’ origins and development over the period 1950-2002, a time when the Swedish industrial sector was dominated by companies that were formed in the early 1900s. The firms, situated in the same region, have after an eventful journey become world leaders in the segment of machines with capacity to lift more than five tonnes. Investigations in Swedish business history are generally focused on larger firms, while the smaller and medium-sized rarely are analyzed, especially not in longitudinal studies, although they represent the majority of the Swedish industrial production and employees. The survey method consists primarily of interviews as the written source material is limited. The analysis is conducted with help of entrepreneurial and cluster theories. The former by work of Joseph Schumpeter and Scott Shane which emphasize the action of the individual man, the entrepreneur, while the cluster theories focus in the interaction with the environment, especially the local customers and competitors. Represented scholars for the cluster theories are Michael Porter and Pontus Braunerhjelm & Maryann Feldman. The development was a result of several entrepreneurs’ knowledge, courage and innovation ability. The earlier entrepreneurs, up to mid-1970s, were more practical and managed to create successful companies in cooperation with customers as the local sawmills, while the later entrepreneurs had broader and more general experience and education, e.g. more fluent in marketing and languages. The important market became from 1980s the international container handling industries. Rather early, all companies acquired the strategy to construct larger, customized forklifts, in order to get better paid. This was a result of both the internal structure and the influence from the environment. As a consequence, the innovations have over all been directed to improve the products and marketing. Only three product innovations are listed as radical, although they have not changed the paradigm of the lifting industry. As the competition became tougher in the 1980s, more efforts were committed in rationalizing the production, resulting in more standardized machines. The local cluster today is a result of sales and acquisitions; start ups and closes, which have resulted in varied rivalry, more learning, but also an increasing competitiveness. Unfortunately it has not attracted numbers of new firms, which can sharpen the innovation further.
Source Type:Doctoral Dissertation
Keywords:SOCIAL SCIENCES; Business and economics; SOCIAL SCIENCES; verkstadsindustri; longitudinell studie; truckindustri; företagshistoria; kluster; entreprenörskap; entreprenörer
Date of Publication:01/01/2009