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Large Swedish industrial companies: Farsightedness in business and sustainability strategies
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Industrial Economics and Management (Dept.), Organization and management.
2014 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Industry facilitates the economic development of nations and acquisition of human wealth. Parallel to the global spread of industry, the world is facing rapid population growth. Simultaneously, formerly impoverished populations are approaching middle class standards of living with corresponding increases in levels of consumption. If the populations and consumption levels of societies continue to grow at the expected pace we will face a future environmental crises in the long-term and the world’s environmental resources will not be adequate to meet coming needs. Societies, together with industry, must transform to become sustainable in order to tackle one of our world’s most pressing challenges.Governments and organizations are now pushing industrial companies to meet this challenge and integrate sustainability into their businesses in order to put the economy on the pathway to a sustainable transformation. The World Business Council for Sustainable Development has a vision with formulated conditions that must be met before year 2050 to meet this challenge. But in order to unlock the full potential of sustainable growth, one must also understand the farsightedness of company leaders. The aim of this study is to examine how farsighted Swedish industries are both related to business and sustainability strategies. The main questions for this thesis are: How farsighted are the longest-term strategies/tasks/visions of the Chief Executive Officers (CEOs)? How farsighted are the longest-term tasks that the CEO delegate to members of the management team? How farsighted are the longest-term sustainability strategy of the company? And finally, who in the organization is responsible for the longest-term sustainability strategy/task/vision?The thesis focuses on finding out if their farsightedness in sustainability strategies match with their other business strategies. Eight large Swedish industrial companies were investigated using interviews with their CEOs.The results show a very large difference between companies in the farsightedness measured with time-span of business strategy and sustainability strategy. The time-span of the tasks that the CEOs delegate to the management team also differ substantially between companies. Moreover, the study revealed that all of the studied companies place the ultimate responsibility for sustainability with the CEO and that the farsightedness in sustainability match with the companies’ business strategies. The research show that all eight companies do match their farsightedness in sustainability with business.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. , 56 p.
Examensarbete INDEK, 2014:86
Keyword [en]
Sustainability, Strategy, Vision, Governance, Organization, Industry, Strategy, Time-Span
National Category
Other Social Sciences not elsewhere specified Other Engineering and Technologies not elsewhere specified
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-155175OAI: diva2:760012
Educational program
Master of Science in Engineering - Mechanical Engineering
Available from: 2014-11-05 Created: 2014-11-02 Last updated: 2016-09-27Bibliographically approved

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