Learning how to grow – Management Competences in play at an International Acquisition by a Medium-Sized, Swedish Engineering Company
Paper i proceeding, 2017

It has become increasingly important for also medium-sized building companies to internationalise. Many of these companies are not ready for that development and top level management need to learn how to carry out steps of internationalisation. The aim of this paper is to create a competency model for top management teams of medium-sized, building companies and then second investigate a case of a Swedish Engineering company, 3000 staff, doing an expansion to Norway. The analysis leads to a further developed competency model for top management. The framework of understanding consists of an overarching category, competency, and four further; leadership and teamwork, uncertainty, risk and resistance, international expansion, and cultural issues.Then empirical material, enables insights and arguments that supports and/or contradicts the theoretical data for each of the identified competences. Three additional competencesis derived from the case study, leading to a total of ten competences: learning during change, strategic leadership, dealing with risk and contingencies, embrace and redirect resistance, synergy orientation, managing local responsiveness, cultural mindsetappointing qualified personnel, efficient communication and business mindset.Missing competenceswere acquired through external consultants or recruitment. To achieve the desired synergies,management uses detailed checklists and processes, and place a person with a very strong internal network as responsible for the integration project. Additionally, the findings indicate some management focus on organizational culture.Managementassumed that through learning and adapting to the organisational cultures, one automatically takes the national culture into account.

Top management





Consulting engineering


Christian Koch

Chalmers, Bygg- och miljöteknik, Construction Management

Ludwig Wingsjö Elmehed

Chalmers, Bygg- och miljöteknik, Construction Management


Chalmers, Bygg- och miljöteknik, Construction Management

Sjouke Beemsterboer

Chalmers, Bygg- och miljöteknik, Construction Management

Buser M., Lindahl G. & Räisänen C. (eds), Proceedings of the 9th Nordic Conference on Construction Economics and Organization. Chalmers University of Technology, Göteborg

9788750211259 (ISBN)


Building Futures (2010-2018)





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