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


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 learnhow to carry out steps of internationalisation. The aim of this paper is to create a competency modelfor top management teams of medium-sized, building companies and then second investigate a case ofa Swedish Engineering company, 3000 staff, doing an expansion to Norway. The analysis leads to afurther developed competency model for top management. The framework of understanding consistsof an overarching category, competency, and four further; leadership and teamwork, uncertainty, riskand resistance, international expansion, and cultural issues.Then empirical material, enables insightsand arguments that supports and/or contradicts the theoretical data for each of the identifiedcompetences. Three additional competencesis derived from the case study, leading to a total of tencompetences: learning during change, strategic leadership, dealing with risk and contingencies,embrace and redirect resistance, synergy orientation, managing local responsiveness, culturalmindsetappointing qualified personnel, efficient communication and business mindset.Missingcompetenceswere acquired through external consultants or recruitment. To achieve the desiredsynergies,management uses detailed checklists and processes, and place a person with a very stronginternal network as responsible for the integration project. Additionally, the findings indicate somemanagement focus on organizational culture.Managementassumed that through learning and adaptingto the organisational cultures, one automatically takes the national culture into account.

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

Sjouke Beemsterboer seeks to develop a new methodological approach in order to reduce the complexity of a full LCA of residential and office buildings while maintaining an acceptable degree of validity in the expected results. This new methodological approach will be developed in collaboration with partners in the construction industry, and will provide guidance especially in the early design stages of a planning process.