Transnational development projects in MNCs: A study of Ericsson

Background: The past decades two trends has been detected in the society. First of all, the new economy has brought along globalisation as a striking trend, and secondly we have been hit by some kind o f”projectification”. The two trends seem to work against each other on several levels and global companies have a hard time coping with both at the same time.
Purpose: The purpose of this thesis is to describe how an international development project is organised and show what impacts a MNC structure has on its projects concerning management and communication. Method: In order to reach an understanding, a qualitative case study was performed, and several interviews with people within a Ericsson project was made. In addition, Ericsson internal material and project documentation was used.
Findings: We found that the global structure very much has an impact on the project studied and that it did not have the characteristics that, literature of today describes, is common for projects. Since the project consist of several independent subsidiary we would not like to call it a project organised in a matrix, but rather described as an “intra-corporational consortium”. Because of this structure, there are implications for management and communication as well. The management, we believe, is more done by “good will”, and there is a strong resistance for communicating since there is a belief that information will handle all problems.


1.1 Background
1.2 Problem discussion
1.3 Problem formulation
1.4 Purpose
1.5 Demarcations
1.6 Reading guidelines
2.1 Scientific ground values
2.1.1 Science as fact of a matter or irrelevant subjective interpretations
2.1.2 Our ground values and what it has to do with the essay
2.2 Conclusion by deduction or understanding by induction?
2.3 The qualitative case study method
2.4 Our method
2.4.1 Why we find this method to be the most appropriate one
2.4.2 How we have collected data
2.4.3 Critics against the method chosen
2.5 Chapter summary
3.1 Ericsson
3.2 SCSA
3.3 Mitsunami
4.1 The organisation – the view of the authors
4.1.1 Organisation vs. human
4.1.2 The attempt of joining forces
4.1.3 Why the project organisation is a suitable solution
4.1.4 Projects characteristics
4.1.5 How to handle a project organisation-wise
4.2 Management – a combination of power and authority
4.3 Information and communication
4.4 Internationalisation & culture
4.5 Chapter summary
5.1 The organisational context of Mitsunami
5.2 Product complexity
5.3 Formal objectives within the project
6.1 Management and decision-making
6.1.1 Decision-making in Mitsunami
6.1.2 TPM assignments and responsibilities within the project
6.1.3 The rest of the management
6.1.4 Other roles and how they are looked upon
6.1.5 Management and hierarchy summary
6.2 Information flow and project communication
6.2.1 Formal information and communication flow
6.2.2 How does the information really flow?
6.2.3 What about communication in Mitsunami?
6.2.4 Information and communication summary
7.1 Analytical dimensions
7.2 Organisational characteristics
7.2.1 The inter-organisational matrix
7.2.2 The Ericsson spirit – just an illusion?
7.2.3 The absence of a team and a common goal
7.2.4 An alternative way of looking at this projects
7.3 Management within the project
7.3.1 A way of handling opportunistic behaviour
7.3.2 Structural implications on management
7.4 Information and communication
7.4.1 Information equals communication?
7.4.2 Structural implications on communication
8.1 The project myth
8.2 Management by good will
8.3 “Make yourself heard”

Author: Danell, Roger,Knutsson, Anders

Source: Linköping University

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