This article is concerned with the processes through which technological standards are developed, and how these standards provide the underpinnings of new markets for global cellular communication. The case investigated is that of so-called third generation mobile communications, involving advanced multimedia and Internet access. The article explores how the main actors at the outset, used the process of standardization to strategically strengthen their respective market positions, and how standardization wars spread from the level of firms to government and supra-governmental organizations. Using the conflict between Ericsson and Qualcomm in the area of air radio interface standards as a key example, the article shows how the actors, because of institutional conditions and pressures, were reconciled and moved towards collaborative patterns of behavior, supporting a ''family'' of compatible standards.
The Institute of International Business (IIB) is a research and education center at the Stockholm School of Economics. From its humble beginnings in 1976, IIB has systematically built a trans‐discipliary research environment with an extended international network. IIB's research on the multinational corporation (MNC) has centered around two research questions: 1) How should MNCs be organized and managed to be successful? and 2) What are the reasons behind MNC success? Empirical studies of intra‐organizational phenomena created an MNC image from which the concept of a knowledge‐based view of the firm gradually emerged. We argue that the overarching logic of IIB's research on knowledge in international firms and networks emanates from exposure to international top managers and owners, and from studying processes in technology‐based multinationals. IIB has benefited greatly from faculty cooperation, instead of competition, thus ilustrating the knowledge‐based theories assertion that knowledge is generated by recombination in social communities with shared identity.
From 1998 to 2002 the Sweden‐based telecommunications equipment company, Ericsson, instituted a series of stock option plans, thus emulating a distinctly American mode of compensating high‐tech personnel. Then in 2003, Ericsson did not renew its stock option program. Instead Corporate HR developed a unique employee stock purchase plan that made central use of an HR tool inherited from the 2001 and 2002 stock option plans to reward a subgroup of outstanding non‐executive employees. The Ericsson experience with stock options shows that corporate HR managers can graft an alien mode of compensation onto a well‐developed organizational structure without undermining the integrity of that structure. Our close examination of the transfer of US‐style stock options to Ericsson shows why convergence to the latest US business model is not an inevitable outcome, and how in global competition in the ICT industries alternative business models can still result in competitive success.
By emphasizing the rigid character of centralized bargaining, many students of Sweden's political economy end up by wrongly characterizing its national industry as ‘Fordist’. By contrast, this chapter argues that the strategic responses to increased competitiveness actually varied across sectors. In motor vehicles and electrical engineering, the experience of diversity of market realities, heterogeneous institutions, and conflicting political goals forced enthusiastic proponents of Americanization to modify or abandon their view on the fundamentals of industrial efficiency. Pressure from customers for innovation, small batch production, adaptation, and successive upgrading of existing products created obstacles to standardization. It was not until increased liberalization of world trade and competitive pressures began to make themselves felt in export as well as domestic markets that the ambiguities of Swedish industrial practices became manifest, spurring national industry to redefine its identity through a process of strategic debate and selective adaptation.
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