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School of Business | Department of Management Studies | MSc program in Management and International Business | 2015
Thesis number: 14260
Keep your head up! - Tackling the unexpected with strategic resilience
Author: Mäntylä, Emil
Title: Keep your head up! - Tackling the unexpected with strategic resilience
Year: 2015  Language: eng
Department: Department of Management Studies
Academic subject: MSc program in Management and International Business
Index terms: johtaminen; management; kansainväliset yhtiöt; international companies; organisaatio; organization; strategia; strategy; kasvu; growth
Pages: 100
Full text:
» hse_ethesis_14260.pdf pdf  size:2 MB (1206143)
Key terms: Resilience, strategic resilience, organization, strategy, growth
During turbulent times and conditions, companies are encountering more challenges in addition to increasingly tightening competition. Resilience is on its way to become a trend in management and business discussions because of the concept's ability to explain why some companies outperform the others in challenging circumstances. In this thesis, the main area of interest is the strategic aspect of resilience. Why these outperforming and successful companies are better than their competitors and how are they adjusting to external conditions and events without significant declines in performance?

Literature regarding resilience in overviewed in the study. Theoretical framework based on this existing theory is used as a foundation for multiple case study. From the list of Finnish hidden champions from the year 2014, 9 publicly exchanged companies were selected for the study. These companies were analyzed both individually and in comparison with each other under the period from the year 2008 to 2014.

The findings of the study suggests that resilient companies have pursued aggressive growth. The growth has been continuous target and chased both organically as well as through acquisitions. Companies that have succeeded to achieve profitable growth have mastered governance strategy in line with market captures. In order to achieve resilience through relative smallness or dominance, the company must control and effectively integrate e.g. acquired units or new market segments as a part of the overall management of the company. This governance has proven to be essential when the companies have reached so called right size where profitable and aggressive growth opportunities have not been in sight. Further, the companies have not developed and changed due to external circumstances but rather driven by opportunities and future growth. This proactivity and certain opportunism proved to be common factor within the case companies. Strong brand and position of technological pioneer were enhanced through market disrupting innovations and continuous launches of new products regardless of prevailing external uncertainties.

Resilient companies were not relying on past success but rather pushed themselves and the industry forward. Strong focus on core-competence as well as controlled expansion outside the comfort-zone provided novel opportunities even for traditional organizations and business. Further, close co-operation with customers and strong presence in selected key markets explained the success. Strategically resilient companies proved to be able to think global and act local at the same time.
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