One Company as Corporate Strategy : A Case Study at Saab AB

University essay from Linköpings universitet/Företagsekonomi; Linköpings universitet/Företagsekonomi


This research project explores the increasingly popular phenomena of companies striving to harmonize and align their business which is called a “One Company”-vision. The project is carried out on behalf of the global IT and management consultancy company, Logica. It is a case study at Saab AB, the Swedish aerospace-and defense-company, regarding corporate strategy. In this research project, the concept of parenting style is related as one important ingredient of One Company and it is considered to be the starting point for implementation of strategy. Implementation of strategy is further illustrated with the help of a tentative model. This model puts strategy in the center of the organization and then intends to align the whole company through strategic congruence and integrated control in order to implement the chosen strategy. If the whole organization is not committed, it will be very difficult to complete the journey to become One Company.

The purpose of this research project is to develop a perspective of a One Company concept and to investigate the implementation of this concept at Saab AB. To further explain the purpose and to deepen the understanding of the One Company concept, the following research questions have been addressed:

  • How does Saab AB, a large Swedish multi-business organization, strive to become One Company?
  • What are (if any) the critical success factors in Saab’s journey to become One Saab?
  • What are (if any) the areas of improvement for Saab, according to the developed perspective of the One Company concept?

In order to accomplish the purpose, interviews have been performed with corporate level management. Moreover, gaps have been filled with empirical findings from a dissertation that investigated Saab’s competitive advantage in relation to strategic congruence and integrated control.

The results show that for Saab AB, the One Company vision started as a market initiative to create a common brand for what used to be a conglomerate. The One Saab strategy has led to many changes for Saab AB, regarding organizational structure, work methods and follow-up processes. It has affected all business areas and all functions. Human Resource and Finance are functions that have already been harmonized. Current changes concern consolidation of IT and implementation of a global management system. The global management system was launched this year (2011) and it will lead to many more changes within the company before it is fully implemented. This system will help bring the company closer to become One Saab.

The conclusion is that Saab AB has come a long way but today it is a synergic corporation and not yet One Company, as the concept is described in this thesis.

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