Managerial differences despite Isomorphic forces : A comparative study of Handelsbanken and Nordea

University essay from Uppsala universitet/Företagsekonomiska institutionen

Abstract: In this comparative case study between Handelsbanken and Nordea, the homogeneous industry of banking is investigated together with the phenomena of management consulting. The two banks are scrutinized under the same laws and regulations, offering the same products and services and tend to recruit similar people. Hence, they are under the same isomorphic pressures. At the same time, it has been acknowledged in the media that the two big banks clearly have different opinions towards management consulting, which additionally is a business area that has increased dramatically over the past years. With this in mind it is interesting to examine why the two actors take such different stands towards the usage of management consultants? In order to answer the research question, theories within management consulting, isomorphism, organizational identity and culture are presented. Semi-structured interviews are used as a primary method and the result of our study is twofold. First, the banks have different ideas about what a management consultant contributes with. Second, the result emphasizes the importance of organizational culture to a greater extent than expected. Hence the cultural palette and the existing understanding of management consulting in these two banks are crucial in order to understand the differences within a homogeneous industry.

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