Marketing and strategy

The Corporate Elite and the Growth of Swedish Firms

The project studies how relations between Swedish companies' boards affect international growth. This is done with a focus on the status of individual board members. Previous studies confirm the importance of corporate elites for knowledge development, strategies, etc., but few have linked this to international growth. This is particularly interesting for small and medium-sized companies with limited experience and which are in need of relationships with experienced managers from other companies. The study contributes to an understanding of the importance of relationships at a high managerial level and the role they play in international growth. 

The project will consist of quantitative analysis of corporate elites in Sweden. Empirically, the data will be drawn from established databases (e.g., BoardEx, Compustat, Orbis) and advanced statical techniques will be employed for model estimations.






Research area

Project manager at MDU

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Main question:

How does Swedish firms’ access to networks of corporate elite impact their speed of international growth? Guided by this main research question, this project aims to explore whether and how board composition and ties among corporate elite networks could influence firms’ growth rate over time. By distinguishing corporate elite as certain groups who hold a notably amount of business experience as well as social status, the project will shed light on several important issues that are relevant for theory and practice.

Goal of the project:

The project seeks the provide novel explanations to the following issues:

  1. The structure, and the role of the Swedish corporate elite for Swedish firms’ international growth.
  2. Beneficial network compositions, demographics, and characteristics, as well as unbeneficial such.
  3. Differences that a corporate elite play for small and large firms over time.
  4. How stability/stagnation or dynamism in these networks have different effect on firms’ growth

This research relates to the following sustainable development goals