The Role of History in the Modern Company : Ericsson and the Past

Detta är en avhandling från Stockholm : Industriell ekonomi och organisation

Sammanfattning: The overall purpose of the thesis is to discuss the presenceand influence of the commercial use of history in modernindustrial companies and history's role in creating andchanging corporate identity. More specifically the aim is toanalyse the way the Swedish telecom company Ericsson has madeuse of its history at three different occasions.By analysing three cases, the study shows how the companyhas used its history in different ways at different times. Thefirst case study studies the company's move to a new-builtfactory at Telefonplan at the outskirts of Stockholm in 1940.The factory building was a modernistic model factory, and themanagement wanted to implement a new era in the company. Atthis occasion history was used as a contrast to the future.The second case study studies the company's 100 years'anniversary in 1976. Was it a celebration of the past or of thefuture? At this occasion the history came into commercial use.The management of the company invited plenty of guests tocommemorate the company's past but they also used the occasionto show the modern company and its latest products.The third case study studies the years 2001-2004. Duringthis period the company used its history to build a corporateidentity. History was used for corporate branding. In 2001 thecompany had its 125th anniversary, but at the same time thecompany experienced a serious economical decline. In 2003 itleft its modernistic factory at Telefonplan and moved to Kista.During this period history was treated more and morelike amythology, and was moulded to fit the company's needs.The study also shows how the board room from the oldestfactory building was treated in different ways at the differentoccasions, and how it finally ended up at the National Museumof Science and Technology in Stockholm.Key words:industrial history, history of technology,cultural history, use of history, business history, corporateidentity, factory buildings, modernism, telecommunication,Ericsson, Telefonplan (Midsommarkransen), Kista, Stockholm,National Museum of Science and Technology, Sweden, 20thcentury.

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