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Managing strategic illusions : the Volvo strategy in retrospect


  • Kinch, Nils


This paper discusses the convergence between vision and strategic movement in the Swedish automobile Company Volvo from 1926 until l956. The intentions formulated in 1926 were by and large realized when the founder and CEO resigned after 30 years in office. However, in the intervening years the actual development differed substantially from original plans. Although Volvo repeatedly failed to introduce a car the CEO persistently reiterated his original vision. Causal attributions were manipulated and a future desired state described as if it had already materialized. The Volvo story illustrates the interplay of vision and opportunism. It brings attention to the extent to which realized strategy is the result of deliberate management actions or fortuitous events.

Suggested Citation

  • Kinch, Nils, 1991. "Managing strategic illusions : the Volvo strategy in retrospect," Working Papers 1991:8, Uppsala University, Department of Business Studies.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhb:uufewp:9108

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    1. Studies on the automobile industry


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