New knowledge in Executive MBA theses

17 September 2019

The 21-month Executive MBA program at the School of Business, Economics and Law in Gothenburg concludes with a thesis in which newly-acquired knowledge is applied to practical challenges that participants are faced with in their professional life. The theses reflect the participants’ diverse industries and experiences and provide valuable new knowledge.

The Executive MBA program is divided into four terms focused on From strategy to action, Managing functions, Navigating in a changing world, Renewing business and Thesis work. The fourth and final term incorporates an academic thesis equivalent to 15 ECTS points. The thesis work is done in pairs or individually with the participants presenting their theses in connection with the examination.

Håkan Ericson, CEO, GU School of Executive Education comments on this year’s theses:

”The theses are of a high standard and highlight challenges that are shared in many places across the private and public sectors. The participants review existing research and complement it with their own studies. This generates new knowledge that is of great benefit to anyone interested in organizational development.”

The theses cover a wide range of topics. Here are some examples:

Speed in strategic decision-making Richard Gonzalves and Sara Båth-Dahlström -focuses on the relationship between speed, quality and company success with strategic decision making. This thesis demonstrates that the speed of decision-making varies between different industries, depending on their nature. Quick decisions can also maintain high quality in the form of data collected, considered alternatives and people involved, as skilled leaders adapt the speed of their decision-making to the industry in which they operate. These findings are very relevant for companies in industries that require a faster pace of change.

Fight or flight? Kristian Isberg and Johan Burtus concerns challenges and improvement potential relating to the return of expatriate workers to their Swedish home organization. The cost can be high for multinational companies whose employees have difficulty with motivation and often resign after returning from an assignment abroad. The authors show that the issue is not paid enough attention by the Swedish organizations included in the study, that the responsibility for the issue is unclear and that there are inadequate processes in place to manage repatriation. The thesis also demonstrates the importance of employers understanding the driving forces of individuals who want to work abroad and being able to create and adapt routines upon returning home.

Lost or found in translation? – Efficiency in the Public sectorAnna Pohjanen and Margaret McNamee – studies the concept of efficiency in the public sector and the consequences of the lack of a clear definition. The authors have studied the public care sector and fire brigades and found that the principle of regional and municipal self-determination, as well as New Public Management, significantly affects how the actors interpret the concept of efficiency. In the absence of a given definition, the actors create their own to make the concept more understandable. The authors point to the risk of finding an understanding of the concept of efficiency that does not match the one intended.

For more information, please contact:

Håkan Ericson, CEO, GU School of Executive Education;, +46 709 50 63 35

The School of Business, Economics and Law at the University of Gothenburg delivers Sweden’s first AMBA-accredited Executive MBA program, customized leadership programs for internationally oriented companies in the Nordic market, as well as shorter open leadership programs. The programs are delivered in Sweden and globally. By combining academic knowledge with practical relevance, the school develops its customers’ key employees. The School of Business, Economics and Law at the University of Gothenburg is one of only 90 business schools in the world – and the only one in Sweden – that is Triple Crown accredited, i.e. it has the three main international accreditations for business schools from AMBA, AACSB and EQUIS. This corresponds to approximately 0.7 % of the world’s business schools.