Some Scandinavian Leaders in Creativity and Innovation

A large number of Scandinavian MNCs founded their business operations and prod­ucts on the basis of some unique innovations. Founded in 1876, Ericsson has become a world leader in communications technology with a business philosophy that com­munication is a basic human need. With a history of over 130 years of technological innovation, Ericsson has over 20,000 world patents and files over 500 patents per year (see http://www. ericsson. com). In the field of innovative service management and business innovations, Scandinavian Airlines System (SAS) is well renowned. From its first transatlantic flight in August 1946, the airline introduced innovations, including the introduction of tourist class and transpolar routings (see http://www.

TABLE 11.1

Top 12 Country Rankings for Knowledge, Creation, and innovation (World Bank Data)

rank

Knowledge Creation

rank

Innovation

1

Sweden

1

Switzerland

2

Denmark

2

Sweden

3

Finland

3

Finland

4

Netherlands

4

Denmark

5

Norway

5

Singapore

6

Australia

6

Netherlands

7

USA

7

USA

8

Canada

8

Canada

9

Germany

9

Israel

10

Switzerland

10

Taiwan

11

New Zealand

11

UK

12

Iceland

12

Japan

Source: Table constructed from World Bank KAM data for 2008 (http://info. worldbank. org/etools/kam2/KAM).

flysas. com). Later (in the early 1980s) Jan Carlzon introduced the Businessman’s Airline and in 1989 SAS University (a place where people learn and develop as a part of their daily work). Founded in 1950 by Ruben Rausing, Tetrapak is a world – class innovator and producer of liquid packaging with technologies and processes that blend hygiene, convenience, and cost saving. The company’s motto, ‘Packaging should save more than it costs’, reveals the company’s vision to minimise adverse impacts on the environment (see http://www. tetrapak. com).

From its first showroom in 1953, Ikea (Ingwar Kamprad Elmtaryd Agunnarad) rapidly became a recognised global brand of low-cost furniture that is well designed and functional. Ikea’s innovative manufacturing and supply processes ensure that its products satisfy consumer needs (see http://www. ikea. com). Nokia has built well – deserved success on its reputation for consumer design blended with technological innovation. From its beginnings, Nokia has focused on technology leadership and consumer-driven design (see http://www. nokia. com). Each of these companies has developed its position of global leadership over a relatively short time span. In the past decade or so, sustainable large companies continue to be created.