Krishantering & styrning i modeföretag under kris - En kvalitativ fallstudie på ett svenskt modeföretag under pågående coronapandemi
Sammanfattning: The pandemic caused by the rapid spread of the coronavirus disease Covid-19 has devastatingeffects on public health and has led to worldwide lockdowns. Actions taken to stop the virusfrom spreading have resulted in a drastic decrease in sales for many companies. The Swedishgovernment have chosen a rather different path to manage the pandemic than most, mostprominently by not invoking direct quarantine or lockdown measures. Despite this, manySwedish companies are struggling to survive. The fashion industry, an industry under pressureeven before the pandemic, is one of the most affected industries, and Swedish fashioncompanies are facing huge challenges because of the pandemic.The corona pandemic is a unique event in history to date but research show that pandemicsmight be more common in the future due to globalization and over-population in many areasof the world. Despite a significant amount of research in the field of crisis management, thereis a lack of studies that observe crisis management during an ongoing crisis, and very fewstudies examine the topic during a pandemic of this magnitude. This study aims to explorecrisis management and management control in a Swedish fashion company during the coronacrisis and compare crisis management in practice with theory. The study is a case study of aSwedish fashion company, where seven interviews were conducted with employees andmanagers at the company headquarters between mid-March and the end of May 2020. Astructured qualitative analysis was completed to develop a better understanding of the differentactions taken by the company during the crisis.The results of our study show that the company alternated between conventional crisismanagement, such as focus on cost-cutting actions, and improvised problem-solving. Theorganizational culture, characterized by creativity and flexibility, seems to play a part in theability to adapt to the new situation. During the crisis management process, the companyfocused on the internal changes of the organization. Increased focus was also directed towardsexternal stakeholders, by intensified dialogue with international partners, landlords andsuppliers and increased attention to customer behaviour. We identified goal incongruencebetween functional departments and short-term problem solving in conflict with long-termcompany performance as potential problem areas during the crisis management. In conclusion,our case firm seem to practice crisis management in a rather conventional fashion at first, thenchange to a more ad hoc approach as the crisis developed. Moreover, many different responsesand actions were observed during the crisis process, some explicit such as decisionsimplemented by management, some more intangible and not visible until one “scratches thesurface”. This finding supports the conclusion that there might be a complexity in crisismanagement, which is not sufficiently illustrated in the research-based models of the crisisprocess and company crisis management as they are designed today.
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