Mia Åberg , pp. 55. MAM/Sektionen för Management, 2006.
Background and Problem Discussion: Correct usage of a firm’s resources are crucial for the firm’s survival. Companies usually have formalized procedures for calculations of the profitability of investment projects. On the other hand is the corporate strategy, directing the company activities, determining how company resources should be used. The financial calculations and the corporate strategy should work together to ensure the best possible allocation of company resources. Unfortunately, this is not always the case.
Purpose: The purpose of this study is to investigate if contradictions between strategy and individual investment decisions exists in companies today, if these are acknowledged, and what is done about it.
Method: Phenomenological research, using three exemplars. The first exemplar is based on primary data (a case study) and the others on secondary data (taken from published work).
Theory: My starting point is the importance of aligning the investment process with the strategy process. The analysis is supported by theoretical notions of the strategy and the investment processes. These are usually treated as independent processes, although the importance of aligning is extensively acknowledged.
Analysis: The analysis proceeded in the following manner: The empirical data was condensed into key descriptions, which relied on identification on Northcott’s (1995) model of the standard investment process. The key descriptions from each case were compared to find similarities and differences. These were put into perspectives offered by literature.
Conclusion: The study showed that the importance of aligning individual investment decisions with strategy is primarily acknowledged by the companies studied through requiring strategy motivations in the investment proposals. More important for the actual decision-making, however, seems to be the “structural context” in which the investment are proposed, built up through formal and informal communications within the corporation. This “structural context” affects the decisions through the gut feeling (tacit knowledge) of the decision-makers.