Background

In April of 2011, Sigbritt Karlsson, Vice-Chancellor at the University of Skövde, authorized a study that was completed in the same year. The study was presented in the report Enterprises for the Future: A possible research profile at the University of Skövde? (Framtidens företagande: en möjlig forskningsprofil vid Högskolan i Skövde?). Enterprises for the Future was founded in November of 2011, and the research group was formed in 2012. During 2013, Enterprises for the Future participated in the research evaluation referred to as ARC13 and received the grades “good” or “very good” for the evaluated criteria. To view the self-evaluation report and the evaluation assessment, click here. During 2014, Future Enterprise was granted its position as one of five research specialities at the University of Skövde.

Founding principles

It is fundamental in all research to recognize that the future is always uncertain because of the various, and often unpredictable, ways governments, companies and organizations, managers and followers, customers and citizens, etc. interact. Because these actors connect in a multiplicity of ways, understanding the reality of those connections is a very complex task. Nevertheless, it is possible to identify action patterns that help us understand why some companies and organizations are more successful than others. Preparing for the future means being willing to innovate, to expand networks, to listen to customers, and even, in some cases, to develop new organizational philosophies and attitudes. In short, preparing for the future requires taking actions that are effective as well as flexible.

A second principle is that the actors who have the ability and the courage to innovate drive development in society and the economy. Often much can be learned from the experiences of these actors – their successes as well as their failures.

A third principle is that companies in local settings are part of the larger world in the sense that local and regional companies compete in the world economy – whether that competition comes from, for example, Asian berry pickers, Eastern European truck drivers, or international consultants. Company leaders and managers, therefore, often need to develop new mind-sets that secure and stabilize their customer relationships. This requires proactive engagement with activities through continual development in markets and on-going innovation in goods and services.

Mission and goals

Our mission, as researchers at Enterprises for the Future, is to understand the problems that companies and organizations face. Our goals are to conduct research that contributes to finding solutions for these problems and to help companies evaluate those solutions. Next we list the areas in which our specializations are best suited to achieve these goals:

  • Internationalization processes
  • Marketing programmes using social media and other digital platforms
  • Strategic development in SMEs
  • Sustainable development
  • Leadership and followership
  • Business development
  • Organizational resilience (viability)
  • Knowledge management
  • Succession planning and ownership transfer