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Grundat 1876: Historia och företagsidentitet inom Ericsson
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Philosophy and History of Technology.
2006 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other scientific)
Abstract [en]

This doctoral thesis sets out to analyse the importance of history use in the modern industrial enterprise and its role in creating and transforming corporate identity. Both history use and corporate identity are concerned with creating and using a narrative or a self-image, and these concepts, accordingly, provide the starting point of the study. More specifically, the aim is to analyse how, at various points of time and in various connections, Ericsson, the Swedish telecom conglomerate, has produced and used its history and how that history has been used for creating a corporate identity. The theoretical premises are drawn from two separate fields of research, namely history use and corporate branding.

The thesis comprises two parts, the first of which is a comparison over time, showing how history use has changed within the enterprise and focussing mainly on activities at head office/the main factory in Stockholm. The first of these three chapters deals with LM Ericsson’s relocation in 1940 to its newly built factory at Telefonplan in Stockholm, where history was used to show how new the new plant was. The second chapter deals with the LM Ericsson centenary in 1976. The planning and conduct of the centenary celebrations are studied to analyse the purpose of the centenary commemoration, which in this particular instance was very much aimed at strengthening relations with important customer groups. The third chapter covers the period between 2001 and 2004, during which the company celebrated the 125th anniversary of its formation and transferred its head office from Telefonplan to Kista. During this period the company passed through a financial crisis which impacted on the enterprise and on its manner of communication. On all three occasions, history was closely connected to communication and marketing, but the use of history assumed different guises at different times.

Part II is devoted to a particular history product, namely anniversary and commemorative publications produced by various subsidiaries and divisions within the group. Here the perspective is broadened to include Ericsson companies both in Sweden and abroad. The publications are analysed in terms of genre and form, function and content. A hypothesis that the books contain a canon or basic narrative proves untenable. Instead what appears is a polyphonic history. The genre is studied both synchronously and diachronically. One diachronic difference is the increased importance of author selection, illustrations and design. One synchronous difference is the prominence of national narratives in the various publications.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH , 2006. , 241 p.
Trita-HOT, ISSN 0349-2842 ; 2051
Keyword [en]
industrial history, history of technology, cultural history, use of history, business history, corporate identity, factory buildings, telecommunication, Ericsson, Telefonplan (Midsommarkransen), Kista, Stockholm, National Museum of Science and Technology, Sweden, 20th century.
National Category
History of Technology
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-4035ISBN: 91-7178-369-5OAI: diva2:10493
Public defence
2006-06-15, F3, Lindstedsvägen 26, Stockholm, 10:15
QC 20100909Available from: 2006-06-02 Created: 2006-06-02 Last updated: 2010-09-09Bibliographically approved

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