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Implementing strategic change through projects: Identifying CSFs within the setting of SMEs
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business.
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business.
2009 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Strategic change projects allow companies to align their strategy to the turbulent external environment in today’s marketplace and are therefore crucial for retaining the competitive advantage of the firm. The identification of the critical success factors for these projects has become increasingly important, because of the reported high failure rates in the implementation of such projects. The important role of SMEs for the social and economic development of a country is well-known. However, SMEs as an area of study are not often discussed by researchers and an appropriate set of critical success factors for them is lacking. Therefore, it is vital to identify the critical success factors for the implementation of strategic change projects in SMEs to ensure the success of their efforts.

This study, which seeks to determine the critical success factors for the implementation of strategic change projects within the context of SMEs makes use of a multiple-case study strategy. The cases are based in two companies where semi-structured interviews were conducted in order to obtain the primary data required. The information retrieved from the selected cases was analysed using a qualitative approach. For the elaboration of the conclusion, an iterative process was followed, moving from the data collected, to the theoretical background and to the development of theory.

At the end of the study it was possible to identify a set of eleven critical success factors that answers the research question of this thesis. In addition, a conceptual model was derived from the theoretical and empirical studies of this work, outlining three dimensions that are considered to influence strategic change project success in the SME-setting. The present study would be beneficial to the practitioners of SMEs as the identified set of critical success factors can be used as a checklist of points to concentrate on when implementing strategic change projects. This will assist them in ensuring that the crucial factors and issues are addressed during implementation. For academics, the study contributes new knowledge to the field and offers a common language for discussing the critical success factors of strategic change projects in SMEs.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Handelshögskolan vid Umeå universitet , 2009. , 106 p.
Keyword [en]
critical success factors, strategic change projects, SMEs
National Category
Social Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-1970OAI: diva2:142601
Social and Behavioural Science, Law
Available from: 2009-01-22 Created: 2009-01-22 Last updated: 2010-03-16Bibliographically approved

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