About the project

The aim of this project is to investigate how distances can be leveraged through various activities, capabilities, and organizing principles.

Companies are increasingly active on international markets. This implies that their (potential) customers are far away, not only geographically but also culturally, economically and institutionally. Such factors are usually regarded as problematic and distance is seen as something to be avoided. A large distance can naturally make the value-generating process cumbersome, as it can be costly and inconvenient to get deeply acquainted with the problems and needs of distant customers. It is not just the geographical distance that is a challenge and which can be costly to overcome. It is also about cognitive problems that can be linked to the difficulty in understanding how clients in other markets think and what they need. On the other hand, distance can be “useful” also from a value-generation perspective, as it may allow more radical thinking and innovativeness in comparison with the more conservative thinking of established players in the market, whose distance to the customer is smaller.

Through appreciative interviews and focus group sessions the project will search for good examples and “work life stories” of how distances have been leveraged, and can be leveraged.

Project time: 2016 - 2020

Collaboration: Researchers at Stockholm Business School Fredrik Nordin, Nishant Kumar and Jessica Lindbergh

Contact: Fredrik Nordin

Photo: Björn Laczay