ALMOST INTERCONNECTED—How Sweden’s 50 Largest Companies Apply a Systems Approach to Sustainability

Johanna Hallin, Michelle Sandberg, Nathalie Ahlstedt Mantel


A new complex and global society demands new approaches to solving our shared challenges and making businesses thrive. As a result, applying a systems approach is becoming more important for businesses when forming strategies for the future. The Inter Business Index is a measurement tool to understand a company’s holistic value creation, and one part of the index is a specific measurement focused on a company’s ability to adapt a systems approach to core strategy and operations. By qualitative analysis of annual and sustainability reports of Sweden’s 50 biggest companies, looking at how the companies relate to future needs and requirements, their own sense of responsibility and place in the system, ability to analyze complex problems and ability to make strategic priorities thereafter, the index ranks the companies by ability to apply a systems approach. Our findings show that companies are better at analyzing what needs to be done, but are having a hard time prioritizing their actions to fit. In discussion, we argue that short sightedness of profits companies traditionally has might make this process harder, albeit necessary.

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Copyright (c) 2018 Johanna Hallin, Michelle Sandberg, Nathalie Ahlstedt Mantel

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