Strategy under Uncertainty: Empirical Evidence from Swedish Companies Operating in Russia

  •  Olga Golubeva    


The objective of this paper is to describe and explain company strategies under uncertainty. The study attempts to examine closer interaction between research on strategic management and internationalization theory. Recent escalation of conflict between Russia and the EU/USA in combination with economic recession increased the level of uncertainty. The article explores how this deterioration is reflected in a strategy of Swedish companies operating in Russia. This study builds on the empirical data from a survey conducted in 2015 among 73 Swedish firms. The findings of the study contribute to knowledge regarding diversity in commitments shown by different companies at one particular point of time under the same circumstances. The study reveals a domination of expansion strategy chosen by Swedish firms during the current escalation of uncertainty in Russia. A growing strategy under uncertainty has seldom been reported and analyzed by scholars. The study demonstrated that uncertainty is not only a threat to companies operating on the market, but can lead to expanding strategies attempting to exploit the opportunities that uncertainty might offer. Appraising the risk concept, the study provides implications for companies’ managers on the importance of a commitment decision to face the deterioration caused by the uncertainty. Empirical data from this study also suggest that uncertainty is handled by companies better than one might expect. The article questions whether companies and managers are really risk-averse in their behaviour.

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