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How incentive systems arrived in Sweden – a tale of travelling ideas and ghost myths in action

Journal article
Authors Mikael Cäker
Mikael Wickelgren
Thomas Andersson
Published in International Journal of Management Concepts and Philosophy
Volume 11
Issue 1
Pages 67-81
ISSN 1741-8135
Publication year 2018
Published at Department of Business Administration, Accounting
Centre for Global Human Resource Management
Pages 67-81
Language en
Links https://doi.org/10.1504/IJMCP.2018....
Keywords incentive system, translation, ghost myth, imitation, national business system, travelling ideas, Sweden, management fashion, income distribution, institutional theory.
Subject categories Business Administration

Abstract

This paper describes and explains how and why incentive systems began spreading in Sweden, despite the differences between the dominating business values in the USA (where incentive systems originated) and Sweden. A ghost myth in Sweden's national business system explains why it happened when it did. Theories on travelling ideas underemphasise the fact that organisations/countries hold varying and competing ideas of suitable practices at the same time. Ghost myths are important alternative concepts which are activated when contextual circumstances arise for a shift in practices. This research is based on a hermeneutic and qualitative approach using texts and interviews and it highlights the role of ghost myths in terms of how ideas travel and how they are translated in different contexts.

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