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Innovation dynamics within a multinational company: A survey-based study of Telenor (completed)

This project will map knowledge flows across Telenor’s international business units, and find out why innovation dynamics are smooth and rapid in some business and country contexts, while hampered and slower in others.

About the project

The Norwegian multinational group Telenor has in recent years developed a strategy to foster a better integration of its business units (BUs) located in different countries. As the company’s investments abroad expand – particularly towards Eastern Europe and Asia – it becomes crucial to ensure that different business teams and units located in different countries are well integrated with each other, exchange knowledge and information, and in this way sustain innovation dynamics.

Telenor has recently taken a strategic decision to carry out a large-scale investigation of its organizational culture across its international affiliates, in order to map knowledge flows across its BUs located in different countries, and understand better the factors that may spur innovation dynamics in this multi-unit multinational company.

As part of this new strategy, Telenor Research has during 2014 undertaken a large-scale survey data collection – the Telenor Organization Culture Survey – which has resulted in a new dataset that comprises information of close to 16,000 employees across 14 different BUs worldwide, and their perceptions of the company’s organization, leadership and working culture, knowledge sharing and innovation process.


The present research project intends to analyze this extensive survey data material in order to: (1)  map knowledge flows across Telenor’s international BUs, and to (2) study the factors that can explain why innovation dynamics tends to be smooth and rapid in some business and country contexts, whereas it is hampered and slower in others. We will take into account the role of various relevant dimensions and the possible interactions between them:

  • Employees’ personal characteristics and background (nationality, education level, mobility, salary, age, gender);
  • The organizational set up and working culture of each business function (BF) and working team;
  • The county-specific factors that determine the organizational set up and working culture of BUs located in different countries (e.g. regulation, policy, social capital, corruption, work ethics).

The relevance of a variety of factors at different levels of aggregation – micro (employee), meso (business functions) and macro (BUs in different countries) – calls for a multi-level and systemic approach, where we will investigate the relevance of different determinants of knowledge sharing at different levels of analysis and how these interact and complement each other.


Fulvio Castellacci, Director, The TIK centre, University of Oslo


The TIK Centre and Telenor Research.


Published Oct. 30, 2015 11:19 AM - Last modified Sep. 30, 2022 9:50 AM