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Title: How incentive systems arrived in Sweden - a tale of travelling ideas and ghost myths in action

Authors: Mikael Wickelgren; Thomas Andersson; Mikael Cäker

Addresses: School of Business, University of Skövde, P.O. Box 408, SE-541 28 Skövde, Sweden ' School of Business, University of Skövde, P.O. Box 408, SE-541 28 Skövde, Sweden ' School of Business, University of Gothenburg; Trondheim Business School, Economics and Law, P.O. Box 100, SE-405 30 Gothenburg, Sweden

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.

Keywords: incentive system; translation; ghost myth; imitation; national business system; travelling ideas; Sweden; management fashion; income distribution; institutional theory.

DOI: 10.1504/IJMCP.2018.090413

International Journal of Management Concepts and Philosophy, 2018 Vol.11 No.1, pp.67 - 81

Available online: 07 Mar 2018 *

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