Konkurrencedygtighed i den danske detailbranche: Et case studie af VILAs interne strategi

Therese Hansen

Student thesis: Master thesis


Within the past years an increasing competition has been flourishing in the Danish retail market. Firstly due to the financial crisis and latest the booming in online shopping, more and more retail organizations have found themselves struggling to be competitive and many have now come to realize that it calls for whole new strategies. One of these companies is the Danish clothing company VILA, who in the fall of 2012 decided to change their strategy, and now wanted to gain a competitive advantage by developing and utilizing their internal resources in their shops. By focusing on training and improving the employees’ skills with i.e. leadership and motivational tools as well as standardizing the shop layout they want to attract the customers by excelling in unique customer service and sale skills. Applying a social constructivist approach this thesis thus sets out to investigate how VILA’s new strategy has been influencing the leadership, motivation and culture in their shops. Further it tries to explore the reasons for this influence and points out which consequences the new strategy could have for VILA in developing their internal resources and gaining a competitive advantage. The analysis shows that due to many conflicting perceptions and performances of leadership in VILA, the new strategy’s leadership tools have not been adopted thoroughly throughout the shops. Instead, the new strategy seems to confuse the shop managers, and make them struggle to find a leadership identity that fits everybody’s wishes, and thus they often chose to fall back into their old leadership style. Further, the analysis suggests that the motivational tools as well as the working environment developed within the new strategy often do not foster the fulfillment of the employees’ essential needs and with that i.e. their integrity, identification with the new behavior and the organization and knowledge sharing. As a result, a tendency to return to old habits and thus not develop new permanent skill sets appears amongst the employees. In addition, the analysis found, that the new strategy holds many cultural symbols, which are appointed different meanings and values by the management and the employees in the shops, resulting in very different worldviews of the culture. Due to the fact that the meanings and values of the new strategy have not been created in a process between both the employees and the management, this instead results in the employees, for most parts, chose to dismiss the management’s worldviews, and either submit to those already existing in the shop culture or creating new ones of their own. As a conclusion I argue, that VILA’s new strategy has not as of yet resulted in developing internal resources for them to utilize in their search for a competitive advantage.

EducationsMSc in Business Administration and Organizational Communication, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2014
Number of pages88