Krise i oljeservice - har selskapene seg selv å takke? - En empirisk studie av effektene selskapenes vekststrategier har hatt på bransjens innovasjonsevne
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This study examines the massive growth period the oil service industry experienced ahead of the market change in 2014, which led the industry into a crisis situation characterized by massive downsizing. Even though oil service companies during this period achieved a great financial success, the study questions whether growth has occurred at the expense of innovation through the thesis statement: What impact have the oil service companies' growth strategies had on the industry's innovation capabilities? The study has analyzed three selected growth strategies for the oil service companies, which examined the impact each individual strategy has had on the industry's ability to innovate, and thus defined the problem through the following three research questions: 1. What impact has the companies' acquisition strategy had on the industry's innovation capabilities? 2. What impact has the companies' whole product strategy had on the industry's innovation capabilities? 3. What impact has the companies' strategy for increased sales volume had on the industry's innovation capabilities? To investigate the thesis statement and the three research questions the study has chosen an empirical approach with qualitative in-depth interviews as the primary method for data collection. The interviews were conducted among twelve top executives of the largest global oil service companies operating in Norway within the upstream part of the value chain. In addition, two directors from government agencies were interviewed to inform the study from a different perspective. The findings are discussed against relevant theory and recent research, and argues that (1) the acquisition strategies have led to a few large players dominating the market where innovation capability of the acquired companies have been greatly reduced and in some cases killed after integration, (2) the whole product strategy has led to tremendous entry barriers and a drive toward standardization that inhibit the industry's ability to innovate, and (3) the strategy for increased sales volume has led to available resources being allocated to handle the enormous amount of deliveries at the expense of innovation. The study concludes that these three growth strategies in total have affected the industry's innovation capabilities in a negative direction. In addition to the findings, the industry lacks incentives and drivers of innovation that further reduces the innovation capabilities of the industry. The informants are surprisingly negative to the impact the companies' growth strategies have had on the oil service industry's ability to innovate.