How did the deregulation of air transportation in Europe foster entrepreneurial behavior and innovation
in the European airline industry over the last twenty years? Case studies: SAS Airline & Ryanair
Master Thesis in Entrepreneurship and Dynamic Business Contexts Spring 2007
Supervisor: Håkan Bohman
Entrepreneurship Master Program
Authors: Gilles Helterlin and Nuno Ramalho
We would like to express our gratitude to all who have contributed to the realization of this Master Thesis. A warm thank to our supervisor, Håkan Bohman from USBE (Umeå School of Business), for his guidance, his precious help and his advises during the last months. To Mr. Lundvall, from LFV (Luftfartsverket), Mr. Valinger from Scandinavian Airline and Mr. Wilsberg from SAS Braathens, Jessica Eriksson and Thomas Pettersson from USBE, thank you for your availability, willingness in answering our questions and for their so precious collaboration with interviews, comments and suggestions.
Thank you also Sweden for the wonderful moments we have spent here. We will never forget your nature (your elks), your cold winter (-30°C), your long nights in winter and your short nights in late spring!! It has been a great experience and adventure up there in Northern Sweden!! We will miss you…
Finally we would like to thank particularly the Studentexpedition for its kindness, without forgetting our family and friends (from Sweden, France, Portugal and Greece) for their everlasting daily support, especially during hard moments.
Many thanks to all of you!
Umeå, 24 June 2007
The dynamics of business contexts influence the way firms act in their industry. These changes can have effects in several areas within a company. Entrepreneurship and Innovation are two areas that are affected when a change in firm’s environment occurs, like Schumpeter, Shane and Drucker point. Changes in the deregulatory framework are a specific type of change that can occur. According to Entrepreneurship theories, the removal of regulatory barriers creates opportunities to different reallocation of resources that can lead to changes in market equilibrium. This study addresses this relation between deregulation and entrepreneurship-innovation in the European airline industry. With the removal of regulatory barriers, companies like SAS and Ryanair, saw opportunities to do something new and at the same time had to adapt to these “doing something new” behavior of other companies. Entrepreneurship and innovation were the answer to theses changes and the weapon to fight answers to others with this change. Considering this, our statement problem is the following:
How did the deregulation of air transportation in Europe foster entrepreneurial behavior and innovation in the European airline industry over the last twenty years? The case of SAS and Ryanair.
Our goal is to describe the process of deregulation and how firms reacted to it and to give explanations behind the relation deregulation-entrepreneurship, identifying the direct and indirect influence of deregulation in the studied companies. Furthermore, based on this investigation, we will trace possible ways on how future deregulation in Europe can foster further entrepreneurial behavior and innovation.
This thesis was conducted with a positivism scientific ideal and a deductive approach. We used a qualitative method to collect empirical data that could match with the theories we had chosen beforehand. We conducted three interviews with people inside the industry – from airlines (SAS Braathens and SAS) and from airports (LFV). The first two were used as main sources to SAS case study and the third to have a perspective of airline industry. Since we could not get any interview with Ryanair, Ryanair story book was used as main source for this case study. Our theoretical framework consists of four different broad areas that are interrelated to each other. These areas and the...
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