Svenska Handelsbanken: Accomplishing Radical Decentralization Through 'Beyond Budgeting'
University of Waterloo - School of Accounting and Finance
Murray R. Lindsay
University of Lethbridge - Faculty of Management
July 31, 2006
This case explains how Svenska Handelsbanken AB, (Handelsbanken), under the leadership of CEO Dr. Jan Wallander, not only successfully overcame a crisis in 1970, but through a change of policies, including the elimination of formal budgets and adopting a radical system of decentralization, has grown to become one of the most successful banks in Scandinavia. The case provides a rich description of the control system that Handelsbanken uses in place of relying on budgets - a system that underlies many of the principles that the "Beyond Budgeting" movement is espousing. The decision point in the case is whether the model of control could be widely adopted outside of Sweden and Handelsbanken in particular.
Keywords: Beyond Budgeting, decentralization, control system, Handelsbanken, Sweden, Jan Wallander, Budgetworking papers series
Date posted: August 3, 2006
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