Munich Personal RePEc Archive

IT and telecom companies in Kista Science City, Northern Stockholm

Sandberg, Åke and Augustsson, Fredrik and Lintala, Anne (2007): IT and telecom companies in Kista Science City, Northern Stockholm. Published in: Work life in transtion No. 2007:1 (January 2007)

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The Kista area north of Stockholm is a symbol of Sweden’s IT and telecom sector, which has great importance for the economy and working life. The report gives a current, empirically founded description of the IT sector in Kista (including the districts Akalla and Husby), which to a high extent previously has not been available. What do the establishments in Kista look like and what are the relations between them? The management of one hundred IT and telecom establishments in Kista with up to 200 employees have answered a substantial number of survey questions about their activities, their staff and about Kista. The report is descriptive and includes a short description of Kista’s history from the ideas of a city with an integration of work, housing and services until today’s Kista Science City, the year of establishment, number and size of the IT establishments in Kista and their activities. Some results in brief are: • Most of the companies have developed during the last five to ten years. • They are to a very high degree focused on IT and telecom. The most common activity is consulting followed by production of software, R&D and commerce. • More than half of the establishments have an exchange of experiences with other companies in Kista, and almost half of them are involved in strategic cooperation within e.g. development, production and marketing. • Quite a few outsource IT activities to other companies and work as subcontractors to them, but only a limited part of the contracts are with companies in Kista. The networks are regional and international rather than local. • About a quarter cooperate with interactive media companies in Stockholm. • The managements are throughout satisfied with Kista. On all the five factors they see as most important for their operations, Kista comes out well: communications, telecom, premises, competent staff and customers. Kista also comes out well on the criterion proximity to university; although few regard this as important, which is discussed in the report. • One fifth of the employees are women and the top manager is a woman in less then ten per cent of the establishments. • The average age of employees is 38 years. • The staff is well educated, almost 70 percent have three years university education or more. Still, managements view learning on the establishment as the most important source of skills. Perhaps university education is taken for granted.

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