Systemic Complexity in Integrated Thinking


In this article, we set out to understand and interpret the meaning of Japanese lenders perspective on non-financial, or soft, information of technology based small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) and look for its implications for the IR agenda. To our surprise, the initial findings showed a focus on network relations, at the cost of just about any other item of soft information about corporate strategy, organizational structure, human resources, technologies and intellectual properties. However, a deeper factor-analysis found a strong correlation between the different factors, revealing a holistic thinking among lenders with regard to the companies’ soft information. In other words, lenders have difficulties in measuring detailed soft items. In consequence, the details did not matter as much as the broader picture, in which detailed measures of different items were interpreted through the firms’ credibility, revealed by their network relations. We further conceptually generalized this insight as an expression of the concrete character of the business reality of the companies, as interpreted through the lender-borrower relationship.

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Erik Bjurström


Ulf Johanson