Author: Goran Blome
Goran Blomeís On Location in Australia and New Zealand: Images of Swedish - Australian - New Zealand Entrepreneurship, is a richly illustrated exploration of Swedish / Australian business relations from the time of first settlement up to today.
He begins, logically enough, with the first "official;" Swedish visitor to Australia and New Zealand - Daniel Solander - a naturalist who came to Australia and New Zealand with Cook and Banks.
Blome then covers the history of Swedish / Australian / New Zealand interaction over a quick 12 pages of lucid and concise writing, culminating in a large number of potted biographies of modern influential Swedish immigrants. These are the centerpieces of the book. This work is essentially an exploration of the successes of Swedish individuals and companies, mostly in Australia. New Zealand is confined to about 18 pages of text and pictures in a separate section. Australia is broken down into states, of which most coverage is afforded to New South Wales and Victoria.
The main strength of this work is the thoughtful blend of company history with personal history in the authorís writing. The entrepreneurial relationship between Sweden, Australia and New Zealand is therefore presented as a rich tapestry of personal achievements against a background of harmonious business relations. Blome claims the reason for such harmonious relations is simple; that Australia, New Zealand and Sweden have a great deal in common, with a similar business climate and social life, a situation that makes it easy to establish business contacts.
Blomeís analysis of the interaction between Swedish entrepreneurs and the Australian / New Zealand market place paints a positive picture of cross-cultural interaction. This is very much a history about everything going right rather than everything going wrong. Sometimes the language Blome uses can read a little like an advertisement; "Everything boils down to just a few simple fundamentals that SAS (Scandinavian Airlines System) have stuck to from the outset: safety, friendliness, informality, simplicity of choice. Itís simply Scandinavian Service." (p. 69) As suggested by the title, images are important in this book. There are plenty of photographs peppering the text - portraits of those who have shared their personal histories with the author set in an environment with which they are obviously familiar and usually reflect some aspect of their working life. This of course adds to the importance that Blome attributes to the people behind the organizations. Overall, On Location in Australia and New Zealand makes a valid and important contribution to understanding the Entrepreneurial relationship between Sweden, Australia and New Zealand. It emphasizes individual contributions to the relationship and introduces, albeit briefly, with a large cast of characters. The author has obviously researched his information from personal interviews, and from the corporations he covers in the book. This approach sheds a lot of light on the individuals and corporations involved. A very informative piece of work.