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COMPANY WELFARE PROGRAMMES AND INDUSTRIAL MODERNIZATION IN FINLAND

Journal article
Authors Susanna Fellman
Published in Scandinavian Journal of History
ISSN 03468755
Publication year 2019
Published at Department of Economy and Society, Economic History
Department of Economy and Society
Language en
Keywords industrial paternalism, modernization of management, welfare capitalism, welfarism
Subject categories Other Social Sciences not elsewhere specified, History and Archaeology

Abstract

© 2019, © 2019 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. Prior to the modern welfare state, many large companies provided extensive welfare programmes for their employees. In this article, such welfare programmes–or corporate welfarism–in Finnish manufacturing firms in the early 20th century are the focus of attention. I analyse the content of these programmes and how they changed over time as part of the modernization and professionalization of management and industrial and societal change. I also discuss how company managers perceived the role of welfare provisions in corporate development and what happened with these programmes when the first steps towards the modern welfare state were taken. I show that these programmes started as a necessity and part of industrial paternalism, but gradually became part of labour management, in particular for the creation of a loyal workforce and productivity improvements. These programmes often developed in collaboration with local municipalities, which led to intertwined relationships at the local level, marked by both trust and tension in local communities. Once general welfare reforms emerged, companies often abandoned their voluntary programmes, while some services were taken over by the municipalities. I also ask to what extent these programmes were managerial strategies to counteract growing state involvement in their affairs.

Page Manager: Webmaster|Last update: 9/11/2012
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