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Regional Collaboration and Restructuring in Knowledge Intensive Industries

Paper i proceeding
Författare Ola Bergström
Andreas Diedrich
Publicerad i the European Academy of Management Conference in Paris, 16-19 May 2007
Publiceringsår 2007
Publicerad vid Företagsekonomiska institutionen, Human Resource Management
Gothenburg Research Institute (GRI)
Språk en
Ämnesord restructuring, collaboration, regions, labour market policy, knowledge intensive industries
Ämneskategorier Företagsekonomi


This paper seeks to further the understanding of the problems and challenges of regional collaboration in the context of restructuring in knowledge intensive industries. When companies with a dominant position within a geographical area close down, the region may suffer important economic disadvantage. Most often such restructuring has been concerned with the closure of mature or declining industries and sectors such as steel mines, shipping, textile and car manufacturing. However, the growing and emerging industries such IT sectors are also becoming more vulnerable to restructuring. This poses important challenges for regional governments to create new structures of collaboration. One problem is that the institutional structures, such as the employment protection legislation, the public employment services, the unemployment insurance systems, are designed to care for the needs of the traditional industries and that institutional rules and regulations may impede collaborative efforts. The paper illustrates how local private, public and non-profit actors are able to create a common structure of collaboration by negotiating institutional rules and regulations to support redundant high-skilled workers to find new jobs in the region. It illustrates this with field data collected among the collaborating actors in a re-employment project called VinnVinn in Göteborg, Sweden. The implications of the paper concern the need for regional policy makers to balance the thin line between supporting companies going through restructuring while at the same time stimulate the creation of new businesses. On the other hand, there is a balance to strike between advantaged groups and disadvantaged groups in order to avoid social exclusion. In particular regional governments need to consider the long-term benefits of supporting knowledge intensive industries in the region with the short-term costs that it creates.

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