Nordic Capitalisms and Globalization: New Forms of Economic Organization and Welfare Institutions

ISBN : 9780199655847

Peer Hull Kristensen; Kari Lilja
328 Pages
170 x 240 mm
Pub date
May 2012
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In the early 1990s the Nordic countries were considered to be in a serious situation. The costs of welfare states, generous unemployment benefits, high taxation rates, strong unions, and centralized wage bargaining were thought to be undermining their competitiveness in an age of rapid globalization. By 2005 however, they all ranked at the top of a number of performance indexes on economic competitiveness and sustainability. Citizens in the Nordic countries continue to participate in and benefit from globalization on a much wider scale than in any other similarly highly developed country, and these countries increasingly provide templates within the EU for imitation and social innovation. This book investigates how and why welfare services, active labour market institutions, and public policies were re-combined into enabling and risk-sharing mechanisms to stimulate innovation, and how this made it possible for firms to change their work organization and pursue highly rewarding and distinctive globalization strategies. Through detailed analysis of Finland, Denmark, Norway, and Sweden, this book reveals the dynamics and transformations of their national business systems, and the emerging new patterns of interaction between firms, labour markets, and institutions. It will be valuable addition to the literature on social innovation and institutional entrepreneurship.


1. The Co-evolution of Experimentalist Business Systems and Enabling Welfare States: Nordic Countries in Transition
2. Finland: Innovating the Global Positioning of Flagship Companies and Foreign Owned Subsidiaries
3. Denmark: Tailoring Flexicurity for Changing Roles in Global Games
4. Norway: Consolidating the Core of Raw Material Refinement and Integrating Peripheral Companies in Innovative Global Dynamics
5. Sweden: From Large Corporations towards Knowledge Intensive Economy
6. Developing Comprehensive, Enabling Welfare States for Offensive Experimentalist Business Practices

About the author: 

Peer Hull Kristensen is Professor of the Sociology of Firms and Work Organization at the International Center for Business and Politics, Copenhagen Business School, where he is currently co-leading a World Class Initiative on Institutional Competitiveness. His research interest is the comparative study of national business systems, labour markets, the organization of multinational companies, and the ongoing mutations of capitalisms. His current focus is on how changing forms of work organization enable new firm strategies globally, and how this in turn is made possible by making novel use of institutions and creating novel institutional complementarities. He has published widely on this issues and his book with Jonathan Zeitlin, Local Players in Global Games: The Strategic Constitution of a Multinational Corporation is seen as significant contribution in international business studies. ; Dr Kari Lilja is Professor in Organization and Management at Aalto University School of Economics. He has been among the pioneers in setting up the research tradition of national business systems since the late 1980s. He has published in the areas of industrial relations, work organization and managerial work, internationalization of corporations, as well as in the comparative study of national business systems.

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