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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2008

Local management response to corporative restructuring: A case study of a company town

Sundström, AC; Hyder, AS


This is a case study of top management in a Swedish pulp industry at Skutskär. After decades of proactive response to change, starting in 1976 the pulp industry experienced a rapid and significant restructuring. In 1992, and after a prolonged hold on local investments, came a large-scale investment with major labor reductions, which created a local crisis. The aim of this study is to analyze how top managers of a local business plant perceive and explain their citizenship relationship to the community of the company town during a transition period from 1976 to 2007. Our study shows that too much reliance on top management cost reduction requirements and not caring, or underscoring, local social concerns created gaps and local stakeholder distrust. We discuss how prolonged distrust of the company to bear social responsibility ended up in a broken relationship between the company and the local community. Our case indicates at least two problems that must be handled for successful corporate citizenship. First, the traditional control-oriented management view is too narrow and not adjusted to today's citizenship reality, including how to handle corporate social responsibility. Second, we can see a possibility where the conceived needs on a global corporate level may lead to situations to obscure local needs and consequences

Published in

Business and Society Review
2008, volume: 113, number: 3, pages: 375-402

Authors' information

Sundström, Agneta
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Economics
Sundström, Agneta
University of Gävle
Hyder, Akmal S.
University of Gävle

Sustainable Development Goals

SDG11 Sustainable cities and communities

UKÄ Subject classification

Economics and Business
Social Sciences

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