Företag i perifera regioner : fallstudier av företagartradition, företagsmiljö och företags framväxt i Norrbottens inland

Sammanfattning: This is a study of how industries develop in regions that are industrially weak, exemplified by Norrbotten, the northernmost province of Sweden. Developing industries are represented by three companies manufacturing prefabricated wooden houses, situated in the municipalities Övertorneå, Kalix (Morjärv) and Älvsbyn in the interior of Norrbotten.For the period ending in 1918, the economy of Norrbotten is analysed in terms of staple theory. Thereafter, an analysis in dependency theoretic terms is judged to be more relevant. The communities in which the house factories are located are described similarly.Övertorneåand Mor j ärv are in the periphery of a peripheral region. There has never been any locally generated economic life of any importance. The house factory in the community first mentioned was established there in 1970 by AMS (The Swedish Labour Market Board). The other one was started by a local entrepreneur in the 1930's. It has changed hands several times, being incorporated into ever larger conglomerates. The third company studied was started by a local carpenter who still controls it. The factory is located in Älvsbyn, near Piteå, which has to be considered the center of the periphery.The integration of these three companies with other local firms, and their economic importance was studied in terms of their buying behavior. The method of investigation was a study of the internal records of the firms.All three of the companies showed that a decrease in the local and regional shares of their total purchases took place between the sample years studied. A comparison of the companies showed the Älvsby factory, the one locally initiated and controlled, to have by far more solid local and regional foundations than the other two. This could partly be explained by firm-related theories but the most important factor seemed to be the industrial tradition in the communities. Industrial tradition is a factor mostly determined by the position of a community in a dependency hierarchy, in part however, it is controllable by local decision-makers and individual entrepreneurs.Even for the company with the best local foundations, there was a drop in local and regional shares of purchases. The reason for this is the size of the company in relation to other local industries. The company has reached the limits of the capacity of the local community to support it. Such limits exist everywhere but their exact level depends on the status of the community and region they are in, the line of industry, the nature of ownership, etc.A series of implications for regional politics can be derived from the present study. Economic measures designed to improve weak industrial areas should be undertaken with utmost care in order not to damage existing local economy. Much greater efforts should be made to study the conditions of existing economic life and its potential for change, i.e. to study the historical development.