”We were only managing our legacy” Forms of agency in Olofström’s development path from supply chain to regional cluster

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract


The labour market region of Olofström-Karlshamn experienced a period of exceptional economic decline between 2007 and 2010, prompted primarily by the job loss that resulted from restructuring within Volvo. In December 2008 around 1000 jobs disappeared overnight, throwing the municipality of 15000 people into crisis, and further rippling through the region. This is a story of a peripheral region dependent on manufacturing employment that is not uncommon in Sweden, the Nordic countries and elsewhere. However, the downward spiral of this development path was temporary: jobs were regained sooner than expected and the region is no longer a negative outlier when it comes to regional growth performance. What was once a Volvo-centric supply chain can now more suitable be considered an actively coordinated cluster. How did this happen? What changes in terms of network structures, institutions and policy priorities underlie the region’s development trajectory? In this paper, we use original interview material to investigate different forms of agency that emerged following the crisis, their combination, and the resources, networks and motivations that allowed individuals to take initiatives and act (or not). This paper thereby contributes a much needed micro-level perspective on regional economic change, foregrounding the role of agency in shaping regional development paths.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2019
EventThe 8th Nordic Geographers Meeting: Sustainable Geography – Geographies of Sustainability - Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway
Duration: 2019 Jun 162019 Jun 19


ConferenceThe 8th Nordic Geographers Meeting
Abbreviated titleNGM 2019
Internet address

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Economic Geography


Dive into the research topics of '”We were only managing our legacy” Forms of agency in Olofström’s development path from supply chain to regional cluster'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this