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Browsing by Author "Vuorensola, Maria"

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  • Vuorensola, Maria (2015)
    The financial crisis has strongly reflected the Finnish industrial structure. The economic downturn and the competition between enterprises has caused major structural reforms in the Finnish business market. Business activities and production facilities have been shut down or moved elsewhere. This has affected extensively the structural change areas, when the number of available jobs and local companies has decreased. The Ministry of Employment and the Economy created in 2007 an abrupt structural change model to help structural change regions, where a large company or industry has suddenly ceased operation and where workers are threatened with unemployment. The thesis has two main aims. The first is to find out, based on five regional case studies, what kind of experience the regional public actors have of the abrupt structural change model. The other aim is to clarify the public sector network and -structure in the structural change areas, as well as their power relationship and task division. As a result, the aim of the thesis is to create development proposals for the abrupt structural change model. The theoretical framework was based on the structural changes in general and on how creative destruction effects the regional and industrial survival in times of economic downturn. This perspective shows that regions and industries have to be innovative enough to survive the structural changes. The main aspect was on how public authorities try to affect the abrupt structural change areas and their industrial development, and how this effects creative destruction. The theoretical framework for regional development was cluster theory, whereby it was understood that regions which had diverse economic structure were able to protect themselves from regional changes better than regions which had one-sided economic structure. The thesis was made with qualitative research, where the methodological aspect was structuralistic regional geography. The material was collected from nine specialist interviews. The collected data was analyzed with qualitative evaluative research as well as with qualitative network analysis. The outcome was that the regional public sector network was based on regional development actors. The city, it's development or business corporation and the center for Economic Development, Transport and Environment, formed the active network for regional developmental work in structural change areas. The divisions of task were based on regional development law. The regional public sector actors' experiments of the abrupt structural change model turned out to be very similar between the five case studies. The expectations and difficulties faced in the experiments were found to be similar between the cases. All in all, the research areas have coped well with the structural change. The regional development activities started in the areas have developed the regions' main industries and also in some cases regional cluster development. The effect of creative destruction occurred in the case regions industries as new innovative production methods.