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En jämtländsk företagarverksamhet och dess omvärld: Sven O Perssons företagande 1920-1990
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Economic History.
1995 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)Alternative title
A Jämtland Company in its Regional and National Setting : Sven O Persson's Entrepreneurship 1920- 1990 (English)
Abstract [en]

The subject of this study is the business activities of an industrialist from county of Jämtland, Sven O Persson (S P), from the end of the 1910's to the end of the 1980's. The economic development of Jämtland during the last one hundred years has also been depicted and placed in relation to the national one, during periods of directional change and/or expansion. Of primary interest is the interplay between S P's business operations and the surrounding world.This research looks at S P's business activities both from a structural-analytical perspective and an entrepreneurial.

Sven Persson's operations commenced in Jämtland at the end of the 1910's with horse dealing, and the first woodland properties were acquired in 1926. Early on (1932) he linked his operations to the development of the motor vehicle. Up until the middle of the I960's the transport sector was the foremost driving force behind his business expansion. Sven Persson's widespread net of personal contacts provided him with information of important sections of the county's economy, which made it easier for him to discover and capitalize on the business opportunities opened by the breakthrough of the trucking industry the timber boom and the regulated economy of the W W II. It is worth mentioning that his operations integrated Östersund's advantages with those of the countryside and business activity was thus largely independent of the geographical location of this agrarian county and the long distances to populated, affluent markets.

After the founding of Persson Invest (PI) in 1968 business operations grew rapidly and principally outside the county, and the main product was then chipboard. The hardening competition in the economy had enabled the concern to acquire insolvent companies and/or firms whose assets were too small to meet future investment costs. In the first year of business of this concern the number of employees was around 500 and in 1976 it had risen to almost 1,750. The new areas included the manufacture of agricultural and forest machinery and snowmobiles and three breweries. By 1980, however, the number of employees had decreased to about 1,100. During the following ten-year period the downswing was broken and employment increased to some 1,300 by 1990. The downswing was mainly due to rationalizations, profitability problems and the sale of Pi's agricultural machinery division. The 1980's upturn was mainly due to new acquisitions within the chipboard industry and the purchase of a large Volvo dealership in Norway. With the sale of the breweries in 1989 the sphere of business was thus nearly the same as in 1968.

In a structural-analytic context the concern's acquisitions 1968-1976 were not successful. Rationalization was already far advanced in several of the firms when the takeovers took place, and their operations were centered in stagnating and/or shrinking markets. Using Erik Dahmén's terminology, it was a matter of companies whose production was on the negative side of the developmental fence. The concern's manu­facture of chipboard, however, had great success. A central role in that development can be ascribed to low capital costs. Profits from the car dealerships, regional development grants and the acquisition of chipboard firms explain the low cost.

Sven Persson's entrepreneurial talent was to discover opportunities offered by the market at an early stage and to capitalize them, as in the case of the car dealership and the chipboard manufacturing. Other charac­teristic traits was to make decisions based on informal conversations, intuition and personal evaluation, instead of formal decision-making, economic analyses and market research.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå universitet , 1995. , 201 p.
Umeå studies in economic history, ISSN 0347-254X ; 18
Keyword [en]
structural change, business history, entrepreneurship, regional development, Jämtland, Sven O Persson, regional support policies, chipboard manufacturing, breweries, motor vehicles
National Category
Economics and Business
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-81135ISBN: 91-7191-000-XOAI: diva2:652996
Available from: 2013-10-02 Created: 2013-10-02 Last updated: 2013-10-02Bibliographically approved

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