Bringing it back home A multiple case study of how Swedish manufacturing firms implement reshoring

University essay from Göteborgs universitet/Graduate School

Author: Josefine Forsman; Ellen Karlsson; [2021-06-28]

Keywords: ;

Abstract: As a response to emerging disadvantages with global value chains, some firms have transitioned from offshoring to reshoring, i.e., bringing previously offshored production back home. In the shallows of Covid-19, reshoring has become a topical concern and the ongoing pandemic is recognized as a trigger for reshoring decisions. The literature covering reshoring has intensified over the last decade but is still in a novel state. The majority of the literature is conceptual, rather than building on first-hand empirical evidence, and the process of how firms implement reshoring is not well understood. Consequently, this thesis aims to attain an increased understanding of how firms implement a reshoring strategy by performing a multiple case study on five Swedish manufacturing firms. A conceptual model framing reshoring implementation was created, consisting of four dimensions: External and Internal Context, Decision to Reshore, Operational process, and Result of Reshoring, which provide a frame for implementation. The Context provides insights into why reshoring is happening while the Operational process consists of the actions that move the firm from its past state to its future state. The Result dimension is the outcome of reshoring directly influenced by the context and process dimensions. The empirical findings show that communicating the reshoring strategy to the home context is not perceived as severely important. However, communication plays a greater role at the host location. Moreover, the empirics show that Sweden has satisfactory conditions and is ready to support reshoring where maintaining relationships with local actors proved to be useful. Further, the findings showed that firms consider timing reshoring implementation with its industrial season and that although evaluation was not performed by all firms, if it was, it took place after the production had been fully reshored.

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