Backshoring of production in the context of a small and open Nordic economy

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    22 Citations (Scopus)


    Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to investigate the extent, drivers, and conditions underlying backshoring in the Finnish manufacturing industry, comparing the results to the wider ongoing relocation of production in the international context. Design/methodology/approach – The survey of 229 Finnish manufacturing firms reveals the background, drivers, and patterns of offshoring and backshoring. Findings – Companies that had transferred their production back to Finland were more commonly in industries with relatively higher technology intensity and they were typically larger than the no-movement companies, and with a higher number of plants. They also reported more commonly having a corporate-wide strategy for guiding production location decisions. Research limitations/implications – Backshoring activity in the small and open economy of Finland seems to be higher compared to earlier studies in larger countries. The findings suggest that there is a transformation in the manufacturing industries with some gradual replacement of labor-intensive and lower technology-intensive industries toward higher technology-intensive industries. Practical implications – Moving production across national borders is one option in the strategies of firms to stay competitive. Companies must carefully consider the relevance of various decision-making drivers when determining strategies for their production networks. Social implications – Manufacturing industries have traditionally been important for employment in the relatively small and open economies of the Nordic countries. From the social perspective, it is important to understand the ongoing transformation and its implications. Originality/value – There are few empirical studies available of the ongoing backshoring movement, utilizing data from company decision makers instead of macroeconomic factors.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)658-675
    Number of pages19
    JournalJournal of Manufacturing Technology Management
    Issue number4
    Early online date27 Nov 2017
    Publication statusPublished - May 2018
    Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


    • Manufacturing
    • Manufacturing strategy
    • Production

    Publication forum classification

    • Publication forum level 1

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Software
    • Control and Systems Engineering
    • Computer Science Applications
    • Strategy and Management
    • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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