Stakeholder collaboration inspired by the Nordic model – Towards sustainable work and competitiveness during an industrial startup
External stakeholder collaboration is vital for new industrial projects and establishments. The aim of this paper is to contribute to knowledge of how relations and stakeholder collaboration with trade unions can be created during industrial startups, so as to foster sustainable work and competitive advantages. A case study was carried out in the early phases of a major greenfield project aimed at establishing a new industrial domain in a Nordic context. The results show that cooperation between a new firm and trade unions has the potential to proactively address prerequisites for sustainable work in design phases of new factories, but also to strengthen the attention to other dimensions of social sustainability that are crucial for industrial startup´s long term success possibilities. However, specifically in a high—growth firm, there needs to be a systematic approach that incorporates continuous anchoring activities both within and between the stakeholders’ different levels. Serendipity in the findings were cooperation processes related to competence acquisition and societal development needed to meet both an emerging firm´s and future employee´s individual prerequisites and needs. Hence, building a stakeholder chain inspired by the Nordic model in change processes such as startups, enables attention to dimensions of social sustainability needed in work processes in early development phases, which is also beneficial from a competitive and societal perspective.
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