Rethinking Corporate Governance

Rethinking Corporate Governance

The Forming of Operative and Financial Strategies in Global Corporations

Sven-Erik Sjöstrand

Rethinking Corporate Governance’s extensive and insightful empirical investigation offers a radically new approach to corporate governance. This ground-breaking volume describes and analyses the key nature-based and actor-based forces that ultimately determine corporate governance processes and long-term corporate paths. Generally, such forces work in complex and intricate interplays that to a large extent vary among corporations. The author argues that actions taken by individuals have a special status among those forces, as they not only generate impact in themselves, but also involve interpretations of the possible effects of all the other forces. Among those actions, the ones taken by the shareholders stand out as particularly decisive both for the governance processes as such and for how corporations develop over time.

Chapter 11: From Stora Kopparberg to Stora Enso: in search of a strategy

Sven-Erik Sjöstrand

Subjects: business and management, corporate governance, international business, strategic management, economics and finance, corporate governance


The Wallenberg sphere had reached a dominating position in the Swedish industry by the middle of the 20th century. In the forest-based sector, the sphere controlled five large corporations, namely Stora Kopparberg, Wifstavarf, Kopparfors, Papyrus and Hylte. After WWII, the Wallenberg sphere had redefined its business rationale from one under which individual companies were built and developed organically, to one under which industrial restructuring, mergers and acquisitions dominated the expansion efforts. The family had also slowly but surely obtained the competence to govern large and operatively diverse corporations. To achieve that capability, they had developed skills in recruiting qualified managers and furnishing them with various kinds of resources including inspiring networks. Over time, several of these managers achieved top positions in the Wallenberg companies, ready to exchange experiences with their colleagues in the sphere, something that made continuous innovation and reorientation possible. Jacob Wallenberg Sr and Marcus Wallenberg Sr tried to establish the best possible market positions for all ‘their’ corporations, although Stora Kopparberg was a particularly cherished unit.

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