A1 Journal article (refereed)
From state-owned smokestacks to post-industrial dreams : The Finnish government in business, 1970–2010 (2021)

Nevalainen, P., & Yliaska, V. (2021). From state-owned smokestacks to post-industrial dreams : The Finnish government in business, 1970–2010. Business History, 63(8), 1327-1356. https://doi.org/10.1080/00076791.2020.1842874

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editors: Nevalainen, Pasi; Yliaska, Ville

Journal or series: Business History

ISSN: 0007-6791

eISSN: 1743-7938

Publication year: 2021

Volume: 63

Issue number: 8

Pages range: 1327-1356

Publisher: Routledge, Taylor & Francis

Publication country: United Kingdom

Publication language: English

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/00076791.2020.1842874

Publication open access: Openly available

Publication channel open access: Partially open access channel

Publication is parallel published (JYX): https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/73964

Additional information: Special Issue Paper in Business-government Relations and National Economic Model.


While state-owned enterprises (SOEs) used to be considered obsolete tools for governmental intervention in the economy, in recent years governmental intervention in the business sector has re-emerged as a topic of debate. However, scholarship on the changes in and the modernisation of the SOE model is limited. In this article, we examine how the Finnish state’s ownership policy adapted to the requirements of economic globalisation between the 1970s and the 2010s. We show that the attitude towards globalisation was pragmatic and aimed at safeguarding the competitiveness of domestic companies. The state-owned company system was gradually adapted to meet new needs, losing most of its original industrial policy significance. SOEs had to be made competitive and profitable, but company-specific targets depended on the ownership criteria associated with the companies. At the same time, the government paid more attention to supporting research and development in the private sector.

Keywords: ownership (activity); public ownership; public administration; private sector; economic policy; state ownership steering; enterprises; competitive strength; state-owned companies

Free keywords: state-owned enterprise; government business relations; governmental intervention in the economy; ownership policy; new public management; R&D policies; innovation policies; varieties of capitalism; state capitalism; economic globalization; corporate governance

Contributing organizations

Ministry reporting: Yes

Reporting Year: 2021

JUFO rating: 2

Last updated on 2022-20-09 at 13:49