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Renewing IFN

11 May 2021

Digitization, migration, and the Covid crisis have brought on a rapid change in the Swedish business sector. To better respond to the need for high-quality analysis of the various factors relevant to the function of the business sector, IFN is developing two of its research programs.

The rapid development in artificial intelligence and digitization threatens to automate more and more job tasks. At the same time, the Covid crisis is changing global cooperation, economic integration patterns, and value chains. This shift is the core topic of our new research program, Firm Competitiveness. The program replaces the program Globalization and Corporate Restructuring.

– These trends are increasing the need of understanding how to act to ensure that global Swedish companies will continue to thrive,says Joacim Tåg, program manager of the research program Firm Competitiveness. The researchers within the program are specialized in the digitization of the business sector, Swedish companies on a global market, and corporate governance and ownership.

Laws, values, and attitudes in society are other factors impacting the conditions for enterprise. Within the research program Institutions, Markets, and Enterprise, we are conducting research on the importance of values, attitudes, and laws for how societies, markets, and companies function.

– When the conditions for enterprise are discussed, people are often focusing on laws and regulations. These are, of course, important, but we are also studying informal, or cultural, rules that can be as important for how companies and markets function. Suppose a large share of the population trusts others. In that case, it is, for example, less costly to do business since a handshake suffices, says Niclas Berggren, program manager for Institutions, Markets, and Enterprise. We would also like to study how changes in cultural views are affecting labor market integration, he says. The program renews and develops the research produced within the former program The Economics of Institutions and Culture.

Fredrik Sjöholm, CEO of IFN, describes the development of our research programs as two examples of the relevant and valuable research conducted at IFN.

– Our researchers have a high competence within economics. Together with our significant interest in policy-relevant issues within industrial economics, we continuously perform critical analyses of Swedish enterprise and Swedish society. No other institution is combining these qualities in the same way; thus, we are the leading research environment within this field in Sweden.

We are also presenting a new, improved website for The website will make it easier to take part learn about our research. On our Swedish website, you will also be able to read about our outreach work with seminars, podcasts, and news. The English version is more focused on research and international work.