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Åke SandbergProfessor Emeritus

About me

Åke Sandberg is professor at the Department of Sociology, Stockholm University, from 2010 emeritus professor. Formerly at the Natioal Defence Research Institute (FOA), National Institute for Working Life (NIWL) and the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) at the Department of Computer Science and Communication, and Department of Industrial Management.
He holds and MBA from tje Gothenburg School of Economics, and a PhD in sociology after studying sociology in Stockhom and Uppsala and industrial management at KTH.

Åke Sandberg's main areas of interest are work, organisation, management, digitalization, labour processes and employment relations. Key aspects and values are participation, job quality and productivity. Presently he is doing research on work in the digital gig and platform economy and on transformations of the “Nordic model”, on migration in a local context, and he is considering a study of football as work. See also Åke Sandberg’s personal homepage.

A few publications

  • Ian Hampson and Åke Sandberg: The Swedish contribution to job quality, this is a draft of chapter, a revised version is published in The Oxford Handbook of Job Quality. Oxford: Oxford UP 2022
  • Åke Sandberg: Främling i sin stad. Stängda fabriker och butiker - missnöje och framtidstro. Stockholm: BoD 2021
  • Arbete & välfärd. Ledning, personal och organisationsmodeller i Sverige, Åke Sandberg, editor and author of six chapters. Lund: Studentlitteratur 2019. Publisher's information.
  • På jakt efter framtidens arbete. Utmaningar i arbetsliv och forskning, edited by Åke Sandberg. On challenges in working life and research, in Swedish, with abstracts in English. May be downloaded from Tiden: Stockholm.
  • Nordic Lights: Work, Management and Welfare in Scandinavia, edited by Åke Sandberg. Stockholm: SNS förlag 2013 (available at The foreword and Introductory chapter may be downloaded at
  • Åke Sandberg:Contested Nordic Models of Work and Employment. Volvo Uddevalla and Welfare Capitalism. Stockholm: Arena idé 2013. Downloadable here
  • Åke Sandberg, Fredrik Augustsson and Anne Lintala: IT and Telecom Companies in Kista Science City. Stockholm: Arbetslivsinstitutet 2007. Downloadable here.
  • Åke Sandberg: Värden i välfärden. Stockholm: Arena Idé 2014. Downloadable here
  • Enriching production. Perspectives on Volvo’s Uddevalla Plant as an Alternative to Lean Production, edited by Åke Sandberg. Aldershot: Avebury 1996, digital edition with new foreword 2007. May be downloaded here. There is background publication information.
  • Åke Sandberg et al.: Technological Change and Co-Determination in Sweden. Philadelphia: Temple University Press 1992.
  • Åke Sandberg:The Limits to Democratic Planning. Knowledge, power and methods in the struggle for the future. Stockholm: LiberFörlag 1976.


A selection from Stockholm University publication database

  • All gone but still there: The Swedish model and Swedish Management

    2011. Fredrik Movitz, Åke Sandberg.


    Scandinavia in general has since long a reputation of sociotechnical forms of work organization, participation and democratization on the workplaces, humanistic and dialogical forms of management in the context of a social democratic welfare regime with labour but also management strongly organized, independet of the state (agreements in stead of law regulation) but in corporatist arrangements with that same state. The societies have ranked and still rank high on economic performance and attractiveness of the place for investments and work, as well as on the use and development of technology, recently not least Iinformation and communication technologies, ICT. They rank high, less surprisingly, on indicators of quality of work, environment etc.

    In this paper the above background is laid out followed by a discussion of recent trends and transformations within the various areas and aspects. The paper is based upon a collection of some ten contributions giving empirical and theoretical-critical accounts of : developments within management trends and fashions; research on managment in Sweden; work and enterprise planning systems in various sectors in Denmark; gender, work and management; trade unions and industrial relations; 'atypical work' and coping with that; the occurence of new forms of management; the 'workers collective' and trends in Norwegian working life. Globalization and political changes with strengthening of the right and also xenophobic forces also form part of the background.

    Various interpretations of recent transformations and their results are possible. On the one hand, not so much seems to have changed: Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose. On the other hand 'everything' seems to have changed or be in a process of transformation. The paper tries to give a nuanced interpretation of transformation and stability.

    Read more about All gone but still there: The Swedish model and Swedish Management

Show all publications by Åke Sandberg at Stockholm University