COVID-19's impact on the maritime cluster in Møre and its future challenges
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- Master of Science 
The ongoing pandemic has resulted in the strongest and most intrusive safety measures ever done in Norway in peacetime. Countries, industries, clusters and businesses worldwide have experienced an economic disruption and caused the deepest recession in the global economy in modern times. Thus, the purpose of the study has been to investigate and understand how COVID-19 has affected the performance of the maritime cluster in Møre, its competitive position, and future challenges from qualitative research design. Moreover, the paper follows a twofolded structure, in which part 1 relies on secondary data from publicly available sources, which aims to examine several aspects of the cluster’s environment from the Emerald model. In contrast, part 2 includes primary data from in-depth interviews with cluster companies and stakeholders to analyse and discuss their main future challenges and COVID-19’s impact. The cluster analysis (part 1) revealed that the Møre cluster had a strong Emerald with many favourable environmental conditions. However, the pandemic’s ripple effects on the cluster’s performance had disrupted its turnover, profitability, employment and growth expectations due to slower markets and higher costs. Thus, the cluster’s competitive position has been temporarily weakened from the pandemic by creating uncertainty, less profits and risk of bankruptcies. Yet, COVID-19 might have been a wake-up call to accelerate the transition towards the green shift. The authors also identified two main future challenges from the analysis. Firstly, the potential reduction in qualified labour that chooses to stay and work in the cluster. Secondly, the risk and costs of restructuring towards the new environmental regulations. The in-depth interviews (part 2) revealed that the cluster’s main future challenges are to adjust towards the green shift, attracting and developing talented workers, as well as maintaining a complete cluster, maritime environment and culture in Møre. Further, the interview analysis showed that COVID-19 had impacted the cluster mainly by temporarily disrupting the transformation from the oil & gas market while at the same time causing a loss of competence in terms of furloughs and layoffs. However, it has also positively raised awareness of the need to restructure towards the green shift and acquire Norwegian talents.
Masteroppgave(MSc) in Master of Science in Business, Strategy - Handelshøyskolen BI, 2021