External crises as a catalyst for further business development and innovations : evidence from the oil and gas, fishery and tourism industries in Norway and Russia
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- Institutt for geografi 
The period of 2014-2015 has been highlighted by a multitude of diverse external crises that drastically disrupted both national economies and private business. The most demolishing externally initiated shocks for the Norwegian and Russian enterprises were the smart multilateral sanctions against Russia, the Russian food embargo, the national currency slump, and the tremendous crude oil price tumble. Notwithstanding, the destructive power of external shocks can be creative as well. Crises compel business to think “differently” and discover new opportunities to survive in the deteriorated market environment and win the rivalry with other firms. Thus, the current study intends to elicit the creative power of destructive external crises. This master’s project elucidates the devastating and creative effects of the mentioned above economic shocks on the oil and gas, fishery, and tourism industries in Norway and the Russian Federation. These countries appeared as a “sender” and a “target” nations in the sanctions “war”, and both the Norwegian krone and the Russian rouble devalued as a sequence of the oil price slump, that destructed the oil-reliant national economies. Thence, the companies impinged the urgency to cope with the external crises. The current study expounds a direct connection between the extent of the external shocks’ damaging effect and the range of consecutive undertaken responses. Importantly, the most disrupted firms employed the most radical business- and production-related alterations and innovations to ensure their survival. Moreover, the cross-industrial and cross-national analysis elucidates diverse manners to cope with the external disruptive events. Specifically, the role of the state engagement, in the form of import substitution policies, was crucial in Russia, while the Norwegian businesses were more independent from the state. Moreover, the large business demonstrated a better ability to survive in the economic turmoil due to their extensive networks and financial resources, while SMEs struggled significantly during the recession. The basal data for the study was conducted from various companies and experts, and is presented in the empirical analysis chapter. Whereas, the core theoretical framework draws on the innovation-, crisis-, and crisis management-related studies. Therefore, the meticulous empirical analysis on the base of the profound conceptual framework contributed to the disclosure of pivotal crisis management strategies and determinant particularities of business scope, industry and country, which foreordained the peculiar extent of the destructions caused by the crises, and success or failure of the undertaken measures.