Success factors closing AstraZeneca's research site in Lund, Sweden

Liv Severinsson (AstraZenecea R&D, Lund, Sweden)
Mikael Turunen (AstraZenecea R&D, Lund, Sweden)
Christina Fröjd (AstraZenecea R&D, Lund, Sweden)
Agneta Andréasson (AstraZenecea R&D, Lund, Sweden)
Ursula Hultkvist Bengtsson (AstraZenecea R&D, Lund, Sweden)

Development and Learning in Organizations

ISSN: 1477-7282

Publication date: 22 June 2012



As part of the AstraZeneca R&D transformation the Lund research site with 900 employees has been closed and the research activities moved to a different geographical location in Mölndal, Sweden. The change period lasted for 22 months starting in March 2010 with the end result that 200 employees moved to Mölndal, 100 retired, 600 had to find new opportunities, and the Lund research facility was sold and transferred to a non‐profit life science foundation. This case report will present and discuss the learning from moving a research area to a different geographical location and closing a research site.


This case study will describe challenges associated with an extensive change journey, the measures that were undertaken by the leadership team, and the results of a staff survey evaluating the success of delivered objectives.


A major learning from this change process was the importance of an empowered local cross‐functional leadership team that can drive and execute major global changes at the local level. Key success factors were transparent face‐to‐face communication and engagement and motivation of employees to deliver challenging objectives. A staff exit survey showed that >90 percent of the employees felt they had been treated with respect. They left the Lund research site feeling proud of having worked for AstraZeneca and for leaving the site in a responsible way.


This case study describes how a difficult change management assignment can become a success story.



Severinsson, L., Turunen, M., Fröjd, C., Andréasson, A. and Hultkvist Bengtsson, U. (2012), "Success factors closing AstraZeneca's research site in Lund, Sweden", Development and Learning in Organizations, Vol. 26 No. 4, pp. 7-12.

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