2. THE CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK
To understand the Saga/Hydro merger two factors need to be taken into account. First, there are economic factors, here expressed through the concept of maximization of ”shareholder value”. This variable primarily influences the behaviour of commercial firms. In this paper I will concentrate and put most emphasis on this factor of analysis. Secondly, no discussion around Norwegian energy policies can ignore the importance of political factors, most clearly in trying to understand the role of the Norwegian state. The state has, since the start of the Norwegian petroleum era, had a central role as both an equity owner and a regulator of the sector.
An understanding of the dynamic and the outcome of the Hydro/Saga takeover is determined in the interface between these two factors.
 For such a methodological approach, see Petter Nore. 1979. The relationship between the Norwegian State and the international oil companies over North Sea oil (1965-72). Ph.D. thesis. Greenwich: Thames Polytechnic (CNAA).