Current issue: 53(4)
Bioeconomy development will create new opportunities for firms operating in the international wood products markets, and identifying and exploiting these opportunities is emphasized as a key concept to achieving business success. Our study will attempt to address a gap in the literature on sawmill industry business development from the viewpoint of international opportunity recognition. The aim of our study is to provide a holistic description on how small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the wood products industry recognize and exploit international business opportunities, and how they utilize network perspectives in this context. The subject was examined through Finnish wood product industry SMEs by interviewing 11 managers and industry representatives. The results suggest that SMEs recognize international opportunities reactively per se. Social networks formed in professional forums were an important information channel for identifying international opportunities. Through vertical business networks, such as sales agents, firms have been able to increase their international market presence and free their own resources for other important activities. Horizontal dyadic business networks were seen to facilitate new international opportunities through cooperation, while excessive reliance on vertical networks raised concerns and seemed not to be effective in international opportunity recognition. Institutional networks formed a systematic way of recognizing international opportunities, but more so at the initial market entry stage.
The use of network-based business models has been brought up as a means of creating com-petitive edge in the tightening global competition. In practice, adopting network-based models has not yet become common in the wood products industry. The objective of this study is to gain better understanding of types of network-based business models using a case study of two small and medium-sized wood industry companies in Finland (for a sake of anonymity named as A and B). The network of company A is found to consist of mostly of established actors with a new-in-the-market value creation system, whereas network for company B is more stable and has an established value system aiming at growth and incremental innovations. Both networks had experienced difficulties in finding partners and lacked some strategic resources. Via this example we wish to stimulate further research interest on the sources of network-based competitive advantage in the traditional wood product industry in a need of renewal of business models.
The existence and direction of causal relationships between the time series for the Finnish roundwood market for the period 1960–1994 is tested. Using simple bivariate analysis, we found evidence that for both logs and pulpwood, the lagged prices are helpful in forecasting quantity for the next year, but not vice versa. Saw log stumpage prices have significantly Granger-caused pulpwood prices over the business cycles, but the effect has diminished towards the present time. For quantities traded, the direction of causality was rather from pulpwood to saw logs. The consistency of bivariate test results was checked by the Granger-causality tests within trivariate VAR-models for both markets, and the results were found to be fairly similar to bivariate tests. The price fluctuations in the international markets for forest products have been found to be carried to domestic wood markets dominantly via the pulpwood part of the market.
This study investigates the relationship between Finnish sulphate pulp export prices and international pulp inventories using the Johansen cointegration method. Long-run equilibrium is found to exist between pulp price and NORSCAN inventory for the study period, 1980-94. Granger causality is found to exist from inventory to price but not vice versa. A simple short-run forecasting model for the Finnish pulp export price is formed. In preliminary analysis, the explanatory power of model is found to be acceptable but only under stable market conditions.