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Abstract

Although several wood industry experts advocate the need for more product development in the industry, few studies have investigated the actual product development process in this context. This explorative study investigates innovation, specifically product development, in the Swedish and Finnish Nordic pine sawmilling industry. The data consists of interviews with product development managers in 14 sawmilling companies, which were viewed by industry experts to have vast experience of product development. The results reveal that product development has a central role for competitive position and self-image of the companies. The study also identifies drivers and motives that underlie the innovation process, the structure of the product development process, key success factors and obstacles for product development. The results are applicable on industry, company and project-level.

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