Forest Owners’ Socio-demographic Characteristics as Predictors of Customer Value: Evidence from Finland
Previous research on European forestry service markets is scarce and mainly focused on analysing external market environment and modelling of timber selling behaviour of non-industrial forest owners (NIPFs). In this study, we aim to create a broader understanding about business perspectives of forestry service markets covering the whole array of market and institutional based services offered to the NIPFs in case of Finland. The more specific empirical objective of the paper is to describe market drivers and underlying challenges in existing and potential service business models based on the concepts of service-dominant logic and dynamic capabilities. Using a qualitative approach and 22 thematic expert interviews in service organisations, we strive to analyse the drivers and opportunities for creating new services within the NIPF market and also build insight in possible barriers for new service value creation. According to our results, the ongoing structural changes offer new opportunities to change traditional mindsets and search for new types of offerings that support the renewal of this traditional forestry sector. As one of the major barriers for new innovations we identified the dominant role of established organisations securing their current positions, mainly driven by the forest industry timber procurement needs. From a managerial perspective, the changing institutional base of the current service organisations may facilitate new innovative business start-ups in addition to enhancing the strategic capabilities and competitiveness of the established firms in Finnish forestry sector.