Path-dependency and the road to off-path: the case of the Finnish forest industry

Jurgen Poesche, Kari Lilja

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After many decades of growth, evolutionary innovation and acquisitions, the Finnish printing and writing paper industry finds itself mired in a deep crisis after the turn of the century. The Finnish printing and writing paper industry is a casualty of its own success, i.e., it did not realize in a timely manner that revolutionary innovation, i.e. digitalisation, challenged its business model and long term growth opportunities, and further evolutionary innovation could not solve this challenge. The problem was worsened by university programmes and an innovation ecosystem which were geared toward efficiency improvements with the help of evolutionary innovation. The drop in demand for printing and writing paper in North America and Europe has been a wake-up call for the Finnish forest industry, and the industry is attempting to reinvent itself and change its innovation ecosystem. The most significant challenge is to change the prevailing mentality and culture in the industry. The challenges the Finnish forest industry is currently facing contain important lessons for the Brazilian forest industry.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)64-70
Number of pages7
JournalO PAPEL, Revista Mensal De Technologia Em Celulose E Papel
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2016
MoE publication typeD1 Article in a trade journal


  • Clash of Mentalities
  • Contracting for Innovation
  • Innovation Ecosystem
  • Revolutionary Innovation
  • Strategic Myopia


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