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Innovativeness in the North American Softwood Sawmilling Industry

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The North American forest products industry has traditionally maintained a production orientation and a commodity mentality toward operations, with much of the industry following a low-cost strategy and concentrating on wood fiber recovery. The propensity to innovate (innovativeness) is important for maintaining firm competitiveness. To assess industry practices with respect to innovativeness, United States and Canadian softwood sawmills were surveyed. Respondents rated themselves more innovative with respect to manufacturing processes as compared to product and business systems innovations. Innovativeness and market orientation were found to be positively correlated. High- and medium-innovative mills were consistently different (e.g., more market-oriented, more structured new product development processes) from low-innovative mills.

Keywords: Innovativeness; innovation; market orientation; new product development; softwood sawmilling

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: October 1, 2006

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