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Strategic positioning: a study of the Nordic paper and pulp industry
Linköping University, Department of Computer and Information Science, EISLAB - Economic Information Systems. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
2003 (English)In: Strategic Change, ISSN 1086-1718, E-ISSN 1099-1697, Vol. 12, no 6, 329-343 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]
  • Few perspectives in research on strategy have had as great an impact as Porter's (1980, 1985) framework for strategic positioning. The concepts of cost leadership and differentiation have been used both by practitioners in strategic planning and by scholars as the starting point for empirical studies. This widespread use has probably contributed to the high level of interest in the possibilities and limitations of the perspective.

  • In this paper, certain central aspects of strategic positioning are examined empirically. The study covers seven business units in two segments of the paper and pulp industry in the Nordic region over a 10-year period from 1991 to 2000.

  • Among the aspects discussed are the possibility of strategic change and the possibility of combining strategic position. Other aspects treated are the relationship of the intended strategic position, as declared in the annual reports, to the realized strategic position, as shown by the relative positions of the business units compared to their competitor.

  • The findings indicate that strategic positions are stable over time and that none of the business units was able to combine the positions of cost leadership and differentiation for a longer period of time. The results also suggest substantial congruence between the intended strategy and the realized strategy, at the units studied.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2003. Vol. 12, no 6, 329-343 p.
National Category
Economics and Business
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-87745DOI: 10.1002/jsc.643OAI: diva2:599879
Available from: 2013-01-22 Created: 2013-01-22 Last updated: 2013-01-22
In thesis
1. In the borderland between strategy and management control: theoretical framework and empirical evidence
Open this publication in new window or tab >>In the borderland between strategy and management control: theoretical framework and empirical evidence
2004 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Strategy and management control are two fields of research that have become increasingly inter-linked. Research in strategy has shown, for instance, that strategies are of no effect unless they permeate the entire organization, and that they become obsolete if not renewed as the business environment changes. Similarly, research in management control has shown that management control loses its relevance if it does not reflect strategy or is not useful in operations. This dissertation considers a number of theoretical approaches to corporate and business strategies and their connection to management control. The reasoning is also examined in light of empirical data collected from major Swedish firms in various industries. One finding is that some combinations of corporate and business strategies and management control are more congruent than other combinations. An additional question discussed in the dissertation is how different types of business strategy could be changed and combined; these possibilities are studied empirically on the basis of data taken from annual reports of Nordic paper and pulp companies. The results show that the nature of business strategy can be changed over time, but that different kinds of business strategies can seldom be combined within the same business unit. Further, the dissertation treats the relationship between different perspectives on business strategies. Another central element of the dissertation is the design and use of performance measurement. On the basis of extensive empirical material from large Nordic firms in a variety of industries, performance measurement at Nordic firms is described, noting differences between countries and between dissimilar business strategies. According to the findings, the Nordic firms used a broad spectrum of measures, which according to theory should be more closely related to strategy than would financial measures alone.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköpings universitet, 2004. 36 p.
Linköping Studies in Science and Technology. Dissertations, ISSN 0345-7524 ; 910
National Category
Computer Science
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-33175 (URN)19156 (Local ID)91-85295-82-5 (ISBN)19156 (Archive number)19156 (OAI)
Public defence
2004-12-14, Visionen, IDA, Linköpings Universitet, Linköping, 13:15 (Swedish)
Available from: 2009-10-09 Created: 2009-10-09 Last updated: 2013-11-22

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