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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Understanding the factors that drive firm-level transformations in the BC forest sector Madero, Alvaro


Today’s changing business environments pose challenges for British Columbian forest firms in sustaining long-term competitive advantages. In response to these challenges, forest firms can initiate complex transformation processes that seek to project their performance out of a conventional competition cycle. Of interest for multiple stakeholders are the questions of why these transformations ultimately occur, which type of changes can produce them, and how they can be implemented. This exploratory research focuses on analyzing the opinions of senior executives of BC forest businesses about the transforming processes of their firm. Understanding the views of these executives is one of the fundamental pieces of making sense of the forest business transformations. Semi-structured interviews provide the data collection strategy to elicit executives’ views and preferences for adopting different transformational strategies and new product portfolios. Analyses of the transcribed interviews reveal that executives associate firm-level transformations with the execution of seven different business strategies. The findings suggest a firm-specific pattern in defining the transformation processes. Differences in framing the concept of firm-level transformations are linked to differences in the types of changes considered transformative by executives in different firms. Correspondingly, executives’ preferences about adopting new product offerings in their firms also varied from one company to another, but were similar between executives from the same company. The firm-specific defining pattern is explained by a moderating role of the organizational culture of forest firms. The business culture of these companies can regulate executives’ intentions to transform the firm and the decision-making processes aimed at selecting the transformational strategies. The leadership style, ownership structure and the organizational values are elements explaining the business culture of the BC forest firms. Results also uncover a number of forces that can trigger transformation processes in BC forest firms from the perspectives of the executives. The findings also reveal barriers to transformational change and a set of factors that facilitate the implementation of the transformation processes. To further understand the views of executives about firm level transformations, future studies would likely benefit from the decision-making model and the set of research questions drawn from the findings of this exploratory research.

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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada