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Research article2021Peer reviewedOpen access

Key drivers and obstacles for performance among forest harvesting service contractors - a qualitative case study from Sweden

Johansson, Malin; Erlandsson, Emanuel; Kronholm, Thomas; Lindroos, Ola


The extensive outsourcing of forest harvesting operations means that the operational performance of contractors has an immense impact on the forest industry supply chain. This study describes perceived drivers and obstacles for strong performance in harvesting service based on semi-structured interviews with four production supervisors and eight contractors. The analysis of interview data revealed a wide array of factors considered to drive or hinder the performance. The factors were categorized into five types: Capability, Incentives, Commitment, Involvement and External factors. Factors concerning Capability, especially resources and competence, were most frequently considered by production supervisors as both drivers and hinders. The contractors considered most commonly Incentives to affect performance, especially motivation and strategy, as drivers and the economy as hinder. Both parties considered lack of resources as hinder to performance. For competence, relationship and collaboration interface, on the other hand, the two parties had different views on whether they acted as drivers or hinders. The knowledge presented in this paper is of interest to researchers or practitioners who wishes to understand the complexities underlying successful harvesting service performance. The insights can contribute to the reshaping of business practices to better target and leverage the mechanisms that most strongly affect performance.


Success factors; service values; wood supply chain; business development; logging; entrepreneur

Published in

Scandinavian Journal of Forest Research
2021, Volume: 36, number: 7-8, pages: 598-613