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Research article2019Peer reviewedOpen access

What can we learn from business models in the European forest sector: Exploring the key elements of new business model designs

Kajanus, Miika; Leban, Vasja; Glavonjic, Predrag; Krc, Janez; Nedeljkovic, Jelena; Nonic, Dragan; Nybakk, Erlend; Posavec, Stjepan; Riedl, Marcel; Teder, Meelis; Wilhelmsson, Erik; Zalite, Zinta; Eskelinen, Tuomo


This study represents the first attempt to operationalize a novel methodological approach that couples the expanded business model canvas (BMC) with an analytical evaluation of business model items and incorporates context-intervention-mechanism-outcome logic (CIMO-logic). We applied the designed methodology to analyse ten forest-related business models in eight European countries. This study aims to enhance the understanding of the challenges and opportunities generated by changing forest ownership due to the use of new business models. The adopted procedures both enhance the understanding of existing business models and the associated mechanisms and suggest improvements for existing business models. In other words, these procedures facilitated the understanding of business model dynamics. The changing operational environment forces the traditional forestry industry to adapt, and the analysed European cases indicate that business system innovations should always be considered to meet consumers' needs. The analysed business models are mostly grounded on traditional forestry and mainly include either new services or organizational improvements. The analysed business models introduce new organizational channels for reaching customers, satisfying new customer needs, targeting unique customers, reducing transaction costs, and improving customer relationships.


Business model canvas; CIMO-logic; Multi-criteria decision analysis; Forest ownership; Participatory action research

Published in

Forest Policy and Economics
2019, Volume: 99, pages: 145-156

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Business Administration
    Forest Science

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