The primary objectives of this study were to describe and compare the competitive strategies of softwood sawmills in five major softwood producing regions of the world, and to discuss the limitations of the well-known Porter model. Data was collected via personal interviews from 102 companies in Finland; coastal and inland western USA; coastal and inland British Columbia, Canada. Results suggest that “pure”; focus and differentiation strategies are the competitive strategies most commonly followed by sawmills in Finland and inland British Columbia. In the coastal and inland western USA regions “pure”; differentiation and “pure”; cost leadership strategies are dominant in these two geographical regions, respectively. In coastal British Columbia a “pure”; cost leadership strategy and the combination of all strategy types were the two strategies most frequently followed. The competitive strategy followed was found to be related to company size. Large companies more often applied cost leadership strategies and differentiation and focus strategies were typical of small and medium-sized companies. In general, sawmills in all five regions had difficulties identifying exclusively with one strategy type.
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