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Integrating intangible resources enables creating new types of forest services - developing forest leasing value network in Finland

Laakkonen, Anu, Hujala, Teppo, Pykäläinen, Jouni
Forest policy and economics 2019 v.99 pp. 157-168
experts, forest management, forest ownership, forest policy, interviews, leasing, private forestry, urban forests, Finland
Emergence of more urban forest owners who live far from their forests challenges not only policies but also businesses for how to engage owners to active forest management. This study explores the opportunities of how exchanging and integrating intangible resources in collaborator networks may enable designing new types of forest services. To that end, the study scrutinizes the value network of a potential forest leasing service for family forests. Service-dominant logic and the concept of value network framed the analysis, which is based on semi-structured interviews with 12 Finnish forerunners and experts in private forestry. The results highlight the mediating role of the integrator (tenant or consultant). The value network offers novel value propositions via exchanging intangible benefits, i.e. trust, expertise, easiness, and communication. Main actors and operations already exist in Finland: integrating intangible resources (=working in reciprocal business networks) in creating new kind of forest services may serve new forest owner types and their emerging needs better and more flexibly. Companies' capability to convert information and knowledge to exchangeable deliverables within the value network will determine their competitive advantage in future. The task for forest policy is to enable open forest and landowner data for the novel service concepts. Further research is suggested to introduce novel value cocreating business logic to forest services in general.