Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Learning and Corporate Strategy: The Dynamic Evolution of the North American Pulp and Paper Industry, 1860-1960

Toivanen, Hannes (2004): Learning and Corporate Strategy: The Dynamic Evolution of the North American Pulp and Paper Industry, 1860-1960.

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Abstract

This study analyzes the long-term evolution of the North American pulp and paper industry, and offers a new synthesis of the dynamic forces that spearheaded the expansion and transformation of this large manufacturing industry. The evolution of the North American pulp and paper industry between 1860 and 1960 was driven by successive waves of technological learning that spawned structural change. Such waves transformed and expanded the sulphite and sulphate pulp, envelope, paper container, paper bag, magazine and printing paper, coated paper, board, and many other pulp and paper industries between 1860 and 1960. These waves repeated a pattern of co-evolution of technology and industrial organization that enveloped dynamic forces of change, such as innovation, corporate strategies, industrial relocation, and policy. As distinct branches of the pulp and paper industry passed from the early nascent phase to full maturity, the sources of innovation, nature of technological change, strategy and structure of leading firms, and industrial organization underwent throughout transformation. As these waves of industrial change passed from a nascent phase to maturity, the reciprocal dynamics between organization, corporate strategy, policy, and technological learning co-evolved, and established the evolutionary path of the North American pulp and paper industry.

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