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School of Business | Department of Management and International Business | Management Science | 2012
Thesis number: 13435
Management capabilities, business models and investment targets / An exploratory study on the future of the Finnish manufacturing industry
Author: Isotalo, Tatu
Title: Management capabilities, business models and investment targets / An exploratory study on the future of the Finnish manufacturing industry
Year: 2012  Language: eng
Department: Department of Management and International Business
Academic subject: Management Science
Index terms: johtaminen; management; strategia; strategy; teollisuus; industry; osaaminen; competence; liiketalous; business economics; mallit; models; investoinnit; investment; tulevaisuus; future
Pages: 187
Full text:
» hse_ethesis_13435.pdf pdf  size:2 MB (1433333)
Key terms: Finnish manufacturing industry; future; management capabilities; business models; investment targets; strategic management
ABSTRACT: Objectives: This thesis studies the projected future direction and expected management capability requirements of the Finnish manufacturing industry, by examining the development and present status of the industry’s business models, management capabilities and future investment targets. During recent years the Finnish manufacturing industry has undergone significant structural changes, and the transformation is only expected to accelerate. Hence, this study aims at creating an understanding of the direction that the industry is headed in, while addressing what the critical success factors would be for firms in managing their global operations networks in the future. Methodology: A sequential mixed methods research approach was used for the study. Data was gathered from a total of 73 companies, with a combined annual revenue of over €180 billion. The sample is a representative mix of large companies and SMEs from the chemical, forest, metal processing, mechanical engineering and electronics and electrotechnical industry sectors. After conducting a preliminary industry analysis and literature review, 19 qualitative, semi-structured interviews were carried out. Based on the answers and input from the interviews, a quantitative online survey was created, with a total of 54 respondents. Findings: The manufacturing industry is expected to continue to expand further abroad and direct their investments increasingly outside of Finland. The transfer of operations overseas is seen to extend from manufacturing to R&D as well. The results also suggest that the importance of Finland for firms as a location is expected to decrease in the future, since the companies’ operations networks are expected to become increasingly footloose. The business models, however, are assumed to remain largely based on maintaining product design in-house. Critical management capabilities for the future include the ability to optimise the company as a whole, network management and developing the interfaces between R&D, manufacturing and sales and marketing. The poor alignment of investment targets and future capabilities, however, raises concerns over the level and quality of strategic management in several firms. Keywords: Finnish manufacturing industry, future, management capabilities, business models, investment targets, strategic management
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