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Articles by Katja Lähtinen

Category : Research article

article id 10605, category Research article
Charlotta Harju, Katja Lähtinen. (2021). Perceptions of wooden interior product quality – insights on sustainability views among Finnish consumers. Silva Fennica vol. 55 no. 5 article id 10605. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.10605
Keywords: wood products; consumer behavior; perceived quality; sociodemographic variables; sustainable consumption
Highlights: The quality indicators of wooden interior products can be grouped into four factors relating to products’ environmental friendliness, fit with lifestyle and home design, visual and tactile attractiveness, and technical solidity, which are in multiple ways connected with sustainability; The sociodemographic background of the respondents was found to be linked with consumer scores for those factors; Wooden interior products should be designed to meet different types of product quality expectations in the home environment.
Abstract | Full text in HTML | Full text in PDF | Author Info

Evaluation of product attributes and the overall quality significantly affect consumer purchasing decisions. Previous studies on wooden products have mostly addressed wood product quality from technical viewpoints, while largely disregarding environmental, social, and economic aspects in the assessments. Therefore, knowledge on how sustainability aspects are evaluated as a feature of wood product quality is narrow. This study investigated consumer perceptions of different quality indicators (i.e., quality cues and attributes) of wooden interior products with a special focus on sustainability and value chain phases. In addition, the connections between consumers’ sociodemographic background and their perceptions of the quality features of wooden interior products were evaluated. The material of the study was based on data gathered in 2018 with a postal survey sent to 1000 people living in Finland with a response rate of 25.6%. As methods of analysis, exploratory factor analysis, the Mann-Whitney U test, and the Kruskall-Wallis test were utilized. The results show that the quality indicators of wooden interior products can be grouped into four factors relating to products’ environmental friendliness, fit with lifestyle and home design, visual and tactile attractiveness, and technical solidity, which are in multiple ways connected with sustainability. The sociodemographic background of the respondents was found to be linked with consumer scores for those factors. Engaging consumers in sustainable consumption choices requires providing them with information on wooden product value chains that meets their individual needs in relation to their existing knowledge of those issues and individual values.
 

  • Harju, University of Vaasa, School of Marketing and Communication, P.O. Box 700, FI-65200 Vaasa, Finland ORCID https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0432-2598 E-mail: charlotta.harju@uwasa.fi (email)
  • Lähtinen, Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke), Bioeconomy and Environment Unit, P.O. Box 2, FI-00790 Helsinki, Finland ORCID https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6260-5062 E-mail: katja.lahtinen@luke.fi
article id 10503, category Research article
Katja Lähtinen, Liina Häyrinen, Anders Roos, Anne Toppinen, Francisco X. Aguilar Cabezas, Bo J. Thorsen, Teppo Hujala, Anders Q. Nyrud, Hans F. Hoen. (2021). Consumer housing values and prejudices against living in wooden homes in the Nordic region. Silva Fennica vol. 55 no. 2 article id 10503. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.10503
Keywords: housing markets; industrial building; structural material; sustainable urbanization; timber structures; urban construction; value expectations
Highlights: Consumers in the Nordic region are similar in their housing value expectations and prejudices against building with wood; Physical properties of houses seem to be less important as constituents of housing value for the consumers compared to intangible factors related to lifestyles and milieus; Urban consumers are the most prejudiced against wood building, and thus supply of homes meeting their value expectations is of a critical importance for sustainable urbanization.
Abstract | Full text in HTML | Full text in PDF | Author Info

So far, consumer housing values have not been addressed as factors affecting the market diffusion potential of multi-storey wood building (MSWB). To fill the void, this study addresses different types of consumer housing values in Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden (i.e., Nordic region), and whether they affect the likelihood of prejudices against building with wood in the housing markets. The data collected in 2018 from 2191 consumers in the Nordic region were analyzed with exploratory factor analysis and logistic binary regression analysis. According to the results, consumers’ perceptions on ecological sustainability, material usage and urban lifestyle were similar in all countries, while country-specific differences were detected for perceptions on aesthetics and natural milieus. In all countries, appreciating urban lifestyle and living in attractive neighborhoods with good reputation increased the likelihood of prejudices against wood building, while appreciation of aesthetics and natural milieus decreased the likelihood of prejudices. In strengthening the demand for MSWB and sustainable urbanization through actions in businesses (e.g., branding) and via public policy support (e.g., land zoning), few messages derive from the results. In all, abreast with the already existing knowledge on the supply side factors (e.g., wood building innovations), more customized information is needed on the consumer-driven issues affecting the demand potential of MSWB in the housing markets. This would enable, e.g., both enhancing the supply of wooden homes for consumers appreciating urban lifestyle and neighborhoods and fortifying positive image of wood among consumers especially appreciating good architecture and pleasant environmental milieus.

  • Lähtinen, Vaasan yliopisto/Seinäjoen yliopistokeskus E-mail: katja.lahtinen@luke.fi (email)
  • Häyrinen, Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke), Bioeconomy and Environment Unit, P.O. Box 2, FI-00790 Helsinki, Finland E-mail: liina.hayrinen@luke.fi
  • Roos, Sveriges lantbruksuniversitet (SLU), Department of Forest Economics, Box 7060, SE-750 07 Uppsala, Sweden E-mail: anders.roos@slu.se
  • Toppinen, University of Helsinki, Department of Forest Sciences/Helsinki Institute of Sustainability Science (HELSUS), P.O. Box 27, FI-00014 University of Helsinki, Finland E-mail: anne.toppinen@helsinki.fi
  • Aguilar Cabezas, Sveriges lantbruksuniversitet (SLU), Department of Forest Economics, SE-901 83 Umeå, Sweden E-mail: francisco.aguilar@slu.se
  • Thorsen, University of Copenhagen, Department of Food and Resource Economics, Rolighedsvej 23, DK-1958 Frederiksberg C, DenmarkBo Jellesmark Thorsen E-mail: bjt@ifro.ku.dk
  • Hujala, University of Eastern Finland (UEF), Faculty of Science and Forestry, School of Forest Sciences, P.O. Box 111, 80101 FI-Joensuu, Finland E-mail: teppo.hujala@uef.fi
  • Nyrud, Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU), Faculty of Environmental Sciences and Natural Resource Management, P.O. Box 5003, NO-1432 Ås, Norway E-mail: anders.qvale.nyrud@nmbu.no
  • Hoen, Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU), Faculty of Environmental Sciences and Natural Resource Management, P.O. Box 5003, NO-1432 Ås, Norway E-mail: hans.hoen@nmbu.no
article id 102, category Research article
Anne Toppinen, Katja Lähtinen, Leena A. Leskinen, Niklas Österman. (2011). Network co-operation as a source of competitiveness in medium-sized Finnish sawmills. Silva Fennica vol. 45 no. 4 article id 102. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.102
Keywords: collaboration; social capital; strategic resources; competitive advantage; business processes
Abstract | View details | Full text in PDF | Author Info
In the Finnish sawmill industry, inter-firm collaboration has often been brought up as a means of creating a competitive edge in global markets by achieving economies of scale. According to the resource-based view (RBV), a firm can evaluate its current or potential partners by considering firm-level collaboration as a portfolio of complementary strategic resources. The specific focus of the study is on examining the types and forms of sawmill co-operation, how the co-operation emerged and which firm-specific resources are mainly related to co-operation. Based upon this, we can see how the managers of medium-sized sawmills perceive network co-operation as facilitating the achievement of a sustainable competitive advantage. The empirical data for this study were collected by interviewing 16 managers and employees in medium-sized non-integrated sawmills, a joint-venture marketing company and other co-operative partners. The findings of the study show that meaningful and beneficial co-operation partnerships exist in the Finnish sawmilling industry, but the sawmill managers do not perceive this collaboration as a strategic resource. The marketing company was the only firm in this study that relied on its co-operative networks in seeking a sustainable competitive advantage. To make more of co-operative partnerships, the principles of co-operative networking should be understood better in the sawmilling industry in order to know what to expect from co-operation. Furthermore, the managers should have the courage to engage in more extensive co-operation in order for strategic rents to materialize. Since the selection of the right partners is fundamental, further studies could be conducted on the reasons behind failed or terminated co-operative arrangements to gather further empirical knowledge in this subject area.
  • Toppinen, University of Helsinki, Department of Forest Sciences, P.O. Box 27, FI-00014 University of Helsinki, Finland E-mail: anne.toppinen@helsinki.fi (email)
  • Lähtinen, Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE), Joensuu, Finland E-mail: kl@nn.fi
  • Leskinen, Rantalankuja 4, Joensuu, Finland E-mail: lal@nn.fi
  • Österman, University of Helsinki, Department of Forest Sciences, P.O. Box 27, FI-00014 University of Helsinki, Finland E-mail: no@nn.fi

Category : Review article

article id 10609, category Review article
Jaakko Jussila, Emil Nagy, Katja Lähtinen, Elias Hurmekoski, Liina Häyrinen, Cecilia Mark-Herbert, Anders Roos, Ritva Toivonen, Anne Toppinen. (2022). Wooden multi-storey construction market development – systematic literature review within a global scope with insights on the Nordic region. Silva Fennica vol. 56 no. 1 article id 10609. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.10609
Keywords: sustainability; construction industry; consumer; forest-wood value chain; municipality; urbanization
Highlights: Enabling factors for WMC market diffusion include benefits from cost-efficiency gains from prefabrication and industrialization and perceived sustainability benefits; Inexperience of using wood, and path dependencies to use concrete and steel in multi-storey building are the key barriers for mainstreaming WMC market development; More research is needed on the development in the wood construction value-chains to challenge the dominant concrete-based construction regime in the housing markets.
Abstract | Full text in HTML | Full text in PDF | Author Info

Climate change sets high pressures on the construction industry to decrease greenhouse gas emissions. Due to the carbon storage properties and potential to use renewable resources efficiently, wooden multi-storey construction (WMC) is an interesting alternative for the construction industry to enhance sustainable development combined with the aesthetic and well-being benefits of wood perceived among many consumers. For forest industry firms, industrial wood construction is a possibility to seek for business opportunities and bring socio-economic benefits for local economies. Despite positive drivers, WMC still remains a niche even in the forest-rich countries.The purpose of our study is to add understanding on the WMC market development by conducting a systematic literature analysis on international peer-reviewed studies from the past 20 years. Our special focus is on the role of WMC in the housing markets studied from the perspectives of the demand, supply and local governance factors. As specific aims, we 1) synthesize the key barriers and enabling factors for the WMC market growth; 2) identify the actors addressed in the existing studies connected to the WMC market development, and 3) summarize research methods and analytical approaches used in the previous studies. As a systematic method to make literature searches in Web of Science and Scopus for years 2000–2020, we employed PRISMA guidelines. By using pre-determined keywords, our searches resulted in a sample of 696 articles, of which 42 full articles were after selection procedure included in-depth content analysis. Our results showed cost-efficiency gains from industrialized prefabrication and perceived sustainability benefits by consumers and architects enabled a WMC market diffusion. The lack of experiences on the WMC, and path dependencies to use concrete and steel continue to be key barriers for increased WMC. Although our research scope was the global WMC market development, most of the literature concerned the Nordic region. The key actors covered in the literature were businesses (e.g., contractors, manufacturers and architects) involved in the wood construction value-chains, while residents and actors in the local governance were seldomly addressed. Currently, case studies, the use of qualitative data sets and focus on the Nordic region dominate the literature. This hinders the generalizability of findings in different regional contexts. In the future, more research is needed on how sustainability-driven wood construction value-chains are successfully shaping up in different geographical regions, and how they could challenge the dominant concrete-based construction regime.

  • Jussila, University of Helsinki, Department of Forest Sciences, P.O. Box 4, FI-00014 University of Helsinki, Finland E-mail: jaakko@jussila.fi (email)
  • Nagy, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Forest Economics, P.O. Box 7060, SE-750 07 Uppsala, Sweden E-mail: emil.nagy@slu.se
  • Lähtinen, Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke), Bioeconomy and environment, P.O. Box 2, FI-00791 Helsinki, Finland E-mail: katja.lahtinen@luke.fi
  • Hurmekoski, University of Helsinki, Department of Forest Sciences, P.O. Box 4, FI-00014 University of Helsinki, Finland E-mail: elias.hurmekoski@helsinki.fi
  • Häyrinen, Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke), Bioeconomy and environment, P.O. Box 2, FI-00791 Helsinki, Finland E-mail: liina.hayrinen@luke.fi
  • Mark-Herbert, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Forest Economics, P.O. Box 7060, SE-750 07 Uppsala, Sweden E-mail: cecilia.mark-herbert@slu.se
  • Roos, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Forest Economics, P.O. Box 7060, SE-750 07 Uppsala, Sweden E-mail: anders.roos@slu.se
  • Toivonen, University of Helsinki, Department of Forest Sciences, P.O. Box 4, FI-00014 University of Helsinki, Finland E-mail: ritva.toivonen@helsinki.fi
  • Toppinen, University of Helsinki, Department of Forest Sciences, P.O. Box 4, FI-00014 University of Helsinki, Finland E-mail: anne.toppinen@helsinki.fi
article id 312, category Review article
Katja Lähtinen. (2007). Linking resource-based view with business economics of woodworking industry: earlier findings and future insights. Silva Fennica vol. 41 no. 1 article id 312. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.312
Keywords: strategy; competitiveness; enterprises; resources; woodworking firms
Abstract | View details | Full text in PDF | Author Info
The business environment and sources of competitiveness in the woodworking industry have changed notably since the 1990s. Wood products are traded globally, and with the increase of trade, abundant forest resources are no longer the main source of sustainable competitiveness. Competition within the woodworking industry is increasing both between European and non-European enterprises, as well as within the EU. Capability to create value-added, making rational strategic choices, and creative usage of intangible and tangible resources have been emphasized as crucial for sustaining woodworking industry competitiveness in higher cost-level countries. Resource-based view (RBV) defines the availability of intangible assets, capabilities and tangible resources, and their heterogeneous combination to form the basis for company success. The objective of this review is to examine the possibilities to employ the RBV to the study of the woodworking industry by combining existing empirical results of the factors of companies’ competitiveness with assessment of the RBV. In the existing literature, strategies implemented in woodworking companies have been approached rather widely, while the role of intangible and tangible resources in building firm-level success has received less focus. In addition, a significant gap exists in linking firms’ financial accounting information with empirical data on their resource-usage and business strategies. In future studies, more information of the effects of these strategic elements on the actual business success of the firms would be needed.
  • Lähtinen, Finnish Forest Research Institute, Joensuu Research Unit, P.O. Box 68, FI-80101 Joensuu, Finland E-mail: katja.lahtinen@metla.fi (email)

Category : Research note

article id 1544, category Research note
Osmo Mattila, Kaisa Hämäläinen, Liina Häyrinen, Sami Berghäll, Katja Lähtinen, Anne Toppinen. (2016). Strategic business networks in the Finnish wood products industry: a case of two small and medium-sized enterprises. Silva Fennica vol. 50 no. 3 article id 1544. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.1544
Keywords: competitive advantage; wood products; network-based business models
Highlights: Network-based business models are not yet common in the wood products industry; Further research is suggested on network-based co-operation to vitalize industry.
Abstract | Full text in HTML | Full text in PDF | Author Info

The use of network-based business models has been brought up as a means of creating com-petitive edge in the tightening global competition. In practice, adopting network-based models has not yet become common in the wood products industry. The objective of this study is to gain better understanding of types of network-based business models using a case study of two small and medium-sized wood industry companies in Finland (for a sake of anonymity named as A and B). The network of company A is found to consist of mostly of established actors with a new-in-the-market value creation system, whereas network for company B is more stable and has an established value system aiming at growth and incremental innovations. Both networks had experienced difficulties in finding partners and lacked some strategic resources. Via this example we wish to stimulate further research interest on the sources of network-based competitive advantage in the traditional wood product industry in a need of renewal of business models.

  • Mattila, University of Helsinki, Department of Forest Sciences, FI-00014 Helsingin yliopisto, Finland E-mail: osmo.mattila@helsinki.fi
  • Hämäläinen, Siparila Oy, Varaslahdentie 1, FI-40800 Vaajakoski, Finland E-mail: kaisa.hamalainen@siparila.fi
  • Häyrinen, University of Helsinki, Department of Forest Sciences, FI-00014 Helsingin yliopisto, Finland E-mail: liina.hayrinen@helsinki.fi
  • Berghäll, University of Helsinki, Department of Forest Sciences, FI-00014 Helsingin yliopisto, Finland E-mail: sami.berghall@helsinki.fi
  • Lähtinen, University of Helsinki, Department of Forest Sciences, FI-00014 Helsingin yliopisto, Finland E-mail: katja.lahtinen@helsinki.fi
  • Toppinen, University of Helsinki, Department of Forest Sciences, FI-00014 Helsingin yliopisto, Finland E-mail: anne.toppinen@helsinki.fi (email)

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