From PowerPoints to Reality - Managing Strategic Change in the Paper Packaging Industry

Malin Olander Roese

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis (compilation)

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This thesis explores and describes strategic change towards increased customer
orientation and innovation in the Swedish forest and paper packaging industry, an
industry which has been subject to calls for new strategic directions for more than two
decades. The large-scale and cost-efficient strategy, which has been the industry's
hallmark, is in need of a more customer based and innovative emphasis.
The research is inspired by different schools of thought in strategy and motivated by
the limited longitudinal studies; on the link between customer orientation,
innovation and strategy, and on this empirical setting. The link is of particular
relevance given the emerging paradigms of dual and ambidextrous strategies in
literature and practice, integrating strategies focused on cost and differentiation,
efficiency and innovation – at the same time. This development further adds to the
need for more insight into the gap between strategy development and
A qualitative and longitudinal case study of one actor in the Swedish forest and paper
packaging industry is carried out. Crossing several theoretical boundaries, the research
contributes to knowledge on what strategic change towards increased customer
orientation and innovation entails: what the challenges are, how they can be
managed, and how change can be measured.
In the case study, strategic change is found to be a time-consuming, incremental yet
revolutionary process. Far from a linear journey, it is challenged by paradoxes on a
strategic and organisational level formed by dual and seemingly opposing strategic
intents. It is managed by expanding the perspective of the value chain and using
traditional levers such as the organisational structure. But more interestingly, it is also
managed by means of less orthodox ways for market learning, development and
featuring of new offerings combined with faith in the direction aimed for.
This thesis argues that being able to manage a strategic change towards this end
requires an integration of rational and pragmatic thinking and doing that combines
levers and measures of cultural and cognitive change with more traditional ones. It
contributes to a further understanding of this challenging endeavour and to future
research on competitive and sustainable development of mature industries.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Packaging Logistics
  • Olsson, Annika, Supervisor
Award date2014 Apr 25
ISBN (Print)978-91-7473-968-8
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Bibliographical note

Defence details

Date: 2014-04-25
Time: 10:15
Place: Stora Hörsalen, IKDC, Sölvegatan 26, Lund University Faculty of Enigneering

External reviewer(s)

Name: Brege, Staffan
Title: Professor
Affiliation: Linköping University, Linköping


Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Other Mechanical Engineering

Free keywords

  • Strategic Change
  • Customer Orientation
  • Innovation
  • Longitudinal Case Study
  • Paper Packaging Industry


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