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  • 1. Nord, Tomas
    Prefabrication strategies in the timber housing industry: a comparison of Swedish and Austrian markets2008Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The functional-based building regulations issued in 1994/95, made it possible to once again build higher buildings with timber structures in Sweden. At the same time there was a need to make the traditional project- oriented construction process more efficient, with prefabricated building systems and products as one possible solution. Since then, a number of timber housing companies have established product strategies and developed system solutions to meet the demands from different markets. In other European countries, changes in rules and regulations have positively facilitated the development of timber building products and systems and established new companies and strategies. Austria is one example, where architecture and technology are in focus, developing different product strategies in the timber housing industry. External factors and their changing, affect the formulation of viable business strategies in the timber housing industry. This dissertation aims to describe and analyse the strategic development of timber housing companies in Sweden and Austria. Strategy theories on the alignment of internal elements and external factors to create competitive advantage are applied in this dissertation. The results are based on empirical data gathered in a multiple case-study with two cases from Sweden and Austria, respectively. Result show that the strategic development of the Austrian timber housing companies was determined by the established conditions in the construction process. Timber structures already had strong positions in specific market segments; hence, the strategic behaviour of timber housing companies progressed with an inside-out approach. The strategic focus was to develop efficient internal processes that focus on design skills, flexible production facilities and on-site assembly resources to improve competitive advantage. The strategic development of the Swedish timber housing companies was based on what was possible from the changes in basic conditions, which partly diverted from the common and shared understanding in the construction process; hence the strategic behaviour of timber housing companies have had an outside-in approach to create competitive advantage. They have developed product platforms of standardised modules or elements and where cooperation with technical and system design complementors have been important to offer competitive timber building system solutions. The results indicate a strong correlation between basic conditions - construction process - firm conduct. Changes in basic conditions will give raise to firm conduct, different from the normative behaviour in the construction process, by firms with resources and capabilities by the changing basic conditions.

  • 2. Nord, Tomas
    Prefabrication strategies in the timber housing industry: case studies from Swedish and Austrian markets2008Report (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Economic and legal regulation changes in many European housing industries during the past two decades have had a profound effect on industry structure and company behaviour. Increased cooperation, longer term project organizations, new products, developed production methods are example of changes to meet the criticism of poor quality, high production costs and low innovativeness that has followed the industry. Timber based structures designed and produced with an industrialised approach have emerged in the Swedish market. Companies pursuing the concept often have a wood mechanical industry production and business logic which may be different from the traditional housing industry's logic. This report presents empirical data from a Ph.D. project aiming at describing and explaining the strategic development of timber housing companies in Sweden and Austria. The data are described from a strategic management perspective where strategy is the resource allocation and organizational set-up of pursuing a defined product market in the context of a specified industry. Included are case descriptions on industry and company level. The industry level includes housing industry conditions for the two countries that have established the present structure and behaviour of the building process, and created opportunities and limitations for companies. The company level presents company strategy in terms of defining and pursuing product markets, deployment of resources and capabilities, and organizational structure during the period 1990 to 2006. The result is a rich description of the structure and development of the Austrian and Swedish housing industries with emphasis on strategic opportunities for timber structures. Furthermore, the four case studies indicate how companies have approached the opportunities in the market by focusing on prefabrication and standardisation of products and building capabilities in design and project management.

  • 3. Nord, Tomas
    Structure and developments in the solid wood value chain: dominant saw milling strategies and industrialized housing2005Licentiate thesis, monograph (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The study, using a combination of a qualitative case study and archival study approach, aims at describing and analyzing the development in the solid wood value chain i.e. sawn timber products, dominant Swedish saw milling strategies, and industrialized housing. The background to the study is the increasingly dynamic environment fundamentally affecting how actors in the solid wood value chain identify strategic resources and assets formulating and implementing their strategies. This dynamic is particularly evident in the housing construction market, where recent changes in construction norms have introduced new process and production concepts such as lean and agile thinking placing different and sometimes new demands on suppliers of sawn timber products. To understand what is required of a future reliable supplier of sawn timber products in an industrialized housing concept, and creating a sustainable competitive advantage vis-à-vis competing saw milling industries, a conceptual terminology for this understanding has to be established. This terminology is in this study built on the strategy process linking the development of the solid wood value chain i.e. an outside-in perspective from the positioning theorists, to the interpretation and creation of core competences and capabilities in the Swedish saw milling industry i.e. an inside-out perspective from the resource-based theorists. Results indicate that dominant strategies in the saw milling industry are becoming more market oriented but still emphasising operational effectiveness in areas like procurement and production. Furthermore, increasing emphasis on complementary services such as distribution, technical and marketing sales support to the physical products can be distinguished. The study indicates that there is no single "best" strategy, and that the realized dominant strategies are dependent on how companies identify their competences finding markets fitting these competences to establishing competitive advantage. Regarding the potential of saw milling companies in becoming reliable and long-term important suppliers of sawn timber products in an industrialized housing concept, the study indicates that companies with a decentralized structure and informal decision-making, already involved in the construction industries are the "first wave" companies. These companies are actively focusing their resources and competences towards construction industry finding ways to move further down the value chain. The "second wave", is made up of those companies already pursuing a differentiation strategy towards the construction industry. These companies are the larger corporations predominantly involved in the wood products industry, with centralized structure with spanning functions, formal decision making in R&D and knowledge creation, and operating in a number of markets. Further research should aim at improving the proposed conceptual terminology by studying saw milling industries in other countries. Furthermore, the issue of "first" and "second" wave saw milling companies becoming sawn timber products suppliers in an industrialized housing concept, should be studied on an European and global level establishing the different requirements placed by construction industries.

  • 4. Nord, Tomas
    et al.
    Tykkä, Sanna
    McCluskey, Denise
    Ollonqvist, Pekka
    Hugosson, Mårten
    Ukranski, Kadri
    Bouriaud, Laura
    Bajric, Fahrudin
    Nyrud, Anders Q
    Roos, Anders
    Byeheim, Kristian
    Role of policies on innovations in timber frame construction: Cases from sub-group Timber construction vertical value chain in COST Action E51 Integrating Innovation and Development Policies for the Forest Sector2010Report (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The enlargement of EU coupled with harmonization of regulations and standards have opened new market segments and geographical areas resulting in grown market shares and innovative behaviour of timber construction firms. The role of policies aiming at increased competitiveness and innovativeness of the European forest sector through integrating innovation has been studied within a COST Action running from 2006 to 2010. COST Action E51 "Integrating Innovation and Development Policies for the Forest Sector" aimed at increasing our understanding of the role of policies and development programs to improve competitiveness and specifically innovations in the forest sector. One of the sub-groups studied the timber construction value chain and the type and diffusion of innovations. This report presents empirical data of timber construction industries from eight European countries. The data include the general construction environment and the policy superstructure of each country and one characteristic example of innovation and innovation process within the timber construction industry of each country respectively. The description of the construction industry follows the concept that construction is a complex product system (CoPS, Hobday, 1998) relating actors in an innovation system approach manner. The timber construction industry is gradually moving from supplier to system integrators thus modifying the overall system.The results indicate a large difference between studied industries in terms of type of innovation, supportive actions from society and industry organizations, and the effect of the innovation on the overall building process and infrastructure.

  • 5.
    Stehn, Lars
    et al.
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Structural and Construction Engineering.
    Nord, Tomas
    Design mot kostnadseffektivisering vid stombyggnad i trä i Österrike respektive Sverige2007In: Bygg & Teknik, ISSN 0281-658X, no 2, p. 47-50Article in journal (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
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