Title: Profiting from inter-firm relations – a study in the evolving bioenergy industry

Authors: Satu Patari

Addresses: School of Business, Lappeenranta University of Technology, P.O. Box 20, FI-53851 Lappeenranta, Finland

Abstract: The role of inter-organisational relationships has become central in the quest for competitive success. Nevertheless, the rate of alliance formation has not been high in the forest industry, although the sector is in great need of new value-creating business. This study explores whether the widespread interest in renewable energy will open up new opportunities for the industry and also for the energy sector. It is argued that there is excellent potential for collaboration between the two in the biomass-for-energy business on account of their complementary assets. A total of 1,129 strategic alliances and joint ventures related to the forest and energy industries, and to the emerging bioenergy sector are studied, with a view to identifying the key alliance types and the main motives for their formation. The findings indicate that alliance activity at the interface between the forest and energy sectors has been sparse, and that the existing inter-firm relations related to bioenergy remain outside their scope.

Keywords: complementary assets; inter-firm relations; strategic alliances; joint ventures; traditional industries; forest industry; energy industry; bioenergy; value creation; renewable energy; biomass.

DOI: 10.1504/IJBE.2010.034823

International Journal of Business Environment, 2010 Vol.3 No.3, pp.251 - 266

Published online: 23 Aug 2010 *

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