Title: SME competence transformation - a case study on industrial structural change

Authors: Kyllikki Taipale-Erävala; Pia Heilmann; Hannele Lampela

Addresses: Department of Industrial Management, Lappeenranta University of Technology, Skinnarilankatu 34, 53850 Lappeenranta Finland ' LUT School of Business, Lappeenranta University of Technology, Skinnarilankatu 34, 53850 Lappeenranta Finland ' Department of Industrial Management, Lappeenranta University of Technology, Skinnarilankatu 34, 53850 Lappeenranta Finland

Abstract: The paper considers SME competence transformation resulting from structural changes in the forest industry. The focus is on change management of public actors and SMEs. The research data are based on publicly available industry data and 13 in-depth themed interviews of public actors, SME managers and start-up entrepreneurs. In this study, it is found that SMEs develop their business in response to external changes and are able to transform their competences to meet changed circumstances. Furthermore, it is noted that start-up companies base their business on formerly acquired skills and competences. Another important finding is that public actors manage structural change but, from the perspective of entrepreneurs, do not appear to meet the needs of SMEs and micro companies. The paper provides valuable insights into change management, competence transformation paths and possible pitfalls which public actors and SMEs may face when confronting business environment changes.

Keywords: competence transformation; SMEs; industrial restructuring; public actors; innovativeness; Finland; SME competences; case study; industrial structural change; forest industry; forestry; small and medium-sized enterprises; change management; start-ups; entrepreneurship.

DOI: 10.1504/IJBIR.2014.060826

International Journal of Business Innovation and Research, 2014 Vol.8 No.3, pp.265 - 281

Received: 08 May 2021
Accepted: 12 May 2021

Published online: 01 May 2014 *

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