Innovation in Maine’s Logging Industry
- Stone, Ian J.
University of Maine Graduate School
Innovation is considered a major factor in the success and development of individual businesses and industries. The logging industry is a crucial component of Maine's larger forest products industry, providing harvesting services to landowners and raw materials to mills. Currently, very little is known about innovation in Maine,s logging industry or logging in general. Given that innovation will be a crucial component to the continued success and future development of Maine's logging industry, it is essential that this subject be studied in detail.
To understand the amount and types of innovation occurring in Maine's logging industry a series of case studies on logging innovators and an industry survey were performed. Results show that overall Maine's logging industry has a low degree of innovation, but that certain firms do exhibit a high degree of innovation. The focus of innovators is different from the general population, with the general population being focused on service based and marketing innovation and innovativeness being focused on process innovations and organizational innovations that track performance. This research has shown that number of employees, employee incentive programs, and membership in logging organizations are the factors that influence the innovativeness of logging firms. Firm innovativeness is does not appear to be correlated with logging firm performance, indicating that logging firms may have little control over factors influencing firm performance and that logging firms may be adopting innovation that do not perform well. This research also shows that many long standing logging innovations, such as mechanized harvesting systems, have failed to gain wide acceptance and adoption in Maine.
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