Analysis of the forest products cluster in Indiana: A framework for improving productivity and competitiveness

Silas G Tora, Purdue University

Abstract

The forest products industry is faced with several challenges that range from the acquisition of materials to marketing of the finished products. These challenges require that firms consider the past, current, and future trends, and determine what factors have made them successful and which ones need improvement. An industrial analysis provides the tools necessary to determine the challenges and strength of the industry. In addition the analysis provides a necessary baseline to be used in the regular monitoring of the industry.^ Through the use of secondary data and a survey developed by the author, this study examined the composition, opportunities, and challenges facing the forest products industry in Indiana. The study used factors related to human resources, communication, and competitiveness in analyzing the industry’s productivity and competitiveness. Previous studies have shown that there are strong industrial competitive clusters mainly in rural Indiana. However, this study found that these clusters are faced with major challenges in terms of human resource- and competitiveness-related factors. In addition to suggesting methods to tackle the challenges, the study provides a gap analysis showing the opportunities available within the clusters, and their impact on the overall performance of the industry.^

Degree

Ph.D.

Advisors

Eva Haviarova, Purdue University.

Subject Area

Agriculture, Forestry and Wildlife|Economics, Agricultural

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