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No 2 / 3

Information strategies in the export market : problem identification and problem solving among Finnish exporters of log houses

Date: 1.8.1993-31.7.1996
Code: 2238
Department: Åbo akademi University / Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences (ESF), Dept. of Library and Information Science
Address: Henriksgatan 9, FIN-20500 Åbo
Phone +358-2-2154 862
Fax +358-2-2154 581
E-mail AartDeHeer@abo.fi
Project leader: SocD Mariam Ginman, bibliotekschef (1.8.1993-31.7.1996)
Researchers: FK Aart Jan Heer de (1.8.1993-31.7.1996)
Type of research: 0 (0=Within duty, 1=Ordered research, 2=Co-operation)
- basic research 50 %
- applied research 50 %
Finnish funding organizations: Finlands Akademi () FIM 443722
Man months: Totally: 36 months
Keywords: informationsbehov, företag, expor, tiedontarve, yritykset, vienti, information management, informationsbeteende, problemidentifiering, problemlösning, exportframgång, information management, problem finding, problem solving, business success, export market,

The aim of the project is to research whether there is a connection between the information behaviour (i.e. acquisition and use of information on threats and oppurtunities) of export companies and thier export performance.The project draws special attention to the following questions: 1.What did export companies know about external threats and oppurtunities when they started exporting? 2.Which threats and oppurtunities did companies succed to identifiy in the course of export process? 3.To what extend did information on external threats and oppurtunities affect strategic thinking in the companies? 4.What information did companies use in order to solve the problems that were identified in connection with the export activities? 5.In what way did problem identification behaviour and problem solving behaviour differ in succesful and unsuccesful export companies?.By finding an answer to these questions, the project may contribute to the creation of better information culture and a more conscious information policy in companies which are mapping their first export opportunities as well as in companies that want to extend their exporta ctivities to new geographic areas, customer grpoups or ptoducts.-The project is including as a national part in a more comprehensive mapping of information cultures and business performance.The international program is administred by the Åbo Consortium, which was founded on this purpose at the Department of Library and Information Sciernce, Åbo Akademi University, Åbo, Finland, May 1992.-The research material of the project consist of twenty Finnish log house producers which in the period of 1994/1995 had an export experince of at least one year on the German market.The involved companies were interviewed in the autumn 1995 by means of the qualitative questionning method.This method was used in order to get information on the background and action environment of the companies as well as in order to get information on how these companies have acquired and used knowledge on external threats and opportunities.Preliminary analyses indicate that there are three main factors which distinguish the information behaviour of unsuccesful exporters: 1. successful exporters believe in good internal and external communication, 2. succesful exporters consider change as a challenge and 3. succesful exporters understand their environment in a multiple perspective. -The final analysis of the project will be completed by July 1996.

Publication(s)

21.3.1996 / 25.3.1996