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Marketing relationships in Mesoamerican Forestry

Production and marketing of tropical timber in Mesoamerica have changed dramatically in the last thirty years. In their quest to maximize benefits from forestry, regional actors have undergone various changes in their internal structure, alliances, and marketing orientation. While some of the actors have been very successful, others seem to have stagnated on a relatively low level of benefits, technology and innovation capacity. The research project aims at understanding the process of differentiation into “winners” and “losers” of the last thirty years. The empirical evidence collected shall be analyzed under different theoretical perspectives. Is the stagnation of some actors or groups of actors the normal decline of less efficient actors predicted by neoliberal thought, must it be seen as a “lock in” in a path dependant process, or is it more a lag in adoption as traditional innovation theory would suggest? The answers to the question are relevant from a practical as well as from a theoretical perspective. From the theoretical point of view, the study will deliver evidence to refine the conceptual instruments used in innovation and path dependence theories. From the practical point of view, it should provide insights that will help improve to focus business development strategies. To this purpose, different levels of aggregation will be considered. Since tropical forest use in Mesoamerica is mostly community based, the individual rationality of each community member becomes as important as the social choices taken at the level of the community forestry enterprises. These levels and the rationale of private processing companies melt to a higher level, that of regional value chains. Regional value chains will represent the highest level of aggregation in the study. Departing from case studies, the suitability of quantitative methods will be tested.

Ansprechpartner: René Förster
Tel: 0761/203-3726
Email: rene.foerster@ifp.uni-freiburg.de
Projektbeginn: 01.10.2006
Projektende: 30.09.2009
René Förster, Prof. Dr. Michel Becker

Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg
Professur für Forst- und Umweltpolitik
Prof. Dr. Kleinschmit
Tennenbacher Str. 4
79106 Freiburg i. Br.

Telefon: 0761/203-3713
Fax: 0761/203-3705

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