A qualitative case study provides the opportunity to use different types of data, which enables the evidence to be triangulated

A qualitative case study provides the opportunity to use different types of data, which enables the evidence to be triangulated

This makes it possible to achieve a holistic view in the case study. The literature suggests some techniques for improving the quality and especially the validity in case studies (Yin, 2009). One of them is to use multiple sources of evidence in the data collection phase to increase the construct validity (Riege, 2003; Beverland and Lindgren, 2010). In this study, we have used field observations, internal documents combined with interviews. Yin (2009) argues that a second tactic is to establish a chain of evidence, which has been addressed by combining these different sources during the data collection procedure. One way of addressing internal validity is “establishing phenomena in a credible way” (Riege, 2003). In this study, we have used pattern matching to reach that qualitative criterion.


The multiple-case study exemplifies an international ent process in a mature industry. The study shows how two firms have decided to increase their market activities in emerging markets in Asia with different market solutions. A major reason behind the decision to invest (Case A) in this emerging market area is contextual factors and customer behaviours in the local e time management decided to invest and convert the products locally instead of exporting the added-value products from the Nordic countries. In case B the firm decided to meet new market demand in emerging markets by exporting its products mainly from the Nordic region. The two case studies show different approaches to meeting new market challenges in distant areas (see Table 2). However, demands from retail chains and brand owners have also forced the firm in case B to invest in a packaging design centre in the region. However, market requirements have forced both companies to be present in the local market.

Case A

The case firm is a global actor in the pulp and paper industry with manufacturing capacity outside the domestic market. The firm is active in the manufacture of pulp, paper products and sawn timber. The firm started its activities in Asia in 1985 and China has become the third largest country of operation in relation to the number of employees. Further investments will increase these operations. The main reason for investing in China (in relation to Europe) is the intention to get closer to expanding markets in China and Southeast Asia in order to meet a demand for “consumer packaging” from new groups of growing consumers (a growing middle class). In addition to the firm’s existing mills (two) and plants, the firm acquired a leading packaging firm in 2011, which manufactures and distributes packaging material for brand owners. A further investment was made in a project in the province of Guangxi in order to build a consumer board and eucalyptus pulp mill in 2014. The board mill started up in 2016. In 2012 the firm decided to sign an agreement to establish a joint venture (JV) in Pakistan. The intention behind the JV was not only to supply local customers in a fast growing market but also to provide other fru turkisk international customers in the region. The reason for expanding in Pakistan was to support key customers in “their growth ambitions” in Pakistan. The firm invested USD130m with an initial shareholding of 35% with a commitment to increase the shareholding to a conditional 50% at a later stage. The market for fibre-based consumer board is predicted to grow 9% annually in Pakistan. This can be compared with an average global growth rate of 2.4% for liquid packaging.

The main reason for investments in China and Pakistan is an attractive growing consumer market for renewable packaging materials, where Pakistan is the fourth biggest dairy market globally with a population of 182 million people. The JV includes a mill previously operated by the local partner mainly producing for the local market. The investment in the JV “makes it possible to grow with international customers and brand owners” says the financial director for the project. A major competitive advantage of the JV is that it provides a stable local partner combined with the firm’s broad experience of paper and board production; especially within the area of liquid packaging materials. A big challenge to production in the market has been the infrastructure e.g. support of energy where the JV is dependent on external suppliers. An investment programme is expected to improve the situation since the mill will rely more on its own production of energy.

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