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Doctoral thesis, 2013

Knowledge in the forest planning process

Nilsson, Malin


The main focus of this thesis is the use of knowledge in the forest planning process of large Swedish forest owning companies. The forest planning is conducted as a three step system: long-, medium- and short-term planning. In these steps, knowledge is created, stored, shared and applied – knowledge about the forest as well as other relevant knowledge. The studies have knowledge management theory linked to strategy theories as a base for description and analysis of the use of knowledge in the forest planning process. A draft for a changed planning process is presented which aims at a better management of knowledge in forest companies. In Swedish forest owning companies the long-term forest plans are developed at top level and transferred down the organization over a number of steps. These steps involve the medium-term planning where planners prepare the compartments to be harvested and register them in the so called tract bank. The harvest managers use the compartments in the tract bank as a stock to meet delivery plans. This is where the forest plans meet harvest and delivery plans. The interaction between the forest plans and the sales plans was studied. The results showed that sales managers tend to use other input data such as previous sales volumes, rather than what is found in the medium-term plan, due to what they considered as lack of precisions and detail in the forest plan. Also, the supply of compartments with desirable attributes in the tract bank is not always sufficient to meet the demand from the harvest managers. This could make the harvest managers to sidestep the forest plan altogether. It seems that forest plans do not always are followed. In the light of these studies, a proposition for a bottom-up approach to an integrated planning process was developed. This approach was made with the purpose to stimulate the use of knowledge at local level to enhance the accuracy and applicability of the forest plans. With this approach employees at local level would hopefully be more involved in the planning process, leading to a higher adherence of the plan. This would in turn increase the association of realized plans with intended plans, thus improving the competitive position of the company.


forest planning; knowledge management; tract bank; bottom-up planning; long-term planning; medium-term planning; knowledge; information; sales planning; timber supply

Published in

Acta Universitatis Agriculturae Sueciae
2013, number: 2013:31
ISBN: 978-91-576-7801-0
Publisher: Dept. of Forest Resource Management, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

    SLU Authors

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Forest Science

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