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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2016

How are Swedish Forest Owners' Associations Adapting to the Needs of Current and Future Members and Their Organizations?

Kronholm, Thomas


This paper examines how Swedish forest owners' associations are adapting their strategies to fit the changing needs of current and future members, and assesses how this development affects the organizations' profile and relationship with members. To explore this issue eight semi-structured, face-to-face interviews with chairmen and senior managers from three associations and the Federation of Swedish Family Forest Owners were performed. Results showed that associations have identified an increasing need for management-support activities among members due to their decreasing familiarity with the basics of forestry. Help is increasingly needed both for setting up goals and objectives for their forest ownership, and to practically manage their properties. The associations' education programmes are also being improved and adapted to suit members' varying understanding of forestry by the introduction of A-, B- and C-level courses. Education campaigns have proved to be a successful tool for affecting members' management objectives. Further, the associations see an increasing need for political activity to counter calls for stricter management regulations being made by the media, politicians and environmental organizations and thereby protect members' ownership rights. Initiatives within the organizations for more efficient governance processes and the professionalization of working procedures within the member organizations may, however, come to reduce individual member involvement in the associations. Members may thus increasingly come to act as customers of service in their interaction with the organizations.


Family forest owners; Co-operative; Strategy; Member organization

Published in

Small-Scale Forestry
2016, Volume: 15, number: 4, pages: 413-432
Publisher: SPRINGER

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    Forest Science

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