Aspects of research strategy in studying forest owners’ behaviour.
Research concerning the forest owners’ behaviour plays an important role in the evaluation of the effectiveness of forest policy on small woodlots. This is because the effects of forest policy measures on forestry are indirect and channelled through the behaviour of a forest owner. In this paper some basic concepts and methodological problems of forest owner studies are discussed. First, the concepts ’forest owner’ and ’forestry behaviour’ are defined on the basis of general sociological term, social role. Second, the problem of explanation and the selection of the explanatory model in forest owner studies is discussed. In this connection the heuristic nature of the selection of the explanatory model is underlined. It is pointed out that the proper explanatory mode in forest owner studies is decisively dependent on the objectives of the study or on the kind of information that will be obtained by the study. In such studies that intend to serve the planning and implementation of forest policy, it seems necessary to aim at causal explanations, and to analyse the general determinants and factors that can be manipulated in forest owners’ behaviour.
Published in 1981