Current issue: 53(4)

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Silva Fennica 1926-1997
Acta Forestalia Fennica

Articles by Katri Hamunen

Category: Research article

article id 1214, category Research article
Katri Hamunen, Outi Virkkula, Teppo Hujala, Juha Hiedanpää, Mikko Kurttila. (2015). Enhancing informal interaction and knowledge co-construction among forest owners. Silva Fennica vol. 49 no. 1 article id 1214.
Highlights: Forest owners’ own communities could complement the present expert-driven forestry extension; Enhancing informal interaction between forest owners calls for sufficiently homogeneous reference groups and also new communication contexts; New purposes of forest ownership and innovative forest management practices are suggested topics for novel owner communities; Forest professionals may initiate these communities, but the continuity depends on the owners themselves.
It is a common concern that non-resident private forest owners are less able to make informed decisions regarding their forests. Moreover, the present guidance given by forest professionals is not reaching all owners. In this study, we suggest enhancing knowledge exchange among forest owners by increasing their mutual and informal interaction that could inspire them to co-construct new knowledge. The first objective is to identify present emerging activities that constitute knowledge exchange contexts (communities) for Finnish forest owners. The second objective is to discuss the challenges of current Finnish forest extension and their implications when introducing Communities of Practice as a complementary response to existing, yet insufficient, professional-led extension. Data consist of Finnish forest owners’ and forest professionals’ (n = 43) focus group interviews. The qualitative analysis was theoretically oriented followed by data-driven coding and grouping. According to the results, the role of expert-led encounters is strong in Finland and owners’ opportunities for good mutual communication are rare. Informal communities exist mainly in the countryside among neighbouring owners and within families. To enhance knowledge sharing among owners, one needs to identify innovative topics and activities that would inspire owners to commit to their forest property and perform active silviculture. These communities would operate as creative learning environments allowing participation of different levels. When cultivating forest owners’ communities it is important to consider actors’ roles. Forest owners themselves are responsible for the functions and continuity of these communities, although forest professionals could also initiate new and sufficiently homogenous reference groups for the owners.
  • Hamunen, Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke), New Business Opportunities, P.O. Box 68, FI-80101 Joensuu, Finland ORCID ID:E-mail:
  • Virkkula, Oulu University of Applied Sciences, Kotkantie 1, FI-90250 Oulu, Finland ORCID ID:E-mail:
  • Hujala, Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke), New Business Opportunities, P.O. Box 18, FI-01301 Vantaa, Finland ORCID ID: E-mail: (email)
  • Hiedanpää, Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke), Economy and Society, Itäinen Pitkäkatu 3, FI-20520 Turku, Finland ORCID ID:E-mail:
  • Kurttila, Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke), New Business Opportunities, P.O. Box 68, FI-80101 Joensuu, Finland ORCID ID:E-mail:

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