Current issue: 53(3)

Under compilation: 53(4)

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Silva Fennica 1926-1997
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Acta Forestalia Fennica
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Articles by Mika Rekola

Category: Research article

article id 9983, category Research article
Mika Rekola, Jaakko Nippala, Päivi Tynjälä, Anne Virtanen. (2018). Modelling competences and anticipating the future competence needs in the forest sector. Silva Fennica vol. 52 no. 3 article id 9983. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.9983
Highlights: The most frequently used practices of modelling competences in Finnish forest sector organisations were superior-subordinate review discussions and quantitative surveys; Competence modelling was used for several human resources functions but surprisingly not for hiring and compensation; The experts interviewed underlined the need for generic competences in the future, especially they highlighted the importance of information processing and personal self-management skills.

This explorative study examined practices of competence modelling in the forest sector organisations and how organisations anticipate changes in competence needs in the future. Semi-structured in-depth interviews (n=10) were conducted amongst forest sector experts in Finland and data was analysed by thematic analysis. The findings showed that the practices of modelling competences were diverse, most frequently used ones being superior-subordinate review discussions and quantitative competence surveys. In addition to these formal systems, informal modelling, especially on the team level and in smaller companies was also frequent. Organisations used competence modelling for several human resources functions, such as appraisal, motivation and promotion of employees. Surprisingly hiring and compensation functions were not mentioned. Perceptions related to competence modelling were generally speaking positive. The most important challenges were the lack of further actions and sometimes the extraordinary burden to the employees. When anticipating the future, the experts interviewed mentioned several commonly recognised trends, e.g., development of information technology, fragmentation of working life and structural changes in labour markets. All these require more generic competences related to information processing and personal self-management, especially respondents highlighted the importance of self-awareness skills. It is concluded that several useful practices for competence modelling already exist and that present study provides a basis for further quantitative further study.

  • Rekola, Department of Forest Sciences, University of Helsinki, P.O. Box 27, FI-00014 University of Helsinki, Finland ORCID ID:E-mail: mika.rekola@helsinki.fi (email)
  • Nippala, Suomen Partiolaiset – Finlands Scouter ry, Töölönkatu 55, FI-00250 Helsinki, Finland ORCID ID:E-mail: jaakko.nippala@partio.fi
  • Tynjälä, Finnish Institute for Educational Research, P.O. Box 35, FI-40014 University of Jyväskylä, Finland ORCID ID:E-mail: paivi.a.tynjala@jyu.fi
  • Virtanen, Finnish Institute for Educational Research, P.O. Box 35, FI-40014 University of Jyväskylä, Finland ORCID ID:E-mail: anne.virtanen@jyu.fi
article id 127, category Research article
Mika Rekola, Annukka Valkeapää, Tapio Rantala. (2010). Nordic forest professionals’ values. Silva Fennica vol. 44 no. 5 article id 127. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.127
The present study analyses the values held by forest professionals in three Nordic countries: Finland, Norway, and Sweden. The data is from a large (n = 1113) internet survey that used cognitive mapping as a research tool, which is a novelty in value measurement. The questionnaire is based on the organisational value theory of Schein (1992), supplemented with relevant forest-related and environmental values. The forest-related main value factors were in the following order of importance: Expertise, Private forestry, Forest production, Nature conservation, and Tradition. The measurement included two kinds of cases: action values, referring to present decision-making, and ideal values, referring to decisions concerning future ideals. Most of the values’ scores were similar. Almost all values received higher scores of importance in the ideal cases compared to action cases, a fact that can probably be explained by constraints related to the professionals’ current working environment. Some international differences were also found: Sweden and Norway were closer to each other and both differed from Finland, where private forestry, forest production, and traditions are highly valued. Moreover, respondents working in industry were found to be slightly more production-oriented than other forest professionals. The study also revealed several weaknesses of the cognitive mapping method in measuring values.
  • Rekola, University of Helsinki, Department of Forest Sciences, P.O. Box 27, FI-00014 University of Helsinki ORCID ID:E-mail: mika.rekola@helsinki.fi (email)
  • Valkeapää, University of Helsinki, Department of Forest Sciences, P.O. Box 27, FI-00014 University of Helsinki ORCID ID:E-mail:
  • Rantala, University of Helsinki, Department of Forest Sciences, P.O. Box 27, FI-00014 University of Helsinki ORCID ID:E-mail: tapio.rantala@helsinki.fi

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