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Madison, WI 53726-2398
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Title: Forest products research and development organizations in a worldwide setting : a review of structure, governance, and measures of performance

Source: St. Paul, MN : Dept. of Forestry, College of Natural Resources and Agricultural Experiment Station, University of Minnesota, 2006. Staff paper series (University of Minnesota. Dept. of Forest Resources) ; 187: [4], 187 pages

Author(s)Ellefson, Paul V.; Kilgore, Michael A.; Skog, Kenneth E.; Risbrudt, Christopher D.

Publication Year: 2006  View PDF »

Category: Journal Articles

Abstract: The ability of forest products research programs to contribute to a nation's well-being requires that research organizations be well organized, effectively managed, and held to high standards of performance. In 2004-2005, a review of forest products and related research organizations beyond the boundaries of the United States was carried out. The intent was to obtain a better understanding of how such organizations are structured, administered and their performance judged. Ninety-three research organizations were initially identified for consideration by the review, 40 of which were chosen as case examples (located in 23 countries)and subsequently described in substantial detail. Provided with widely accepted principles of administration and organizational design, the lead administrators of the case-example organizations willingly provided advice about structural, managerial and performance conditions that are necessary if a forest products research enterprise is to effectively accomplish its mission. The organization and administration of forest products and related research organizations in the United States can benefit from the experiences of similar organizations located beyond the nation's boundaries. In this respect, especially noteworthy among foreign organizations engaged in forest products research are the many ways in which they identify themselves (such as institutes, laboratories, centers); long history of sustained involvement in forest products research; movement from public to private ownership (whole or in part); blurry distinction between public and private sector responsibility for research; public sponsorship, yet private operation and management; wide range of services made available to clients; complex ownership and partnering arrangements; seemingly scrambled organizational structures; extensive use of subsidiaries and joint ventures; forest product research subunits located within larger parent organizations (with broad multi- sector research responsibilities); specialized services to a single major group of clients; intense desire to meet the needs of clients; synthesis of existing information as an important service; fees charged for services provided; strategic interest in clients located throughout the world; engaged in educational and degree-granting activities; multiple sources of income and revenue; diverse standards for measuring performance; adept response to broad economic-social changes; multiple location of physical facilities; and differing degrees of publicly available information describing mission and operation of organizations.

Keywords: Forest products; forest products research; forest products institutes

File size: 666 kb(s)

This publication is also viewable on Treesearch:  view
RITS Product ID: 22680
Current FPL Scientist associated with this product
Skog, Kenneth E.
Supervisory Research Forester

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