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A computer-supported group decision-making system for timber procurement planning in Finland

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A group decision-making model was designed to improve co-operation during the process of making decisions to support timber procurement goals. The model was used in a Finnish forest company with a district team and six local teams. Co-operation among managers in the wood procurement organization was supported by decentralized synchronous groupware (MetaFrame), a computerized system where communication takes place over the Internet. This groupware provided the foundation for the decision-making system. The main research objective was to survey the opinions of the local managers towards the use of the system; it was assumed that co-operation would improve between managerial levels. Another objective was to investigate whether the groupware increased communication efficiency during this co-operation. The results showed that opinions on the computer-supported process were positive. The timber procurement goals were more acceptable to local teams when the goals and opinions of the district managers could be integrated into the decision-making process, and timber procurement planning was also faster (by 2 days). Therefore, the groupware increased communication efficiency and improved timber procurement planning as a consequence of the facilitated group decision-making process.

Keywords: Communication; co-operation; groupware; wood procurement

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02827580500339823

Affiliations: Faculty of Forestry, University of Joensuu, Joensuu, Finland

Publication date: December 1, 2005

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