Browsing by Subject "INNOVATION"

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Now showing items 21-31 of 31
  • Vihemäki, Heini; Ludvig, Alice; Toivonen, Ritva; Toppinen, Anne; Weiss, Gerhard (2019)
    In the urbanizing society faced with the climate change challenge, wood has major potential as a low-carbon and renewable construction material. Yet, Wooden Multi-storey Construction (WMC) remains a niche even in countries with rich forest resources. This paper compares the institutional and policy setting and assesses the WMC growth prospects in Austria and Finland, based on expert interviews, Delphi surveys, and the review of secondary materials. Clear differences were detected in the policy frameworks and institutional settings between the two countries. The Austrian fairly informal and largely private sector driven approaches to promote the growth of the WMC sector seem to have had a rather similar effect on the markets, as the formal policy measures, typically driven by the public sector in Finland. In both countries, the interviewed experts suggested additional, but partly different, policy measures and institutional changes to accelerate WMC market diffusion. In spite of the increase in WMC activity within the past ten years, the WMC market share is likely to remain rather low by 2030 in both countries, as the institutional frameworks are not expected to change abruptly. However, the future market prospects appear to be somewhat more positive in Finland compared with Austria.
  • Toppinen, Anne Maarit Kristiina; Sauru, Miska Eemil; Pätäri, Satu; Lähtinen, Katja; Tuppura, Anni (2019)
    In transitioning to a renewable material-based bio economy, growing public and industry interest is apparent for using wooden multistory construction (WMC) as a sustainable urban housing solution in Europe, but its business implications are not well understood. In our study, we evaluate, which internal and external factors of competitiveness are shaping the future of WMC, especially in the context of Finland and Sweden. Based on a multi-level perspective of socio-technical transitions, we conducted a three-stage dissensus-based Delphi study. The identified internal and external factors affecting the future competitiveness of the WMC business emphasize the importance of skilled architects and builders and the role of standardized building systems. Based on our results, the key aspects influencing the future competitiveness of WMC in the region are related to the development of technical infrastructure and project-based business networks, while additional changes in regulatory framework are perceived as less important. We conclude that towards 2030, the strong cognitive rules founded in the concrete-based building culture in these countries is likely to inhibit the dynamics of the socio-technical regime level. A change is also needed in the WMC business culture towards more open cross-sectoral collaboration and new business networks between different-sized players.
  • Matilainen, Anne; Suutari, Timo; Lahdesmaki, Merja; Koski, Pasi (2018)
    Community-based tourism development typically assumes co-operation between different stakeholder groups at the local level, and thus combines different types of knowledge. However, this does not imply that a consensus exists between the stakeholders in the first place. In this article, we present a potential conceptual tool, namely boundary objects that could support stakeholders from different knowledge communities in working jointly towards a common goal and generate commitment towards it. The literature concerning knowledge communities and boundary objects is used as a theoretical framework. A three-year community-based tourism development project comprises the data of the article, and is used as a case study to illustrate the role of different knowledge communities, and to analyse the selected boundary objects. The results illustrate the importance of proper design of boundary objects in community-based tourism development processes, and highlight the features of a successful boundary object in generating ownership feelings towards development activities. (C) 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
  • Luhas, Jukka; Mikkilä, Mirja; Kylkilahti, Eliisa; Miettinen, Jenni; Malkamäki, Arttu; Pätäri, Satu; Korhonen, Jaana; Pekkanen, Tiia-Lotta; Tuppura, Anni; Lähtinen, Katja; Autio, Minna; Linnanen, Lassi; Ollikainen, Markku; Toppinen, Anne (2021)
    While climate change and biodiversity loss have exposed humanity to major systemic risks, policymakers in more than 40 countries have proposed the transition from a fossil-based to a bio-based economy as a solution to curb the risks. In the boreal region, forests have a prominent role in contributing to bioeconomy development; however, forest-based bioeconomy transition pathways towards sustainability and the required actions have not yet been identified. Participatory backcasting was employed in this study to 'negotiate' such pathways among Finnish stakeholders by 2060 in three forest-based value networks: forest biorefineries, fibre-based packaging and wooden multistorey construction. There are many alternative pathways, ranging from incremental to more radical, to a forest-based bioeconomy within a framework of ambitious climate and biodiversity targets. Path dependence can support incremental development on bioeconomy transition pathways, and this should be considered when planning transition towards sustainability. Orchestration of the more radical changes requires actions from legislators, raw material producers, consumers and researchers, because the possibilities for business development vary between different companies and value networks. The envisioned actions between the pathways in and across the networks, such as forest diversification and diverse wood utilisation, can offer cobenefits in climate change mitigation and biodiversity protection.
  • Antal, Miklós; Karhunmaa, Kamilla Mari Amanda (2018)
    Germany was the first major country to commit itself to an electricity system transition based on decentralized renewable sources and energy efficiency. This experiment has attracted interest worldwide, but its influence on national energy debates is largely unknown. We study how the German transition appeared in the news media of three countries following alternative nuclear pathways—the United Kingdom, Finland and Hungary—between 2011 and 2015. We show that most discussions are techno-economic, supply-oriented and focused on nuclear, wind and solar energy. Key issues such as energy democracy, regional development, participation, demand-side measures, and bioenergy are neglected. We find that topics are detached from their original contexts and selectively contextualized elsewhere, resulting in very different pictures of the same transition in specific countries and news sources. The ‘Energiewende’ has become part of the international energy policy landscape, but its representation depends on local visions of a good society.
  • Laine, Anna; Valimaki, Maritta; Loyttyniemi, Eliisa; Pekurinen, Virve; Marttunen, Mauri; Anttila, Minna (2019)
    Background: Continuing education has an important role in supporting the competence of health care professionals. Although Web-based education is a growing business in various health sectors, few studies have been conducted in psychiatric settings to show its suitability in demanding work environments. Objective: We aimed to describe the impact of a Web-based educational course to increase self-efficacy, self-esteem, and team climate of health care professionals. Possible advantages and disadvantages of the Web-based course are also described. Methods: The study used nonrandomized, pre-post intervention design in 1 psychiatric hospital (3 wards). Health care professionals (n=33) were recruited. Self-efficacy, self-esteem, and team climate were measured at 3 assessment points (baseline, 8 weeks, and 6 months). Possible advantages and disadvantages were gathered with open-ended questions at the end of the course. Results: Our results of this nonrandomized, pre-post intervention study showed that health care professionals (n=33) had higher self-efficacy after the course, and the difference was statistically significant (mean 30.16, SD 3.31 vs mean 31.77, SD 3.35; P=.02). On the other hand, no differences were found in the self-esteem or team climate of the health care professionals before and after the course. Health care professionals found the Web-based course useful in supporting their work and relationships with patients. The tight schedule of the Web-based course and challenges in recruiting patients to use the patient education program with health care professionals were found to be the disadvantages. Conclusions: Web-based education might be a useful tool to improve the self-efficacy of health care professionals even in demanding work environments such as psychiatric hospitals. However, more studies with robust and sufficiently powered data are still needed.
  • Moisio, Sami; Rossi, Ugo (2020)
    This paper assesses the mutating role of the state in today's flourishing technology hubs in major cities and metropolitan areas across the globe through a comparative lens. Conventional wisdom associates the contemporary phenomenon of high-tech urbanism with minimum state intervention. In public as well as in scholarly debates, technology-intensive urban economies are customarily portrayed as a phenomenon whose formative creativity and ethos stems from an essentially post-political nature. As these economies emerge, thanks to the cooperative dynamism of urban societies, political governments are considered merely as coordinators of inter-actor relationships, particularly as managers or orchestrators of innovative 'business ecosystems' and 'platforms'. We, in turn, suggest that today's emergence of technology-based economies in a selected circle of major cities and metropolitan areas is an inherently political phenomenon, as it is closely linked to what we call the strategic urbanisation of the state. Looking at the trajectories of Finland and Italy during the post-recession decade of the 2010s, we disclose the state-driven selective mobilisation of urban economies as a response to the low-growth present of national political economies. In doing so, we argue that the entrepreneurialisation of selected urban locations cannot be understood without considering the qualitatively transformed roles of the local and national states. The coming together of entrepreneurialist and urbanising state strategies disclose a shift towards a start-up state whose distinctive features differ qualitatively from those of both the investment-oriented late-Keynesian entrepreneurial state and the decentralised local economic governance envisaged by today's city-innovation theorists.
  • D'amato, Dalia; Droste, Nils; Winkler, Klara; Toppinen, Anne (2019)
    The continuous emergence of new ideas and terms simultaneously enables and impedes the advancement of sustainability, because of an increasingly complex conceptual landscape. This study aims at highlighting combinations of sustainability concepts (circular, green and bioeconomy) and of development models (growth, steady-state, degrowth) which selected researchers have considered priorities for pursuing sustainability transformations. Thirteen leading scholars working on sustainability issues were asked to rank 36 statements describing activities related to either circular, green, bio, growth, steady-state or degrowth economy. Using Q methodology, an exploratory approach to the identification of shared or diverging opinions, three archetypical perspectives were identified across the respondents: 1. circular solutions towards economic-environmental decoupling in a degrowth perspective; 2. a mix of circular and green economy solutions; 3. a green economy perspective, with an emphasis on natural capital and ecosystem services, and critical towards growth. Economic growth was perceived negatively across all perspectives, in contrast to the current lack of political and societal support for degrowth ideas. Neither did bioeconomy-oriented activities have support among the participating researchers, even though half of the respondents were working with bioeconomy issues, which are currently high on the political agenda. The lack of support for pro-growth and bioeconomy solutions are unexpected results given the current political discourses. While the results are not to be generalised beyond the sample, they provide valuable orientation for emerging and under-investigated research and policy directions. If bioeconomy policies are to be implemented on a broader scale, it seems worthwhile evaluating the acceptability of the bioeconomy agenda among various societal actors. Furthermore, our results point to the (still under-explored) potential of formulating synergic circular, green and bioeconomy policies, possibly without a focus on economic growth.
  • D'Amato, Dalia; Veijonaho, Simo; Toppinen, Anne (2020)
    In line with the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda, the circular bioeconomy concept is gaining greater political momentum and research interest. A circular bioeconomy implies a more efficient resource management of bio-based renewable resources by integrating circular economy principles into the bioeconomy. These ideas have been well received at industry level since they are deemed to foster cost reductions, innovation and competitiveness. While recent scientific literature has dwelt on sustainability-related circular business models, empirical research on company-level implementation is only just emerging. Our study contributes to addressing this research lacuna by seeking answers to two questions: 1. How do small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) propose, create and deliver, and capture value through circular bioeconomy business models?; and 2. What are the business challenges and opportunities related to the operationalization of such business models? To this end, we employed content analysis on interview data gathered from managers in Finnish SME companies from the field of packaging, textiles, composite materials, cosmetics and pharmaceutical products. We outlined the main business model archetypes, and identified the key characteristics that enable value capture and delivery for various stakeholders. The contribution of this study is duly two-fold. From the perspective of a theoretical contribution, we expand and refine the conceptualization of sustainable circular bioeconomy and related business models. In addition, based on our findings, we provide insights and recommendations for researchers and policy-makers to advance the sustainability transition to a circular bioeconomy in the context of the forest-based industry, and for the management of SMEs to reflect on company viability and growth.
  • Galuppo, Laura; Kajamaa, Anu; Ivaldi, Silvia; Scaratti, Giuseppe (2019)
    In recent years, the number of new organizations aiming to accomplish principles of sustainability has rapidly grown, leading analysts and scholars to announce almost a new industrial revolution. An example of this is the proliferation of the so-called fabrication laboratories (FabLabs) that nowadays are perceived as being forerunners in innovative and sustainable high-tech production through peer-to-peer collaborative practices and sharing. However, the challenges managers face in translating these promotional aims into organizational action is vastly understudied. To address this research gap, we have studied the management of two FabLabs, in Italy and Finland. In this study, we draw from a psycho-sociological framework applying cultural-historical activity theory, and especially from the concepts of activity system and contradiction. According to this perspective, a sustainable organization is based on promotion, enrichment, regeneration, and flexible change efforts, and it is related to the managerial and ability to bring internal and external stakeholders together to recognize and solve tensions and contradictions collectively. Through our case studies, we have provided new research knowledge on how managers make an effort to translate sustainability into action in the complex context of FabLabs, involving multiple, often competing stakeholders and activity systems. Our analysis reveals multiple tensions in the collective activity, stemming from system level contradictions, which represent a challenge for the daily work of the FabLab managers. In the paper we also suggest how an engaged management orientation towards sustainably can be promoted, and we discuss future research topics.