Browsing by Subject "competitive advantage"

Sort by: Order: Results:

Now showing items 1-7 of 7
  • Durand, Rodolphe; Vaara, Eero (2009)
    Causation is still poorly understood in strategy research, and confusion prevails around key concepts such as competitive advantage. In this paper, we define epistemological conditions that help to dispel some of this confusion and to provide a basis for more developed approaches. In particular, we argue that a counterfactual approach – that builds on a systematic analysis of ‘what-if’ questions – can advance our understanding of key causal mechanisms in strategy research. We offer two concrete methodologies – counterfactual history and causal modeling – as useful solutions. We also show that these methodologies open up new avenues in research on competitive advantage. Counterfactual history can add to our understanding of the context-specific construction of resource-based competitive advantage and path dependence, and causal modeling can help to reconceptualize the relationships between resources and performance. In particular, resource properties can be regarded as mediating mechanisms in these causal relationships.
  • Durand, Rodolphe; Vaara, Eero (John Wiley & Sons, Inc, 2010)
    Causation is still poorly understood in strategy research, and confusion prevails around key concepts such as competitive advantage. In this paper, we define epistemological conditions that help to dispel some of this confusion and to provide a basis for more developed approaches. In particular, we argue that a counterfactual approach – that builds on a systematic analysis of ‘what-if’ questions – can advance our understanding of key causal mechanisms in strategy research. We offer two concrete methodologies – counterfactual history and causal modeling – as useful solutions. We also show that these methodologies open up new avenues in research on competitive advantage. Counterfactual history can add to our understanding of the context-specific construction of resource-based competitive advantage and path dependence, and causal modeling can help to reconceptualize the relationships between resources and performance. In particular, resource properties can be regarded as mediating mechanisms in these causal relationships.
  • Lantta, Marja-Leena (Helsingfors universitet, 2010)
    Increasing societal demands are driving forest industry companies to evaluate the impacts of their business activities more comprehensively. Corporate responsibility (CR) is not a new phenomenon to the industry sector as environmental considerations have been on the agenda of the firms for decades through the use of forest resources. Globalization and relocations of operations overseas have increased the general public's awareness of the societal effects of business. CR of major forest industry corporations has been studied extensively but a research gap was identified in the case of CR in small and medium-sized (SME) Finnish forest industry companies. The significance of SMEs is expected to grow within Finnish forest industry in the future as mechanical forest industry increases its relative importance. Based on literature this study suggests that SMEs should approach CR as a strategic issue, i.e., they should evaluate which aspects of this multidimensional phenomenon can affect the firm's ability to reach its objectives. The relatively limited resources of the firm should be allocated to those strategic CR issues. Empirical primary data was collected by interviewing the line managers of medium-sized Finnish sawmills. The managers were asked to identify sources of competitive advantage within the company, to give their definitions of CR and to discuss the potential of CR as a source of competitive advantage. The findings were congruent with earlier studies on SMEs in other industry fields. The firms often execute CR without identifying it and relate to CR through their key stakeholders (employees, community, customers). The interviewed line managers did not generally perceive CR to have potential as a source of CA. If CR is to be promoted amongst Finnish forest industry SMEs, robust business cases have to be presented to demonstrate the measurable benefits of CR. Practical examples of what CR incorporates in the smaller firm are required. Consumer studies are necessary to discover the value of CR stewardship perceived by the customers.
  • Lesyk, O. (Helsingin yliopisto, taloustieteen laitos, 2005)
    Julkaisuja
  • Lumperoinen, Maria (Helsingfors universitet, 2013)
    Aim of this thesis is to find out about internationalising service companies and possible new market entry modes. This is a case study for UK based Turquoise Holiday Company, which is a luxury tour operator. Research problem is to find out if the case company has prerequisites for internationalising to Finnish, Swedish, and /or Norwegian markets. Internal, external and strategic factors are taken into consideration. Introduction defines service and clarifies the difference from manufactured product. Theory chapter presents different foreign market entry modes and internationalising strategies for service companies. Also internal, external and strategic factors affecting internationalisation are presented, and they are base for theoretical framework. This study is a qualitative case study. Evaluation is based on publicly available information both externally from the market and internally from the case company. Thesis shows that many things are to be taken into consideration when a service company is thinking about international expansion. Travel industry in general is growing constantly but also going through changes that might change the business significantly. At the moment financial resources and language skills of the personnel of the case company are the internal factors that are limiting internationalising. Scandinavian countries are relatively wealthy though, which is encouraging external factor. Although Finland, Sweden and Norway are doing quite well in economic circumstances in Europe the markets are small in size compared to the UK. The most interesting internationalisation target could be Norway due to its high level of economy. Population of the country is not very big but also competition seems to be low. As this study does not include any practical market research it is suggested to conduct one if the company is willing to deepen its knowledge of consumer attitudes and market potential of the countries. Also the Turquoise Holiday Company should find out its possibilities of financial resources and educating personnel for foreign markets.
  • Rytkönen, Antti (Helsingfors universitet, 2010)
    Finnish sawmill industry's competitiveness has recently been poor due to the worsen economic situation, collapsed demand and the inactivity on the timber market. The sawmill industry has attempted to operate as domestic business by creating a long-term welfare for the Finnish society. However, this attempt requires, that the domestic sawmilling industry can operate in conditions, which is enabling profitable business. The market share of Finnish sawmill industry in Europe and the world is so small that it has no practical ability to determine the level of prices in international markets. Therefore it must adapt to the prevailing world market prices and demand fluctuations. Sawmill industry is in a turning point, which led to the examination of the current state and industry-related perspectives. The theoretical framework bases on McGahan (2004) book How Industries Evolve. It is a descriptive framework for the trajectory of industry change. The descriptive framework is combined with Porter's Diamond model (1990), which he introduced in his book “The Competitive Advantage of Nations” (Porter 1990). The aim of the Diamond is to describe the business environment, where the Finnish sawmilling industry is operating in. Resource based view by Barney (Barney 1991) will describe the corporate environment and resources of the sawmilling companies. SWOT analysis was used to evaluate the results. The study was conducted as a qualitative work. Primarydata was acquired by expert interviews and secondarydata consists of the literature, publications and internet sources. According to the results in order to improve the competitiveness of Finnish sawmilling industry a common understanding needed of a number of related changes. Attempts to improve the competitiveness should be implemented so that all the factor conditions are effective and try to regenerate. When the factor conditions are functioning, there is demand for wood products, prices are adequate and wood markets operate in balance. It is noteworthy that it was the sawmill industry pays more than 70% of the income for private forest owners, which is ensuring employment for the rural localities and creating economic welfare. Globalization will also modify business environment of the Finnish sawmilling industry therefore the state as a legislator needs to influence the industry's changing needs. Political decisions should be encouraging the industry to create new production possibilities so that industry can maintain their competitiveness in relation to other competing countries. The use of forests and wood can respond to the many challenges in the future. Finnish sawmilling will be supporting the targets of the Finnish government as well as the EU's priority areas: sustainable development, climate change adaptation and welfare development of the rural areas.
  • Toivonen, Eeva (Helsingin yliopisto, 2018)
    Responsible investing is a topical subject in financial markets. When both environmental and societal concerns are increasing with population growth and growing demand for scarce resources, interest towards responsibility and sustainability matters have become global. This has created new investment markets of responsible investing. The aim of this thesis is to form a comprehensive analysis of the performance of responsible investments compared to non-responsible investments. The thesis analyses the financial performance, the performance under uncertainty and the volatility of responsible investments. The empirical studies are utilised in the analysis. The thesis also aims to form an understanding of the possible sources and explanations of economics for financially profitable performance of responsible investments by introducing and applying theories of economics and academic studies. The thesis creates a theoretical framework for the research question analysis, with Markowitz’s (1952) modern portfolio theory. The theory indicates that by limiting the investment possibilities to cover the preference of responsible investing, an investor faces a constraint. Since opportunities of diversification decrease, responsible investing portfolios cannot be diversified as normal portfolios and responsible investing portfolios are not considered optimal. The theory indicates that responsible investment portfolios yield a worse expected return with the same risk or higher risk with same expected return compared with the optimal portfolios. When analysing the financial performance of responsible investments, the empirical evidence shows that the positive environmental, social governance (ESG) – corporate financial performance (CFP) correlation is higher than the negative ESG–CFP correlation. In addition, when comparing the performance of responsible indices and traditional indices, there are no significant differences in the gross returns or Sharpe ratios. When analysing the performance under uncertainty, companies with high corporate social responsibility (CSR) ratings compared to companies with low CSR ratings, ratings had four to seven percent higher stock returns during the financial crisis period of 2008–2009. In addition, when analysing volatility, the conclusion is that higher ESG rating correlated with lower volatility and the relationship is stronger when market volatility was high. The empirical evidence shows that responsible investing appears to be financially profitable and a rational investing strategy since it does not impose opportunity costs for an investor. In fact, responsible investing can result in good risk-management of a portfolio and yield even better profit expectations than a non-responsible investing strategy. These findings challenge the modern portfolio theory’s indications. Explanations for the research question of why responsible investments perform well, are diverse. When applying the theories of economics, responsibility can be seen as signaling and to bring a competitive advantage for companies that integrate responsibility into the business models. A competitive advantage can occur through lower costs, easier access to capital and through differentiation. The academic studies also recognize the connection between responsibility and trustworthiness as distinct. In addition, responsibility can be seen as anticipating and managing of risks when it comes to possible changes in the institutional environment, for example, in legislation or in regulation framework. Furthermore, an altruistic way of behaviour can be identified among consumers and overall there exists a significant demand for responsibility and responsible products and businesses.