Doctoral theses

Recent Submissions

  • Wessman, Canelia (Hanken Svenska handelshögskolan, 2021-12-07)
    Jämställdhetslagen innehåller förbud mot diskriminering på grund av kön, bestämmelser som föreskriver främjande av jämställdheten samt bestämmelser om tillsyn över lagen. Vid lagens ikraftträdande uppfattades diskrimineringsförbuden som lagens viktigaste bestämmelser. Dessa regler är viktiga för att garantera den formella jämställdheten. Jämställdhetsmål och faktisk jämställdhet kan dock inte uppnås utan aktiva åtgärder för att utjämna brister i jämställdheten. Därför har tendensen både inom vår nationella lagstiftning och inom internationell rätt varit att man allt mer erkänner den främjande verksamhetens betydelse och definierar olika aktörers skyldighet att verka för ökad jämställdhet. Därför har också arbetsgivarnas skyldighet att utarbeta jämställdhetsplaner under jämställdhetslagens historia utvecklats och blivit allt mer detaljerad. Enligt den gällande jämställdhetslagen ska arbetsgivare som regelbundet har minst 30 anställda minst vartannat år utarbeta en jämställdhetsplan. Men hur väl fungerar jämställdhetsplanen som ett redskap för att främja jämställdheten och för att uppnå jämställdhetslagens mål? Ett centralt syfte med denna avhandling är att utreda hur de på arbetsmarknaden förekommande jämställdhetsproblemen behandlas i jämställdhetsplanerna. I avhandlingen behandlas problem som gäller inkomstnivåskillnader mellan kvinnor och män, vertikal segregation, horisontell segregation, svag arbetsmarknadsposition som beror på kön, diskriminering till följd av graviditet och familjeledigheter, svårigheten att sammanjämka arbete och familj samt trakasserier på grund av kön. Vidare undersöks vilka problem som eventuellt förekommer vid förverkligandet av jämställdhetsplaner med tanke på lagstiftningens krav och målsättningar. Dessutom görs också en jämförande analys av hur jämställdhetsplanerna ser ut i Sverige och hur de skiljer sig från de finländska planerna. Analysens syfte är att svara på frågan hur man i de svenska och finländska jämställdhetsplanerna ser på vad som krävts enligt lagstiftningen, dvs. hur planeringsskyldigheten upplevts. Analysen utmynnar i en diskussion om ”de lege ferenda”, dvs. om och i så fall hur lagen borde ändras för att främja jämställdhetsmålet och för att i praktiken uppfylla de skyldigheter som Finland förbundit sig till.
  • Kunwar, Jagat Bahadur (Hanken School of Economics, 2021-10-18)
    Some individuals face social discrimination due to their sexual orientation and/or gender identity. Despite legal successes, social inequalities for sexual and gender minorities (SGM) persists. The aim of the study was to understand: (1) Which social inequalities do SGM face and how are these inequalities reproduced? and (2) How, and to what effect, has collective action subverted these individuals’ experience of oppression? The ongoing SGM movement in Nepal, which started around the year 2001, is used as a case study. The study empirically adopts a multi-level field analysis. Correspondence analysis performed on an existing census of SGM population in Nepal revealed various SGM clusters with their corresponding sociodemographic characteristics and social discrimination experienced. Narratives of SGM revealed how they construct their own identities and interpret the social inequalities faced. In-depth interviews with influential actors explained how gender taxonomies are established and contested in various social fields. Text-mining operations on a media corpus revealed significant ‘discourse clusters’ and helped to understand discursive evolution of the SGM movement in Nepal. A systematic bibliometric survey of sexuality and gender studies helped to contextualize some unique SGM issues in the ‘Global South’. Social construction, self-construction, embodiment, and intersectionality of social categories are important to understand sexuality and gender. Narratives of the lived experiences produce a coherent sense of gender identity. Sexuality and gender can additionally be understood as ‘habitus’/dispositions–inculcated through socialization–and transformed through everyday practices. The bases of social inequalities faced by SGM are social stigma, ‘identity ambiguities’, and an ‘internalized’ form of oppression. Intersecting social identities can further lead to a unique experience of oppression. This study identifies discriminatory gender taxonomies as the root cause producing and perpetuating social inequalities. However, inequalities faced by SGM are not uniform but hierarchical and nested. The severity of the heteronormative domination is mediated by the masculine domination already existing in a society. SGM activism can be viewed as delegitimizing the discriminatory gender taxonomies across various social fields. ‘Gender reflexivity’ arising due to the dialectic of subjective identification towards socially constructed categories is the main force for social activism. Gender reflexivity articulated as personally empowering narratives– when combined with commensurable experiences of oppression faced by various intersectional categories–can develop a collective identity which can be further mobilized through collective organization and symbolic representation. Effective leadership focused on building a common agenda and group consciousness can leverage individual reflexivity into collective action for social justice.
  • Antikainen, Mikko (Hanken School of Economics, 2021-10-18)
    A wave of disruptive technologies, in the form of technologies such as 3D printing technologies, 3D modeling and scanning technologies, and AI technology, are changing the playing field for the creative industries, creators, and right holders. Underlying these technologies, there are two fundamental transformations, whose effects are important for the creative industry and the legal community– namely, the digitalization of physical objects and designs, and the digitalization of human creativity. These two technological shifts are increasingly blurring the line between the physical and digital world. For the proper function of IP law, the law should be able to regulate both worlds. The problem is: How we can fit digital designs and digital creativity into our current regulative framework, which is still in some cases built on the assumption that creation is done by a human being using physical tools and that protected objects exist only in the physical world. This raises the question whether current intellectual property law in the EU, especially copyright and design law, can adequately regulate digital designs as well as properly incentivize and protect digital creativity. To answer this question, the dissertation provides an in-depth analysis of some of the major challenges that the digitalization of design and design process creates, mainly within the European copyright and design law system. It does so by taking a legal dogmatic approach and analyzing the problem against the background of theories regarding law and technology and traditional justifications of IP law. The examination focuses on three specific technologies: 3D printing, AI technologies, and video games. The dissertation argues that, in most cases, EU copyright and design law are able to regulate digital designs and seem to be ready to deal with the challenges caused by the digitalization of design and creativity. This dissertation makes several recommendations towards a more coherent and technologically neutral approach regarding digital designs and digital creativity in the context of EU copyright and design law. In many cases, digital designs depicting purely functional objects and AI generated works should not receive copyright protection due to the lack of originality. However, despite the normative arguments against giving protection, there is a possibility that the technological change in the form of digital designs and creativity will broaden the normal scope of copyright protection, making it overinclusive. The dissertation suggests that if protection is seen as necessary, it should be sought through other means than copyright protection, such as design protection. This avoids fundamentally changing and distorting the concept of originality and the purpose of copyright law to protect human creations.
  • Storsjö, Isabell (Hanken School of Economics, 2021-10-18)
    The public sector is under pressure to do more and better with less. The government and its agencies cannot solve today’s complex problems and challenges (including climate change, pandemics, disasters) alone but need to collaborate with other actors to achieve desired value outcomes for society. Supply chains have been argued to exist everywhere, whether they are managed or not. In recent years, mainstream journals in operations management (OM) and supply chain management (SCM) have shown an increased interest in publishing research on supply chains and the public and non-profit sectors and spheres. Such topics include research in which organisations such as government agencies, NGOs, and social enterprises, with main motivations other than profit maximisation, are viewed as managers of their own supply networks. However, relatively little research has addressed the intersection of supply chains and government through policies, regulation and public agencies and SCM strategy, structure and performance. This thesis explores what a supply chain perspective entails in settings of (more or less) strictly regulated public service settings and processes. The thesis includes publications focusing on legal processes in the justice system and public procurement processes and preparedness in the health care, energy, and water services sectors in Finland. The thesis author applies the pragmatist paradigm and an abductive reasoning process. The empirical studies and the publications were explorative and used qualitative research methods. Data consisted of semi-structured interviews and documents, analysed with qualitative analysis methods such as coding template and general inductive analysis. This thesis uses the “public value framework” originally popularised by Mark Moore to further the discussion of how to integrate SCM with public value and societal outcomes. The framework is intended to focus managerial attention on the elements (and alignment) of public value, the authorising environment, and operational capabilities. For SCM research that intersects with policy and regulation, the public value framework provides building blocks that are necessary for the consideration of societal outcomes such as justice (for maintaining a social equilibrium in society), civil preparedness (for resilience at a societal level), and innovation (for future growth).
  • Huhtamäki, Fredrik (Hanken School of Economics, 2021-09-27)
    A fundamental question in financial research is how individuals make decisions under uncertainty, and how the structure of corporations and cultural aspects affect these choices. Correspondingly, in this thesis, I present three studies related to managerial utility maximization, investigated through the lens of agency theory to shed light on aspects related to managerial behavior. Whereas the theory of expected utility maximization typically focuses on the utility maximization of wealth, this dissertation gives evidence of managerial behavior consistent with the notion that utility is also derived from non-pecuniary factors. The first essay investigates whether powerful CEOs are detrimental to workplace safety and health or whether they are “ethical guardians of the workforce”. The empirical evidence provided in the study shows that corporations led by powerful CEOs have fewer workplace related injuries and illnesses. Powerful CEOs have more influence over corporate decisions related to workplace safety and health and from an agency theory point of view, the CEO will take actions that maximize her utility. Therefore, this study shows that CEOs can derive utility from good workplace safety and health. The second essay investigates the relationship between shared leadership and risk-taking through leverage. The amount of shared leadership within the corporation is difficult to measure directly. However, the second essay overcomes this empirical challenge by using corporations that are led by co-CEOs as a proxy for shared leadership. The study argues that CEOs maximize their utility at lower levels of risk than preferable from a shareholder point of view. The empirical evidence shows that shared leadership is negatively related to leverage, which could indicate that monitoring of more than one CEO is difficult, which enables co-CEOs to derive a private benefit in the form of low risk-taking. Moreover, the study finds a positive relationship between shared leadership and excess cash holdings and that shared leadership is related to higher agency costs. The third essay investigates whether the perception of time and more specifically longterm orientation is related to the choice of earnings management strategy. The study uses a comprehensive global sample and finds that corporations in long-term oriented cultures rely on relatively more accrual-based earnings management while corporations in short-term oriented cultures rely on relatively more real earnings management. Both earnings management strategies are associated with costs. This study shows that the manager chooses such a strategy that minimizes the perceived costs of earnings management, and that the perception of time thus plays a role in managerial utility maximization.
  • Tuomala, Virva (Hanken School of Economics, 2021-09-15)
    This thesis examines urban food security at the intersection of retail supply chain management and development studies. Food security in a multifaceted issue and has previously been framed through agricultural production and the fundamental availability of food. As more than half of the global population currently resides in cities and other urban areas, urban issues are becoming more pressing in the field of development, as well as supply chain management. Urban food security pertains to the availability and accessibility of food, making the food supply chain and grocery retail a central factor in potential solutions. Urban dwellers are almost exclusively reliant on the market for their nourishment. Particularly in a Global South context, economic and spatial constraints play a large role in food security. This thesis focuses on poor urban neighbourhoods and the underlying societal structures that lead to these constraints.Special attention is paid to the multidimensionality of poverty, which goes beyond the economic framing to include aspects such as living standards and health. Empirical work for this thesis was completed in South Africa, (essay 2) and Bangkok, Thailand (essay 3). The data consists of interviews with consumers, representatives of grocery retail, and social workers. The consumers are residents of poor urban neighbourhoods, whose specific needs and grocery dynamics are often marginalised in favour of private sector agendas. The importance of the informal food sector is highlighted in the study, emphasizing the multidimensionality of the urban context. While there is a wave of grocery retail modernisation in the Global South, it is imperative to also consider the more traditional outlets, such as markets and micro retailers, in the solutions for urban food security.
  • Rahman, Arafat (Hanken School of Economics, 2021-08-25)
    The advent of the transformative service research (TSR) paradigm underscores the need for service-providing organizations to play a role inimproving the well-being of individuals, collectives, societies, and ecosystems. Understanding organization-driven well-being is valuable for any country irrespective of its development status. However, this is particularly important for the progress of a developing or least-developed country as it deals with many challenges, especially in crucial areas such as healthcare services. In the discourses of TSR, a healthcare service provider is regarded as a transformative service provider as it has inherent promise to work toward the well-being of healthcare customers and other individuals. Although extant studies in the TSR paradigm address issues related to services and wellbeing, there remains a lack of knowledge on how a healthcare service provider could deploy efforts and initiatives to facilitate the well-being of individuals in a developing country setting. This thesis addresses the gaps by exploring the sources and categories of well-being and empirically examining the influences of organizational efforts and initiatives on healthcare customers’ and employees’ wellbeing. The findings suggest that a service-providing organization can facilitate well-being by integrating facets of support, technology, service environment and design, and internal practices and arrangements. Apart from the organization-driven sources, well-being can be facilitated by individuals, collectives, service systems, and situational factors. The findings contribute to the extant TSR paradigm by positing that a healthcare service provider’s support and socialization efforts directed toward customers can have differential effects on their well-being. An organization’s efforts to socialize healthcare customers through the provision of information can positively influence their beliefs of doing a particular health-related task and expectations about desired outcomes. The thesis further substantiates that a healthcare service provider’s support and empowerment efforts can play a crucial role in facilitating employee well-being in a developing country setting. Such organization-driven support positively influences employees’ well-being through engagement with their job and organization. The thesis argues that managers or practitioners need to devise and implement socialization strategies and practices to enhance healthcare customers’ learning and self-management skills. These are crucial for a developing country where many healthcare customers face challenging life conditions and lack health-related learning opportunities. Similarly, designing employee support and empowerment programs by prioritizing employees’ opinions, goals, and values and allowing them to exercise decision-making freedom in the workplace are crucial issues to consider for healthcare service managers or practitioners in developing country settings.
  • Frig, Meri-Maaria (Hanken School of Economics, 2021-08-04)
    This doctoral thesis examines how social actors, which invest in discourse about the business-sustainability relationship, frame and present sustainability in their public communication. Past studies have examined the framing and presentation of business sustainability and corporate responsibility primarily in newspapers. Recent studies have found that media accentuate ambiguity and polyphony of voices about these topics. However, as the boundaries between strategic communication and journalism are blurring, it is important to understand the variety of ways media and communication construct social and cultural change. This dissertation reports on three empirical studies that examine the framing and presentation of business sustainability in five different owned media publications that are expected to promote sustainability in a business context. Based on a content and textual analysis, the studies examine media and content producers as intermediaries that evaluate, valorize, and negotiate the worth of particular forms of business sustainability. The results of the studies show that the examined intermediaries, each frame business sustainability in specific and strategic ways, with polished accounts and coherent narratives, which are co-constituted by social actors with aligned values and purposes. The thesis extends research on processes of sensemaking and sensegiving in business sustainability communication (including corporate social responsibility communication). The thesis contributes to this strand of research by showing that intermediaries that actively advocate some forms of sustainable business conduct blur the boundaries between previously identified communication tasks. Typical to information intermediaries, they inform stakeholders and audiences about the social and environmental impacts of business activities and present various solutions to common sustainability problems. They also actively involve stakeholders that engage positively with the authors and can add authority and credibility to the voiced claims. The three empirical studies show how social actors also guide their audiences to adopt sustainability-related practices and discourses. For example, firms are expected to serve as public ambassadors and to create public symbols of sustainability. Without a credible media accountability mechanism, speakers can also leave out important questions and information about business sustainability or corporate responsibility. Transparency and trustworthiness can be improved in all communication tasks by adhering to guidelines for responsible journalism.
  • Herlin, Heidi (Hanken School of Economics, 2021-06-15)
    The overall aim of this dissertation is to examine how cross-sector partnerships (CSPs) affect non-profit organizational legitimacy (NPO legitimacy) and how involved parties create legitimacy for CSPs. The emergent form of CSPs as a joint attempt to solve global meta-problems such as poverty, climate change, species extinction, and deterioration of key natural resources can result in benefits for both parties involved. However, CSPs can also be risky if they are not managed properly, particularly in relation to organizational legitimacy for the NPOs. The dissertation also focuses on how involved parties create legitimacy for the CSPs through the concept of corporate social responsibility (CSR). The theoretical foundations of the thesis are legitimacy theory, organizational identity theory, and boundary organizations, as well as bridging institutional entrepreneurship. Based on several case studies, combined with a research approach inspired by critical discourse analysis, the thesis comes up with a number of conclusions. The main theoretical contribution is providing a link between Austin’s collaboration continuum for CSPs and the concept of legitimacy of the NPOs. The more integrative a CSP becomes, the bigger the risk for damage to NPO legitimacy, due to complex management and difficulty of selecting appropriate corporate partners. This concerns particularly CSPs with large companies, such as MNCs or TNCs. Short-term project-based, philanthropic, or transactional partnerships, which are managed and controlled by the NPO, are safer. NPOs should also choose corporate partners with similar values. However, co-branding campaigns should be avoided. The research also shows that third-party organizations, such as corporate foundations, may act as boundary organizations between their founding companies and NPOs, and may help move existing partnerships along the collaboration continuum. Boundary organizations may also help in the sustenance of CSPs by allowing multiple logics to be combined. The findings reveal that CSR is used in the legitimation of the CSPs in order to create a distance between the two organizations and replace moral with technical responsibility. In addition, the NPOs are forced to outsource the selection of appropriate corporate partners to intermediaries, thereby becoming morally mute. NPOs must not, as a result of being involved in partnerships with companies, lose their critical vigilance of industry and should openly discuss tensions arising from their private sector involvement.
  • Sundgren, Caroline (Hanken School of Economics, 2021-06-11)
    Reducing anthropogenic carbon emissions and food waste are complex global sustainability challenges that are impacted of and by supply chain activities. This thesis examines structural aspects of the supply chain in relation to sustainable development by drawing on empirical material from food waste reduction. The overall purpose is to enhance our understanding of how supply chain structures can promote surplus food recovery and implications for developing sustainable supply chains. Specific focus is on the distinction between supply chain efficiency, to ensure the wise use of energy and material resources within the supply chain, and supply chain effectiveness, to enhance sustainability goals, such as, material recovery by the supply chain. The thesis comprises one conceptual (Essay 1) and two empirical studies (Essay 2 and 3). Essay 1 argues that energy efficiency can be a generative mechanism of sustainable supply chains because the physical movement of products and material (and, in turn, how much energy and what type is used in the supply chain) is an outcome of the supply chain’s structure and strategic priorities. Essay 2 analyzes different supply chain structures that have emerged to make surplus food available to consumers. The study involves three novel surplus food actors: a surplus food platform, an online retailer, and a surplus food terminal. It builds on semi-structured interviews, participatory observations, and documentary evidence. Essay 3 explores the formation of relationships for food redistribution that improve circularity and social sustainability at the end of the food supply chain with empirical material from 18 semi-structured interviews in Finland. This thesis primarily adds to discussions about sustainable and circular supply chains. First, it contributes with novel insights to the emerging stream of research on non-traditional actors in the supply chain by specifying the roles and motivations (contextual factors) among both business and not-for-profit actors that support and hinder surplus food redistribution in a dyadic constellation. Second, this thesis contributes to a more nuanced understanding of structure in supply chains by showing how structures can emerge and evolve in response to sustainable development challenges. Last, this thesis adds by providing new empirical findings of surplus food recovery options in a developed country context.
  • Storbacka, Lauri (Hanken School of Economics, 2021-06-04)
    Continuous change and uncertainty is the new normal. In organizational life, contradictions and tensions are ubiquitous, driven in part by the often self-interested interplay between different knowledge traditions. Today’s professionals are being challenged as never before to broaden their competence and collaborate across traditional boundaries. We need a fresh approach to capitalize the value of knowledge as the firm’s most strategically significant resource, and this study picks out the artistic nature of knowing and its inherent relationship with power. The Art of Knowing develops the ability to reflect and think paradoxically in the face of uncertainty, ambiguity and contradiction, by extending ourselves into the subsidiary awareness of particulars that compose a whole. I want to inspire practitioners to accept and engage in reflective practice, reinforcing paradoxical thinking into complex situations. To deliver leading, sustainable performance. Our true power to deal with the conflicts and contradictions of different knowledge traditions comes from the ability to distinguish between practical and discursive consciousness, while recognizing the subsidiary-focal integrative structure. This ethnographic longitudinal study inside a financial services organization examines professional practice and the dynamics of operating across different business segments. Working in and researching the target organization gave me unique access to people and processes to gather empirical material in 2013-2019.
  • Annala Tesfaye, Linda (Hanken School of Economics, 2021-04-30)
    This thesis examines the links between water technologies, innovations and recent reforms in water governance in India and Ethiopia. The overall aim is to understand the processes of drinking water governance and the ways in which the use and practices related to drinking water technologies and innovations are socially constructed in the studied contexts. Specific focus is on the extended participation of communities and individuals in drinking water provision through the governance discourses of co-production and co-creation; these contested discourses influence governmental, private sector actors and end users in constructing meaning systems to drinking water technologies and innovations. The thesis comprises two empirical cases from the city of Ahmedabad in India (Article 1), the Amhara region in Ethiopia (Article 2) and a conceptual article on the hegemonic project of co-creating frugal innovations (Article 3). The study builds on interviews, focus group discussions and policy documents in the studied contexts. In Ahmedabad, interviews and focus group discussions took place with end users, governmental actors and water filter entrepreneurs. In Ethiopia, end users, members of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene committees, governmental actors, NGO representatives, spare part suppliers and artisans were interviewed. The conceptual article draws on Laclau and Mouffe's discourse theoretical approach in studying frugal innovations. By using multiple methodologies, the thesis contributes to the interdisciplinary literature on water governance and to the emerging scholarship on frugal innovations. This thesis adds to the discussions on co-producing drinking water by integrating a governmentality framework to analyse the workings of power among a wide array of co-producing actors. With regard to frugal innovations, the thesis shows how drinking water provision through co-created, frugal household water filters shapes and is shaped by societal relations and people’s roles in water governance. The conceptual analysis shows how the hegemonic understanding of co-creating frugal innovations raises concerns of the heightened potential extraction, exploitation and scaling up of ‘creative sustainability value’ from individuals or communities. Frugal innovation as a concept has been co-opted in a hegemonic project of governing and exploiting the poor in ways conducive to ‘economic development’ as per elite-driven definitions.
  • Kaarlela, Mirja (Hanken School of Economics, 2021-04-26)
    The curtains to the boardroom are opening, and the walls of its so-called black box are slowly becoming more transparent. Recent research is revealing how human behaviors and dynamics affect board work, and the micro-level perspectives are demanding more of our attention. Contributing to that expanding body of research, this dissertation generates insights on how board members bring their individual and personal approaches, frames of reference and worldview to any board situation. Exploring and voicing various perceptions contributes to further understanding what board members do, think they are expected to do, and how they think, feel and act. An explorative approach between the scientific knowledge and practitioner perceptions brings out the profound and ongoing transformations in ways of doing business. This creates a need to broaden our views of value and value creation, both in research and practice. Particularly, board members of the more entrepreneurial companies reveal diverse and ample ways to conceptualize and act on value and value creation. The data illustrate, for example, that while one person immerses themselves in a company’s dream, and questions conformity as a driver for new value creation, another bases their value creation on purpose-driven and conscious behavioral choices. Collaborative connections signify empowerment and value creation for one. Yet another relies on conventional practices and carefully sustained boundaries as the glue to facilitate new value creation. The four vignettes presented in this research speak to a continuous need to re-focus, re-think and re-evaluate value and value creation. I conducted this research at the intersection of academia and practice, perspectives that both question and complement each other. One aim is to demonstrate the importance and benefits of reflective interaction. Of equal significance, I argue for the benefits of building a bridge between the existing research and encounters and experiences from the practitioner world. I invite the reader to reflect on the puzzle of the human side of the board of directors and value creation, how we can create more value by accepting and better understanding each other’s views and underlying concepts of value and value creation. This will allow more diversified notions of value creation to surface.
  • Tesfaye, Yewondwossen (Hanken School of Economics, 2021-01-05)
    The primary objective of this thesis is to study the specific everyday aspects of the process of neoliberalization as observed through the object of water. Water as an object of representation means understanding its materiality within the totality of the political relations of knowledge systems that reproduce its materiality as rational. Approaching the process of neoliberalization through the object of water requires an in-depth look into the specific everyday practicalities and social relations of individuals/people (micropolitical) reproduced through water practices, together with the relation that this micropolitical has with the wider forms of neoliberal knowledge system or forms of politics (macropolitical aspects) reproduced and rearticulated through neoliberalism. By looking into three rural water practice cases, the thesis takes a closer look into specific forms of subjectivities and social relations that are constitutive of particular water practices, and the relation that this has with wider neoliberal forms of rationalities. In doing so, this thesis intends to enhance knowledge on how neoliberal political truths are naturalized and how their applications affect individuals and their social relationships. In order to produce a multidimensional analysis on the relation between the macropolitical and micro-practical, this thesis works within the analytics of governmentality and uses discourse analysis as a methodology. Knowledge building in neoliberal governmentality scholarship through a focus on the messy micro practicalities and social relations is the primary contribution of this thesis. With the focus on the micropracticalities, the thesis contributes to one of governmentality’s less researched areas (inattention to difference) as well as addresses some critical research gaps in authoritarian governmentality and authoritarian neoliberalism literatures.
  • Krohn, Mikaela (Hanken School of Economics, 2020-09-14)
    Online videos are a form of dynamic visual communication that embrace the amateurish and informal communication style that is typical of videos in social media. In organizations’ strategic communication these types of videos are used for disseminating management message about strategy, strategic issues and news, as well as, for culture building in strategic change. This thesis explores the use of online videos as visual strategic organizational communication, focusing particularly on what online videos are, how they influence strategizing, and what are the underlying mechanism that condition strategizing with online videos. Building on the strategy as practice and sociomateriality perspectives, this thesis connects the openness paradigm and the technological and cultural developments of our time with how people do strategy in current day organizations. This thesis comprises of three studies. Paper 1 outlines a definition of the phenomenon and discusses potential theoretical implications of the use of visual social media type of communication for strategizing. Paper 2 provides an internal open strategizing perspective on the phenomenon of online videos, with an in-depth ethnographic study of a large retail organization. Paper 3 studies an internal strategy workshop video that accidentally leaked outside the company and follows the external audiences´ gamified interaction with this video on public social media. This thesis contributes to strategy as practice literature in three ways. First, it defines the phenomenon of online videos as visual strategic organizational communication. Second, it demonstrates that the use of online videos influences strategizing with their affordances, supports open strategizing, and may over time enable a dynamic of intimacy to emerge. Third, it discusses why the underlying media infrastructure conditions strategizing in a specific way. Further, this thesis contributes to visual management studies by illuminating a type of visual communication practice and theorizing on how the affordances of visibility and visuality interplay with strategizing. Visibility is highly related to transparency and the demand and desire for openness in contemporary organization, whereas visuality enables us to create an emotional or sensory imprint of the message necessary for strategic buy-in and commitment. Together both of these build transparency, inclusivity, and intimacy for more open paradigm management and strategizing. For future research, this study lays the ground to further explore the visualization of organizations as ways to execute the ideal of openness, authenticity, and non-hierarchy in organizations.
  • Lipkin, Michaela (Hanken Svenska handelshögskolan, 2020-08-17)
    As megatrends shape our society and markets, the business landscape is also changing fast. Technological innovations, demographic movements and the rise of the individual are disrupting the ways in which businesses offer service, but also how customers serve themselves. Whereas traditional service provision primarily occurred in the firm’s environment on the firm’s terms, today’s customers often select and experience offerings in their own ecosystems beyond the firm’s visibility and control. For firms to be competitive and research to be relevant, it has never been as important to understand what goes on in this customer ecosystem, and how it shapes the customer’s experiences with offerings. Even though marketers and researchers increasingly acknowledge the importance of the customer and her context, most studies have focused on exploring how firms create customer experiences during isolated touch points, or how customers co-create experiences in service ecosystems. This thesis argues that such studies only marginally reflect issues related to customers in their own settings. Instead of focusing on the firm’s actions or service interactions, we should study how customers involve providers in their own ecosystems. This customer-dominant lens expands the view of the customer and helps to illuminate what goes on beyond the firm yet plays a key role in how offerings resonate with customers. This thesis aims to identify how customers’ ecosystems shape customers’ experiences with smart self-service. The thesis includes three studies utilizing various methods and qualitative data from a smart self-service context. The collective findings reveal how the customer’s ecosystem plays a key role in shaping her experiences with smart self-service, through its actors and actor constellations. The first study identifies and clarifies different individual-level perspectives and contextual lenses on customer experience formation. The sense-making-based perspective and customer-ecosystem lens emerge as especially suited to generate a deeper understanding of experiences in customers’ ecosystems. The second study conceptualizes and illustrates empirically how actors within and beyond the focal offering – in various constellations – shape customer experiences. The third study introduces a smart self-service typology and classification. This thesis contributes to the service and marketing literature by conceptualizing the elements of customer experience formation, customer ecosystems and customer self-service devices. Managers should aim to locate, monitor and join the customer’s life to better understand how experiences emerge in the customer ecosystem. Such insights can be used to predict long-term customer behavior and design offerings that become embedded in customers’ lives.
  • Afzali, Mansoor (Hanken School of Economics, 2020-06-18)
    Social capital, as an important construct in social sciences, captures shared common beliefs and density of associational networks within a community. Regions with high social capital tend to have higher levels of mutual trust and display greater contract enforceability through the power of the community. Sociologists argue that communities with dense associational networks face a harsher punishment for deviation from norms, which deters individuals from acting opportunistically. In the long run, this results in fostering a norm-conducive environment that encourages cooperation among individuals and mitigates norm-deviant behavior. Research in economics and sociology shows that social capital brings several benefits to the community. For instance, regions with higher levels of social capital have effective governance mechanisms, higher economic growth, better health, lower income inequality, fewer suicides, higher education attainment ratios, and reduced levels of crime compared to regions with lower levels of social capital. Recently, researchers in corporate finance and accounting have also encompassed the idea of social capital and studied its influences in mitigating norm-deviant behavior by firms. For instance, researchers show that firms headquartered in high social capital counties have a lower tendency to avoid taxes, commit less financial reporting fraud, and use their resources more efficiently. The first two essays of this dissertation contribute to this recent literature and extend it by studying how social capital influences corporate reporting culture and accounting conservatism, and proportion of female directors on corporate boards and corporate governance mechanisms. Using county-level data on social capital in the United States, the first essay illustrates that firms headquartered in high social capital counties have higher accounting conservatism as managers in such firms are less likely to withhold information in the form of bad news. The second essay studies how social capital influences boardroom gender diversity and corporate governance mechanisms. The findings indicate that social capital enhances oversight mechanisms and reduces inequality within a society, leading to lower supply-side barriers for female directors. This ultimately results in a higher proportion of female directors on corporate boards of firms located in high social capital. Networks formed through social interactions and personal relationships are an important dimension of social capital and vital in almost all economic activities. The third essay relates to the role of social networks in disseminating information to the market. The findings of this essay suggest that insiders with larger networks are more likely to have access to channels of information and resource exchange, which ultimately result in a higher market reaction to their insider trades. This dissertation contributes to the existing literature on two important social constructs – social networks and social capital – and their influence on different processes in accounting and finance through three distinct but related essays. The main contribution of the whole dissertation is the empirical evidence on how social networks influence insider trading and how social capital affects corporate governance and accounting conservatism.
  • Shen, Cenyu (Hanken School of Economics, 2020-05-27)
    Digital technologies have brought good opportunities for innovation in the scholarly publishing industry, including the Open Access (OA) model, which makes peer reviewed journal articles freely available on the Internet. Over time, alternative approaches and strategies to fund and support OA publishing activities have surfaced. The primary mechanisms for providing content OA include journals publishing articles directly as OA (Gold OA) or by authors archiving manuscript of articles in subscription journals in other web-based services (Green OA). Among different business models for gold OA publishing, the article processing charge (APCs) model has been a common path chosen by established major publishers. However, the introduction of APC-funded OA has also given rise to the problem of ‘predatory’ publishers, which has seriously damaged the reputation of OA publishing. Another problem is the increasing difficulties faced by the non-APC funded publishers either to sustain their journals financially or stay competitive to attract authors. This thesis examines the situation of three distinct types of gold OA journals, which includes early independent scholar-led (‘indie’) OA journals, ‘predatory’ OA journals and Chinese-language OA journals. The overall purpose is to offer a varied perspective on the landscape of gold OA journals and therefore provide a fuller understanding of gold OA. Quantitative methods using bibliometrics and web observations were used, further complemented by qualitative methods in the form of case studies and interviews. The thesis consists of three articles each focusing on one specific group of gold OA journals. The study of ‘indie’ journals shows that nearly half of them remain active with a relatively small publishing volume beyond the initial 6-9 years and that most of them had found other alternatives than to rely on APCs to finance themselves. The five related case journals present different development trajectories. The longitudinal development of the number of journals and article volumes of ‘predatory’ OA publishers indicates that this market was rapidly growing between 2010 and 2014. The estimated volume in 2014 rivalled that of OA journals indexed in DOAJ at the time. However, ‘predatory’ OA publishing can be seen as mainly a regional problem in terms of the distribution of publishers and authors across countries. The study of Chinese-language OA journals finds that most of the OA journals in China are published in Chinese and that they are mainly published by universities and scholarly societies. A prominent problem for the successful publishing of the journals which were studied with the support of interviews is the lack of a sufficient number of high quality manuscript submissions. Their operational situation is further exacerbated by their financial instability which is identified as the main barrier to internationalization.
  • Pokidko, Daniil (Hanken School of Economics, 2020-05-06)
    “Collateral learning in the way of formation of enduring attitudes, of likes and dislikes, may be and often is much more important than the spelling lesson or lesson in geography or history that is learned.” John Dewey (1938/1997, p. 48) Understanding (or misunderstanding) one’s own likes and dislikes and their origins plays a powerful role within human life. The power of likes and dislikes pushes a person toward or against something. This power makes a person pursue some issues while abandoning the others. It is the same power that makes people persist in something despite the challenges and limitations they encounter, or on the contrary, avoid doing something despite obvious benefits. I dare to suggest that in the context of the entrepreneurship experience, the power of likes and dislikes may determine the effort invested in pursuing perceived opportunities and the dedication to this pursuit, regardless of the scarcity of resources. I believe that the attempt to understand the hidden reasons behind these feelings may play a decisive role in experiencing the pursuit, and this needs to be emphasized within entrepreneurship research and education. I try to validate this statement through my personal example of experiencing entrepreneurship, and learning about it in the summary part of this PhD thesis. The four papers that constitute the core of this thesis provide the reader with a deeper insight into this issue from educational, methodological and theoretical points of view.
  • Meriläinen, Eija (Hanken School of Economics, 2020-04-28)
    While a hazard, such as an earthquake, may result from natural processes, the unequal ways in which it impacts people’s lives are not an outcome dictated by forces of nature. Indeed, the disaster unfolding from a hazard has much to do with how human societies are governed. In a disaster, marginalised people are more likely than others to lose their homes, livelihoods, lives, and people they care about. Meanwhile, powerful actors are likely able to protect themselves from many negative consequences of hazards and disasters, while sometimes even being able to capture potential benefits. These inequalities become exposed in the case of urban disasters, where people living in neighbouring residential areas may experience very different outcomes from a disaster. Addressing these inequalities calls for scrutiny on disaster governance, and the ways in which diverse actors address and experience disaster impacts. This thesis explores how disasters in the unequal city are governed, particularly within the frame of resilience discourse. Furthermore, the work strives to imagine more just urban disaster governance focused on the rights of people. The analysis is focused on elaborating and explicating the conceptualisations of resilience and rights within academic and expert literatures. The focus is on the critical analysis of bodies of knowledge on disaster governance. The thesis draws from and contributes to the interdisciplinary fields of disaster studies and human geography. The key contributions of the thesis lie in its four essays, which adopt diverse perspectives to disaster governance research and policy. A key emerging theme is the framing of subjectivities of disaster-affected people within disaster studies. Three subjectivity categories are identified: the beneficiary-stakeholder that is steered by actors ‘from above’; the active citizen that has agency only in relation to a pre-existing and persisting governance institutions; and the territorial community that is a political and organised group of people that can assert claims. In addition to these subjectivity categories, a broader narrative emerges in the thesis: one where a diffused network of private and non-state actors increasingly has the resources and power to shape how the exception of disasters is framed and governed. Against this backdrop, conceptualisations (e.g. resilient community), discourses (e.g. urban resilience) and streams of literature that may be benign in and of themselves may shape disaster politics in problematic ways. They might decentre and obscure underlying patterns of marginalisation and facilitation that result in unequal disaster risk – at worst delegitimising the politics that target structural causes of disasters.

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