Doctoral theses

Recent Submissions

  • 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.
  • Sarvikivi, Marja-Leena (Hanken Svenska handelshögskolan, 2020-03-27)
    Tryckt reklam har studerats såväl inom marknadsföring som lingvistik. Studierna har gällt bl.a. annonsinnehåll, kommunikationsstrategier, annonsernas effekt eller effektivitet, stilistiska element, metaforer och retorik, humor och kulturella frågor. Också interaktionen mellan det textuella och det visuella har studerats. Avsikten med denna studie är att överbygga den klyfta jag upplevt existera mellan lingvistiska studier av annonser och studier av reklam som en del av marknadsföring och därmed uttryck för marknadsföringstänkande. I studien granskas elementen i annonserna som uttryck för ett mera omfattande fenomen, utvecklingen av marknadsföringstänkandet. I ljuset av varuhuset Stockmanns tidningsannonser från ett sekel, 1902 (1900) – 2002, då tryckt reklam varit dominerande, har jag utforskat och belyst utvecklingen av marknadsföringstänkande och reklam i Finland. Materialet består av annonser med början från den tid marknadsföringsdisciplinen av de flesta forskare anses ha existerat. Studien har tre teoretiska referensramar: skolbildning inom marknadsföring, definition av marknadsföring samt reklamens basformat, vilka härletts från en innehållsmässig periodisering av marknadsföring och reklam. Metoderna i studien är innehållsanalys och periodisering. Analysen gäller annonserade produkter, vädjan för dem, det visuella samt relationen mellan det textuella och det visuella. Studien avser annonsinnehållet, vad annonserna är, inte vad annonserna gör, dvs. deras effekt eller effektivitet. I studien kan avläsas marknadsföringstänkandets utveckling från dominerande produkt- och nyttofokus mot kundfokus. Under 1900-talets första decennier annonseras framför allt nyttoprodukter och annonserna består av produktuppräkning. Vädjan är textuell, rationell och informerande. Småningom går vädjan över från textuell till textuell och visuell. Det visuella blir dominerande och texten verkar som stöd till det visuella under de sista studerade decennierna. Med avseende på annonserade produkter och karaktären av vädjan är 1950-talet och 1970-talet brytningspunkter. I början på 1950-talet blir annonser för fritidsartiklar frekventa, kosmetikannonser vanligare och vädjan upptar personifiering av varor. I annonserna från 1970-talet avspeglas den spirande ungdomskulturen, kosmetik annonseras frekvent, och det visuella får en dominerande roll i vädjan. Under de sista studerade decennierna upptar vädjan särskilt inom kosmetik, livsmedel och hälsoprodukter individuellt välbefinnande och njutning, självförverkligande eller självtransformation. Tjänsterna utvecklas från tjänster med produkten i fokus mot tjänster med fokus på kundens individuella önskemål och tjänster av upplevelsekaraktär. Studien fyller ett angeläget empiriskt behov. Den innehållsmässiga periodiseringen av elementen i annonserna reflekterar marknadsföringstänkandet under ett sekel i Finland. Studien bidrar till insikten om produkternas förändrade roll för konsumenterna och dess beaktande i marknadsföringstänkandet. I studien sammanbinds praxis och teori, språkliga och visuella uttryck i reklamen som uttryck för marknadsföringstänkandet. Utöver till kunskap om marknadsföringstänkandets och reklamens utveckling i Finland bidrar studien till kunskap om varuhuset Stockmanns utveckling samt om utvecklingen av Stockmanns tidningsannonsering under hela den tid tryckta medier dominerat i reklamen.
  • Dube, Apramey (Hanken School of Economics, 2020-03-20)
    Smartphone apps have become the new universal language through which customers interact with service providers. We are in an app economy in which most everyday service experiences are mediated through apps. The devices that started this revolution, smartphones, have become deeply embedded in the lives of customers with little restrictions on time and place regarding their use. If a reader today pauses to check his or her mobile phone, it is likely to be a smartphone filled with various apps, some of which are used many times daily, whereas others are never used. Never before has technology facilitated such a close and widely varied availability of service to customers, regardless of time and place. However, extant research remains highly influenced by traditional restraints of time and place in service provision. Specifically, a gap exists in investigating service experiences with an empirical service context that offers wide flexibility of time and space. To address this research gap, this thesis presents an evolved conceptualisation of service experience derived from customer use of smartphone apps. Apps are conceptualised as service platforms without any time and space constraints and their ubiquitous presence in customers’ everyday lives helps to illustrate the role of the everyday life in influencing service experiences. The research design employed for this thesis comprised of three studies. In the pilot study, respondents were asked to write auto-narratives of their service experience with a particular smartphone app (BBC World News app). In the main study, 23 semi-structured narrative interviews were conducted in which respondents narrated their service experience with multiple apps in their everyday lives. In addition, a third source of empirical data included collection and analysis of app store descriptions of smartphone apps that respondents experienced. The findings of this research contribute in expanding the prevailing understanding of service experience. They show that customers’ service experiences include both direct use experiences (that require direct app use), as well as indirect use experiences (that do not require direct app use). Furthermore, customers have service experiences that were intended or unintended by service providers and several unintended experiences are hidden from them. These four types of service experiences form combinations that differ from each other in exhibiting different app download, use and deletion behaviour. The indirect and unintended components of service experiences highlight an underutilised and scarcely investigated part of holistic service experiences. Although originating from app use, these findings are also applicable to newer service platforms that provide flexibility of time and place and ubiquitous ease-of-use. Therefore, the thesis recommends that service providers must keep in mind the potential indirect and unintended service experiences that customers may have with their service platforms.
  • Jongsma, Daniël (Hanken School of Economics, 2020-01-14)
    As a result of extensive, if incomplete, harmonization efforts in the area of copyright law most of the rights granted to authors and related rights holders now originate in EU law. This makes the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) an important authority with regard to the construction of copyright law in the EU. It appears the CJEU has accepted this role with great enthusiasm, achieving ever greater harmonization through an expansionist interpretation of the acquis communautaire. Increasingly, the CJEU pays attention to the impact of copyright on fundamental rights, such as the right to freedom of expression, considering that copyright must maintain a “fair balance” of rights and interests. Accordingly, fundamental rights are used as interpretative arguments when defining the scope of protection offered by copyright. This begs the question about the functionality of fundamental rights arguments in the process of judicial norm-making by the CJEU. This question is at the centre of this dissertation. To answer this question, this dissertation provides a systematic and critical analysis of both the CJEU’s interpretation of copyright norms generally and its use of fundamental rights arguments specifically. It does so against a legal theoretical background of proportionality analysis and balancing. It is argued that the CJEU frequently implicitly strives to find a “balance” between the interest of right holders in an “appropriate reward” and other rights and interests, but that this approach is often clouded by confusing rhetoric that obscures the true reasons for the CJEU’s decision-making. Even where it more explicitly emphasizes the need for copyright law to preserve a “fair balance of rights and interest”, the meaning and content of this concept is left unclear. Most importantly, the CJEU does not explain the precise content of the rights and interests to be balanced. The result is that its decision-making is opaque, not always coherent and often unpredictable. This dissertation makes several recommendations for a more coherent approach to the use of fundamental rights arguments in EU copyright adjudication. Importantly, the CJEU should more explicitly and more consistently focus on copyright’s purpose to provide right holders with an appropriate reward, taking account of both the empirical and normative uncertainty about the degree to which that reward can really be justified. To give full effect to fundamental rights, it is argued that limitations and exceptions to the rights of right holders can typically be construed broadly, since the right holder’s interest in an appropriate reward can be safeguarded by assessing whether the application of those provisions “preserves a fair balance”. Finally, remedies should be applied flexibly in a way that recognizes their potential limiting effect on fundamental rights but that respects the legislative prerogative to determine the boundaries between exclusivity, remuneration, and free use.
  • Al Nabulsi, Nasib (Hanken School of Economics, 2019-12-03)
    The financial crises during 2008 followed by quantitative easing environment implemented by central banks significantly affect macroeconomic stability. Since 2015, negative interest rate become a new phenomenon in the Euro area and in countries like Sweden and Denmark. These events revive the interest in how monetary policy channels influence economic output and financial markets. This dissertation consists of three essays that examine the correlation between monetary policy tools and economic activities—more specifically, interest rates, asset prices, consumption and economic growth in the context of the Nordic countries, with accounting for structural changes in the correlation between the variables. The first essay focuses on the predictive content of stock returns, short-term interest rates and the term spread by using non-linear regime switching models for forecasting GDP growth in Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden. The paper applies the threshold autoregressive (TAR) model-switching approach and regime-switching signals which combine the inversion of the yield curve and the recession as the signal to switch between economic states. The results suggest that the TAR model approach with an inversion–recession signal is preferable for predicting economic activity in all four of the Nordic countries. Among the Nordic countries, the predictive relationship between financial variables and economic activity is found to be the strongest in Finland and Sweden. The second essay uses time-varying parameter vector autoregression model and impose an exogenous monetary tightening shock on the Swedish equity market. The main findings are that monetary tightening shock results in a decrease in both components of the price—fundamental and mispricing. The nominal price is more responsive to the monetary policy shock after the year 2000. On average, the fundamental component of the asset price accounts for less than 40% of the expected response to a tighter monetary policy. These results are consistent with a “leaning against the wind” policy view. However, they contrast with the rational asset price bubble theory. The third essay examines the relative correlations between housing, stock-price movements and private consumption in Denmark, Finland and Sweden by means of time-varying parameter vector autoregression model to account for structural changes during economic restructuring periods and boom/bust cycles. The results suggest that the expected response of consumption to a shock in housing prices is higher in comparison to financial wealth. Furthermore, the results show the dynamic nature of the consumption response to wealth shocks, where the magnitude of the consumption response differs across the study period. There are shifts in how consumption responds to the housing price shock post-economic restructuring period in the 1980s. These shifts reflect the need to address the changing structure of the dependences between economic variables when examining the wealth effect on consumption in the Nordic context.
  • Meyer, Niclas Oskar (Hanken School of Economics, 2019-11-25)
    CEOs and the board of directors have the main decision-making power in a firm and hence carry a significant responsibility for its performance. Consequently, they are often blamed when their firms are caught for misconduct. As Karpoff, Lee, and Martin (2008) note, it is important to know whether corporate governance and the director and CEO labor markets work to deter misconduct and scandals, i.e. whether culpable individuals incur personal penalties, as a lack of penalties would indicate to policy makers that more oversight and regulation might be needed. Prior research documents that CEOs and directors are disciplined following economic misconduct. However, firms may be involved in other types of scandals, such as customer fraud, environmental violations, employee disputes, etc. Such scandals relate to a firm’s Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) standards or its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) – and have been argued to be potentially costly for firms, their shareholders, and stakeholders. Yet little is known about whether CEOs and directors suffer personal costs following stakeholder-related corporate misconduct. The three essays in this thesis study consequences for CEOs and directors following ESG/CSR-related scandals. In the first essay, we examine whether directors of US firms with the highest numbers of CSR controversies in a year experience losses in their reputations in the director labor market. We find that independent directors, who lose their seat at the focal firm’s board, and affiliated directors, who retain their seat, lose seats at other firms’ boards in the future. Additionally, we find that, among “controversial” independent directors, losses are significant only for directors who serve on the governance committee. The second essay investigates whether firms’ risk exposures to ESG issues affect the career prospects of directors of Stoxx Europe 600 firms. Employing panel data regressions, I find that directors’ career prospects decline when a firm has had very high or extremely high risk exposure to ESG issues. Furthermore, prior literature documents significant variation in ESG rankings between firms in different countries. Examining European firms allows studying if legal origin, as well as other country-level variables, affect penalties to directors following ESG scandals. I find that penalties vary by legal origin: contrary to expectations, penalties are severe in common-law countries, where firms, on average, score the lowest on ESG rankings, and somewhat weaker in civil-law countries, where firms, on average, score the highest on ESG rankings. In the third essay, we study CEO turnover following ESG scandals. Using logistic regression models, we find that the likelihood of CEO turnover increases significantly following environmental and governance issues, but not following social issues. In addition, we find that firms in common-law countries rely on ex post penalties, whereas firms in civil-law countries appear to rely on ex ante (governance, regulation, etc.) mechanisms, to deter ESG-scandals.
  • Mohamadi, Ashkan (Hanken School of Economics, 2019-11-06)
    The popularity of entrepreneurship as a practice is matched by scholars’ increasing attention to the phenomenon. In the management literature, entrepreneurship has become a field in its own right. Several scholars have argued that the right types of entrepreneurship, such as opportunity entrepreneurship, are an important driver of economic development and growth through employment, innovation, and structural transformation. Thus, it is unsurprising that finding ways to encourage entrepreneurship, especially the preferred types, is of interest to researchers and policymakers alike. In order to do so, they need to understand why the incidence of entrepreneurship is different from one country to another, and in that respect, country-level factors are determining the rate of entrepreneurship. These factors create the environment in which entrepreneurial opportunities and activities can be defined, generated, and also limited. Surprisingly, however, our understanding of the ways in which these national and institutional environments are fertile or fatal for entrepreneurship is limited, and study results on the benefits of various aspects of institutions to entrepreneurship continue to be debated. The overall objective of this thesis and the cases presented herein is to investigate how institutions and institutional factors affect opportunity exploitation at country level. We acknowledge that both institutional settings and the process of opportunity exploitation are complex phenomena. To address the research objective, this thesis builds on two co-authored research articles and one sole-authored. The methodological approach of the current work is nomothetic and quantitative. Moderation analysis at country level is the main approach applied in all the articles. As a result, we examined regression models that include interaction terms. In the articles, we perform fixed effect regression analyses. To be able to do the analyses, we utilize data from Adult Population Surveys of Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM). Previously a challenge in studying country-level entrepreneurship, institutions, and policymaking has been the lack of data. In recent years, the rise of GEM as harmonized and internationally comparable database on entrepreneurial activities has created the opportunity more effectively to conduct research in those areas. This thesis fills two specific gaps. First, our articles examined under-investigated institutional settings, in order to stimulate future research. This furthered our understanding, recognizing several theoretical concepts such as institutional incongruence. Additionally, we conclude that different aspects of institutions should not be considered and studied in isolation. Second, instead of studying direct impacts on startup rates, we examined how opportunities are discovered and exploited at country level. This is important because opportunity discovery is a major step in the entrepreneurship process, and we learned more about economic development through entrepreneurship, following the research stating that opportunity entrepreneurship is the preferred type of entrepreneurship for that purpose.
  • Ahlvik, Catarina (Hanken School of Economics, 2019-08-12)
    Today, the word mindfulness is so widely used that the profundity of this practice is sometimes overlooked. Furthermore, some articles, mostly in practitioner-oriented journals, have raised the concern of mindfulness practice having a pacifying effect on employees. This concern often stems from the notion of mindfulness having a non-judgmental component and the fear that this component may create complacency in the workplace. This is, however, a misreading of the practice, as non-judgement in this context refers to how to skillfully relate to one’s own experience. A non-judgmental attitude or attitudes such as acceptance and self-compassion are qualities that can facilitate contact with uncomfortable experiences and may thus diminish impulsive or defensive reactions. Thus, a non-judgmental attitude does not refer to complying with potentially disharmonious external conditions; rather, it enables turning towards and experiencing the present circumstances exactly as they are. In this thesis, I tackle this question in detail both theoretically and empirically, and show that mindfulness develops personal resources and may indeed be a powerful trigger for agency. Agency here refers to purposeful engagement with the social context, aiming to alter or maintain that context. Specifically, I argue that mindfulness may trigger what I refer to as institutional awareness, that is the ability to be aware of the emotional and cognitive impact of the institution in which you are embedded. Furthermore, I empirically show that mindfulness supports change-oriented behavior in organizations and that it does so through facilitating autonomous choice. Choices and actions are seen as autonomous when they are congruent with a person’s authentic interests and values. In line with previous research in clinical settings, I also show that mindfulness reduces, stress, burnout and increases the ability to detach from work after working hours. These findings are the result of a large-scale randomized field intervention, where 130 managers from four organizations in Finland participated in an 8-week Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) course.
  • Ritvanen, Hannu (Hanken School of Economics, 2019-08-07)
    This thesis has two aims: firstly to discuss and answer what are Intellectual Capital (IC)-related risks, and secondly to develop a framework for decision-makers for managing IC-related risks in an organisational context and practice. The main discipline and contributions of the thesis are in IC theory. Risk theory forms an important element to the contribution. The presumption is that risks occur in relationships, while results are shown in entities or in new tensions in relationships. Knowledge is seen as relational, between subject and object, between knower and known (or not known). The dominant classification, the ‘IC-Triad’ (human, structural and relational capitals), is an artefact from the time when IC was understood from an accounting perspective with financial and intangible assets. In this thesis an alternative is proposed. If classification is understood as a means to make sense of the complex world for managerial purpose, it is better to interpret the managerial task with concepts as close to the managerial reality as possible. I suggest re-conceptualising the original ‘IC-Triad’ to address arguably one of the most difficult, yet most common, managerial tasks: how to manage risk. Practitioners must in temporal flow of events ‘make do, with what is available’; I see them as ‘bricoleurs’. The ultimate aim of this thesis is to give decision-makers, through a practical framework for managing risk, more than they currently have available. Related IC and Intellectual Capital Management (ICM) discourses and the Risk Management (RM) literature have been reviewed. The conclusion from the IC literature review is that the dominant ‘IC-Triad’ needs to be re-conceptualised, including relationships, by developing a full ‘relational approach’ to Intellectual Capital Risk Management. This means that knowledge and knowing are understood as ‘existing’ in relationships between the subject (knower) and object (known). The object of enquiry can be entities or potential relationships between objects. The conclusion from literature review is that the conceptualisations underlying ISO 31000 are appropriate to the purpose of managing risks, risk defined as: the ‘effect of uncertainty on objectives’. The ICRM Framework is the main contribution to the IC, ICM and IC risk literatures by defining IC-related risks, identifying (with an emphasis on finding) IC-related risks in the practical organisational context and bridging the gap between management and operations by identifying the essential uncertainties in the organisational domain operationalised as epistemic holes in three temporal dimensions: ex-ante, present, and ex-post. The key is to avoid the ‘optimistic agenda’ by taking all essential uncertainties into account for decision-making and sharing the objectives of the organisation to all decision-makers. The risk identification process further ensures that the objectives are commonly known and that all events, whether positive or negative at the time of assessment, are also shared.

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