Browsing by Organization "Svenska handelshögskolan, institutionen för marknadsföring, logistik och företagsgeografi"

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  • Björkman, Jaakko Väinö Johannes (Hanken School of Economics, 2010)
  • Ballantyne, David (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2004)
    This report presents a new theory of internal marketing. The thesis has developed as a case study in retrospective action research. This began with the personal involvement of the author in an action research project for customer service improvement at a large Australian retail bank. In other words, much of the theory generating ‘research’ took place after the original project ‘action’ had wound down. The key theoretical proposition is that internal marketing is a relationship development strategy for the purpose of knowledge renewal. In the banking case, exchanges of value between employee participants emerged as the basis for relationship development, with synergistic benefits for customers, employees and the bank. Relationship development turned out to be the mediating variable between the learning activity of employee participants at the project level and success in knowledge renewal at the organisational level. Relationship development was also a pivotal factor in the motivation and customer consciousness of employees. The conclusion reached is that the strength of relationship-mediated internal marketing is in combining a market focused commitment and employee freedom in project work to achieve knowledge renewal. The forgotten truth is that organisational knowledge can be renewed through dialogue and learning, through being trustworthy, and by gaining the trust of employees in return.
  • Owusu, Richard A. (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2003)
    Despite thirty years of research in interorganizational networks and project business within the industrial networks approach and relationship marketing, collective capability of networks of business and other interorganizational actors has not been explicitly conceptualized and studied within the above-named approaches. This is despite the fact that the two approaches maintain that networking is one of the core strategies for the long-term survival of market actors. Recently, many scholars within the above-named approaches have emphasized that the survival of market actors is based on the strength of their networks and that inter-firm competition is being replaced by inter-network competition. Furthermore, project business is characterized by the building of goal-oriented, temporary networks whose aims, structures, and procedures are clarified and that are governed by processes of interaction as well as recurrent contracts. This study develops frameworks for studying and analysing collective network capability, i.e. collective capability created for the network of firms. The concept is first justified and positioned within the industrial networks, project business, and relationship marketing schools. An eclectic source of conceptual input is based on four major approaches to interorganizational business relationships. The study uses qualitative research and analysis, and the case report analyses the empirical phenomenon using a large number of qualitative techniques: tables, diagrams, network models, matrices etc. The study shows the high level of uniqueness and complexity of international project business. While perceived psychic distance between the parties may be small due to previous project experiences and the benefit of existing relationships, a varied number of critical events develop due to the economic and local context of the recipient country as well as the coordination demands of the large number of involved actors. The study shows that the successful creation of collective network capability led to the success of the network for the studied project. The processes and structures for creating collective network capability are encapsulated in a model of governance factors for interorganizational networks. The theoretical and management implications are summarized in seven propositions. The core implication is that project business success in unique and complex environments is achieved by accessing the capabilities of a network of actors, and project management in such environments should be built on both contractual and cooperative procedures with local recipient country parties.
  • Sääksjärvi, Maria (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2004)
    Hybrid innovations, or new products that combine two existing product categories into one, are increasingly popular in today’s marketplace. Despite this proliferation, few studies address them. The purpose of this thesis is to examine consumer evaluation of hybrid innovations by focusing on consumer categorization of such innovations and on factors contributing positively and negatively to their evaluation. This issue is examined by means of three studies. The first study addresses the proportion of consumers categorizing hybrid products as single- versus dual-purpose, what contributes to such a categorization, what differences can be found between the two groups, and if categorization can and should be included in models of innovation adoption. The second study expands on the scope by including motivation as a predictor of consumer evaluation and examines two cognitive and affective factors and their differential impact on innovation evaluation. Finally, the third study examines the product comparisons single- versus dual-purpose categorization induce. These three essays together build up a broader understanding of hybrid innovation evaluation. The thesis uses theories from both psychology and marketing to examine the issues at hand. Conceptual combination and analogical learning theories from psychology are used to comprehend categorization and knowledge transfer. From marketing, consumer behavior and innovation adoption studies are addressed to better understand the link between categorization and product evaluation and the factors contributing to product evaluation. The main results of the current thesis are that (1) most consumers categorize hybrid products as single- and not as dual-purpose products, (2) consumers that categorize them as dual-purpose find them more attractive (3) motivation has a significant effect on consumer evaluation of innovations; cognitive factors promote an emphasis on product net benefits, whereas affective factors induce consumers to consider product meaning in the form of categorization and perceived product complexity, (4) categorization constrains subsequent product evaluation, and (5) categorization can and should be included to models of innovation adoption. Maria Sääksjärvi is associated with CERS, the Center for Relationship Marketing and Service Management at the Swedish School of Economics and Business Administration
  • Kovács, Gyöngyi (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2006)
    Research on corporate responsibility has traditionally focused on the responsibilities of companies within their corporate boundaries only. Yet this view is challenged today as more and more companies face the situation in which the environmental and social performance of their suppliers, distributors, industry or other associated partners impacts on their sales performance and brand equity. Simultaneously, policy-makers have taken up the discussion on corporate responsibility from the perspective of globalisation, in particular of global supply chains. The category of selecting and evaluating suppliers has also entered the field of environmental reporting. Companies thus need to tackle their responsibility in collaboration with different partners. The aim of the thesis is to further the understanding of collaboration and corporate environmental responsibility beyond corporate boundaries. Drawing on the fields of supply chain management and industrial ecology, the thesis sets out to investigate inter-firm collaboration on three different levels, between the company and its stakeholders, in the supply chain, and in the demand network of a company. The thesis is comprised of four papers: Paper A discusses the use of different research approaches in logistics and supply chain management. Paper B introduces the study on collaboration and corporate environmental responsibility from a focal company perspective, looking at the collaboration of companies with their stakeholders, and the salience of these stakeholders. Paper C widens this perspective to an analysis on the supply chain level. The focus here is not only beyond corporate boundaries, but also beyond direct supplier and customer interfaces in the supply chain. Paper D then extends the analysis to the demand network level, taking into account the input-output, competitive and regulatory environments, in which a company operates. The results of the study broaden the view of corporate responsibility. By applying this broader view, different types of inter-firm collaboration can be highlighted. Results also show how environmental demand is extended in the supply chain regardless of the industry background of the company.
  • Voima, Päivi (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2000)
    Critical incidents have had an important role in service quality and service management research. The focus of critical-incident studies has gradually shifted from separate acts and episodes towards relationships, and even switching from one relationship to another. The Critical Incident Technique has mainly been used when studying the service sector, concentrating on the customer's perception of critical incidents. Although some studies have considered the perceptions of employees important, critical incidents have not been considered a tool for studying internal relationships to any larger extent. This paper takes a process approach and shifts the focus from an external to an internal setting. It puts forward a new technique for analysing internal relationships from a critical-incident perspective. The technique captures the dynamism in relationships through considering internal critical incidents as micro-processes affecting not only internal but also external relationships.
  • Serlachius, Bror Erik Gösta (Hanken School of Economics, 2010)
  • Solitander, Nikodemus (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2011)
    The thesis focuses on one of the most dominant articulations of the relation between geographical place and development, clusters - internationally competing place-bound economic system of production in related industries. The dominant articulation of cluster discourse represents the subnational region as a system of production, and as a means for competitiveness for Western countries. Its reproduction in theories has become one of the most prolific exports of economic geography to other disciplines and for policymaking. By analysing cluster discourse the thesis traces how the languages and processes of globalization have over time altered the understandings of the relation between geographical place and the economy. It shows how in its latest incarnation of the cluster discourse, the language of mainstream economics is combined with ‘softer’ elements (e.g. community, learning, creativity) in the economic geographic discourse. This is typical for the idea of soft capitalism, wherein it is assumed that economic success emanates from soft characteristics, such as knowledge, learning and creativity, rather than straightforward technological or cost advantages. A reoccurring critique against the dominant understanding of the relationship between competitiveness and regions, as articulated in cluster discourse, has pinpointed the perspective’s inability to reconcile the respective and reciprocal roles of local standard of living with firm competitiveness. The thesis traces how such critique is increasingly appropriated through the fusion of the economic, social and cultural landscape into the language of capitalism. It shows how cluster discourse has appropriated its critique, by focusing on creativity, with its strong associations to arts, individual artists and the cultural sphere in general, while predominantly creating its meaning in relation to competitiveness. The thesis consists of six essays that each outlines the development of the cluster discourse. The essays show how meaning systems and strategies are created, accepted and naturalized in cluster discourse, how this affects individuals, the economic landscape and society at large, as well as showing which understandings are marginalized in the process. The thesis argues that clusters are a) inseparable from ideology and politics and b) they are the result of purposeful social practice. It calls for increased reflexivity within corporate and economic geographic research on clusters, and underlines the importance of placing issues of power at the centre of analysis.
  • Äikäs, Kristiina Anna Maria (Hanken School of Economics, 2010)