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  • Laakso, Mikael (CRC Press, 2009)
    The industry foundation classes (IFC) file format is one of the most complex and ambitious IT standardization projects currently being undertaken in any industry, focusing on the development of an open and neutral standard for exchanging building model data. Scientific literature related to the IFC standard has dominantly been technical so far; research looking at the IFC standard from an industry standardization per- spective could offer valuable new knowledge for both theory and practice. This paper proposes the use of IT standardization and IT adoption theories, supported by studies done within construction IT, to lay a theoretical foundation for further empirical analysis of the standardization process of the IFC file format.
  • Sumelius, Jennie (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2009)
    Whilst previous research on Human Resource Management (HRM) in subsidiaries of multinational companies (MNCs) has focused extensively on the HRM practices that exist in foreign subsidiaries and the extent to which they resemble MNC home country and/or local host country practices, considerably less attention has been directed at the question of how these practices come to exist. Accordingly, this thesis aims to shed light on the processes that shape HRM practices and capabilities in MNC subsidiaries. The main contribution of the thesis is the focus on how; how HRM practices are integrated in MNC subsidiaries, and how subsidiary HRM capabilities are developed through involvement in social networks. Furthermore, this thesis includes a time aspect which, despite not being purely longitudinal, provides an indication of the ongoing changes in HRM in MNC subsidiaries in China. Data for this study were collected in 2005-2006 through structured face to face interviews with 153 general managers and HR managers in 87 subsidiaries of European MNCs located in China. Five of the six thesis papers build on this questionnaire data and one paper builds on qualitative data collected at the same time. Two papers build on dual data sets, meaning that they in addition to the abovementioned data include quantitative questionnaire data from 1996 and 1999 respectively. The thesis focuses on the following four sub-questions i) To what extent do subsidiary HRM practices resemble parent MNC and host country practices? How has this changed over time and why? ii) How are HRM practices integrated into MNC subsidiaries and why are certain integration mechanisms used? iii) How does involvement in internal and external social networks influence subsidiary HRM capabilities? iv) What factors influence the strategic role of the subsidiary HR department? Regarding the first sub-question the findings indicate that the HRM practices of MNC subsidiaries in China are converging with both local company practices and parent MNC practices. This is interesting in the sense that it suggests that the isomorphic pressures the subsidiary faces from the MNC and from its local host environment are not always in conflict with each other. Concerning the question of how HRM practices are integrated into MNC subsidiaries and why certain integration mechanisms are used, the thesis provides a fine-grained examination of four mechanisms that MNCs use to integrate HRM practices in subsidiaries. The findings suggest that MNCs use a variety of different integration mechanisms as complements rather than as substitutes for each other. Furthermore, it is apparent that different contextual factors in the subsidiary and the subsidiary-headquarters relationship influence why certain mechanisms are or are not used. The most interesting contribution of the thesis in regard to the third question is that it highlights the importance of network involvement for learning about HRM practices in the Chinese context. Networks with other MNCs in China clearly emerged as particularly important contributors to enhanced HRM capabilities. Finally, concerning the fourth sub-question the findings indicate that the role of the HR department in MNC subsidiaries in China had become more strategic between 1999 and 2006.
  • Argyrou, Argyris (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2013)
    The thesis examines how the auditing of journal entries can detect and prevent financial statement fraud. Financial statement fraud occurs when an intentional act causes financial statements to be materially misstated. Although it is not a new phenomenon, financial statement fraud has attracted much publicity in the wake of numerous cases of financial malfeasance (e.g. ENRON, WorldCom). Existing literature has provided limited empirical evidence on the link between auditing journal entries and financial statement fraud. The lack of evidence contrasts sharply with the responsibility of auditors to test the appropriateness of journal entries recorded in a general ledger. It becomes more pronounced when considering that journal entries pose a high risk of financial statement fraud, as the case of WorldCom has demonstrated. It is further exacerbated given that fraud results in considerable costs to a number of parties, for example: auditors may be exposed to litigation; investors may experience negative stock returns; and, capital markets may suffer from reduced liquidity. Motivated by these considerations, the thesis adopts the tenets of design-science research in order to develop three quantitative models for auditing journal entries. It first employs self-organizing map and extreme value theory to design the models as constructs. Subsequently, it codes the constructs in MATLAB to build functioning instantiations; and finally, it evaluates the instantiations by conducting a series of experiments on an accounting dataset containing journal entries. The contribution of the thesis lies in the proposed models and their potential applications in accounting. The first model can assist management to monitor the processing of journal entries as well as to assess the accuracy of financial statements. The second model can detect novel journal entries that differ from legitimate journal entries to such an extent that they could be ‘suspicious’. The third model can identify those journal entries that have both a very low probability of occurring and a monetary amount large enough to materially misstate financial statements. The thesis has a novelty value in that it investigates financial statement fraud from the unexplored perspective of journal entries. The thesis can lead to concrete practical applications in accounting, as the models can be implemented as a Computerised Assisted Audit Technique. This potentiality can be the focal point of additional research.
  • Biggemann, Sergio; Kowalkowski, Christian; Maley, Jane; Brege, Staffan (Elsevier Inc., 2013)
  • Stenbacka, Rune; Gehrig, Thomas (Hanken School of Economics, 2003)
    We show that the presence of sufficiently significant switching costs, which are increasing in the degree of product differentiation, generates an equilibrium configuration with maximal differentiation within the framework of a Hotelling model with linear transportation costs. The equilibrium with maximal differentiation offers a formalization of the idea that competing firms have noncooperative incentives to establish maximal switching cost barriers. The equilibrium incentives for commitments to high switching costs can be explained with poaching profits, which are increasing in the switching costs. In fact, ex-ante competition for market shares in period 1 is unable to eliminate these poaching profits.
  • Kiehelä, Hanna (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2014)
    Consumers’ product assessments are largely based on colour, and a product’s colour can increase consumer satisfaction, awareness and loyalty. However, existing colour research is fragmented and calls for theoretically-enhanced understandings of the role of colour in consumer product perception. The existing colour research mainly focuses on consumers’ immediate reactions when exposed to colours although studies show that consumers evaluate products differently in purchase and in use. Therefore, to fully understand how consumers are affected by colour, it is insufficient to study instant reactions. Existing colour studies often explore colour in general, without a product context, although the influence of colour on consumers needs an interpretative significance. Thus, colour perception cannot be examined independently of the determined object. This thesis analysed how consumers perceive the value of colour in relation to products. This has not been extensively examined before although consumers have been found to relate colour to the perceived value of products. Studying the perceived value of product colour allowed this thesis to widen the time scope from consumers’ immediate reactions to using products in everyday life. Two studies were conducted on how consumers perceived the value of product colour by empirically studying the objects of cars and mobile phones. The first study, based on 39 interviews, resulted in an inductive conceptualisation of how consumers perceived the value of colour in relation to products. This study has several important findings: Consumers perceive the value of product colour on three value dimensions – experiential, symbolic and functional; In each dimension, there is a consumer perceived colour preference scale which consists of desirable, tolerable and unacceptable colours; The colour preference scales of the three value dimensions may sometimes clash when consumers prefer different colours in each value dimension, which leads them to make trade-offs between the dimensions; Additionally, an unacceptable colour in any dimension may lead consumers to decide against making a purchase. The second study – an online study with 655 respondents – corroborated this conceptualisation. This thesis contributes to existing research on perceived value and colour by demonstrating that product colour is an important but neglected aspect of perceived value, by illustrating the dimensionality of the perceived value of product colour and by proposing trade-offs between the value dimensions – a currently understudied area. The recommendation is for companies to acknowledge the dimensionality of the perceived value of product colour. This would enable manufacturers to better evaluate how consumers perceive new product colours, and retailers to provide customers with better service expertise and assistance, thus likely increasing purchase intentions and customer satisfaction.
  • Fougère, Martin; Moulettes, Agneta (Sage Publications Ltd., 2012)
  • Salami, Olubukola Ajoke (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2010)
  • Sorsa, Virpi (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2012)
    “Strategizing has become one of the most important managerial practices. It is becoming harder and harder to find an organization, which wouldn't engage in yearly strategic planning and implementation cycles. Although the theorizing of "planning" is becoming less popular in strategy research and the theorization of "process" and "practice" is gaining more and more ground, the practice itself - the managerial elite's strategy workshops, the writing of official strategy documents and the employees' and interest groups' various innovative ways of interpreting and using those documents - has become accustomed, legitimate and even expected in contemporary organizations. This thesis examines the social practice of strategizing in municipal and congregational strategy work through various discursive perspectives and explains how strategy enters into and figures in the daily lives of people organizations. The contributions of this thesis are presented in six essays, which examine the actual strategy conversations and texts. This approach gives the reader a unique opportunity to access information and learn about issues which are typically kept out of sight to outside eyes. The results of this thesis emphasize the constitutive role of discourse and communication at different sites of social life within the context of strategizing. With its distinctive approach to studying the transcripts and videorecordings of strategy work, this thesis sensitizes scholars to pay careful attention to language and its role in social practice of strategy and will be invaluable to scholars, researchers, and graduate students in strategy communication.”
  • Joutsenvirta, Maria; Vaara, Eero (Scandinavian Journal of Management (2009) 25, 85—96, 2009)
    Despite the central role of legitimacy in corporate social responsibility debate, little is known of subtle meaning-making processes through which social actors attempt to establish or de-establish legitimacy for socially contested corporate undertakings, and through which they, at the same time, struggle to define the proper social role and responsibility of corporations. We investigated these processes in the context of the intense socio-political conflict around the Finnish forest industry company Metsa¨-Botnia’s world-scale pulp mill in Uruguay. A critical discursive analysis of Finnish media texts highlights three types of struggle that characterized the media coverage: legalistic argumentation, truth fights, and political battles. Interestingly, this case illustrates how the corporate representatives — with the help of the national media — tend to frame the issue in legalistic terms, emphasize their expert knowledge in technical and environmental evaluations, and distance themselves from political disputes. We argue that similar tendencies are likely to characterize corporate social responsibility debates more generally.