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  • Bhatti, Khalid M. (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2012)
    International strategic alliances (ISAs) have become increasingly important for the stability, growth, and long-term viability of modern business organizations. Alliance partnerships as inter-firm cooperative ventures represent an influential mechanism for asserting corporate strategic control among autonomous multinational enterprises. These different cooperative arrangements are made of equity investments or contractually-based partnerships. Different alliance forms represent different approaches that partner firms adopt to control their mutual dependence on the alliance and on other partners. Earlier research shows that the partner characteristics could provide an explanation for alliance strategic behavior and see alliances as alternative forms to markets or hierarchies for addressing specific strategic needs linked to partners’ characteristics and their subsequent strategic motives. These characteristics of the partners’ and subsequent strategic motives are analyzed as knowledge sharing factors and how these influence inter-firm control in alliances within the context of the focal-firm STMicroelectronics and its alliance partners Nokia, Ericsson and IBM. This study underline that as contracts are incomplete, they are therefore required to maintain mutual dependence based control mechanisms in addition to a contract. For example, mutual dependence based control mechanisms could be joint financial investments and the building of an ownership structure between the parties (e.g., JVs). However, the present study clarifies that subsequent inter-firm control is also exercised through inter-firm knowledge sharing. The present study contributes by presenting a dynamic interplay between competitive and cooperative rent seeking behavior. Such coopetition behavior describes the firm's strategic orientation to achieve a dynamic balance between competitive and cooperative strategies. This balance is seen in knowledge sharing based cooperation and competition behavior. Thus this study clarifies coopetition strategies by introducing the role of inter-firm cooperation and the competitive nature of knowledge sharing. Simultaneous cooperative and competitive behavior is also seen as synergetic rent-seeking behavior. Therefore, this study extends the perspective of previous studies on competitive and cooperative seeking behavior.
  • Åkerlund, Helena (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2004)
    This dissertation is based on the assumption that fading customer relationships are important phenomena to understand in order for companies to prevent a future relationship termination, manage a desired relationship termination, or manage the situation where the relationship strength temporarily or permanently has weakened but where the customer still stays with the same service provider. It is assumed that fading could take different forms and develop through a range of different processes. The purpose of the thesis is therefore to define and describe fading, reveal different types of fading relationship processes, and discuss the dynamics of these processes. In services literature there is a lack of research focusing on the weakening of customer relationships. Fading therefore represents a new approach to understanding issues related to the ending of customer relationships. A fading relationship process could precede a relationship ending, but could also represent a temporal weakening of the relationship without leading to termination. It thus distinguishes the concept from other concepts within ending research which focus solely on relationships that have been terminated, taking a larger aspect of the relationship into account (as a relationship could build on constant changes). A pilot study created an understanding of difficulties related to understanding and detecting fading customer relationship, which led to a follow-up study incorporating qualitative interviews in relationship dyads characterised as fading with both private banking customers and their respective financial advisor. The focus remained on the understanding of the fading process resulting in a model for analysing different types of fading processes. Four types of fading processes were also revealed; the crash landing process, the altitude drop process, the fizzle out process and the try out process. The dissertation contributes to a broadened understanding of different types of fading processes within the research area of ending relationships emphasising the dynamic aspects of the phenomenon. Managerial implications include the management of different types of fading processes and also the understanding of the financial advisor’s role in influencing the development of these processes. Helena Åkerlund is associated with CERS, the Centre for Relationship Marketing and Service Management at Hanken, Swedish School of Economics and Business Administration, Helsinki
  • Skåtar, Kim (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2004)
    Den klassiska situationen där konsumentinformationen på ett ensidigt sätt tidigare har levererats av företagen får ge vika för en ny situation där dagens konsument aktivt sprider information för att påverka andra konsumenters köpbeslut genom att prata med andra om köpupplevelser och specifika tjänsteleverantörer t ex genom diskussionsgrupper på Internet. För företagen är situationen kritisk då de håller på att mista sina maktmonopol på informationen. Innehållet i pratet är mycket viktigt för mottagarna av pratet eftersom de flesta kunder om de inte själva har upplevt företaget, skapar sina åsikter och förväntningar om företaget samt om dess varor och tjänster på basen av vad andra berättar om saken. Man kan då säga att pratet har fått en viktigare roll vid formandet av konsumtionsbeslutet. Syftet med denna studie är att skapa förståelse för vilka faktorer som initierar och påverkar prat hos kunder i långsiktiga relationer. På basis av de olika resultaten konstruerades en modell som förklarar sambandet mellan faktorerna. Modellens första del visar att prat initieras på basis av långvariga upplevelser i relationer mellan tjänsteleverantör och kund. Modellens andra del visar att pratet påverkas av kundens personliga karaktäristika och relationsrelaterade faktorer som upplevt engagemang i tjänstekategorin och i tjänsteleverantören samt i relationslängden. Modellens tredje del visar att kundernas prat varierar i aktivitet och omfång beroende på valensen av upplevelserna och beroende på om prataren har starka eller svaga band till pratmottagaren. Det är viktigt och mycket aktuellt att öka förståelsen för kunders kommunikationsbeteende ur ett relationsperspektiv. Ur företagsledningssynvinkel är det viktigt att förstå hur kunders prat påverkar utvecklingen av verksamhetsmiljön. Ur praktiskt tillämpningsperspektiv kan en ökad kunskap om pratet vidare hjälpa företaget att fokusera på vad kunderna anser vara viktigt i en relation. Genom att veta vad kunderna pratar om kan företaget förbättra svagheter i verksamheten, och därigenom minska på andelen negativt prat eller uppmuntra kunder att prata om fördelar som relationen med företaget ger åt kunden.
  • Arantola-Hattab, Johanna (Hanken School of Economics, 2013)
    During the past decade value co-creation has been eagerly discussed in service marketing research. Despite the vigorous interest, the discussion has largely stayed on the theoretical level and perhaps led more to confusion than evolution. In business-to-consumer marketing the focus on investigating value has mainly been on the dyad of provider and customer; however the customer has remained an undefined unit in the interactions. This study argues a deeper investigation on co-creation is needed to clarify the value co-creation concept. The purpose of this research is to explore how a family as a customer experiences co-created service value. This study widens the investigation on co-creation beyond the visible interactions between the provider and a single person to cover often for the provider invisible interactions of different family members. The underpinning framework is the Nordic School’s customer-dominant logic (CDL). This study uses qualitative methodology as the approach to study the research topic. The research method applies ethnography to gain knowledge regarding how a specific group of people interacts with the environment. The empirical study consists of interviews and observations of working mothers who interpret their daily lives, responsibilities, and activities. Based on this background, they discuss their experiences and opinions about their banking service. The empirical study illustrates how mothers discuss their individual and family needs with a bank. Thus, this study widens the scope of a single person being a customer and presents the idea of a family as a customer unit. This study contributes to the current theoretical discussion on value co-creation by presenting a categorisation model for investigating different entities of service value co-creation. The model illustrates how experienced service value is a consequence of co-creation covering both visible and invisible interactions of a family. The study illustrates how service value is experienced by a family as a consequence of value co-creation not only in a dyadic interaction between the provider and an individual, but also in the multiple interactions within a family. The managerial contributions give guidance to companies regarding how to extend their understanding of a customer’s experienced service value and how to become better embedded in their customers’ everyday lives. An increased understanding of different entities of co-creation generates new knowledge regarding how companies can sustain valuable relationships with their customers. The findings illustrate it is essential for a bank as a service provider to shift the focus from dyadic interactions to cover also the multiple interactions within a family as a customer unit.
  • Paganus, Solja (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2006)
    This thesis explores Finnish business repatriates’ coping strategies. Managing repatriation has been recognized as a demanding task for companies and an important issue in international human resource management. However, we still know relatively little about how repatriates respond to the demands of the return. This thesis addresses this problem by applying a process approach to coping with repatriation. The focus is on identifying repatriates’ coping strategies and the various forms of them. This study also aims to investigate what might influence the use of repatriates’ coping strategies and forms of coping. The background of this doctoral study is provided by earlier research that identified factors influencing repatriates’ adjustment, either positively or negatively. The empirical material of this doctoral thesis comprises twenty-two Phase I semi-structured interviews and ten Phase II follow-up interviews conducted for the purposes of verification. The main findings of the study are formulated as propositions. For instance, it was suggested that repatriates are likely to use different forms of problem-focused strategy more often than various forms of emotion-focused strategy. Moreover, they also are likely to use a larger range of problem-focused strategies than emotion-focused strategies. In addition, in contrast to specialists, repatriates occupying managerial positions are likely to use a greater number and a greater variety of different forms of problem-focused strategy than of emotion-focused strategy, especially in the context of preparing for their return and in different work role changes. This thesis contributes to research on repatriation, expatriation, coping and identifies implications for management.
  • Felixson, Karl (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2004)
    Functioning capital markets are a crucial part of a competitive economy since they provide the mechanisms to allocate resources. In order to be well functioning a capital market has to be efficient. Market efficiency is defined as a market where prices at any time fully reflect all available information. Basically, this means that abnormal returns cannot be predicted since they are dependent on future, presently unknown, information. The debate of market efficiency has been going on for several decades. Most academics today would probably agree that financial markets are reasonably efficient since virtually nobody has been able to achieve continuous abnormal positive returns. However, it is clear that a set of return anomalies exists, although they are apparently to small to enable substantial economic profit. Moreover, these anomalies can often be attributed to market design. The motivation for this work is to expand the knowledge of short-term trading patterns and to offer some explanations for these patterns. In the first essay the return pattern during the day is examined. On average stock prices move during two time periods of the day, namely, immediately after the opening and around the formal close of the market. Since stock prices, on average, move upwards these abnormal returns are generally positive and cause the distinct U-shape of intraday returns. In the second essay the results in the first essay are examined further. The return pattern around the former close is shown to partly be the result of manipulative action by market participants. In the third essay the focus is shifted towards trading patterns of the underlying stocks on days when index options and index futures on the stocks expire. Generally no expiration day effect was found. However, some indication of an expiration day effect was found when a large amount of open in- or at-the-money contracts existed. Also, the effects were likelier to be found for shares with high index-weight but fairly low trading volume. Last, in the forth essay the attention is turned to the behaviour of different tax clienteles around the dividend ex-day. Two groups of investors showed abnormal trading behaviour. Domestic non-financial investors, especially domestic companies, showed a dividend capturing behaviour, i.e. buying cum-dividend and selling ex-dividend shares. The opposite behaviour was found for foreign investors and domestic financial institutions. The effect was more notable for high yield, high volume stocks.
  • Forss, Maria (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2014)
    Den här avhandlingen handlar om hur fortbildning arrangeras för sjukskötare i en finländsk sjukvårdsorganisation. Fortbildning är viktig för organisationer och anses vara ett strategiskt verktyg för att möta, bemästra och skapa förändringar. Forskning kring fortbildning kretsar ofta kring pedagogiska lösningar eller lärande där fortbildning uppfattas som något neutralt. Min avhandling tillför forskning om fortbildning ett maktperspektiv och ett retoriskt perspektiv och jag behandlar inte fortbildning som något enbart positivt eftersom fortbildning även är handlingar med potential för normativ kontroll. Jag utgår ifrån att fortbildning är partisk och värdeladdad. Min titel för avhandlingen syftar på den mångbottnade förståelse som kan skönjas i begreppet fortbildning. Det finns begränsad forskning vilken ser fortbildning som uttryck för sammanhang och helheter. Inte heller finns forskning som ser arrangemangen kring fortbildning som handlingar vilka skapar/fråntar anställda makt eller forskning som ser fortbildning som uttryck för självreglerande handlingar. Det är till denna mindre uppmärksammade sida som jag riktar mitt vetenskapliga bidrag. Jag har tematiskt intervjuat sjukskötare och ledare samt utbildningsplanerare. Dessutom har jag analyserat organisationens texter om och för fortbildning samt observerat två olika fortbildningar. Avhandlingen är en omfattande fallstudie som bygger på 31 intervjuer av 23 informanter och på två olika icke-deltagande observationer. Jag har koncentrerat, kategoriserat och tematiserat mitt material och byggt broar mellan det som kan förefalla motsägelsefullt med hjälp av kritisk hermeneutik för att presentera det som resultat. Sedan har resultatet tolkats med hjälp av en konstruerad analysmodell som bygger på två olika analyslinser. Den ena är den kommunikativt handlande linsen och den andra linsen är governmentality. Resultaten nås således genom att analysera fortbildningsaktiviteter med hjälp av två olika teorier, kommunikativt handlande och governmentality. Från de tre viktigaste aktörernas perspektiv försöker jag skapa en helhetsbild av fortbildning som fenomen. Fortbildning granskas från tre aktörers perspektiv samtidigt och på detaljnivå med syftet att fånga en helhet. Som vetenskapligt bidrag är detta en kritisk organisationsstudie av HR verksamhet med fokus på fortbildning. Jag demonstrerar hur ledningens förväntningar och anställdas förväntningar kring fortbildning omöjligt kan mötas om det inte finns vilja, initiativ och plats för dem. Makt och positioner kan inte separeras från retoriska handlingar, något jag visar i avhandlingen.
  • Wang, Peng (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2014)
    This dissertation consists of four self-contained papers. The first two of them concern pyramidal ownership structure, the third one deals with dual-board system, and the last one explores the contemporaneous relation between foreign investment flows and local equity returns. I choose the Chinese stock market as my laboratory. China will soon become the largest economy in the world, and China’s domestic stock markets are growing up rapidly since their establishment in the early 1990s. According to the World Federation of Exchanges (WFE), the number of listed companies in the two domestic stock markets, i.e., the Shanghai Stock Exchange and the Shenzhen Stock Exchange reaches 2,491 with a total market capitalization of 3.7 trillion of U.S. dollars at the end of 2012. Despite this fast growth, extant studies on the Chinese stock market are still limited in scope. Perhaps because researchers’ perceptions on Chinese listed firms still remain with older patterns, such as the dominance of state-owned enterprises (SOEs), the corrupted bureaucracy, the politically-appointed executives, and a market that is inaccessible to foreign investors. In this regard, one of my objectives in this dissertation is to provide some new insights into the modern corporate finance issues among Chinese listed firms. The first essay examines the ownership structure of the Chinese Growth Enterprise Market (GEM). I show that 46% of sample firms are set up in the pyramidal structure. Further, I demonstrate that the owners of most firms in the GEM are families, which stands in stark contrast with the firms listed on the main board in China, which are state-owned. The second essay is naturally an extension of the first one, we investigate Initial Public Offerings (IPOs) of firms on the GEM. The likelihood of a pyramid structure increases with the size of the IPO firm and state control. Our results do not suggest that pyramids are set up to overcome financial constraints. However, we document that pyramid IPOs are discounted before the IPO. The price to book ratio estimated at the subscription price is significantly lower for pyramid IPOs compared to stand-alone IPOs. The third one examines board effectiveness and independence by studying all firms listed in China from 2000 to 2009. I find a significant inverse relationship between supervisory board size and firm performance. This result indicates that large supervisory board size per se causes free-rider and communication or coordination problems, as occurs with boards of directors. The last essay examines the trading behavior and price effects of foreign institutions under the celebrated Qualified Foreign Institutional Investor (QFII) scheme on all non-financial firms in the Chinese A-share markets. I find that foreign institutions in the Chinese A-share markets do not show positive or negative feedback trading; however, their flows have a strong impact on future equity returns because of informational advantage.
  • Tötterman, Henrik (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2008)
    This study focuses on self-employed industrial designers and how they emerge new venture ideas. More specifically, this study strives to determine what design entrepreneurs do when they create new venture ideas, how venture ideas are nurtured into being, and how the processes are organized to bring such ideas to the market in the given industrial context. In contemporary times when the concern for the creative class is peaking, the research and business communities need more insight of the kind that this study provides, namely how professionals may contribute to their entrepreneurial processes and other agents’ business processes. On the one hand, the interviews underlying this study suggest that design entrepreneurs may act as reactive service providers who are appointed by producers or marketing parties to generate product-related ideas on their behalf. On the other hand, the interviews suggest that proactive behaviour that aims on generating own venture ideas, may force design entrepreneurs to take considerable responsibility in organizing their entrepreneurial processes. Another option is that they strive to bring venture ideas to the market in collaboration, or by passing these to other agents’ product development processes. Design entrepreneurs’ venture ideas typically emerge from design related starting points and observations. Product developers are mainly engaged with creating their own ideas, whereas service providers refer mainly to the development of other agents’ venture ideas. In contrast with design entrepreneurs, external actors commonly emphasize customer demand as their primary source for new venture ideas, as well as development of these in close interaction with available means of production and marketing. Consequently, design entrepreneurs need to address market demand since without sales their venture ideas may as well be classified as art. In case, they want to experiment with creative ideas, then there should be another source of income to support this typically uncertain and extensive process. Currently, it appears like a lot of good venture ideas and resources are being wasted, when venture ideas do not suite available production or business procedures. Sufficient communication between design entrepreneurs and other agents would assist all parties in developing production efficient and distributable venture ideas. Overall, the findings suggest that design entrepreneurs are often involved simultaneously in several processes that aim at emerging new product related ventures. Consequently, design entrepreneurship is conceptualized in this study as a dual process. This implies that design entrepreneurs can simultaneously be in charge of their entrepreneurial processes, as they operate as resources in other agents’ business processes. The interconnection between activities and agents suggests that these kinds of processes tend to be both complex and multifaceted to their nature.
  • Khoreva, Violetta (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2012)
    A growing awareness of gender inequality as well as a conviction that it should be eliminated has produced a number of studies aiming at uncovering its reasons. Much less attention has been given to the subjective dimension of how individuals perceive gender inequality. One of the main elements of gender inequality, the gender pay gap, has also received considerable attention by scholars all around the world. However, several researchers documented that their respondents did not perceive the existence of the gender pay gap, even when the gap could be clearly demonstrated from statistical sources. Besides, previous studies on organizational justice have come to somewhat inconsistent conclusions regarding gender differences in the effect of equity and organizational justice on organizational commitment. Examining whether and to what extent people perceive gender inequality and the gender pay gap to exist can help answering the question of why gender inequality and the gender pay gap persist. Furthermore, studying why, even though female employees tend to earn less than their comparable male counterparts, they often continue to be committed to their organizations to the same or even greater extent than their male colleagues is indeed a question of interest. Against the background of the above discussion, this thesis aims to examine how individuals with different backgrounds and employees from different workplaces perceive gender inequality, the gender pay gap, and react to pay inequity. The findings indicate that far more employees perceive gender inequality in society in general rather than in their own workplaces, which means that while employees realize that there are problems in Finnish society concerning gender inequality as a whole, they tend not to perceive the existence of this very problem in their own workplaces. The finding that employees in lower hierarchical positions perceived workplace gender inequality to a greater extent than employees in higher hierarchical positions was the least expected. This finding suggests that those employees, who are in higher hierarchical positions, are least likely to see the problem of gender inequality. Finally, the findings show that female employees tend not to perceive an income differential in the first place. The thesis thus provides evidence that female employees react to a lesser extent to pay disparities by continuing to be highly committed towards their organizations. These differences are partly explained by factors related to social comparisons and gender socialization.
  • Jiang, Yanqing (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2009)
    Growth and Convergence: The Case of China Since the initiation of economic reforms in 1978, China has become one of the world’s fast-growing economies. The rapid growth, however, has not been shared equally across the different regions in China. The prominent feature of substantial differences in incomes and growth rates across the different Chinese regions has attracted the attention of many researchers. This book focuses on issues related to economic growth and convergence across the Chinese regions over the past three decades. The book has eight chapters. Apart from an introduction chapter and a concluding chapter, all the other chapters each deal with some certain aspects of the central issue of regional growth and convergence across China over the past three decades. The whole book is organized as follows. Chapter 1 provides an introduction to the basic issues involved in this book. Chapter 2 tests economic growth and convergence across 31 Chinese provinces during 1981-2005, based on the theoretical framework of the Solow growth model. Chapter 3 investigates the relationship between openness to foreign economic activities, such as foreign trade and foreign direct investment, and the regional economic growth in the case of China during 1981-2005. Chapter 4, based on data of 31 Chinese provinces over the period 1980-2004, presents new evidence on the effects of structural shocks and structural transformation on growth and convergence among the Chinese regions. Chapter 5, by building up an empirical model that takes account of different potential effects of foreign direct investment, focuses on the impacts of foreign direct investment on China’s regional economic performance and growth. Chapter 6 reconsiders the growth and convergence problem of the Chinese regions in an alternative theoretical framework with endogenous saving behavior and capital mobility across regions. Chapter 7, by building up a theoretical model concerning comparative advantage and transaction efficiency, focuses on one of the potential mechanisms through which China achieves its fast economic growth over the past few decades. Chapter 8 concludes the book by summarizing the results from the previous chapters and suggesting directions for further studies.
  • Lehtonen, Veli-Matti (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2007)
    Tutkimuksessa selvitetään, edistääkö Suomen valtionhallinnossa tuotettava henkilöstötilinpäätösinformaatio henkilöstöprosesseihin perustuvan henkilöstöstrategian tehokasta toteuttamista. Tutkimuksen uutuusarvo alan kansainvälisen tutkimuksen kentässä perustuu laaja-alaiseen tarkastelunäkökulmaan. Tämän mahdollisti tutkimuskohteena olevasta ilmiöstä käytössä oleva monipuolinen, yhtenäisiin käsitteisiin perustuva ja useita vuosia koskeva henkilöstötilinpäätöksen tunnuslukuaineisto. Aikaisempien tutkimusten usein yksittäisiin tekijöihin perustuvasta analyysistä poiketen, tutkimuksella selvitettiin henkilöstön johtamiseen ja tuloksellisuuteen sidoksissa olevien tekijöiden vaikutuksia laajoina kokonaisuuksina, koskien kaikkia henkilöstön johtamisprosesseja. Tutkimus avaa uusia näköaloja henkilöstöinformaation hyväksikäytölle henkilöstön eri johtamisprosesseissa, jotka liittyvät saumattomasti organisaation toimintaan ja kokonaisjohtamiseen. Käytetty henkilöstön johtamisprosessikeskeinen tarkastelukulma auttaa ymmärtämään henkilöstön osaamisen, motivaation, työhyvinvoinnin, johtamisen ja palkinnan yhteyksiä sekä toisiinsa että organisaation pitkäjänteiseen toimintaan ja tuloksellisuuteen. Tutkimuksen keskeinen tavoite on motivoida johtoa, esimiehiä ja HR -ammattilaisia entistä enemmän hyväksikäyttämään henkilöstöön liittyvää analysoitua tietoa henkilöstöstrategioiden teon ja käytäntöön viennin, johtamisen ja henkilöstösuunnittelun apuvälineenä.
  • Kedzior, Richard (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2014)
    Changes in consumption related to digital technologies, digitization and the emergence of new media have been topics of great interest to both academics and managers. The backbone of all these changes, the Internet has penetrated consumers’ daily lives and changed the way they work, shop and socialize. The new digital spaces (e.g., social networking sites, massively multiplayer online games, or online virtual worlds) have become important conduits for sociality and consumption as evidenced by the time and money consumers spend online. Yet, frequently the social, cultural and economic significance of digital worlds has been dismissed due to their “immaterial” character. The evidence discussed in this volume demonstrates that consumers experience digital worlds as material, yet materiality in this instance transcends the conventional notions of tangibility and physicality. Thus, this study introduces the concept of digital materiality to more accurately describe the phenomenon of materiality in digital environments, and focuses on the ways in which it emerges in digital worlds. To this end, presented here conceptual framework maps out five distinct processes through which digital worlds become material to their consumers. Each of these processes is driven by a set of consumer motivations which correspond to consumer perceptions of digital materiality. Apart from the theoretical and conceptual contributions to academic literature, this research offers a number of managerial implications which can benefit professionals working with digital media. The ideas discussed here may be especially valuable for public policy makers and product managers struggling with the inherent instability of digital materiality. Some of the insights can also cast light on ways in which businesses could expand their market offering by complementing existing product lines with either digital or physical components. This interdisciplinary work is positioned within Consumer Culture Theory and Digital Consumption Studies, and draws on the extant literature in consumer research, cultural studies, anthropology, and human-computer interaction. Richard Kedzior is an Assistant Professor of Markets, Innovation and Design at the School of Management, Bucknell University. He is a consumer researcher who studies phenomena at the intersection of technology and culture.
  • Finne, Åke (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2004)
    Den här avhandlingen erbjuder ett nytt perspektiv på marknadskommunikation. Det nya är ett starkt kundfokus, där kunden är en aktiv medpart i kommunikationsprocessen. I det traditionella kommunikationsperspektivet har man sett kunden som ett objekt som blir utsatt för företagets olika åtgärder. Där har det varit företaget som stått för integreringen av de olika budskapen. I det här arbetet står kunden för integrationen och har därmed möjligheten att lägga till budskap eller lämna bort någonting väsentligt. I och med perspektivskiftet kan man upptäcka nya fenomen i kommunikation som inte tidigare beaktats i tillräcklig utsträckning. Eftersom det är kunden som står för den aktiva konstruktionen av budskap, kan kundens uppfattning vara en annan än den som företagen avsett. Kundens uppfattning kan beskrivas med hjälp av begreppen tydlig, otydlig och tyst kommunikation. Inom ramen för tyst kommunikation utvecklas ett nytt begrepp – passiv kommunikation – som kan öppna möjligheter för företag att minska på den aktiva kommunikationen med sina kunder. Även källorna till den här kommunikationen kan variera. Dylika källor kan lokaliseras till relation, händelse eller konsekvens. Dessa fenomen har sammanställts i en modell som kallas relationskommunikationsarenan. Kundernas uppfattningar varierar beroende på om det är fråga om relationskommunikation eller annan kommunikation. Dessa uppfattningar är strukturerade i två olika dimensioner: en tids- och en kontextdimension. Tidsdimensionen består av historiska och framtidsrelaterade faktorer och kontextdimensionen är en situationsdimension som består av interna, personliga faktorer och av externa faktorer i omgivningen. I relations-kommunikation förekommer faktorer från alla dimensioner. Modellen för denna struktur kallas den dynamiska kommunikationsmodellen. I avhandlingen utvecklas även en metod – kommunikationstopografi – med vars hjälp olika uppfattningar kan visualiseras på ett åskådligt sätt. Med topografierna kan olika budskap som annonser analyseras och tydliga, otydliga samt tysta budskap separeras. På motsvarande sätt kan även olika grupper av personer som uppfattar budskap på ett visst sätt särskiljas. Både budskap och personer analyseras här. Förekomsten av relationskommunikation kan i en del fall påvisas. Med kommunikationstopografi kan man visa hur den aktiva kunden konstruerar, lägger till eller lämnar bort budskap.
  • Haldin-Herrgård, Tua (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2005)
    Det tysta kunnandet utgör en stor del av kunskapsresursen både hos oss som individer och i arbetsorganisationerna. Trots att vi omger oss med böcker, manualer och databaser, som alla är exempel på explicit kunskap, så är det ”den rätta känslan”, erfarenheten och våra färdigheter som avgör om och hur vi klarar av våra uppgifter. Dessa begrepp är alla relaterade till den tysta dimensionen av kunskap. En dimension som traditionellt karaktäriserats som abstrakt, individuell, omedveten, praktisk, erfarenhetsbaserad och framför allt svår att uttrycka. Alla dessa är karaktärsdrag som ställt speciella krav inom kunskapsforskning och -ledning. Resultatet av detta är att både forskning och ledning av det tysta kunnandet har åsidosatts till förmån för forskning och ledning av explicit kunskap. Ett bidragande problem har varit bristen på lämpliga metoder för att ur ett företagsekonomiskt perspektiv studera och leda tyst kunnande. Ett annat problem har varit oklarhet i begreppet tyst kunskap. Detta har lett till brist på förståelse och/eller missförstånd. För att råda bot på svårigheten att uttrycka vårt tysta kunnande har människan utvecklat olika begrepp som i vår vardagskommunikation symboliserar tyst kunnande. Begrepp som intuition, människokännedom, förhandlingsförmåga och kultur används vanligt och med dem uttrycker vi den tysta dimensionen av kunnande. Dessa begrepp utgör även grunden för den intervjumetod som utvecklats för att empiriskt studera eller i ledningssyfte kartlägga tyst kunnande. Metoden använder dessa ”Epitet för Tyst Kunskap” (ETK) som bas för stimuluskort-intervjuer. Intervjuer som visat sig öka möjligheten att utforska och kartlägga tyst kunnande i organisationer oberoende av om man är forskare eller företagsledare.
  • Ravald, Annika (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2008)
    Värdeforskningen inom marknadsföringen har traditionellt fokuserat på utbyten och det upplevda värdet av företagets produkter. Den gängse synen på värde har därför också utmärkts av en produktions- och transaktionsorienterad syn där värde anses produceras i företagets processer och sedan överlåts till kunden i samband med ett utbyte. I den här studien betraktas värde i stället ur ett kund- och relationsbaserat perspektiv. Utgångspunkten är att värde för kunden är något som företaget vare sig kan producera eller leverera. Kunden betraktas i den här studien därför som subjekt i sin egen värdeskapande process, medan varor, tjänster och kundens relationer till olika företag betraktas som resurser eller objekt i kundens egna värdeskapande aktiviteter. Tyngdpunkten flyttas från företaget som värdeskapare till kunden som värdeskapare vilket innebär en omarbetad logik för värdeskapande. Det relationsbaserade perspektivet på värde vidgar ytterligare synen på hur värde uppkommer för kunden. Studien visar att kundens värdeskapande kontext omfattar mer än enbart produkten och den värdebedömning som görs i en köpsituation. Detta påtalar behovet av att man analyserar hur värde uppkommer för kunden över tiden och ur ett helhetsperspektiv. Studiens syfte är att analysera hur värde uppkommer för kunden – i vilka aktiviteter och med vilka resurser. Målet är att finna en balans i synen på relationen mellan kund och företag och att lära om hur företagets marknadsföringsprocesser kan utvecklas genom att kundens egna värdeskapande aktiviteter analyseras. Studien är inriktad på konsumentmarknaden och den empiriska miljön utgörs av bilägare som intervjuats med en longitudinell ansats. Avhandlingen utmynnar i en teoretisk referensram om hur värde uppkommer för kunden. Olika dimensioner av värdebegreppet identifieras och analyseras och en kund- och relationsbaserad värdeterminologi utvecklas. I stället för att analysera det upplevda värdet av företagets produkt uppmanas marknadsföraren här att analysera hur värde uppkommer för kunden som individ över tiden. Detta uppnås genom att företaget lär känna kundens värdeskapande kontext i syfte att förstå var (i vilka aktiviteter) och hur (under vilka premisser) värde uppkommer för kunden. På basis av denna information kan företaget ta ställning till sin roll i kundens värdeskapande process och även visionera om vilken roll företaget kunde ha.
  • Gripenberg, Pernilla (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2005)
    This thesis explores the relationship between humans and ICTs (information and communication technologies). As ICTs are increasingly penetrating all spheres of social life, their role as mediators – between people, between people and information, and even between people and the natural world – is expanding, and they are increasingly shaping social life. Yet, we still know little of how our life is affected by their growing role. Our understanding of the actors and forces driving the accelerating adoption of new ICTs in all areas of life is also fairly limited. This thesis addresses these problems by interpretively exploring the link between ICTs and the shaping of society at home, in the office, and in the community. The thesis builds on empirical material gathered in three research projects, presented in four separate essays. The first project explores computerized office work through a case study. The second is a regional development project aiming at increasing ICT knowledge and use in 50 small-town families. In the third, the second project is compared to three other longitudinal development projects funded by the European Union. Using theories that consider the human-ICT relationship as intertwined, the thesis provides a multifaceted description of life with ICTs in contemporary information society. By oscillating between empirical and theoretical investigations and balancing between determinist and constructivist conceptualisations of the human-ICT relationship, I construct a dialectical theoretical framework that can be used for studying socio-technical contexts in society. This framework helps us see how societal change stems from the complex social processes that surround routine everyday actions. For example, interacting with and through ICTs may change individuals’ perceptions of time and space, social roles, and the proper ways to communicate – changes which at some point in time result in societal change in terms of, for example, new ways of acting and knowing things.
  • Rindell, Anne (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2008)
    Images and brands have been topics of great interest in both academia and practice for a long time. The company’s image, which in this study is considered equivalent to the actual corporate brand, has become a strategic issue and one of the company’s most valuable assets. In contrast to mainstream corporate branding research focusing on consumerimages as steered and managed by the company, in the present study a genuine consumer-focus is taken. The question is asked: how do consumers perceive the company, and especially, how are their experiences of the company over time reflected in the corporate image? The findings indicate that consumers’ corporate images can be seen as being constructed through dynamic relational processes based on a multifaceted network of earlier images from multiple sources over time. The essential finding is that corporate images have a heritage. In the thesis, the concept of image heritage is introduced, which stands for the consumer’s earlier company-related experiences from multiple sources over time. In other words, consumers construct their images of the company based on earlier recalled images, perhaps dating back many years in time. Therefore, corporate images have roots - an image heritage – on which the images are constructed in the present. For companies, image heritage is a key for understanding consumers, and thereby also a key for consumer-focused branding strategies and activities. As image heritage is the consumer’s interpretation base and context for image constructions here and now, branding strategies and activities that meet this consumer-reality has a potential to become more effective. This thesis is positioned in the tradition of The Nordic School of Marketing Thought and introduces a relational dynamic perspective into branding through consumers’ image heritage. Anne Rindell is associated to CERS, the Center for Relationship Marketing and Service Management at the Swedish School of Economics and Business Administration.
  • Salojärvi, Sari (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2005)
    This study explores the role and nature of knowledge management (KM) in small and medium-sized companies (SMEs). Even though the role of knowledge as a competitive advantage is commonly recognized in the SME sector, almost no attention has been paid to the managing and developing of knowledge in SMEs. This thesis consists of three different sub-studies that were reported in four individual essays. The results of the questionnaire study indicate that nearly all companies that responded to the questionnaire (N = 108) found intangible assets, i.e. knowledge resources to be their main source of competitive advantage. However, only less than a third of the companies actively deal with knowledge management. The results also indicate a significant correlation between activity in knowledge management and sustainable organic growth of the company. The interview study (N = 10) explored the context and motives of the SMEs for managing their intangible assets, and the concrete practices of knowledge management. It turned out that KM facilitated change management, clarification of the vision and new strategy formulation. All the interviewed companies were aiming at improved innovation process, new ways of doing business and attaining an increased “knowledge focus” in their business. Nearly all also aspired to grow significantly. Thus, KM provides a strategy for these SMEs to guarantee their survival and sustainability in the turbulent markets. The action research was a process to assess and develop intangible resources in three companies. The experienced benefits were the clarification of future focus and strategy, creation of a common language to discuss strategic issues within the company, as well as improved balance of different categories of intangible assets. After the process all the case companies had developed in the chosen key areas. Thus, by systematic knowledge management the implementation of new strategic orientation (knowledge focusing) was facilitated. The findings can be summarized in two main points. First, knowledge management seems to serve the purpose of change, renewal and new strategic orientation in the SMEs. It also seems to be closely related to organic growth and innovation. All of these factors can be considered dimensions of entrepreneurship. Second, the conscious development of intangible assets can increase the balance of different categories of intangible assets and the overall knowledge focusing of business. In the case companies, this in turn facilitated the path to the improved overall performance.