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  • Holmqvist, Jonas (Swedish School of Economics and Business Administration, 2009-04-24)
    A defining characteristic of most service encounters is that they are strongly influenced by interactions in which both the consumer and the service personnel are playing integral roles. Such is the importance of this interaction that it has even been argued that for the consumer, these encounters are in fact the service. Given this, it is not surprising that interactions involving communication and customer participation in the service encounters have received considerable attention within the field of services marketing. Much of the research on interactions and communication in services, however, appear to have assumed that the consumer and the service personnel by definition are perfectly able to interact and communicate effortlessly with each other. Such communication would require a common language, and in order to be able to take this for granted the market would need to be fairly homogenous. The homogenous country, however, and with it the homogenous market, would appear to be gone. It is estimated that more than half the consumers in the world are already speaking more than one language. For a company entering a new market, language can be a major barrier that firms may underestimate, and understanding language influence across different markets is important for international companies. The service literature has taken a common language between companies and consumers for granted but this is not matched by the realities on the ground in many markets. Owing to the communicational and interaction-oriented nature of services, the lack of a common language between the consumer and the service provider is a situation that could cause problems. A gap exists in the service theory, consisting of a lack of knowledge concerning how language influences consumers in service encounters. By addressing this gap, the thesis contributes to an increased understanding of service theory and provides a better practical understanding for service companies of the importance of native language use for consumers. The thesis consists of four essays. Essay one is conceptual and addresses how sociolinguistic research can be beneficial for understanding consumer language preferences. Essay two empirically shows how the influence of language varies depending on the nature of the service, essay three shows that there is a significant difference in language preferences between female and male consumers while essay four empirically compares consumer language preferences in Canada and Finland, finding strong similarities but also indications of difference in the motives for preferring native language use. The introduction of the thesis outlines the existence of a research gap within the service literature, a gap consisting of the lack of research into how native language use may influence consumers in service encounters. In addition, it is described why this gap is of importance to services and why its importance is growing. Building on this situation, the purpose of the thesis is to establish the existence of language influence in service encounters and to extend the knowledge of how language influences consumers on multilingual markets.
  • Vatanen, Annika (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2003-10-18)
    The successful interaction between leaders and their followers is central to the overall functioning of a company. The increasingly multinational nature of modern business and the resulting multicultural and increasingly heterogeneous workforce imposes specific challenges to the development of high-quality work relationships. The Western multinational companies that have started operations in China are facing these challenges. This study examines the quality of leader-follower relationships between Western expatriate leaders and their Chinese followers as well as between Chinese leaders and their Chinese followers in Western-owned subsidiaries in China. The focus is on the influence of personal, interpersonal and behavioural factors (personality, values, cultural knowledge, perceived and actual similarity, interactional justice, and follower performance) and the work-related implications of these relationships (job attitudes and organisational citizenship behaviour). One interesting finding of this study is that Chinese followers have higher perceptions of their Western than their Chinese leaders. The results also indicate that Chinese and Western leaders’ perceptions of their followers are not influenced favourably by the same follower characteristics. In a similar vein, Chinese followers value different traits in Western versus Chinese leaders. These results, as well as the numerous more specific findings of the study, have practical implications for international human resource management and areas such as selection, placement and training. Due to the different effect of personal and interpersonal factors across groups, it is difficult to achieve the “perfect match” between leader and follower characteristics that simultaneously contribute to high-quality relationships for Chinese and Western leaders as well as for followers. However, the results indicate that the ability of organisations to enhance the quality of leader-follower relations by selecting and matching people with suitable characteristics may provide an effective means for organisations to increase positive job attitudes and hence influence work-related outcomes.
  • Laukkanen, Seppo (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2012-05-16)
    Exploration and exploitation complement one another in the organizational learning. Exploration fosters the ability to diversify, while exploitation increases specialization. Together, these two modes promote innovation and subsequent organizational renewal. While exploration facilitates the discovery of new knowledge, exploitation merges this knowledge with previously held knowledge and skills to expand and strengthen the firm. The current scientific literature falls short in explaining in practical terms how this fusion takes place, produces innovations, and renews the strategy of an organization. By leveraging an intimate relationship with the innovation activities of a large-scale multinational enterprise, Laukkanen created an Integrated Process Model of the interplay between ambidextrous innovation activities and the strategy and structure development of a company. The Integrated Process Model highlights the conversion between exploration and exploitation as the central mechanism for establishing a dialogue that fosters reciprocal adjustment between the innovation activity, strategy and structure of the firm. The study identified three conversion patterns that bring the discoveries from the exploration mode to the commercial realm. In the ‘linear’ pattern, the innovation activities execute the fine-grained strategy with the established structure of the company. The linear innovation activities produce incremental innovations that sustain the strategy of the firm. In the ‘transforming’ pattern, an iterative conversion process facilitates concurrent reciprocal adjustments in the innovation activity and strategy and structure of the firm. The adjustments of the strategy and structure are necessary for radical innovations. In the ‘experimenting’ conversion pattern, the activity is intermittently connected to the strategy and structure development of the company. The intermittent connection provides the experimenting activity with the latitude to craft new business entries outside the traditional domain of the company. The intermittent connection between the innovation activity and strategy and structure implies that the strategic learning takes place primarily in retrospect to the experiment. The research illuminated ambidexterity as an eclectic organizational learning phenomenon that cuts through the fabric of an organization. The study captured the ambidexterity phenomenon on three ‘presentation layers’. Ambidexterity was identified both in actions and in their concrete outcomes, i.e. innovations. Additionally, ambidexterity left observable traces on the realized strategy of the firm. Each presentation layer of ambidexterity needs to be managed on its own. However, the study argues that the most decisive factor in making ambidexterity productive is the purposefulness of the continuum across these presentation layers. The three identified innovation patterns represent alternative paths from ambidextrous activities to their eventual outcomes. The Integrated Process Model of ambidexterity provides a conceptualization for actualizing ambidexterity to the strategic benefit of a company. This study provides guidance for firms seeking to promote ambidextrous activities for innovations and organizational renewal.
  • Niemi, Hertta (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2010-11-10)
    Parliaments are political institutions, but they are also places where people work; the MPs and the people who are employed there work, albeit in rather different ways. In this research the focus is on those in a Parliament who work there as employees and managers, and thereby, in some senses, run the organisation. Accordingly, this involves seeing the Parliament as a working environment, for MPs and employees, for men and women. The institution of Parliament is thus here examined by looking at it from a different and new angle. Instead of the usual focus on politicians the focus is on the administration of this institution. The aim is, amongst other things, to increase knowledge and offer different perspectives on democracy and democratic institutions. Unpacking the nearly mythical institution into smaller, more digestible, graspable realities should at the very least help to remind the wider society that although nations, to a certain extent, do need national institutions they should not become mystified or seen as larger than life. Institutions should work on behalf of people and thus be accountable to these same people. The main contribution of this work is to explore and problematise how managing and working is done inside an institution that both largely fulfils the characteristics of a bureaucracy and yet also has added special features that seem to be rather far removed from clear bureaucratic structures. This research offers a new kind of information on working life inside this elite institution. The joys and the struggles of working and managing in this particular public sector organisation are illustrated here and offer a view, a glimpse, into the experiences of managing and working in this House.
  • Sandhu, Maqsood (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2005-11-15)
    The driving force behind this study is the gap between the reality of the firms engaged in project business and the available studies covering project management and business process development. Previous studies show that project-based organizations were ‘immature’ in terms of the project-management ‘maturity model’, as few firms were found to be optimizing processes. Even within those, very little attention was paid to combine inter-organizational and intra-organizational perspectives. In this study an effort is made to elaborate some thoughts and views on project management, which interrelate firms’ external and internal activities. In line with the integration, the dissertation uses an approach to the management of project-business interdependencies in the networks of actors, activities and resources. Firstly, the study develops an understanding for inter-organizational perspectives by exploring the complementarities of process activities in the basic development of project business. It presents a framework that is elaborated on the basis of the reciprocal interactions of activities within and outside the organization—thus providing a coherent basis for continuous business-process improvement. In addition, the study presents new tools that can be used to develop project-business processes in each of its functional areas. The research demonstrates how project-business activities can be optimized using the right resources at the right time with the right actors and the right actions. The selected five articles included in this dissertation explain the basic framework for the development of project business. Each paper covers various aspects of inter-organizational and intra-organizational perspectives for project management. The study develops a valuable and procedural model for business-process improvement using the Delphi method that can be used not only in academia but also as a guide for practitioners that takes them through a series of well-defined steps when making informed, consistent and efficient changes to their business processes.
  • Harilainen, Hanna-Riitta (Hanken School of Economics, 2014-04-14)
    Supply chains are increasingly global, often reaching to developing regions. The media pressure brand owners to be responsible, but a product is only as sustainable as the practices of all the companies involved in manufacturing it are. It’s not enough that the brand owner acts responsibly; sustainable practices have to reach component and raw material suppliers upstream. Image risk has often been recognized as reason for investing in sustainability. In the supply chain context, supplier misconduct also presents a supply risk. Smooth flow of goods is at stake. Examples of this are strikes and the breaking of environmental laws that cause line stops at supplier factories. These realized supplier sustainability risks seldom receive media attention or reach consumer consciousness; however, they potentially cause challenges in availability and supply. The sophistication of supplier sustainability risk management varies by company, and managers are often unaware of its enablers. The topic of supplier sustainability risks is not yet sufficiently addressed in the literature, despite its increasing importance. This research utilizes grounded theory methodology, an inductive approach in which theory is seen as emerging from the data. The chosen methodology particularly suits situations where the subject area has not yet been studied and can give fresh insights. Empirical data were gathered from the managers of six Finnish multinational companies, and the perceptions of the interviewed supply chain and sustainability managers were used to relate the findings at the company level. The key finding of this study is the importance of supply risk as a potential driver for investments in supplier sustainability. A company’s supply chain strategies are linked to its vulnerability to incidents in the supply chain, while the sophistication of sourcing practices is linked to the vulnerability to outcome of such incidents. A company’s position in the supply chain drives risk focus on reputational risk and/or supply risk and sourcing’s incentive structure together with risk awareness drive the proactive or reactive management of supplier sustainability risk. This research contributes to both supply chain risk management and sustainable supply chain management literature. Managers can utilize the framework to understand when proactive supplier sustainability risk management makes sense and what its enablers are.
  • Díaz Ruiz, Carlos A (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2014-08-05)
    From street activists to corporate managers, a rising debate is questioning whether markets can be reimagined to meet environmental, social and corporate goals. However, one problem to advance the debate is that markets are often evoked but not investigated; in other words, pundits rely on representations of what a market is and how it works often lacking correspondence with actual markets. Subsequently, the dynamics in the correspondence between representation and markets constitute an important and topical gap of knowledge whose investigation can be fruitful to restructure how markets and society interact. At the core of this dissertation is the concept of market representations where complex social reality is simplified into coherent, yet incomplete views of how markets work either now or in the future. Market representations are important because of their capacity to enable and constrain a repertoire of actions for acting in markets. As such, market representations are conceptualized to be “in action” - following the performativity turn in marketing literature – by investigating how the world of ideas has effects in the real world. Therefore, by providing conceptual foundations and empirical evidence, this dissertation demonstrates that representational practices are part and parcel of acting in markets. The dissertation is composed by four essays spanning a wide range of methods: literature review, a qualitative in-depth analysis, quantitative testing and content analysis. Essay one focuses on the assumptions mobilized about markets in literature originating in marketing and economic sociology. Findings reveal that commonly held beliefs about markets- such as competition, profit maximization, the centrality of exchange and the existence of supply and demand - are assumptions that are not featured in every market. Essay two mobilizes in-depth methods to investigate how commercial market researchers put together representations for their clients. The study tracks how market researchers select and privilege representational objects to create unique representations for their clients to act. Essay three presents quantitative evidence suggesting that market representations can constrain and enable a repertoire of managerial actions. In the context of business marketing, the study demonstrates that the form how the market is understood can have an effect on the actions that managers find relevant and appropriate. Essay four investigates how market research reports are assembled. By analyzing how market representations are assembled, the study explains how market researchers move back and forth between a concern to be accurate and a concern to be actionable. Overall, this dissertation contributes to the subfields of market studies and consumer culture theory in marketing by providing the conceptual foundations and empirical evidence for representations. The debate on the interaction of markets and society is enriched by understanding how assumptions about markets correspond to repertoires of actions.
  • Laakso, Mikael (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2014-05-13)
    Scientific journal publishing as a practice was established almost 350 years ago, having since become the main mechanism for publishing advances in academic research. As time has passed the practices of peer-review and journal publishing have become increasingly established and professional. The financial circumstances for operating a scientific journal were long dictated by the necessity of distributing paper issues to subscribers. Like in other media industries the shift from physical to digital opened up radically new possibilities for business and content delivery. Open Access (OA), i.e. free online access to articles published in scientific journals, has been a disruptive innovation enabled by the web. OA has emerged through a mix of ideology, behavior, technology, policy, and business. Journal articles can be made free for readers to access through two main mechanisms 1) by being published in a journal which makes the content free for anyone to access (gold OA), or 2) by authors themselves making the manuscripts available to an unrestricted audience by uploading them to a location openly on the web (green OA). The purpose of this thesis is to explore, measure, and analyze the uptake of OA in scientific journal publishing. The historical development, the current situation, and the future potential are analyzed through quantitative publication data covering both journal-mediated (gold OA) and indirect author-side mechanisms (green OA). Since this is an area where hardly any systematic research has previously been done the development of OA measurement methods that are both accurate enough and cost-effective in terms of resources needed to implement them has been an integral part of the research. The thesis consists of five articles each contributing a complementary perspective on OA uptake. Through the research process the initial broad snapshot measurement has been complemented with longitudinal and in-depth studies focusing more intensively on specific sub-areas of OA. For gold OA the results demonstrate that the number of articles published in OA journals has been steadily increasing annually since the early 1990s, with recent OA growth being strongly supported by journals utilizing the author-pays business model. For green OA the results prominently highlight the unused potential there is for authors to provide article manuscripts openly on the web through self-archiving. OA has lately been brought up to the front and center of both public policy discourse and journal publishing as a modern business area. The results of the thesis demonstrate that journal publishing is in a state of transformation to better meet the needs of scientific communication today and tomorrow.
  • Höglund, Mathias (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2011-06-07)
    Previous research on Human Resource Management (HRM) has focused extensively on the potential relationships between the use of HRM practices and organizational performance. Extant research in HRM has been based on the underlying assumption that HRM practices can enhance organizational performance through their impact on positive employee attitudes and performance, that is, employee reactions to HRM. At the current state of research however, it remains unclear how employees come to perceive and react to HRM practices and to what extent employees in organizations, units and teams react to such practices in similar or widely different ways. In fact, recent HRM studies indicate that employee reactions to HRM may be far less homogeneous than assumed. This raises the question of whether or not the linkage between HRM and organizational outcomes can be explained by employee reactions in terms of attitudes and performance, if these reactions are largely idiosyncratic. Accordingly, this thesis aims to shed light on the processes that shape individuals’ reactions to HRM practices and how these processes may influence the variance or sharedness in such reactions among employees in organizations, units and teams. By theoretically developing and empirically examining the effects of employee perceptions of HRM practices from the perspective of ‘HRM as signaling’ and psychological contract theory, the main contributions of this thesis focus on the following research questions: i) How employee perceptions of the HRM practices relate to individual and collective employee attitudes and performance. ii) How employee perceptions of HRM practices relates to variance in employee attitudes and performance. iii) How collective employee performance mediates the relationship between employee perceptions of HRM practices and organizational performance. Regarding the first research questions the findings indicate that individuals do respond positively to HRM practices by adjusting their felt obligations towards the employer. This finding is in line with the idea of HRM as a signaling device where each HRM practice, implicitly or explicitly, sends signals to employees about promised rewards (inducements) and behaviors (obligations) expected in return. The relationship was also confirmed at the group level of analysis. What is more, variance was found to play an important role in that employee groups with more similar perceptions about the HRM system displayed a stronger relationship between HRM and employee obligations. Concerning the second question the findings were somewhat contradictory in that a strong HRM system was found negatively related to variance in employee performance but not employee obligations. Regarding the third question, the findings confirmed linkages between the HRM system and organizational performance at the group level and the HRM system and employee performance at the individual level. Also, the entire chain of links from the HRM system through variance in employee performance, and further through the level of employee performance to organizational performance was significant.
  • Koveshnikov, Alexei (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2014-08-05)
    Multinational corporations (MNC) are often presented as powerful but ‘faceless’ institutional actors that shape the world we live in. However, we have lately seen increasing interest in actual ‘faces,’ that is the key actors, behind the MNC’s functioning in relation to the cases of fraud and bankruptcy that, together with other factors, led to the severe financial crisis at the end of 2000s. The cases of Enron and Lehman Brothers easily come to mind. It raised concerns that power abuses and tricky political games developing and proliferating within MNCs can have tremendous corporate as well as societal impacts and consequences. Yet, as of now, the micro-level power and political relations between actors in MNCs and their implications, i.e. what I call in this thesis ‘micro-politics,’ are seldom examined. Moreover, neither is the role that the institutional, cultural and sociopolitical contexts play in these micro-political relations among actors within MNCs sufficiently understood. Against this background, in this thesis I attempt to give ‘a face’ to the MNC. That is, I apply a number of ideas from comparative institutional theory, social cognition and translation studies to examine micro-political aspects of the interactions between organizational actors in MNCs that determine how these corporations function both on day to day basis and in a longer run. By so doing, I strive to offer a more nuanced, contextualized, and actor-focused sociological understanding of power and political interactions among organizational actors within the MNC. It is important to study and comprehend these processes in order to better explain them and to some extent control them.
  • Catani, Paul (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2013-11-05)
    Conditional heteroskedasticity is often encountered in economic and financial time series. Since the introduction of autoregressive conditional heteroskedasticity (ARCH) by Engle in 1982, modelling volatility has received much attention in financial econometrics. Conditional heteroskedasticity also causes many asymptotic tests in time series models not to be valid. For example, tests for autocorrelation typically assume independent and identically distributed errors. The wild bootstrap provides a solution to the problem with inference under conditional heteroskedasticity. This thesis consists of an introduction and four papers dealing with conditional heteroskedasticity in multivariate time series models. The first paper studies wild bootstrap tests for autocorrelation in vector autoregressive (VAR) models with conditional heteroskedasticity. The second paper is an empirical study of tests for cointegration in Chinese stock price data in the presence of conditional heteroskedasticity. The third paper proposes and studies a new Lagrange multiplier test for testing the adequacy of an estimated constant conditional correlation generalized ARCH model. The fourth paper studies tests for ARCH in VAR models.
  • Badshah, Ihsan Ullah (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2010-11-23)
    Modeling and forecasting of implied volatility (IV) is important to both practitioners and academics, especially in trading, pricing, hedging, and risk management activities, all of which require an accurate volatility. However, it has become challenging since the 1987 stock market crash, as implied volatilities (IVs) recovered from stock index options present two patterns: volatility smirk(skew) and volatility term-structure, if the two are examined at the same time, presents a rich implied volatility surface (IVS). This implies that the assumptions behind the Black-Scholes (1973) model do not hold empirically, as asset prices are mostly influenced by many underlying risk factors. This thesis, consists of four essays, is modeling and forecasting implied volatility in the presence of options markets’ empirical regularities. The first essay is modeling the dynamics IVS, it extends the Dumas, Fleming and Whaley (DFW) (1998) framework; for instance, using moneyness in the implied forward price and OTM put-call options on the FTSE100 index, a nonlinear optimization is used to estimate different models and thereby produce rich, smooth IVSs. Here, the constant-volatility model fails to explain the variations in the rich IVS. Next, it is found that three factors can explain about 69-88% of the variance in the IVS. Of this, on average, 56% is explained by the level factor, 15% by the term-structure factor, and the additional 7% by the jump-fear factor. The second essay proposes a quantile regression model for modeling contemporaneous asymmetric return-volatility relationship, which is the generalization of Hibbert et al. (2008) model. The results show strong negative asymmetric return-volatility relationship at various quantiles of IV distributions, it is monotonically increasing when moving from the median quantile to the uppermost quantile (i.e., 95%); therefore, OLS underestimates this relationship at upper quantiles. Additionally, the asymmetric relationship is more pronounced with the smirk (skew) adjusted volatility index measure in comparison to the old volatility index measure. Nonetheless, the volatility indices are ranked in terms of asymmetric volatility as follows: VIX, VSTOXX, VDAX, and VXN. The third essay examines the information content of the new-VDAX volatility index to forecast daily Value-at-Risk (VaR) estimates and compares its VaR forecasts with the forecasts of the Filtered Historical Simulation and RiskMetrics. All daily VaR models are then backtested from 1992-2009 using unconditional, independence, conditional coverage, and quadratic-score tests. It is found that the VDAX subsumes almost all information required for the volatility of daily VaR forecasts for a portfolio of the DAX30 index; implied-VaR models outperform all other VaR models. The fourth essay models the risk factors driving the swaption IVs. It is found that three factors can explain 94-97% of the variation in each of the EUR, USD, and GBP swaption IVs. There are significant linkages across factors, and bi-directional causality is at work between the factors implied by EUR and USD swaption IVs. Furthermore, the factors implied by EUR and USD IVs respond to each others’ shocks; however, surprisingly, GBP does not affect them. Second, the string market model calibration results show it can efficiently reproduce (or forecast) the volatility surface for each of the swaptions markets.
  • Kulp-Tåg, Sofie (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2008-06-02)
    Financial time series tend to behave in a manner that is not directly drawn from a normal distribution. Asymmetries and nonlinearities are usually seen and these characteristics need to be taken into account. To make forecasts and predictions of future return and risk is rather complicated. The existing models for predicting risk are of help to a certain degree, but the complexity in financial time series data makes it difficult. The introduction of nonlinearities and asymmetries for the purpose of better models and forecasts regarding both mean and variance is supported by the essays in this dissertation. Linear and nonlinear models are consequently introduced in this dissertation. The advantages of nonlinear models are that they can take into account asymmetries. Asymmetric patterns usually mean that large negative returns appear more often than positive returns of the same magnitude. This goes hand in hand with the fact that negative returns are associated with higher risk than in the case where positive returns of the same magnitude are observed. The reason why these models are of high importance lies in the ability to make the best possible estimations and predictions of future returns and for predicting risk.
  • Karakozova, Olga (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2005-10-04)
    Recently, focus of real estate investment has expanded from the building-specific level to the aggregate portfolio level. The portfolio perspective requires investment analysis for real estate which is comparable with that of other asset classes, such as stocks and bonds. Thus, despite its distinctive features, such as heterogeneity, high unit value, illiquidity and the use of valuations to measure performance, real estate should not be considered in isolation. This means that techniques which are widely used for other assets classes can also be applied to real estate. An important part of investment strategies which support decisions on multi-asset portfolios is identifying the fundamentals of movements in property rents and returns, and predicting them on the basis of these fundamentals. The main objective of this thesis is to find the key drivers and the best methods for modelling and forecasting property rents and returns in markets which have experienced structural changes. The Finnish property market, which is a small European market with structural changes and limited property data, is used as a case study. The findings in the thesis show that is it possible to use modern econometric tools for modelling and forecasting property markets. The thesis consists of an introduction part and four essays. Essays 1 and 3 model Helsinki office rents and returns, and assess the suitability of alternative techniques for forecasting these series. Simple time series techniques are able to account for structural changes in the way markets operate, and thus provide the best forecasting tool. Theory-based econometric models, in particular error correction models, which are constrained by long-run information, are better for explaining past movements in rents and returns than for predicting their future movements. Essay 2 proceeds by examining the key drivers of rent movements for several property types in a number of Finnish property markets. The essay shows that commercial rents in local markets can be modelled using national macroeconomic variables and a panel approach. Finally, Essay 4 investigates whether forecasting models can be improved by accounting for asymmetric responses of office returns to the business cycle. The essay finds that the forecast performance of time series models can be improved by introducing asymmetries, and the improvement is sufficient to justify the extra computational time and effort associated with the application of these techniques.
  • Kempa, Michal (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2009-09-11)
    The liquidity crisis that swept through the financial markets in 2007 triggered multi-billion losses and forced buyouts of some large banks. The resulting credit crunch is sometimes compared to the great recession in the early twentieth century. But the crisis also serves as a reminder of the significance of the interbank market and of proper central bank policy in this market. This thesis deals with implementation of monetary policy in the interbank market and examines how central bank tools affect commercial banks' decisions. I answer the following questions: • What is the relationship between the policy setup and interbank interest rate volatility? (averaging reserve requirement reduces the volatility) • What can explain a weak relationship between market liquidity and the interest rate? (high reserve requirement buffer) • What determines banks' decisions on when to satisfy the reserve requirement? (market frictions) • How did the liquidity crisis that began in 2007 affect interbank market behaviour? (resulted in higher credit risk and trading frictions as well as expected liquidity shortage)
  • Steinby, Camilla (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2009-08-11)
    In the markets-as-networks approach business networks are conceived as dynamic actor structures, giving focus to exchange relationships and actors’ capabilities to control and co-ordinate activities and resources. Researchers have shared an understanding that actors’ actions are crucial for the development of business networks and for network dynamics. However, researchers have mainly studied firms as business actors and excluded individuals, although both firms and individuals can be seen as business actors. This focus on firms as business actors has resulted in a paucity of research on human action and the exchange of intangible resources in business networks, e.g. social exchange between individuals in social networks. Consequently, the current conception of business networks fails to appreciate the richness of business actors, the human character of business action and the import of social action in business networks. The central assumption in this study is that business actors are multidimensional and that their specific constitution in any given situation is determined by human interaction in social networks. Multidimensionality is presented as a concept for exploring how business actors act in different situations and how actors simultaneously manage multiple identities: individual, organisational, professional, business and network identities. The study presents a model that describes the multidimensionality of actors in business networks and conceptualises the connection between social exchange and human action in business networks. Empirically the study explores the change that has taken place in pharmaceutical retailing in Finland during recent years. The phenomenon of emerging pharmacy networks is highly contemporary in the Nordic countries, where the traditional license-based pharmacy business is changing. The study analyses the development of two Finnish pharmacy chains, one integrated and one voluntary chain, and the network structures and dynamics in them. Social Network Analysis is applied to explore the social structures within the pharmacy networks. The study shows that emerging pharmacy networks are multifaceted phenomena where political, economic, social, cultural, and historical elements together contribute to the observed changes. Individuals have always been strongly present in the pharmacy business and the development of pharmacy networks provides an interesting example of human actors’ influence in the development of business networks. The dynamics or forces driving the network development can be linked to actors’ own economic and social motives for developing the business. The study highlights the central role of individuals and social networks in the development of the two studied pharmacy networks. The relation between individuals and social networks is reciprocal. The social context of every individual enables multidimensional business actors. The mix of various identities, both individual and collective identities, is an important part of network dynamics. Social networks in pharmacy networks create a platform for exchange and social action, and social networks enable and support business network development.
  • Slotte-Kock, Susanna (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2009-09-11)
    Multiple Perspectives on Networks: Conceptual Development, Application and Integration in an Entrepreneurial Context. The purpose of this thesis is to enhance cross-fertilization between three different approaches to network research. The business network approach may contribute in terms of how relationships are created, developed and how tie content changes within ties, not only between them. The social network approach adds to the discussion by offering concepts of structural change on a network level. The network approach in entrepreneurship contributes by emphasizing network content, governance and structure as a way of understanding and capturing networks. This is discussed in the conceptual articles, Articles 2 and 3. The ultimate purpose of this thesis is to develop a theoretical and empirical understanding of network development processes. This is fulfilled by presenting a theoretical framework, which offers multiple views on process as a developmental outcome. The framework implies that change ought to be captured both within and among relationships over time in the firm as well as in the network. Consequently, changes in structure and interaction taking place simultaneously need to be included when doing research on network development. The connection between micro and macro levels is also stressed. Therefore, the entrepreneur or firm level needs to be implemented together with the network level. The surrounding environment impacts firm and network development and vice versa and hence needs to be integrated. Further, it is necessary to view network development not only as a way forward but to include both progression and regression as inevitable parts of the process. Finally, both stability and change should be taken into account as part of network development. Empirical results in Article 1 show support for a positive impact of networks on SME internationalization. Article 4 compares networks of novice, serial and portfolio entrepreneurs but the empirical results show little support for differences in the networks by type of entrepreneur. The results demonstrate that network interaction and structure is not directly impacted by type of entrepreneur involved. It indicates instead that network structure and interaction is more impacted by the development phase of the firm. This in turn is in line with the theoretical implications, stating that the development of the network and the firm impacts each other, as they co-evolve.
  • Björkwall, Pia (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2009-06-02)
    Nyttighetsmodellskydd är avsett för sådana tekniska uppfinningar som inte har den uppfinningshöjd som förutsätts för patentskydd. Samtidigt är en av lagstiftningens målsättningar att skyddet tack vare en förenklad registreringsprocess skall fungera som ett ”snabbare, billigare och enklare” alternativ till patentskyddet. Skyddsformen anses kunna ha flera viktiga funktioner i dagens kunskapsbaserade samhälle. Samtidigt är den dock kontroversiell. För det första erbjuder den skydd för uppfinningar som, enligt principerna bakom patenträttens uppfinningshöjd, faller inom området för normal teknikutveckling och följaktligen inte skall skyddas med ensamrätter. För det andra innebär det förenklade registreringsförfarandet att en ansökan om nyttighetsmodellskydd inte är föremål för samma ingående prövning som en patentansökan. Oprövade rättigheter anses skapa osäkerhet på marknaden, eftersom man inte med säkerhet kan veta vad som är skyddat. Syftet med avhandlingen är att kritiskt utvärdera huruvida nyttighetsmodellskyddet i sin nuvarande utformning utgör ett ändamålsenligt innovationsskydd. Argumentationen förs med stöd av den kunskap som erhålles genom att analysera skyddsformen ur olika perspektiv.
  • Kokko, Teemu (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2005-03-08)
    The present study concentrates on a small – but important – area of marketing: offering development within the service sector, more exactly the restaurant sector. The empirical part of the study has been carried out in the Helsinki metropolitan area using six successful restaurants. First, a conceptual offering development model is developed based on how the management perceives the offering development processes. Second, customer perceptions of offerings and management beliefs about how the customers perceive the offerings are analysed. Finally, an extended offering development model is created based on the management perceptions (the first model) as well as on observed gaps between customer perceptions of offerings and management beliefs about the customer perceptions. The study reveals that customer perceptions and management beliefs are rather similar but also that some differences exist. These differences are taken into account in the extended offering development model (the second model). The empirical data was collected through interviews and surveys. All together 393 customers and 14 managers participated in the study. The study suggests that successful offering development has to be closely connected with the general strategy of the company. A shared vision within the company in combination with a systematic strategic offering development process create a sound basis for the practical development work. The main contribution of the study is the extended offering development model forming a framework for further studies within the area.
  • Zhang, Ling Eleanor (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2015-08-11)
    “I wanted to be Chinese, once…I wanted China to be the place where I made a career and lived my life. I won’t be rushing back either. I have fallen out of love, woken from my China Dream.” “China has been a familiar destination for multinational corporations over the last few decades, but surprisingly it still remains one of the most challenging destinations for expatriates”, says Ling Eleanor Zhang, who will defend her doctoral thesis on the subject. Yet, according to Zhang, underneath the seemingly high expatriation failure rate exists an ever more routine reality of contemporary working life. A growing number of sojourners, from expatriates sent by headquarters, to self-initiated expatriates, to expatriate entrepreneurs, are now, for various reasons, becoming caught up in China. They experience a dizzying array of processes collectively labelled cross-cultural adjustment, acculturation or biculturalism. Based on comprehensive fieldwork, Zhang seeks to uncover the working and living realities of expatriates in China from a language and culture perspective. In her doctoral thesis, Zhang also presents the multifaceted linguistic challenges faced by expatriates from both their own perspective, as well as that of the host country employees. She further provides a contextual account of expatriate host country language proficiency on cross-cultural adjustment, and inductively builds an analytical framework for analysing why and how host country language matters. “Nordic expatriates, who are currently working and living in China, have different types of cultural identity, i.e. marginal bicultural identity, cosmopolitan identity, transitional identity, and monocultural identity”, says Zhang. “Factors such as organisational context, expatriates’ attitudes towards the host country language, as well as their network orientations, have influenced expatriates’ identification with home, host and a third culture”, she continues. The findings also reveal a number of strategies expatriates adopt in order to cope with the uncertainty and ambiguity, such as holding on to physical proof of groundedness, believing in individuality, realistically evaluating and accepting the marginality, and allowing for a certain degree of fluidity regarding one’s cultural identity.