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  • Hellman, Pia (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2014-06-04)
    The starting point of this research was the increasing popularity of companies introducing e-services because of the expected increase in efficiency. However, the introduction of an e-service does not automatically lead to usage. Research shows that even when consumers say that they prefer to have their transactions handled by digital channels, the adoption rate of e-services is lower than what the company has expected. This study set out to investigate if marketing communication through e-mail could increase e-service adoption rates. There is clearly a lack of understanding of what drives consumers to use e-services. Generally, there are monetary benefits for the company when consumers switch to online services. For the consumers, however, the benefits are not necessarily evident. In order to build positive consumer perceptions of the e-service benefits and increase e-service adoption, the firms need to communicate the benefits to consumers. This thesis investigates if communicating e-service benefits to consumers can increase e-service adoption. Based on a conceptual framework of e-service benefits and e-service communication, the effect of communicating e-service benefits through e-mail in a b-to-c environment was measured. Three studies were conducted, of which the main study was a field experiment. An experimental design was applied to new customers of a telecom service provider. Three benefits were measured: time savings, easy to use, and access to information. The adoption was measured as the web traffic, including e-mail click-through-rates and login rates to the e-service. The effect of each e-service benefit used alone, in pairs or in a combination of all three benefits was measured. The effect of repeat actions was also tested. The findings from the experiment revealed that there were differences between the effects of the treatments on different behaviors in the adoption process. However, this research failed to provide strong evidence supporting a positive effect of e-mail communication on e-service adoption. Nevertheless, the results suggest that companies should carefully investigate which benefits consumers are seeking and how to communicate the benefits during the stages of the consumer adoption process. The study shows that consumers’ interest in and perception of e-service benefits can vary during the different stages of the e-service adoption process.
  • Talasmäki, Anna (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2009-09-25)
    The human resource (HR) function is under pressure both to change roles and to play a large variety of roles. Questions of change and development in the HR function become particularly interesting in the context of mergers and acquisitions when two corporations are integrated. The purpose of the thesis is to examine the roles played by the HR function in the context of large-scale mergers and thus to understand what happens to the HR function in such change environments, and to shed light on the underlying factors that influence changes in the HR function. To achieve this goal, the study seeks first to identify the roles played by the HR function before and after the merger, and second, to identify the factors that affect the roles played by the HR function. It adopts a qualitative case study approach including ten focal case organisations (mergers) and four matching cases (non-mergers). The sample consists of large corporations originating from either Finland or Sweden. HR directors and members of the top management teams within the case organisations were interviewed. The study suggests that changes occur within the HR function, and that the trend is for the HR function to become increasingly strategic. However, the HR function was found to play strategic roles only when the HR administration ran smoothly. The study also suggests that the HR function has become more versatile. An HR function that was perceived to be mainly administrative before the merger is likely after the merger to perform some strategically important activities in addition to the administrative ones. Significant changes in the roles played by the HR function were observed in some of the case corporations. This finding suggests that the merger integration process is a window of opportunity for the HR function. HR functions that take a proactive and leading role during the integration process might expand the number of roles played and move from being an administrator before the merger to also being a business partner after integration. The majority of the HR functions studied remained mainly reactive during the organisational change process and although the evidence showed that they moved towards strategic tasks, the intra-functional changes remained comparatively small in these organisations. The study presents a new model that illustrates the impact of the relationship between the top management team and the HR function on the role of the HR function. The expectations held by the top management team for the HR function and the performance of the HR function were found to interact. On a dimension reaching from tactical to strategic, HR performance is likely to correspond to the expectations held by top management.
  • Pöllänen, Kari (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2008-01-08)
    The aim of the study was to explore the importance of evaluating leadership criteria in Finland at leader/subordinate levels of the insurance industry. The overall purpose of the thesis is tackled and analyzed from two different perspectives: - by examining the importance of the leadership criteria and style of Finnish insurance business leaders and their subordinates - by examining the opinions of insurance business leaders regarding leadership criteria in two culturally different countries: the US and Finland. This thesis consists of three published articles that scrutinise the focal phenomena both theoretically and empirically. The main results of the study do not lend support to the existence of a universal model of leadership criteria in the insurance business. As a matter of fact, the possible model seems to be based more on the special organizational and cultural circumstances of the country in question. The leadership criteria seem to be quite stable irrespective of the comparatively short research time period (3–5 years) and hierarchical level (subordinate/leader). Leaders have major difficulties in changing their leadership style. In fact, in order to bring about an efficient organizational change in the company you have to alternate the leader. The cultural dimensions (cooperation and monitoring) identified by Finnish subordinates were mostly in line with those of their managers, whilst emphasizing more the aspect of monitoring employees, which could be seen from their point of view as another element of managers’ optimizing/efficiency requirements. In Finnish surveys the strong emphasis on cooperation and mutual trust become apparent by both subordinates and managers. The basic problem is still how to emphasize and balance them in real life in such a way that both parties are happy to work together on a common basis. The American surveys suggests hypothetically that in a soft market period (buyer’s market) managers employ a more relationship-oriented leadership style and correspondingly adapt their leadership style to a more task-oriented approach in a hard market phase (seller’s market). In making business better Finnish insurance managers could probably concentrate more on task-oriented items such as reviewing, budgeting, monitoring and goal-orientation. The study also suggests that the social safety net of the European welfare state ideology has so far shielded the culture-specific sense of social responsibility of Finnish managers from the hazards of free competition and globalization.
  • Tallberg, Teemu (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2009-04-07)
    In Finland the organising of defence is undergoing vast restructuring. Recent legislation has redefined the central tasks of the Finnish Defence Forces. At the same time, international security cooperation, economic pressures and new administrative paradigms have steered the military towards new ways of organising. National defence is not just politics and principles; to a large extent it is also enacted in day-to-day life in organisations. The lens through which these realities of defence are analysed in this study is gender. How is the security sector – and national defence as part of it – organised in the changing security environment? What is the new division of labour between different societal actors in the face of security challenges? What happens ‘at work’ within the military and the defence sector more broadly? How does gender affect the way in which defence is organised and understood, and how do the changes in the organising of security affect gender relations? The thesis searches for answers to these questions in the context of two organisational settings in the male-dominated defence sector. The case study on a Finnish peacekeeping unit in the Balkans opens a critical view on men’s social practices and the everyday life of crisis management organisations. In the second case study, reorganising of provisioning in the Finnish Defence Forces turns out to be a complicated process where different power relations and social divisions intermingle. Tallberg’s extensive ethnographic fieldwork in the two focal organisations has produced a detailed set of data that lays the basis for critical analysis and policy development in terms of defence organising, cooperation around peace and security issues, and gender equality in organisations. Observations and results are provided for understanding social networks, militarisation, authority relations, care, public-private partnerships, personnel policies, career planning, and humour.
  • Sarala, Riikka (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2008-10-08)
    Acquisitions are a central component of corporate strategy. They contribute to competitive advantage by offering possibilities for both cost reductions and for revenue enhancements. However, many acquisition benefits cannot be realized without a successful integration of the acquiring and the acquired firms. Previous research shows that national and organizational culture can play a major role in determining the integration outcomes. Therefore, the overall aim of the thesis is to map out and illustrate the impact mechanisms of cultural factors in post-acquisition integration in order to explain the cultural aspects of acquisitions. This study has three main contributions. First, the study shows that international and domestic acquisitions differ concerning both strategic and cultural fit. Second, the findings highlight the importance of acculturation and cultural integration in determining post-acquisition outcomes. Finally, the study uncovers several impact mechanisms that shed light to the contradictory results related to cultural differences in previous research.
  • Peltokorpi, Vesa (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2003-11-28)
    The benefits and drawbacks of homogeneity and heterogeneity have been debated at length. Whereas some researchers assert that heterogeneity is beneficial for groups that are engaged in complex problem solving, the other researchers emphasize the potential costs associated with diversity. The inconsistency is a result of the incomplete measurement of diversity and focus one or two types of diversity. Most research concentrates on the readily detected/visible characteristics, making the assumption that such characteristics are related to underlying attributes (e.g., attitudes and values). In many cases, the demographic characteristics do not covary perfectly with the psychological attributes. Thus both types of attributes need to be utilized to fully understand the impact of diversity. The present research with four essays takes into account both types of attributes and tests their impact on social integration in cross-cultural settings. The results indicate that: (1) readily detectable- and underlying attributes are not related; (2) diversity has overall a negative impact on social integration; (3) socio-cultural context potentially influences the salience of diversity; and (4) diversity and social integration influences the formation of social cognition in form of transactive memory directories. The limits of research and managerial implications are discussed.
  • Wendelin, Robert (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2004-09-24)
    A focus on cooperative industrial business relationships has become increasingly important in studies of industrial relationships. If the relationships between companies are strong it is usually a sign that companies will cooperate for a longer time and that may affect companies’ competitive and financial strength positively. As a result the bonds between companies become more important. This is due to the fact that bonds are building blocks of relationships and thus affect the stability in the cooperation between companies. Bond strength affect relationship strength. A framework regarding how bonds develop and change in an industrial business relationship has been developed in the study. Episodes affect the bonds in the relationship strengthening or weakening the bonds in the relationship or preserving status quo. Routine or critical episodes may lead to the strengthening or weakening of bonds as well as the preservation of status quo. The method used for analyzing bond strength trying to grasp the nature and change of bonds was invented by systematically following the elements of the definitions of bonds. A system with tables was drawn up in order to find out if the bond was weak, of medium strength or strong. Bonds are important regulators of industrial business relationships. By influencing the bonds one may have possibilities to strengthen or weaken the business relationship. Strengthen the business relationship in order to increase business and revenue and weaken the relationship in order to terminate business where the revenue is low or where there may be other problems in the relationship. By measuring the strength of different bonds it can be possible to strengthen weak bonds in order to strengthen the relationship. By using bond management it is possible to strategically strengthen or weaken the bonds between the cooperating companies in order to strengthen the cooperation and tie the customer or supplier to the company or weaken the cooperation in order to terminate the relationship. The instrument for the management of bonds is to use the created bond audit in order to know which bonds resources should be focused on in order to increase or decrease their strength.
  • Wägar, Karolina (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2007-08-10)
    The starting point of this thesis is the notion that in order for organisations to understand what customers value and how customers experience service, they need to learn about customers. The first and perhaps most important link in an organisation-wide learning process directed at customers is the frontline contact person. Service- and sales organisations can only learn about customers if the individual frontline contact persons learn about customers. Even though it is commonly recognised that learning about customers is the basis for an organisation’s success, few contributions within marketing investigate the fundamental nature of the phenomenon as it occurs in everyday customer service. Thus, what learning about customers is and how it takes place in a customer-service setting is an issue that is neglected in marketing research. In order to explore these questions, this thesis presents a socio-cultural approach to understanding learning about customers. Hence, instead of considering learning equal to cognitive processes in the mind of the frontline contact person or learning as equal to organisational information processing, the interactive, communication-based, socio-cultural aspect of learning about customers is brought to the fore. Consequently, the theoretical basis of the study can be found both in socio-cultural and practice-oriented lines of reasoning, as well as in the fields of service- and relationship marketing. As it is argued that learning about customers is an integrated part of everyday practices, it is also clear that it should be studied in a naturalistic and holistic way as it occurs in a customer-service setting. This calls for an ethnographic research approach, which involves direct, first-hand experience of the research setting during an extended period of time. Hence, the empirical study employs participant observations, informal discussions and interviews among car salespersons and service advisors at a car retailing company. Finally, as a synthesis of theoretically and empirically gained understanding, a set of concepts are developed and they are integrated into a socio-cultural model of learning about customers.
  • Jyrkinen, Marjut (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2005-05-23)
    During recent years the commercialisation of sex has increased and intensified both locally and globally. This thesis explores the commercialisation of bodies, sex and sexualities, particularly the sex trade, and the impact of rapidly evolving information and communication technologies on this globalising trade. The main focus of this work is on the policies, discourses and policy developments in the area especially in the Finnish context. The study is based on multidisciplinary theoretical sources through which the framework of multiple linkages relevant to the commercialisation of sex is conceptualised. The sex trade functions through a web of intersecting linkages of a substantive, economic, organisational, temporal, spatial, cultural, technological, as well as of legislative and policy nature. This framework of linkages forms the basis for the analysis of the main empirical data, namely qualitative interviews with thirty key managers and professionals, who are responsible for the preparation and implementation of policies on commercial sex. In addition, the thesis addresses the policies and policy practices on the sex trade through the analysis of national and international policy instruments. In addition to analysing the processes of the commercialisation of sex and its effects, the study also discusses their further implications for organisational policy-making, research, and society more generally. The thesis thus seeks to contribute to practice, research and theory on gender, management and organisations.
  • Vesa, Mikko (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2013-11-21)
    To search for dragons is not an act of foolishness. Rather, it bespeaks a curious mind open for the discovery of new canvases of organizing and human action. Beyond our boardrooms and office spaces, bureaus and plenary rooms new organizational forms are springing into life. Fuelled by the explosive growth of human capacity in digital technologies, these new organizational forms inhabit virtual worlds created through computer code. In this thesis I open the door on my 39-month ethnographic journey through one such virtual world. Azeroth is the setting for the massive-multiplayer-online (mmo) game World of Warcraft. It is a world abuzz with activity, organizing, strategizing... and dragons. It is also the location of my field work, and a site that management and organization scholars hitherto have been largely unaware of. Hence, this thesis reports on findings in two distinct senses. Firstly, through the ethnographic sense of the joy at discovery of something new and secondly through the interpretive efforts I undertake in the thesis to contribute to management and organization theory through the insights hidden in my empirical material. Underneath every ethnographic endeavour there is a journey of discovery. It is not always visible behind the sophisticated argumentation that exemplifies academic discourse. For conducting journeys of discovery I introduce in this thesis two distinct insights. I introduce the subgenre of virtual ethnography and report what it means in practice to conduct such research in Azeroth. Secondly, I elaborate on the typically overlooked question of how to adapt ethnographic practice in order to contribute to a specific field of research. I do so by examining how ethnographic practice can answer questions posed by the field of strategic management studies. Success in such efforts entails a distinct take on the researcher’s field role and the type of indigenous knowledge pursued. Theoretically, this thesis analyses the strategic practices and processes involved in managing a virtual organization. Drawing on the strategy as practice tradition I identify the core practices required to organize and maintain an organization in virtual space. I use these insights as building blocks to explain how through the utilization of an extreme case, such as organizing in World of Warcraft, we can better identify the internal causes of organizational failure and the importance of fellowship-based core groups in organizing. To follow the constantly unfolding canvas of organizing is one of the primary challenges of management and organization studies in order to retain topicality, and virtual worlds is one of unfolding canvases.
  • Westerholm, Joakim (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2002-09-06)
    Liquidity, or how easy an investment is to buy or sell, is becoming increasingly important for financial market participants. The objective of this dissertation is to contribute to the understanding of how liquidity affects financial markets. The first essays analyze the actions taken by underwriters immediately after listing to improve liquidity of IPO stock. To estimate the impact of underwriter activity on the pricing of the IPOs, the order book during the first weeks of trading in the IPO stock is studied. Evidence of stabilization and liquidity enhancing activities by underwriters is found. The second half of the dissertation is concerned with the daily trading of stocks where liquidity may be impacted by policy issues such as changes in taxes or exchange fees and by opening the access to the markets for foreign investors. The desirability of a transaction tax on securities trading is addressed. An increase in transaction tax is found to cause lower prices and higher volatility. In the last essay the objective is to determine if the liquidity of a security has an impact on the return investors require. The results support the notion that returns are negatively correlated to liquidity.
  • Cadillo Chandler, Dhanay María (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2014-08-07)
    The Role of Patents in the Latin American Development: ‘Models of Protection’ of pharmaceutical patents and access to medicines in Brazil, Chile and Venezuela Access to medicines, pharmaceutical patents, and public health are topics often addressed in the news. On the one hand, there is an imperative need to tackle pressing health concerns, and on the other hand, it is also important to provide adequate incentives to carry out research and development. Even though common health concerns exist within the developing world, each country has a different set of needs. The approach to solve or the strategies to balance intellectual property rights and access to medicines vary at large. Latin American countries i.e. Brazil, Chile and Venezuela, even though geographically located in the same continent, deal with the challenges in a different and unique manner. Before the TRIPS Agreement countries had the freedom to decide on whether or not to grant patent protection for medicines. Thus, most of the developing and least developed countries, now WTO member countries, did not provide patent protection for pharmaceuticals because they feared that patent protection would increase the price of pharmaceuticals, and hence, become an obstacle for the access to medicines. On the one hand, patent protection represents an incentive for the pharmaceutical industry to carry out R&D for new and needed drugs. But on the other hand, patents, as the system of financing R&D, has been regarded as a flawed system due to the high costs transferred to the finalised product (medicine) thus deterring access to medicines. Patent protection allows the inventor to prevent others from making use, selling, producing or distributing the invention without his consent for a period of no less than 20 years. Moreover, these rights conferred by the patent grant seem to constitute the pharmaceutical industry’s incentive to recoup the high costs associated with the R&D of a new drug. This book reviews the strategies or models of protection used in Brazil, Chile and Venezuela to balance both intellectual property rights (pharmaceutical patents) and access to medicines. Each country seems to have shaped their policies in accordance with their national priorities, whether these are motivated by health, political or commercial issues. This study portrays the different approaches followed in different national contexts despite all three having to implement the minimum standards of intellectual property protection according to the Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS Agreement). The outcome of the comparison of the policy implementations and the patterns followed by each of the analysed countries is without a doubt the main contribution of this academic study.
  • Segercrantz, Beata (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2011-04-15)
    Many Finnish IT companies have gone through numerous organizational changes over the past decades. This book draws attention to how stability may be central to software product development experts and IT workers more generally, who continuously have to cope with such change in their workplaces. It does so by analyzing and theorizing change and stability as intertwined and co-existent, thus throwing light on how it is possible that, for example, even if ‘the walls fall down the blokes just code’ and maintain a sense of stability in their daily work. Rather than reproducing the picture of software product development as exciting cutting edge activities and organizational change as dramatic episodes, the study takes the reader beyond the myths surrounding these phenomena to the mundane practices, routines and organizings in product development during organizational change. An analysis of these ordinary practices offers insights into how software product development experts actively engage in constructing stability during organizational change through a variety of practices, including solidarity, homosociality, close relations to products, instrumental or functional views on products, preoccupations with certain tasks and humble obedience. Consequently, the study shows that it may be more appropriate to talk about varieties of stability, characterized by a multitude of practices of stabilizing rather than states of stagnation. Looking at different practices of stability in depth shows the creation of software as an arena for micro-politics, power relations and increasing pressures for order and formalization. The thesis gives particular attention to power relations and processes of positioning following organizational change: how social actors come to understand themselves in the context of ongoing organizational change, how they comply with and/or contest dominant meanings, how they identify and dis-identify with formalization, and how power relations often are reproduced despite dis-identification. Related to processes of positioning, the reader is also given a glimpse into what being at work in a male-dominated and relatively homogeneous work environment looks like. It shows how the strong presence of men or “blokes” of a particular age and education seems to become invisible in workplace talk that appears ‘non-conscious’ of gender.
  • Maukonen, Marko S (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2004-08-17)
    First, in Essay 1, we test whether it is possible to forecast Finnish Options Index return volatility by examining the out-of-sample predictive ability of several common volatility models with alternative well-known methods; and find additional evidence for the predictability of volatility and for the superiority of the more complicated models over the simpler ones. Secondly, in Essay 2, the aggregated volatility of stocks listed on the Helsinki Stock Exchange is decomposed into a market, industry-and firm-level component, and it is found that firm-level (i.e., idiosyncratic) volatility has increased in time, is more substantial than the two former, predicts GDP growth, moves countercyclically and as well as the other components is persistent. Thirdly, in Essay 3, we are among the first in the literature to seek for firm-specific determinants of idiosyncratic volatility in a multivariate setting, and find for the cross-section of stocks listed on the Helsinki Stock Exchange that industrial focus, trading volume, and block ownership, are positively associated with idiosyncratic volatility estimates––obtained from both the CAPM and the Fama and French three-factor model with local and international benchmark portfolios––whereas a negative relation holds between firm age as well as size and idiosyncratic volatility.
  • Vainionpää, Mikael M. (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2010-05-03)
    This doctoral dissertation takes a buy side perspective to third-party logistics (3PL) providers’ service tiering by applying a linear serial dyadic view to transactions. It takes its point of departure not only from the unalterable focus on the dyad levels as units of analysis and how to manage them, but also the characteristics both creating and determining purposeful conditions for a longer duration. A conceptual framework is proposed and evaluated on its ability to capture logistics service buyers’ perceptions of service tiering. The problem discussed is in the theoretical context of logistics and reflects value appropriation, power dependencies, visibility in linear serial dyads, a movement towards the more market governed modes of transactions (i.e. service tiering) and buyers’ risk perception of broader utilisation of the logistics services market. Service tiering, in a supply chain setting, with the lack of multilateral agreements between supply chain members, is new. The deductive research approach applied, in which theoretically based propositions are empirically tested with quantitative and qualitative data, provides new insight into (contractual) transactions in 3PL. The study findings imply that the understanding of power dependencies and supply chain dynamics in a 3PL context is still in its infancy. The issues found include separation of service responsibilities, supply chain visibility, price-making behaviour and supply chain strategies under changing circumstances or influence of non-immediate supply chain actors. Understanding (or failing to understand) these issues may mean remarkable implications for the industry. Thus, the contingencies may trigger more open-book policies, larger liability scope of 3PL service providers or insourcing of critical logistics activities from the first-tier buyer core business and customer service perspectives. In addition, a sufficient understanding of the issues surrounding service tiering enables proactive responses to devise appropriate supply chain strategies. The author concludes that qualitative research designs, facilitating data collection on multiple supply chain actors, may capture and increase understanding of the impact of broader supply chain strategies. This would enable pattern-matching through an examination of two or more sides of exchange transactions to measure relational symmetries across linear serial dyads. Indeed, the performance of the firm depends not only on how efficiently it cooperates with its partners, but also on how well exchange partners cooperate with an organisation’s own business.
  • Heinonen, Kristina (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2004-04-29)
    Since the emergence of service marketing, the focus of service research has evolved. Currently the focus of research is shifting towards value co-created by the customer. Consequently, value creation is increasingly less fixed to a specific time or location controlled by the service provider. However, present service management models, although acknowledging customer participation and accessibility, have not considered the role of the empowered customer who may perform the service at various locations and time frames. The present study expands this scope and provides a framework for exploring customer perceived value from a temporal and spatial perspective. The framework is used to understand and analyse customer perceived value and to explore customer value profiles. It is proposed that customer perceived value can be conceptualised as a function of technical, functional, temporal and spatial value dimensions. These dimensions are suggested to have value-increasing and value-decreasing facets. This conceptualisation is empirically explored in an online banking context and it is shown that time and location are more important value dimensions relative to the technical and functional dimensions. The findings demonstrate that time and location are important not only in terms of having the possibility to choose when and where the service is performed. Customers also value an efficient and optimised use of time and a private and customised service location. The study demonstrates that time and location are not external elements that form the service context, but service value dimensions, in addition to the technical and functional dimensions. This thesis contributes to existing service management research through its framework for understanding temporal and spatial dimensions of perceived value. Practical implications of the study are that time and location need to be considered as service design elements in order to differentiate the service from other services and create additional value for customers. Also, because of increased customer control and the importance of time and location, it is increasingly relevant for service providers to provide a facilitating arena for customers to create value, rather than trying to control the value creation process. Kristina Heinonen is associated with CERS, the Center for Relationship Marketing and Service Management at the Swedish School of Economics and Business Administration
  • Gerkman, Linda (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2010-11-23)
    Topics in Spatial Econometrics — With Applications to House Prices Spatial effects in data occur when geographical closeness of observations influences the relation between the observations. When two points on a map are close to each other, the observed values on a variable at those points tend to be similar. The further away the two points are from each other, the less similar the observed values tend to be. Recent technical developments, geographical information systems (GIS) and global positioning systems (GPS) have brought about a renewed interest in spatial matters. For instance, it is possible to observe the exact location of an observation and combine it with other characteristics. Spatial econometrics integrates spatial aspects into econometric models and analysis. The thesis concentrates mainly on methodological issues, but the findings are illustrated by empirical studies on house price data. The thesis consists of an introductory chapter and four essays. The introductory chapter presents an overview of topics and problems in spatial econometrics. It discusses spatial effects, spatial weights matrices, especially k-nearest neighbours weights matrices, and various spatial econometric models, as well as estimation methods and inference. Further, the problem of omitted variables, a few computational and empirical aspects, the bootstrap procedure and the spatial J-test are presented. In addition, a discussion on hedonic house price models is included. In the first essay a comparison is made between spatial econometrics and time series analysis. By restricting the attention to unilateral spatial autoregressive processes, it is shown that a unilateral spatial autoregression, which enjoys similar properties as an autoregression with time series, can be defined. By an empirical study on house price data the second essay shows that it is possible to form coordinate-based, spatially autoregressive variables, which are at least to some extent able to replace the spatial structure in a spatial econometric model. In the third essay a strategy for specifying a k-nearest neighbours weights matrix by applying the spatial J-test is suggested, studied and demonstrated. In the final fourth essay the properties of the asymptotic spatial J-test are further examined. A simulation study shows that the spatial J-test can be used for distinguishing between general spatial models with different k-nearest neighbours weights matrices. A bootstrap spatial J-test is suggested to correct the size of the asymptotic test in small samples.
  • Melkumov, Dmitri (Hanken School of Economics, 2011-10-25)
    While previous research has helped to improve our understanding of corporate governance and boards of directors, less is known about the factors that affect boards’ tasks and roles and directors’ motivation and engagement. This requires knowledge of how board decisions are being made and the internal and external factors that affect the decision-making process. Large inferential leaps have been made from board demographics to firm performance with equivocal results. This thesis concentrates on how the institutional, behavioral and social identification factors impact the enactment of board roles and tasks. Data used in this thesis were collected in 2009 through a mailed survey to Finnish large and middle-sized corporations. The findings suggest that firstly, the national context of an organization is reflected in board roles and shapes how and for what reasons the board roles are carried out; secondly, the directors’ human and external social capital invariably impacts their engagement in board tasks and that conflicts among directors moderate those relationships; finally, directors’ identification with the organization, its shareholders and its customers affect the directors’ involvement in board tasks. By addressing the impact of organisational context, board-internal behaviour and social identification of board members on board roles and tasks, this thesis firstly complements the shareholder supremacy view as the only reason for the board’s involvement with specific tasks; secondly questions the existence of the board as separate from its institutional context; and thirdly questions the view that a board is a ‘black box’, subject to a selection of input demographic variables and producing quantifiable results. The thesis demonstrates that boards are complex organisational bodies, which involve much interaction among board members. Director behaviour and its influence on board decision making is an important determinant of board tasks and boards are likely subjected to inter-group tensions and are susceptible to the influence of internal and external social forces.
  • Björkman, Anette (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2007-02-21)
    Control is central to management and there is already a considerable body of research on control. However, the emergence and growth of multinational corporations (MNCs) has renewed the interest in control, as MNCs are complex (often large) organizations that face circumstances beyond those of national business organizations. The geographical dispersion of MNC activities means that the headquarters controls subsidiaries that differ with regard to power and that are embedded in different cultural, political, legal and educational systems. Foreign subsidiary control also takes place across language boundaries and physical (i.e. geographical) distances. In face of these challenges, how are foreign subsidiaries controlled? The thesis explores different types of control mechanisms and attempts to explain the degree to which they are used to control foreign subsidiaries. It contributes to existing knowledge on control by exploring how five different control mechanisms are related to each other. Previous research has tended to focus only on one or two control mechanisms and seldom has their effect on each other been explored. The thesis also contributes by including two central aspects of the MNC that have been neglected in much of the research on foreign subsidiary control: language competence of subsidiary staff and physical distance between the headquarters and its subsidiaries. The findings indicate that specific control mechanisms should not be studied in isolation as there are intricate relationships among the different control mechanisms. Language competence of the subsidiary staff can furthermore affect the type and degree of control that the headquarters can exercise over a subsidiary. The findings also indicate that changes in the physical distance between subsidiaries and its headquarters (i.e. a relocation of the headquarters as part of a restructuring process) can have great consequences for the headquarters-subsidiary relationship.
  • Sten, Jan (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2006-09-05)
    This study focuses on business families and how they handle transitions such as business transfers. It also tries to shift the balance of research away from successions and towards business transfers as a key topic for family business researchers. In addition, it contributes to the family business research field by further highlighting the importance of the various different contributions in the family business from business family members other than the entrepreneurial founder. Based on interviews with both business family members and business brokers, it appears as important for business families who are selling their family business that it is managed in a similar way in the future regardless of the shift in ownership and management. It is also important that the employees can stay with the business. However, employees are seldom regarded as potential buyers of the family business; most preferably, from the point of view of business family members, this should be somebody who is similar to themselves. Business transfers can be lengthy processes, but once the family business is sold, previous owners most often want to leave the family business. This disengagement can be difficult for business family members if they have not managed to build up some other identity outside the family business environment. Money may compensate for the loss in the short run, but something else is needed in the long run, since the management of money is usually not perceived as that interesting. A family business transfer can have great influence on the members of the business family who is selling, and therefore it is suggested that personal due diligence could be of some help when planning the transfer. That tool can help business family members to analyse their own personal situation, but it may also make it easier to understand how the other business family members feel about the forthcoming change. Everyone is influenced in different ways during a family business transfer, and awareness of this fact may make it easier for the whole business family to adjust to their new environment.