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Now showing items 184-189 of 189
  • Harju, Klaus (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2004-02-07)
  • Liewendahl, Helena (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2014-08-07)
    Motivation is a popular notion in today’s worklife. Employees, in particular those who work in traditional customer service, should be motivated to care for their customers. Service literature assumes that managers are able to order subjectivity towards employees and see to it that employees are motivated. This study deviates from this viewpoint by adopting a humanistic and systemic stance. It sees motivation as an intrinsic process, and employees as active subjects in worklife as well as owners of their motivation. It takes an employee perspective as it sets out to explore their motivation to live up to value promises. Value promises is another topical concept. Currently, companies promise all kinds of things that should enhance customers’ value formation. Often these promises deviate from what actually occurs in service encounters, and psychological contracts such as value, brand and service promises are broken. Currently employees do, despite the increase of e-services, have a substantial role in delivering promises. The more complex and abstract the promise is, such as “the best service”, the more is required of employees to live up to it. The more emotion work embedded in the promise, the more important motivation for living up to it becomes. Taking value practices, i.e., service encounters and firm internal practices underpinning these as its locus, this study explored employees’ experiences by identifying issues that employees found having an impact on their work in customer interface, and thus influencing their motivation. A number of demotivating as well as motivating factors were identified: Too abstract marketing ideas and fuzzy promises, as well as a paternalistic and objectifying stance towards employees do impinge motivation negatively. Truthful authentic promises that reflect value practices as they are, and employees having agency to participate not only in delivering, but also in enabling and giving promises, to name a few, were found to have a positive impact on motivation. By noting these factors, this study strives to widen our understanding of the mechanisms that underpin employee motivation in a service context. The thesis suggests a Human Service Logic (HSL) as a new paradigmatic perspective to service research, parallel to the other current prevailing service logics. As central to employee motivation, the HSL emphasises social- and service competences. Drawing upon the three promises framework a promise integration (PI) model is suggested. The PI model introduces a new perspective on the TPF model; reordering, reorienting, and reframing it from promise management, governed mainly by managerial control, norms, and procedure, to a dynamic promise-living perspective, directed by human principles and co-active managing of value practices. The HSL framework, and its PI model, describes an employee discourse on motivation in a service context.
  • Solitander, Maria (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2011-03-01)
    The tension created when companies are collaborating with competitors – sometimes termed co-opetition - has been subject of research within the network approach. As companies are collaborating with competitors, they need to simultaneously share and protect knowledge. The opportunistic behavior and learning intent of the partner may be underestimated, and collaboration may involve significant risks of loss of competitive edge. Contrastingly, the central tenet within the Intellectual Capital approach is that knowledge grows as it flows. The person sharing does not lose the knowledge and therefore knowledge has doubled from a company’s point of view. Value is created through the interplay of knowledge flows between and within three forms of intellectual capital: human, structural and relational capital. These are the points of departure for the research conducted in this thesis. The thesis investigates the tension between collaboration and competition through an Intellectual Capital lens, by identifying the actions taken to share and protect knowledge in interorganizational collaborative relationships. More specifically, it explores the tension in knowledge flows aimed at protecting and sharing knowledge, and their effect on the value creation of a company. It is assumed, that as two companies work closely together, the collaborative relationship becomes intertwined between the two partners and the intellectual capital flows of both companies are affected. The research finds that companies commonly protect knowledge also in close and long-term collaborative relationships. The knowledge flows identified are both collaborative and protective, with the result that they sometimes are counteracting and neutralize each other. The thesis contributes to the intellectual capital approach by expanding the understanding of knowledge protection in interorganizational relationships in three ways. First, departing from the research on co-opetition it shifts the focus from the internal view of the company as a repository of intellectual capital onto the collaborative relationships between competing companies. Second, instead of the traditional collaborative and sharing point of departure, it takes a competitive and protective perspective. Third, it identifies the intellectual capital flows as assets or liabilities depending on their effect on the value creation of the company. The actions taken to protect knowledge in an interorganizational relationship may decrease the value created in the company, which would make them liabilities.
  • Niemistö, Charlotta (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2011-11-04)
    Work/family reconciliation is a crucial question for both personal well-being and on societal level for productivity and re-production throughout the Western world. This thesis examines work/family reconciliation on societal and organisational level in the Finnish context. The study is based on an initial framework, developing it further and analysing the results with help of it. The methodology of the study is plural, including varying epistemological emphasis and both quantitative and qualitative methods. Policy analysis from two different sectors is followed by a survey answered by 113 HR-managers, and then, based on quantitative analyses, interviews in four chosen case companies. The central findings of the thesis are that there indeed are written corporate level policies for reconciling work and family in companies operating in Finland, in spite of the strong state level involvement in creating a policy context in work/family reconciliation. Also, the existing policies vary in accessibility and use. The most frequently used work/family policies still are the statutory state level policies for family leave, taking place when a baby is born and during his or her first years. Still, there are new policies arising, such as a nurse for an employee’s child who has fallen ill, that are based on company activity only, which shows in both accessibility and use of the policy. Reasons for developing corporate level work/family policies vary among the so-called pro-active and re-active companies. In general, family law has a substantial effect for developing corporate level policies. Also headquarter gender equality strategies as well as employee demands are important. In regression analyses, it was found that corporate image and importance in recruitment are the foremost reasons for companies to develop policies, not for example the amount of female employees in the company. The reasons for policy development can be summarized into normative pressures, coercive pressures and mimetic pressures, in line with findings from institutional theory. This research, however, includes awareness of different stakeholder interests and recognizes that institutional theory needs to be complemented with notions of gender and family, which seem to play a part in perceived work/family conflict and need for further work/family policies both in managers’ personal lives and on the organisational level. A very central finding, demanding more attention, is the by HR managers perceived change in values towards work and commitment towards organisation at the youngest working generation, Generation Y. This combined with the need for key personnel has brought new challenges to companies especially in knowledge business and will presumably lead to further development of flexible practices in organisations. The accessibility to this flexibility seems to, however, be even more dependent on the specific knowledge and skills of the employee. How this generation will change the organisations remains to be seen in further research.
  • Salin, Denise (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2003-10-31)
    Workplace bullying can be defined as repeated and persistent negative acts that involve a power imbalance and create a hostile work environment. Partly because of the many negative consequences associated with the phenomenon, bullying has recently become the focus of many studies by contemporary organisational researchers. Drawing on a survey, this thesis provides information on the prevalence and forms of bullying among business professionals, a group of employees neglected in previous bullying research. The thesis follows a tradition among Nordic researchers that emphasises the role of the psychosocial work environment in bullying. In particular, it illustrates how high internal competition and a high degree of organisational politics in business life may lead employees to use bullying as a tactic to gain benefits over their colleagues. Furthermore, it explores the significance of gender in bullying in male-dominated work environments, with women tending to be subjected to more negative acts, tending to feel less capable to defend themselves in these situations, and tending to feel less reluctant to classify these experiences as bullying. In addition to the introductory essay, this thesis consists of a book chapter and four articles. These five papers address particular aspects of workplace bullying: the prevalence and forms of bullying, the significance of gender in bullying, and organisational antecedents of bullying.
  • Aura, Ossi (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2006-11-30)
    In a framework of Intellectual Capital (IC), the effects and interactions of a Worksite Fitness Program (WFP) policy was studied with a multidisciplinary approach. In a preliminary study, indicators for physical activity (PAI), physical fitness (PFI), activity in WFP on a regular (WFPI) and on a events basis (WFPE) were created in line with positive findings regarding the associations between physical activity and fitness patterns and sick leave, perceived health, and self-assessed work ability. The intensity of physical activity was found to be the most important variable to predict positive associations with the above mentioned wellness parameters. In four case study follow-up settings, the effects and interactions of physical activity and fitness patterns and the company’s WFP-policy on different elements of IC were studied. Qualitative methods were applied in constructing indicators and a descriptive IC measure for each case company. In cross-sectional and follow-up settings, several findings with respect to IC were found regarding physical activity in general and activity in WFP in particular. Findings were relatively strong in health and wellness related indicators in Human Capital, where, as also in Structural Capital indicators such as the company climate and employee-superior relationship, revealed positive associations. Physical activity patterns were found to act in minor role in Relational Capital. Overall, WFP was seen to be an integrated part of Structural Capital. From the viewpoint of Worksite Fitness Program as a phenomenon, this study positioned WFP as an active element of Intellectual Capital. The literature in the field of WFP emphasizes the role of WFP as an instrument to activate employees in physical activity, and thus promote their health and wellbeing. With the wider perspective the active and long range WFP policy can support a company’s Structural and Relational Capital in line with the fundamental role it has on Human Capital.