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  • Hagberg-Andersson, Åsa (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2007)
    In today’s business one can say that competition does not take place inside the network, but between networks. Change and dynamics are central issues in network studies, and a company, due its changing environment, can identify opportunities and threats and respond to them accordingly. These opportunities are vital, but also complex and demanding for the management. Earlier research has identified a shortcoming in explanations of how the micro-level interactions to macro-level patterns are connected. The IMP-group has been trying to fill this research gap with research on interactions within business networks. In this area of research lies the focus of research on relationships between organizations. Adaptation in cooperation is a central concept within business network research. Adaptation has been dealt with in previous literature, but the focus of the studies has mainly been outside this phenomenon, and it has mostly had a supporting role. Most literature has also described the buyers' point of view in studied supply networks, whereas much less attention has been paid to the suppliers' view on them. This study focuses on this research gap. The results of the study stress that adaptation should be included to a greater extent in the strategy work of companies. The adaptations should be carefully planned and, as far as possible, made consciously. Conscious, well-planned adaptations can be seen as investments into present and future relationships, and resources should be invested into something that does not increase the company’s dependence, but divides the power in the relationship between the companies. Adaptations should be planned so that they result in a more offensive way of responding to the demands that are placed upon the companies. In this way, the actions can be viewed and analyzed in accordance with whether the actions make the company weaker or stronger.
  • Lahti, Tom (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2009)
    Wealthy individuals - business angels who invest a share of their net worth in entrepreneurial ventures - form an essential part of an informal venture capital market that can secure funding for entrepreneurial ventures. In Finland, business angels represent an untapped pool of capital that can contribute to fostering entrepreneurial development. In addition, business angels can bridge knowledge gaps in new business ventures by means of making their human capital available. This study has two objectives. The first is to gain an understanding of the characteristics and investment behaviour of Finnish business angels. The strongest focus here is on the due diligence procedures and their involvement post investment. The second objective is to assess whether agency theory and the incomplete contacting theory are useful theoretical lenses in the arena of business angels. To achieve the second objective, this study investigates i) how risk is mitigated in the investment process, ii) how uncertainty influences the comprehensiveness of due diligence as well as iii) how control is allocated post investment. Research hypotheses are derived from assumptions underlying agency theory and the incomplete contacting theory. The data for this study comprise interviews with 53 business angels. In terms of sample size this is the largest on Finnish business angels. The research hypotheses in this study are tested using regression analysis. This study suggests that the Finnish informal venture capital market appears to be comprised of a limited number of business angels whose style of investing much resembles their formal counterparts’. Much focus is placed on managing risks prior to making the investment by strong selectiveness and by a relatively comprehensive due diligence. The involvement is rarely on a day-to-day basis and many business angels seem to see board membership as a more suitable alternative than involvement in the operations of an entrepreneurial venture. The uncertainty involved does not seem to drive an increase in due diligence. On the contrary, it would appear that due diligence is more rigorous in safer later stage investments and when the business angels have considerable previous experience as investors. Finnish business angels’ involvement post investment is best explained by their degree of ownership in the entrepreneurial venture. It seems that when investors feel they are sufficiently rewarded, in terms of an adequate equity stake, they are willing to involve themselves actively in their investments. The lack of support for a relationship between increased uncertainty and the comprehensiveness of due diligence may partly be explained by an increasing trend towards portfolio diversification. This is triggered by a taxation system that favours investments through investment companies rather than direct investments. Many business angels appear to have substituted a specialization strategy that builds on reducing uncertainty for a diversification strategy that builds on reducing firm specific (idiosyncratic) risk by holding shares in ventures whose returns are not expected to exhibit a strong positive correlation.
  • Tidström, Annika (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2006)
    Most of the existing research within the business network approach is based on companies that are operating on different levels within the same value chain, as a buyer and a supplier. Intercompetitor cooperation, i.e. cooperation between companies occupying the same level within different value chains, has not been studied to the same extent. Moreover scholars within the business network approach have usually described industrial relationships as long term, consisting of mutual commitment and trust. Industrial relationships are not static, but dynamic, and they contain situations of both harmony and conflict. There is consequently a need for more research both concerning intercompetitor cooperation and conflicts. The purpose of this study is to develop our theoretical and empirical understanding of the nature of conflicts in intercompetitor cooperation from a business network perspective. The focus of the study lies on issue and intensity of conflict. The issue of a conflict can be divided into cause and topic, while the intensity comprises the importance and outcome of a conflict. The empirical part of the study is based on two case studies of groups of cooperating competitors from two different industries. The applied research method is interviews. According to the findings of this study causes of conflicts in intercompetitor cooperation can be divided into three groups: focus, awareness and capacity. Topics of conflict can be related to domain, delivery, advertising or cooperation. Moreover the findings show that conflict situations may be grouped into not important, important or very important. Some conflicts may also be of varying importance, meaning that the importance varies from one point of time to another. Based on the findings of the study the outcome or status of a conflict can be analyzed both on a concrete and general level. The findings also indicate that several conflicts are partly hidden, which means that only one or some of the involved actors perceive the conflict. Furthermore several conflict situations can be related to external network actors.
  • Granqvist, Stefan (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2012)
    Effektutvärdering inom företagandeutbildning är ett forskningsfält som karakteriseras av brist på modeller ifråga om utvärdering. De få och hittills existerande utvärderingsmodellerna verkar ha förbisett de pedagogiska variablerna såsom utbildningens innehåll och metoder. Därför har det varit problematiskt att beskriva företagandeutbildningen i högskolor och analysera hur företagandeutbildningen bidrar till studerandes inlärning och deras förmåga att utnyttja kunskapen i näringslivet. Avhandlingen som är en deduktiv studie granskar den tidigare forskningen på området och förespråkar en tvärvetenskaplig ansats vid mätning och presentation aveffekter inom företagandeutbildning. Den nya modellen, ROEE-modellen, bidrar till teoribildningen om lärandets ”vad” och lärandets ”hur” inom företagandeutbildningen. En av de första teorierna om inlärning (Herbart 1776-1841) och Kirkpatricks (1998) fyra-stegs modell för kursutvärdering byggs ut med en ny referensram baserad på examensutbildning inom företagande. En intressant aspekt metodmässigt utgör att försöksplanering och diagnostik inom medicinens område tillämpas på företagandeutbildningen. Avhandlingen visar att variabeln innehåll i företagandeutbildningen inom examensutbildning har en klar koppling till beteendet. Ett välavvägt innehåll kan utnyttjas i arbetslivet såväl av entreprenören som av intraprenören. Vid metodval i undervisningen visar den empiriska undersökningen att variation i metoder ger de positivaste upplevelserna.
  • Tötterman, Henrik (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2008)
    This study focuses on self-employed industrial designers and how they emerge new venture ideas. More specifically, this study strives to determine what design entrepreneurs do when they create new venture ideas, how venture ideas are nurtured into being, and how the processes are organized to bring such ideas to the market in the given industrial context. In contemporary times when the concern for the creative class is peaking, the research and business communities need more insight of the kind that this study provides, namely how professionals may contribute to their entrepreneurial processes and other agents’ business processes. On the one hand, the interviews underlying this study suggest that design entrepreneurs may act as reactive service providers who are appointed by producers or marketing parties to generate product-related ideas on their behalf. On the other hand, the interviews suggest that proactive behaviour that aims on generating own venture ideas, may force design entrepreneurs to take considerable responsibility in organizing their entrepreneurial processes. Another option is that they strive to bring venture ideas to the market in collaboration, or by passing these to other agents’ product development processes. Design entrepreneurs’ venture ideas typically emerge from design related starting points and observations. Product developers are mainly engaged with creating their own ideas, whereas service providers refer mainly to the development of other agents’ venture ideas. In contrast with design entrepreneurs, external actors commonly emphasize customer demand as their primary source for new venture ideas, as well as development of these in close interaction with available means of production and marketing. Consequently, design entrepreneurs need to address market demand since without sales their venture ideas may as well be classified as art. In case, they want to experiment with creative ideas, then there should be another source of income to support this typically uncertain and extensive process. Currently, it appears like a lot of good venture ideas and resources are being wasted, when venture ideas do not suite available production or business procedures. Sufficient communication between design entrepreneurs and other agents would assist all parties in developing production efficient and distributable venture ideas. Overall, the findings suggest that design entrepreneurs are often involved simultaneously in several processes that aim at emerging new product related ventures. Consequently, design entrepreneurship is conceptualized in this study as a dual process. This implies that design entrepreneurs can simultaneously be in charge of their entrepreneurial processes, as they operate as resources in other agents’ business processes. The interconnection between activities and agents suggests that these kinds of processes tend to be both complex and multifaceted to their nature.
  • Solitander, Maria (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2011)
    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.