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  • Seppälä, Martin (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2004-12-28)
    In this study, it is argued that the view on alliance creation presented in the current academic literature is limited, and that using a learning approach helps to explain the dynamic nature of alliance creation. The cases in this study suggest that a wealth of inefficiency elements can be found in alliance creation. These elements can further be divided into categories, which help explain the dynamics of alliance creation. The categories –combined with two models brought forward by the study– suggest that inefficiency can be avoided through learning during the creation process. Some elements are especially central to this argumentation. First, the elements related to the clarity and acceptance of the strategy of the company, the potential lack of an alliance strategy and the elements related to changes in the strategic context. Second, the elements related to the length of the alliance creation processes and the problems a long process entails. It is further suggested that the different inefficiency elements may create a situation, where the alliance creation process is –sequentially and successfully– followed to the end, but where the different inefficiencies create a situation where the results are not aligned with the strategic intent. The proposed solution is to monitor and assess the risk for inefficiency elements during the alliance creation process. The learning, which occurs during the alliance creation process as a result of the monitoring, can then lead to realignments in the process. This study proposes a model to mitigate the risk related to the inefficiencies. The model emphasizes creating an understanding of the other alliance partner’s business, creating a shared vision, using pilot cooperation and building trust within the process. An analytical approach to assessing the benefits of trust is also central in this view. The alliance creation approach suggested by this study, which emphasizes trust and pilot cooperation, is further critically reviewed against contracting as a way to create alliances.
  • Lehtonen, Oskari (Hanken School of Economics, 2011-09-20)
    Previous research has been inconclusive regarding the impact of those who invest in entrepreneurs. Consider for a moment how potentially important they are to entrepreneurs. They for example decide who deserves funding, how much time they contribute to their portfolio firms, how they grant entrepreneurs access to their networks, and help entrepreneurs acquire additional funding. In sum, investors potentially have a great impact on the success of entrepreneurs. It is therefore important that we better understand the environment, relationships and context in which parties operate. This thesis contains five articles that explore investors’ and entrepreneurs’ relationships from various viewpoints, in theoretical frameworks, and use a variety of data and research methods. The first article is a literature review that summarises what we know of venture capital, business angel and corporate venture capital funding. The second article studies the entrepreneurs’ investor selection process, its consequences, and identifies key factors that influence the process. Earlier, the common approach has been to concentrate research on the investors’ selection policy, not the entrepreneurs’. The data and conclusions are based on multiple case studies. The article analyses how entrepreneurs can ensure that they get the best possible investor, when it is possible for an entrepreneur to select an investor, and what are the consequences of investor selection. The third article employs power constructs (dependency, power balance/imbalance, power sources) and analyses their applicability in the investor-entrepreneur relationship. Power constructs are extensively studied and utilised in the management and organisation literature. In entrepreneur investor relationships, power aspects are rarely analysed. However, having the ability to “get others to do things they would not otherwise do” is a very common factor in the investor-entrepreneur relationship. Therefore, employing and analysing the applicability of power constructs in this setting is well founded. The article is based on a single case study but suggests that power constructs could be applicable and consequently provide additional insights into the investor-entrepreneur relationship. The fourth article studies the role of advisors in the venture capital investment process and analyses implications for research and practice, particularly from the entrepreneurs’ perspective. The common entrepreneurial finance literature describes the entrepreneur-investor relationship as linear and bilateral. However, it was discovered that advisors may influence the relationship. In this article, the role of advisors, operating procedures and advisors’ impact on different parties is analysed. The fifth article concentrates on investors’ certification effect. The article measures and demonstrates that venture capital investment is likely to increase the credibility (in terms of media attention) of early stage firms, those that most often need additional credibility. Understanding investor certification can affect how entrepreneurs evaluate investment offers and how investors can make their offers appear more lucrative.
  • Österåker, Maria (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2003-11-28)
    Varför är arbetsplatsen en plats? Arbetsplatsens betydelse diskuterar den självklarhet som ofta karakteriserar en vetenskaplig diskussion om arbetsplatsen och dess fysiska existens. Tyngdpunkten inom platsforskningen har kommit att långt ligga på platsens utformning, på dess innehåll och skeenden istället för på platsen i sig. Den snabba informationsteknologiska utvecklingen leder emellertid till att man kan ifrågasätta huruvida dagens traditionella arbetsplatser med deras fysiska attribut överhuvudtaget behövs. En frigörelse från rummets och tidens restriktioner skulle medföra att en fysisk arbetsplats inte längre kunde ses som självklar. I en situation där individen behåller arbetet som aktivitet men förlorar sin kontakt med den traditionella arbetsplatsen (blir arbetsplatslös) uppstår ett behov av att veta om man samtidigt förlorar något betydelsefullt. Bör värden överföras från den traditionella arbetsplatsen till arbete under mera virtuella och gränslösa villkor och i så fall vilka? Arbetsplatsens betydelse söker en förståelse för den betydelse arbetstagarna sätter vid sin arbetsplats och framförallt vid det faktum att den är en fysisk plats. Intervjuer med distansarbetare och traditionella kontorsarbetare visar att arbetsplatsen legitimerar arbetet, avgränsar arbetet, stöder arbetstagaren i arbetet och stöder arbetstagaren som människa. Detta är enligt dem svaret på varför det ligger ett värde i att traditionellt se och uppleva arbetsplatsen som en fysisk plats.
  • Sinclair, Joanna Beth (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2010-10-05)
    Knowledge Flow, my dear friend! I would like to introduce you to a close relative of yours: Organizational Communication. You might want to take a moment to hear what your newfound kin has to say. As bright as you are dear Flow, you're missing a piece of the puzzle - for one cannot study any aspect of an organization relating to communication without acknowledging the message. Without a message, communication does not exist. Organizational Communication has always appreciated this. Perhaps the time has come for you to join rank and do so too? The main point of this work is to prove that the form of a message considerably affects communication, interpretation - and knowledge flow. As stories are at the heart of this thesis; and entertaining, reader-friendly communication its main argument, the entire manuscript is written in story form and is intentionally breaking academic writing tradition as far as writing style goes. Each chapter reads as a story of sorts and put together they create a grand narrative of my journey as a PhD student, the research I have conducted and the outcomes of this work. Thus if a reader hopes to make any sense of this title, she must read it in the same way one would read a novel, from beginning to end. This is a thesis with three aspirations. First, it sets out to prove that knowledge flow cannot be studied without a message. Second, it moves on to give the reader a once-over of a much used message form: storytelling. After these two goals are tackled the path is clear to research if message form indeed is as essential as claimed. I do so through both a qualitative and a quantitative study. The former acted as both a stepping stone into the research area and as an inspirational pilot, from which the research design for the larger quantitative study was drawn. Together, these two studies answered my research question - and allowed me to fulfill the third, final and foremost aspiration of this study - bridging the gap between two separate fields of knowledge management: knowledge flow and storytelling.
  • Bor, Sanne (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2014-11-25)
    Organisations collaborate with one another. And they appear to do so more and more frequently in the recent decades. At the same time many of these efforts fail to deliver what the collaboration was set up for. This combination creates the basis for the fascinating and stimulating research field of inter-organisational relations – a field which is still very much in development. In this thesis the focus is on meta-organisations, associations in which organisations are members. The steering of such inter-organisational structures appears to need a novel approach, a collective, multi-level engagement which I set out to examine. The thesis is structured to foreground the process of the research and the development of my thinking. The study is conducted on R&D consortia funded as Networks of Excellence by the European Commission under Framework Programme 6. The study is based primarily on five case studies, by way of documentation and interviews. In addition, the study draws on data collected on 101 consortia and consortium agreements from 50 consortia. The thesis develops the theoretical understanding of meta-organisations and their organisational conditions and implications. Meta-organisation theory, thus far, has focused mainly on the implications following from having organisations as members. This thesis suggests adding to this theory the implications created by constitutional membership, that is, members that constitute the organisation. Constitutional membership makes a difference in three ways: it creates a clear boundary of the meta-organisation; it assumes collective ownership of the meta-organisation; and it makes possible the utilising of indirect resources – the resources of the member organisations, and most importantly their personnel – by the meta-organisation. In addition, the thesis develops a conceptual framework of steering processes, combining governance, management and administration. This framework shows how both decisions and mutual adjustment in top-down, bottom-up, and horizontal directions steer meta-organisations. The framework may, however, be fruitfully used to study other organisations as well. The findings from the analysis of the steering processes show that the utilisation of indirect resources decentralises the governance, management and administration of activities to the participants of member organisations who are undertaking these activities. The results also demonstrate that the governance, management and administration of undivided tasks centralises to those with formal management responsibility. In addition, the analysis shows how control and granting are avoided, externalised or formalised to deal with lack of hierarchical authority. These and other findings of the study seek to refine and extend the hypothesised conditions of meta-organisation theory.
  • Jakubik, Maria (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2011-02-25)
    This qualitative, explorative study, which comprises four essays, focuses on knowledge management (KM). It seeks to answer the question: How can the knowledge creation theory of KM benefit from social learning theories? While studying the five development phases of knowledge creation theory of KM through 1995-2008 and applying some social learning theories in essays, the concepts of knowing, learning and becoming have emerged. Drawing on these three concepts and on becoming ontology and extended epistemology as research philosophies the study suggests the ‘becoming epistemology’ concept and develops the ‘becoming to know’ framework. The framework proposes becoming as phronesis of dialectic interactions between learning and knowing. It shows how becoming to know evolves as an interplay between concrete experience and logical thinking in the present and in a living context. The proposed framework could be considered a contribution to the current development phase of the knowledge creation theory of KM because it illustrates how ontological and epistemological knowledge spirals come together, which is the essence of the knowledge creation theory of KM.
  • Vilén, Tanja (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2010-10-15)
    The paradoxical co-existence of conflicting logics governs practices in cultural organizations. This requires ‘balancing acts’ between artistic and managerial efforts, which are often subjects to struggle among the organizational members. This ethnographic study aims to go beyond either-or thinking on the paradoxical organizational context by examining how the organizational members of an opera house construct views on their organization in dialogical meaning-making processes. Various professional groups, dozens of upcoming productions, increased international cooperation, and global competition combined with scarce financial resources make opera houses a complex though interesting context for organization studies. In order to provide a deeper knowledge of the internal dynamics of an opera organization this thesis takes an interpretative view to examine the ways organizational members construct and make sense of their organization. How is the opera organization constructed by the organizational members? How do the members draw on different logics when relating to their organization? Or what are the elements that characterize the relational processes of organizational identity construction in an opera organization? The thesis aims to answer these questions by providing a detailed description of the everyday life of an opera organization and a particular focus put on organizational identity construction. The processes of organizational identity construction are approached from a relational point of view. This may involve various relations between multiple positions, different professional groups, other organizations in the cultural field or between past and present understandings of an organization. The study shows that the construction of an opera organization involves not only the two conflicting logics of art and economy, but also the logic of a national institution. The study suggests also that organizational identities are constructed through processes related to the dialogics of positions, work and management practices. The dialogics involve various struggles through which the organizational members find themselves between the different organizational aspects such as visiting ‘stars’ and an ensemble or between ‘Finnishness’ of opera productions and internationalization. In addition, the study argues that a struggle between different elements is a general mode of relation in cultural organizations and therefore an inherent and enduring aspect in the organizational identity construction. However, the space of ‘being in between’ involves both the enabling and constraining elements in the dialogical identity construction in the context of cultural organizations, which present the struggle in a more generative light.
  • Olin, Tommy (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2013-08-27)
    Socialt kapital, ett begrepp utsprunget ur sociologin, har under 1900-talets senare årtionden inkluderats i många andra vetenskapliga discipliner. Det har använts för att försöka förstå varierande samhällsskeenden. Även inom ekonomi har socialt kapital, jämsides med fysiskt kapital och humankapital, fått ökad betydelse för att förklara ekonomisk utveckling och tillväxt. Socialt kapital kan uppspjälkas strukturellt i form av nätverk samt kognitivt eller kulturellt i form av t.ex. tillit. Det ansågs ursprungligen vara en tillgång som existerade på individuell nivå, senare tillfördes kollektiva nivåer. Socialt kapital har överlag beskrivits som en positiv företeelse, nödvändig och gynnsam för ekonomisk utveckling och med en särskild förmåga att generera allmän nytta. På lokalnivå anses det sociala kapitalet utgöra en viktig beståndsdel i det s.k. företagsklimatet. Men begreppet har även en negativ sida, som diskuterats i betydligt mindre omfattning i litteraturen. Det sociala kapitalet kan ibland verka nedbrytande eller hämmande för utvecklingen inom ett visst område eller en viss befolkningsgrupp. De existerande nätverken antar då en exkluderande karaktär, där vissa grupper utestängs och tilliten begränsas till att omfatta endast utvalda individer. Med utgångspunkt i det sociala kapitalets negativa yttringar är syftet med denna studie att beskriva hur detta kan erodera ett samhälles entreprenöriella förutsättningar. Empiriskt behandlar studien lokalsamhället Purmo, som under perioden 1945-76 uppvisade en noterbart minskande företagsamhet, samtidigt som företagare utgångna från kommunen blev framgångsrika på andra orter. Trots att den stagnerande företagsamheten i Purmo kan ha sin grund i flera olika samverkande faktorer, påvisas det att den mest avgörande omständigheten utgörs av det gentemot företagsamheten negativa kulturella klimatet, främst i form av det sociala kapitalet, och att detta bidrog till den utveckling som historiskt skedde. De förutsättningar som borde ha funnits för en växande företagsamhet saknades och många av de individer som försökte sig på företagande gav upp. Den historiska utvecklingen i Purmo kan också beskrivas som spårberoende i det att lokalsamhällets utveckling i Purmo var i händerna på nätverk som inte gjorde avsteg från den utstakade linjen. Den lokalekonomi som uppstod kring sekelskiftet 1900 och som kännbart bidrog till områdets dåtida gynnsamma ekonomiska utveckling, skapade också det sociala kapital som omöjliggjorde en kursändring. På basen av den empiriska studien prestenteras i skriften en modell för en nedåtgående samhällsutveckling.
  • Sumelius, Jennie (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2009-09-11)
    Whilst previous research on Human Resource Management (HRM) in subsidiaries of multinational companies (MNCs) has focused extensively on the HRM practices that exist in foreign subsidiaries and the extent to which they resemble MNC home country and/or local host country practices, considerably less attention has been directed at the question of how these practices come to exist. Accordingly, this thesis aims to shed light on the processes that shape HRM practices and capabilities in MNC subsidiaries. The main contribution of the thesis is the focus on how; how HRM practices are integrated in MNC subsidiaries, and how subsidiary HRM capabilities are developed through involvement in social networks. Furthermore, this thesis includes a time aspect which, despite not being purely longitudinal, provides an indication of the ongoing changes in HRM in MNC subsidiaries in China. Data for this study were collected in 2005-2006 through structured face to face interviews with 153 general managers and HR managers in 87 subsidiaries of European MNCs located in China. Five of the six thesis papers build on this questionnaire data and one paper builds on qualitative data collected at the same time. Two papers build on dual data sets, meaning that they in addition to the abovementioned data include quantitative questionnaire data from 1996 and 1999 respectively. The thesis focuses on the following four sub-questions i) To what extent do subsidiary HRM practices resemble parent MNC and host country practices? How has this changed over time and why? ii) How are HRM practices integrated into MNC subsidiaries and why are certain integration mechanisms used? iii) How does involvement in internal and external social networks influence subsidiary HRM capabilities? iv) What factors influence the strategic role of the subsidiary HR department? Regarding the first sub-question the findings indicate that the HRM practices of MNC subsidiaries in China are converging with both local company practices and parent MNC practices. This is interesting in the sense that it suggests that the isomorphic pressures the subsidiary faces from the MNC and from its local host environment are not always in conflict with each other. Concerning the question of how HRM practices are integrated into MNC subsidiaries and why certain integration mechanisms are used, the thesis provides a fine-grained examination of four mechanisms that MNCs use to integrate HRM practices in subsidiaries. The findings suggest that MNCs use a variety of different integration mechanisms as complements rather than as substitutes for each other. Furthermore, it is apparent that different contextual factors in the subsidiary and the subsidiary-headquarters relationship influence why certain mechanisms are or are not used. The most interesting contribution of the thesis in regard to the third question is that it highlights the importance of network involvement for learning about HRM practices in the Chinese context. Networks with other MNCs in China clearly emerged as particularly important contributors to enhanced HRM capabilities. Finally, concerning the fourth sub-question the findings indicate that the role of the HR department in MNC subsidiaries in China had become more strategic between 1999 and 2006.
  • Sorsa, Virpi (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2012-10-31)
    “Strategizing has become one of the most important managerial practices. It is becoming harder and harder to find an organization, which wouldn't engage in yearly strategic planning and implementation cycles. Although the theorizing of "planning" is becoming less popular in strategy research and the theorization of "process" and "practice" is gaining more and more ground, the practice itself - the managerial elite's strategy workshops, the writing of official strategy documents and the employees' and interest groups' various innovative ways of interpreting and using those documents - has become accustomed, legitimate and even expected in contemporary organizations. This thesis examines the social practice of strategizing in municipal and congregational strategy work through various discursive perspectives and explains how strategy enters into and figures in the daily lives of people organizations. The contributions of this thesis are presented in six essays, which examine the actual strategy conversations and texts. This approach gives the reader a unique opportunity to access information and learn about issues which are typically kept out of sight to outside eyes. The results of this thesis emphasize the constitutive role of discourse and communication at different sites of social life within the context of strategizing. With its distinctive approach to studying the transcripts and videorecordings of strategy work, this thesis sensitizes scholars to pay careful attention to language and its role in social practice of strategy and will be invaluable to scholars, researchers, and graduate students in strategy communication.”
  • Louvrier, Jonna (Hanken School of Economics, 2013-08-27)
    In many countries diversity management has become an increasingly common way of treating differences between people in the world of work. Companies may sign diversity charters to show their engagement in promoting diversity, design and implement diversity management programmes, and communicate about their diversity initiatives to internal and external stakeholders. But what does diversity in the workplace mean? Who is defined as being different? And what do those defined as being different think about diversity and difference in work? By addressing these questions this book sheds light on the complex meanings of diversity management. The meanings of diversity management have long been developed and discussed in relation to equality and anti-discrimination policy and practice. A key question has been whether diversity management is a better way to enhance equality between organisational members or, on the contrary, is it diluting the results of equality approaches. The scope of this study is broader and shows that meanings of diversity management are constructed by drawing on not only knowledge about equality and anti-discrimination, but also understandings of society, the organisation, the individual, and the nature of differences. The study is informed by poststructuralist theory and based on interview data produced with 23 diversity managers and 52 ethnic minority employees in diversity promoting organisations in Finland and France. The findings contribute to the field of diversity management in several ways. First of all, the results show that there is no unitary meaning of diversity, difference and diversity management, but a number of discourses together forming the complexity and variety of what diversity management can come to mean in a given context and at a given point of time. Secondly, the findings challenge the idea that diversity management initiatives would be based solely on essentialist views of difference. However, the findings also show that even when differences are seen to be socially constructed, the organisation is not seen as participating in the construction of differences and in the production of related inequalities. Thirdly, the findings show that ethnic minority employees rarely draw on their differences as positive resources in work, and that they often are left alone to manage challenging situations related to difference, even in organisations promoting diversity. Lastly, the study highlights the importance of being attentive to national societal context, as discursively constructed, throughout the research process.
  • Tuori, Annamari (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2014-11-20)
    Social categories, such as ethnicity and gender, have been shown to be important for people’s identities in organisations. Different categories of people can experience very different realities in terms of who they are or can be at work, often influenced by inequalities in relation to and indeed between the categories. However, the inequalities often tend to be silenced. At the same time, silence in individual people’s identity work in organisations has remained relatively unexamined in the research literature. Accordingly, this thesis examines identity work in organisations at the interface of social categories, inequalities, and silence(s). The thesis examines people’s identity work in organisations through a notion of ‘intersectional job-related identity work’, meaning the construction of a job-related identity at the intersections of different social categories. It focuses in particular on, first, how in identity work people relate to inequalities, and, second, how they are silent about social categories as a part of their identity work. The empirical context for the study is three small to medium-sized ICT companies in Finland. The thesis is based on 33 semi-structured interviews. The main findings of the study concern two aspects related to intersectional job-related identity work. First, the study identifies two different types of ‘intersectional strategies', namely, the combining and separating strategies that people engage in in their job-related identity work. These refer to different ways of combining and separating social categories with and from one’s job-related identity, respectively. Intersectional job-related identity work is not only about different ways of combining a job-related identity with social categories, but also about how social categories are kept separate from one’s identity at work. Moreover, in line with previous studies, this study suggests that inequalities, in terms of different positions and experiences of privilege and/or disadvantage are often central for how identity work is done. Second, the thesis identifies different ways in which people are (and are not) silent on social categories at work. It identifies organisational, interpersonal and individual level silences, identifying inequalities as the issue that the interviewees seem to be mostly silent on. Thus, while inequalities related to social categories seemed to be important for how intersectional job-related identity work is done, they are also simultaneously that which the interviewees seemed to be most silent on. The thesis contributes particularly to the research literature on identities, identity work and intersectionality in organisations, by providing new knowledge on both silence in and around (intersectional) identity work in organisations, and how social categories may be kept separate from job-related identity.
  • Rannikko, Heikki (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2012-02-27)
    This study participates in several discussions on new technology-based firms, both from a population-level viewpoint and a firm-level viewpoint. The overall objective of this study is to examine how new technology-based firms grow. For the population level research this study provides new knowledge by analysing growth, and high growth, in the context of new technology-based firms. As a firm level phenomenon the present study provides new knowledge, both for the behavioural orientation literature and the resource dependence literature, by examining the possible causes and implications of entrepreneurial orientation and external resource mobilisation. The results of the descriptive empirical analysis picture the group of technology-based firms as a distinct sector of the economy. The emphasis on technology is shown through the finding that new technology-based firms’ managers value the distinction of technology over other business goals. Concerning growth patterns it is found that only a minority of new firms experience high annual growth, that growth is erratic and that it may take a long time for a new technology-based firm to achieve growth. The testing of the theoretical model suggests that entrepreneurial orientation is positively associated with growth performance and that the experienced growth performance is positively associated with entrepreneurial orientation. In conclusion, it seems that positive experiences in the past reinforce entrepreneurial orientation, which further strengthens the development of a firm. Concerning moderating factors it is found that technological distinctiveness modifies the relationship between entrepreneurial orientation and growth. The finding hints that entrepreneurship (risk-taking, boldness and pro-activeness) is more beneficial with strategies in which technological excellence and sophistication are not the top priority. In support of the resource dependence argument, it was found that financial resource mobilisation is positively associated with growth. The findings further give support for the view that embeddedness in a firm community of practice is associated with a higher level of resource mobilisation in a firm level. Concerning financial resource mobilisation, the results suggest that there is a positive association, both between identification with a community of practice and financial resource mobilization and between nature of co-operation in a community of practice and financial resource mobilisation. Towards operational resource mobilisation similar associations were not found. Overall, these results contribute to the innovation policy discussion by suggesting that hands-on innovation policy interventions may have firm-level effects, in addition to those of technological and business learning. The results suggest indirectly that supporting firms to create and maintain close ties with their exchange partners within a community of practice may lead to improved resource mobilisation e.g. through increased awareness of firm participants. This discovery contributes both to the research on innovation policy interventions and to the research on a more nuanced view of the resource dependence perspective.
  • Galkina, Tamara (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2013-05-23)
    Despite the wide application of the network approach in Entrepreneurship and International Entrepreneurship, previous research lacks understanding of entrepreneurial networking as a process. Also, existing research views entrepreneurial networks as relatively stable and structured entities that are created in response to the defined resource needs and goals of a new venture. However, non-goal-oriented side of entrepreneurial networking has been neglected. Thus, the ultimate goal of this thesis is to study the intended and unintended aspects of the process of entrepreneurial networking. In this research, unintended entrepreneurial networking is understood through the lens of effectuation theory, which represents a logic of reasoning opposite to causation or a goal driven action based on predictive rationality. The findings from the five essays included into this thesis demonstrate that the process of purposeful creation of entrepreneurial network has three phases – activation of existing contacts, purposeful creation of new contacts, and evolution of entrepreneurial network. Also, entrepreneurial infrastructure influences this process, namely the involvement of formal and informal relations into the network. In addition, the results show that causation and effectuation are constantly intertwined in the process of entrepreneurial networking. The way the entrepreneurs networked, causally or effectually, depends upon the content of establishing a relation, the value of either the quality or quantity of a relation, and entrepreneur’s personality. In the context of internationalization and forming networks in foreign markets, entrepreneurial firms are likely to network effectually due to the conditions of high uncertainty. They are likely to enter foreign markets following their networks instead of these markets determining where and what partners to select. These findings lead to the implications that networking plans do not always work and entrepreneurs need to remain open to unexpected connections. Moreover, in highly uncertain situations they can leverage contingences in order to increase available opportunities. Also, the thesis suggests several implications derived from the comparison of entrepreneurial networking of Russian and Finnish founding teams. For example, it recommends Finnish entrepreneurs expanding their businesses to Russia to use networking services of various organizations, to find a network expert who has local knowledge and connections, and to rely on informal business relations.
  • Hussi, Tomi (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2005-09-28)
    This study explores the relationship between Intellectual Capital and Maintenance of Work Ability. Intellectual Capital is the central framework for analysing the increasing knowledge-intensiveness of business life. It is characteristic of Intellectual Capital that the intersection of human capital, internal structures and external structures is essential. Maintenance of Work Ability, on the other hand, has been the leading paradigm for Finnish occupational health and safety activities since the late 1980s. It is also a holistic approach that emphasises the interdependence of competence, work community, work environment and health as the key to work-related wellbeing. This thesis consists of five essays that scrutinise the focal phenomena both theoretically and empirically. The conceptual model that results from the first research essay provides a general framework for the whole thesis. The case study in the second essay supports a division of intangible assets into generative and commercially exploitable intangibles introduced in the first essay and further into the primary and secondary dimension of generative intangibles. Further scrutiny of the interaction of generative intangible assets in essay three reveals that employees’ wellbeing enhances the readiness to contribute to the knowledge creation process. The fourth essay shows that the MWA framework could benefit knowledge-intensive work but this would require a different approach than has been commonly adopted in Finland. In essay five, deeper analysis of the MWA framework shows that its potential results from comprehensive support of the functioning of an organisation. The general conclusion of this thesis is that organisations must take care of their employees’ wellbeing in order to secure innovativeness that is the key to surviving in today’s competitive business environment.
  • Franck, Henrika (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2012-05-24)
    Strategic management and ethics impose contradictory pressures on managerial sensemaking. Using concepts from Paul Ricoeur’s philosophical work as a theoretical lens, this thesis analyzes a longitudinal data set, produced within strategy meetings and interviews in a multinational corporation undergoing a radical change process. It induces a model of ethical sensemaking in strategic management, founded on the processes of irony, compromise and conflict. The thesis demonstrates how the ethical can become possible and tangible in practice. It is an ethics that prompts reactions with on-going practicalities and acknowledges the unpredictable nature of change.Whereas normative business ethics literature has focused on how strategy is fair, leads to good deeds or is made by virtuous people, this study suggests that ethics is not something separate from the day-to-day, or moment-to-moment activity. It cannot be controlled from a distance. The study shows that business and ethics are not separate – it is about how we live with one another outside of being merely means for one another to gain. Through two interconnected analyses the thesis reveals how strategy work is riddled with tensions and how individuals rely on a number of tactics to navigate in order to live up to the demands of ethics.
  • Bhatti, Khalid M. (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2012-01-03)
    International strategic alliances (ISAs) have become increasingly important for the stability, growth, and long-term viability of modern business organizations. Alliance partnerships as inter-firm cooperative ventures represent an influential mechanism for asserting corporate strategic control among autonomous multinational enterprises. These different cooperative arrangements are made of equity investments or contractually-based partnerships. Different alliance forms represent different approaches that partner firms adopt to control their mutual dependence on the alliance and on other partners. Earlier research shows that the partner characteristics could provide an explanation for alliance strategic behavior and see alliances as alternative forms to markets or hierarchies for addressing specific strategic needs linked to partners’ characteristics and their subsequent strategic motives. These characteristics of the partners’ and subsequent strategic motives are analyzed as knowledge sharing factors and how these influence inter-firm control in alliances within the context of the focal-firm STMicroelectronics and its alliance partners Nokia, Ericsson and IBM. This study underline that as contracts are incomplete, they are therefore required to maintain mutual dependence based control mechanisms in addition to a contract. For example, mutual dependence based control mechanisms could be joint financial investments and the building of an ownership structure between the parties (e.g., JVs). However, the present study clarifies that subsequent inter-firm control is also exercised through inter-firm knowledge sharing. The present study contributes by presenting a dynamic interplay between competitive and cooperative rent seeking behavior. Such coopetition behavior describes the firm's strategic orientation to achieve a dynamic balance between competitive and cooperative strategies. This balance is seen in knowledge sharing based cooperation and competition behavior. Thus this study clarifies coopetition strategies by introducing the role of inter-firm cooperation and the competitive nature of knowledge sharing. Simultaneous cooperative and competitive behavior is also seen as synergetic rent-seeking behavior. Therefore, this study extends the perspective of previous studies on competitive and cooperative seeking behavior.
  • Paganus, Solja (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2006-01-10)
    This thesis explores Finnish business repatriates’ coping strategies. Managing repatriation has been recognized as a demanding task for companies and an important issue in international human resource management. However, we still know relatively little about how repatriates respond to the demands of the return. This thesis addresses this problem by applying a process approach to coping with repatriation. The focus is on identifying repatriates’ coping strategies and the various forms of them. This study also aims to investigate what might influence the use of repatriates’ coping strategies and forms of coping. The background of this doctoral study is provided by earlier research that identified factors influencing repatriates’ adjustment, either positively or negatively. The empirical material of this doctoral thesis comprises twenty-two Phase I semi-structured interviews and ten Phase II follow-up interviews conducted for the purposes of verification. The main findings of the study are formulated as propositions. For instance, it was suggested that repatriates are likely to use different forms of problem-focused strategy more often than various forms of emotion-focused strategy. Moreover, they also are likely to use a larger range of problem-focused strategies than emotion-focused strategies. In addition, in contrast to specialists, repatriates occupying managerial positions are likely to use a greater number and a greater variety of different forms of problem-focused strategy than of emotion-focused strategy, especially in the context of preparing for their return and in different work role changes. This thesis contributes to research on repatriation, expatriation, coping and identifies implications for management.
  • Forss, Maria (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2014-10-01)
    Den här avhandlingen handlar om hur fortbildning arrangeras för sjukskötare i en finländsk sjukvårdsorganisation. Fortbildning är viktig för organisationer och anses vara ett strategiskt verktyg för att möta, bemästra och skapa förändringar. Forskning kring fortbildning kretsar ofta kring pedagogiska lösningar eller lärande där fortbildning uppfattas som något neutralt. Min avhandling tillför forskning om fortbildning ett maktperspektiv och ett retoriskt perspektiv och jag behandlar inte fortbildning som något enbart positivt eftersom fortbildning även är handlingar med potential för normativ kontroll. Jag utgår ifrån att fortbildning är partisk och värdeladdad. Min titel för avhandlingen syftar på den mångbottnade förståelse som kan skönjas i begreppet fortbildning. Det finns begränsad forskning vilken ser fortbildning som uttryck för sammanhang och helheter. Inte heller finns forskning som ser arrangemangen kring fortbildning som handlingar vilka skapar/fråntar anställda makt eller forskning som ser fortbildning som uttryck för självreglerande handlingar. Det är till denna mindre uppmärksammade sida som jag riktar mitt vetenskapliga bidrag. Jag har tematiskt intervjuat sjukskötare och ledare samt utbildningsplanerare. Dessutom har jag analyserat organisationens texter om och för fortbildning samt observerat två olika fortbildningar. Avhandlingen är en omfattande fallstudie som bygger på 31 intervjuer av 23 informanter och på två olika icke-deltagande observationer. Jag har koncentrerat, kategoriserat och tematiserat mitt material och byggt broar mellan det som kan förefalla motsägelsefullt med hjälp av kritisk hermeneutik för att presentera det som resultat. Sedan har resultatet tolkats med hjälp av en konstruerad analysmodell som bygger på två olika analyslinser. Den ena är den kommunikativt handlande linsen och den andra linsen är governmentality. Resultaten nås således genom att analysera fortbildningsaktiviteter med hjälp av två olika teorier, kommunikativt handlande och governmentality. Från de tre viktigaste aktörernas perspektiv försöker jag skapa en helhetsbild av fortbildning som fenomen. Fortbildning granskas från tre aktörers perspektiv samtidigt och på detaljnivå med syftet att fånga en helhet. Som vetenskapligt bidrag är detta en kritisk organisationsstudie av HR verksamhet med fokus på fortbildning. Jag demonstrerar hur ledningens förväntningar och anställdas förväntningar kring fortbildning omöjligt kan mötas om det inte finns vilja, initiativ och plats för dem. Makt och positioner kan inte separeras från retoriska handlingar, något jag visar i avhandlingen.
  • Khoreva, Violetta (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2012-09-13)
    A growing awareness of gender inequality as well as a conviction that it should be eliminated has produced a number of studies aiming at uncovering its reasons. Much less attention has been given to the subjective dimension of how individuals perceive gender inequality. One of the main elements of gender inequality, the gender pay gap, has also received considerable attention by scholars all around the world. However, several researchers documented that their respondents did not perceive the existence of the gender pay gap, even when the gap could be clearly demonstrated from statistical sources. Besides, previous studies on organizational justice have come to somewhat inconsistent conclusions regarding gender differences in the effect of equity and organizational justice on organizational commitment. Examining whether and to what extent people perceive gender inequality and the gender pay gap to exist can help answering the question of why gender inequality and the gender pay gap persist. Furthermore, studying why, even though female employees tend to earn less than their comparable male counterparts, they often continue to be committed to their organizations to the same or even greater extent than their male colleagues is indeed a question of interest. Against the background of the above discussion, this thesis aims to examine how individuals with different backgrounds and employees from different workplaces perceive gender inequality, the gender pay gap, and react to pay inequity. The findings indicate that far more employees perceive gender inequality in society in general rather than in their own workplaces, which means that while employees realize that there are problems in Finnish society concerning gender inequality as a whole, they tend not to perceive the existence of this very problem in their own workplaces. The finding that employees in lower hierarchical positions perceived workplace gender inequality to a greater extent than employees in higher hierarchical positions was the least expected. This finding suggests that those employees, who are in higher hierarchical positions, are least likely to see the problem of gender inequality. Finally, the findings show that female employees tend not to perceive an income differential in the first place. The thesis thus provides evidence that female employees react to a lesser extent to pay disparities by continuing to be highly committed towards their organizations. These differences are partly explained by factors related to social comparisons and gender socialization.