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  • Mantere, Saku (Hanken School of Economics, 2014)
    Under which conditions does a collective strategy exist among organizational members? Where should a scholar look for one? To offer one way to start solving these puzzles I propose a view of organizational strategy as a language game that governs the use of strategy labels at the level of the organization. Organizational strategy exhibits a division of linguistic labor, where responsibility for key concepts is assigned to particular individuals or organizational functions. Such linguistic experts oversee the proper use and maintenance of strategy language. The language-based view helps to understand linkages between institutional, network, organizational and micro level views on strategy. It also problematizes widely held intuitions regarding the relationship between strategy and organizational outcomes.
  • Mantere, Saku; Schildt, Henri A.; Sillince, John A.A. (Hanken School of Economics, 2014)
    When planned change is cancelled, managers may be tempted to reverse their organization’s strategy. Our longitudinal case study documents a cancelled merger effort and a failed attempt to return to the organization’s widely accepted pre-merger strategy. We trace the failure to contradictions in symbolic change management. The phenomenon of change reversal draws attention to the historical continuity of sensemaking and raises caution about the popular view that managers need to destroy organizational meaning in order to facilitate the realization of strategic change.
  • Ketokivi, Mikko; Mantere, Saku (Hanken School of Economics, 2014)
    Incompleteness of inductive reasoning presents an enduring dilemma to organizational research. We examine two practical reasoning strategies—idealization and contextualization—that can be used at the pinnacle of this dilemma: when theoretical conclusions are drawn from empirical data. Understanding the two strategies can lead to more effective argumentation and evaluation. Appreciating the methodological incompleteness of both strategies in turn helps us distinguish between the methodological and the policy dimensions of organization-scientific debates.
  • Mantere, Saku; Ketokivi, Mikko (Hanken School of Economics, 2014)
    Prescriptions regarding organization-scientific methodology are typically founded on the researcher’s ability to approach perfect rationality. In a critical examination of the use of scientific reasoning (deduction, induction, abduction) in organizational research, we seek to replace this unrealistic premise with an alternative that incorporates a more realistic view of the cognitive capacity of the researcher. Towards this end, we construct a typology of descriptive, prescriptive, and normative criteria for the evaluation of organization-scientific reasoning practices. This typology addresses both cognitive limits as well as the diversity of research approaches and research designs in organizational research. We make the case for incorporating not only the computational but also the cognitive element into both the reporting and the evaluation of scientific reasoning.
  • Suominen, Kimmo; Mantere, Saku (Hanken School of Economics, 2014)
    Although the managerial profession is subjugated by the discipline of strategic manage-ment, managers are not completely subordinate to it. Instead, they are able to use the in-stitutionalized discourse of strategic management, which is not their own product, in nov-el and creative ways. In this paper, we focus on the tactics that managers, as central strat-egy practitioners, use to consume strategy. Drawing on the work of the late Michel de Certeau as a theoretical lens, we conduct an empirical analysis of discourse, produced by 36 managers operating in three case organizations. This analysis allows us to elaborate on three different tactics of strategy consumption: instrumental, playful and intimate. The results capture the reciprocal dynamics between the micro and macro-levels of strategy discourse, that is, between strategic management as an institutional body of knowledge and the discursive practice of individual managers.
  • Peltokorpi, Vesa (Hanken School of Economics, 2014)
    This paper focuses on the multi-faceted role of language and language-sensitive recruitment processes in knowledge transfer in multinational corporations (MNCs). In particular, we develop a framework that helps to better understand how language-sensitive recruitment is related to competence, networks, identity and power. We started by conducting a qualitative interview-based study of 101 MNC subsidiaries. This analysis elucidates the productive and counterproductive effects of language-sensitive recruitment on knowledge transfer related to communication competence, networks, identity, and power. To further understanding of the productive and counterproductive effects, we conducted a quantitative study in 285 MNC subsidiaries. We found an inverted U-shaped relationship between language-sensitive recruitment and knowledge transfer. Together, these two studies provide a better understanding of the multifaceted and at times counterintuitive implications of language-sensitive recruitment on knowledge transfer in MNCs. By elucidating these effects, this paper contributes to the stream of research examining the role of language in MNCs and international business more generally. It also adds to research on MNC knowledge transfer that to date has focused little attention on language. By elaborating on the potential unintended consequences of language-sensitive recruitment, this paper also has implications on international human resource management research.
  • Vaara, Eero; Reff Pedersen, Anne (Hanken School of Economics, 2014)
  • Samuelson, Olov; Björk, Bo-Christer (Elsevier BV, 2014)
    The rapid development of IT technology has in the past three decades created opportunities for faster and more efficient processes as well as innovative new working methods in the building industry. This paper presents the results of a longitudinal survey-based study (the ”IT barometer”) of IT use in the Swedish building industry, conducted at several intervals over the period 1998-2011. The results show a rapid increase in general IT use as well as in the use of sector-specific tools. Improving communication and information sharing is a strong driving force for taking IT into use, for instance technologies such as EDM and EDI, although the adoption of the more complex applications (ie BIM) is slower. Interestingly “demands from employees” has over the years become a very important reason for companies to increase their IT use. Leading areas for planned IT investments include document handling and mobile equipment, with BIM technology rather low on the list.
  • Cooren, François; Vaara, Eero; Langley, Ann; Tsoukas, Haridimos (Oxford University Press, 2014)
    Abstract: Studying language and communication at work implies that we connect them to the very processes, activities, and practices that constitute organizations or organizational phenomena. We demonstrate in this chapter that language and communication at work can mean many things and that there are a variety of theoretical and methodological approaches that can be used for such analysis. Four characteristic features of such studies are highlighted: (1) interest in the communicative constitution of organization, (2) focus on discursive or communicative practices, (3) emphasis on temporal aspects and dynamics, and (4) placing language and communication in its sociomaterial context. Not all studies can focus on all these aspects, but these features are central in this nascent stream of research.
  • Cornelissen, Joep P.; Mantere, Saku; Vaara, Eero (Hanken School of Economics, 2013)
    In this article, we seek to understand how individuals, as part of a collective, commit themselves to a single, and possibly erroneous, frame, as a basis for sensemaking and coordinated actions. Using real-time data from an anti-terrorist police operation that led to the accidental shooting of an innocent civilian, we analyze how individual actors framed their circumstances in communication with one another and how this affected their subsequent interpretations and actions as events unfolded. Our analysis reveals, first of all, how the collective commitment to a framing of a civilian as a terrorist suicide bomber was built up and reinforced across episodes of collective sensemaking. Secondly, we elaborate on how the interaction between verbal communication, expressed and felt emotions and material cues led to a contraction of meaning. This contraction stabilized and reinforced the overall framing at the exclusion of alternative interpretations. With our study we extend prior sensemaking research on environmental enactment and the escalation of commitment and elaborate on the role of emotions and materiality as part of sensemaking.
  • Balogun, Julia; Jacobs, Claus; Jarzabkowski, Paula; Mantere, Saku; Vaara, Eero (Hanken School of Economics, 2013)
    There has been increasing interest in the discursive aspects of strategy over the last two decades. In this editorial we review the existing literature, focusing on six major bodies of discursive scholarship: post-structural, critical discourse analysis, narrative, rhetoric, conversation analysis and metaphor. Our review reveals the significant contributions of research on strategy and discourse, but also the potential to advance research in this area by bringing together research on discursive practices and research on other practices we know to be important in strategy work. We explore the potential of discursive scholarship in integrating between significant theoretical domains (sensemaking, power and sociomateriality), and realms of analysis (institutional, organizational and the episodic), relevant to strategy scholarship. This allows us to place the papers published in the special issue Strategy as Discourse: Its Significance, Challenges and Future Directions among the body of knowledge accumulated thus far, and to suggest a way forward for future scholarship.
  • Nyman, Linus Morten (2013)
    While significant factors that affect the open source community’s interest to participate in a development project have been studied, there has been little focus on the motivating factors that can cause a contributor to become a competitor by utilizing the right to fork a program i.e., to copy an existing program’s code base and use it to begin a separate development. The right to copy an existing program’s code base and use it to begin a separate development is guaranteed by all open source licenses. However, this right to fork a program is rarely exercised. Indeed, there is strong social pressure against code forking stemming from the negative side effects of code forking, such as conflict and duplicated efforts among developers. This paper details the events that led Widenius, the founder of the MySQL project, to decide to fork MariaDB from MySQL. Our findings confirm the previously held notion that there is a high threshold for starting a competing fork. While the few studies that exist of competitive forks find the reasons to be due to disagreement among developers, in the case of MariaDB the fork was caused by Widenius’ concerns regarding the uncertainty of the future freedom and openness of the MySQL codebase. This article makes three contributions. Firstly, it further validates the existing notion that there is a strong threshold to starting a competing fork. Secondly, it offers an in-depth analysis of the events and motivations behind the birth of a fork. Thirdly, it contributes to theory by introducing the freedom factor hypothesis: limiting either developers’ freedoms to contribute to a project or the freedom inherent in a project's license increases the likelihood of a fork.
  • Vaara, Eero; Junni, Paulina; Sarala, Riikka M; Ehrnrooth, Mats; Koveshnikov, Alexei (Hanken School of Economics, 2013)
    This paper focuses on managers’ attributions of M&A performance. Our analysis indicates that there is a linear association between performance and attributions to cultural differences, which is moderated by prior experience. Furthermore, our results suggest that there is a curvilinear association between performance and attributions to managers’ actions, but we found no support for the moderating effect of experience for this association. By substantiating these attributional tendencies, our results contribute to research on M&As and studies on attribution more generally. In particular, our study helps to put cultural differences in perspective and cautions researchers and practitioners alike to avoid simplistic explanations of M&A performance.
  • Mantere, Saku; Aula, Pekka; Schildt, Henri; Vaara, Eero (Hanken School of Economics, 2013)
    We examine how organizational stakeholders use narratives in their psychological processing of venture failure. We identify a range of “narrative attributions”, alternative accounts of failure that actors draw on to process the failure and their role in it. Our analysis provides a view of entrepreneurial failure as a complex social construction, as entrepreneurs, hired executives, employees and the media construct failure in distinctively different ways. Narratives provide means for both cognitive and emotional processing of failure through grief recovery and self-justification.
  • Laakso, Mikael; Björk, Bo-Christer (John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2013)
    Delayed open access (OA) refers to scholarly articles in subscription journals made available openly on the web directly through the publisher at the expiry of a set embargo period. Though a substantial number of journals have practiced delayed OA since they started publishing e-versions, empirical studies concerning open access have often overlooked this body of literature. This study provides comprehensive quantitative measurements by identifying delayed OA journals, collecting data concerning their publication volumes, embargo lengths, and citation rates. Altogether 492 journals were identified, publishing a combined total of 111 312 articles in 2011. 77,8 % of these articles were made open access within 12 months from publication, with 85,4 % becoming available within 24 months. A journal impact factor analysis revealed that delayed OA journals have on average twice as high average citation rates compared to closed subscription journals, and three times as high as immediate OA journals. Overall the results demonstrate that delayed OA journals constitute an important segment of the openly available scholarly journal literature, both by their sheer article volume as well as by including a substantial proportion of high impact journals.
  • Vaara, Eero (Hanken School of Economics, 2012)
    Även om intresset för företagsköp och fusioner och deras följder har ökat markant, har organisationsforskare sällan betraktat dessa fenomen ur kritiska perspektiv. Syftet med denna uppsats är således att diskutera vad kritisk forskning kan innebära inom det här området. Jag kommer att fokusera på fyra frågor: Varför går man så ofta med på projekt som inte lyckas? Har företagsförvärv och fusioner blivit ett måste som vi inte längre brukar ifrågasätta? Har vi verkligen förstått den mänskliga sidan och de risker som ett instrumentalistiskt tänkande innebär? Har vi förstått att sammanslagningar också kan uppfattas som exempel på ”kolonialism”?
  • Tienari, Janne; Vaara, Eero (Hanken School of Economics, 2012)
    Käsittelemme tässä artikkelissa suomalaisten ja ruotsalaisten kulttuurisia kohtaamisia yritysjärjestelyissä eli fuusioissa ja yritysostoissa. Perusajatuksemme on, että näitä kohtaamisia tulee yrittää johtaa, jotta voidaan vähentää pettymyksiä ja epäonnistumisia, joita yritysjärjestelyt usein aiheuttavat. Keskeistä on tiedostaa, että kulttuurit ovat olemassa vasta kun ne ”eletään todeksi” ihmisten välisessä vuorovaikutuksessa. Kulttuurien johtaminen edellyttää tavoitteellista ja järjestelmällistä huomiota eri näkemysten ja toimintamallien yhteensovittamiseen eli sosio-kulttuuriseen integrointiin. Näin voidaan yrittää hallita väärinkäsityksiä ja ongelmia, jotka aiheutuvat yhtäältä ennakkokäsityksistä ja stereotypioista sekä toisaalta ”oikeista” (havaittavista) eroista suomalaisten ja ruotsalaisten tavoissa toimia. Integrointityön haasteet piilevät arkipäivän käytännöissä, joissa suomalaiset ja ruotsalaiset voivat antaa asioille erilaisia merkityksiä. Erot elävät pidempään kuin yritysjohtajat uskovat.
  • Hellgren, B; Puttonen, L; Lowstedt, J; Tienari, J; Vaara, E; Werr, A (Hanken School of Economics, 2012)
    In this article, we put forward a novel way of exploring difference and contradiction in merging organizations. We examine how the media (re)constructs meanings in a major cross-border merger. Based on an analysis of press coverage, we attempt to specify and illustrate how particular issues are (re)constructed in media texts through interpretations of ‘winning’ and ‘losing’. We also show how specific discourses are drawn on in this (re)construction. In the merger studied, discourse based on economic and financial rationale dominated the media coverage. Discourse promoting nationalistic sentiments, however, provided an alternative discursive frame to the dominant rationalistic discourse. We argue that the two basic discourses are enacted in three analytically distinct discursive practices in the media: factualizing, rationalizing and emotionalizing. We suggest that the ability of different actors such as top managers to make use of different discursive strategies and resources in promoting their ‘versions of reality’ in the media (or public discussion) is a crucial avenue for research in this area.
  • Vaara, Eero; Tienari, Janne; Erkama, Niina (Hanken School of Economics, 2012)
    Organisaatiomuutokseen keskittyviä metafora-analyyseja on tehty varsin vähän. Näin on myös fuusioiden ja yritysostojen kohdalla, vaikka tällaiset yritysjärjestelyt tuntuisivat dramaattisina ilmiöinä erityisen hedelmällisiltä tutkimuskohteilta. Tämän tutkimuksen tavoitteena on paikata tätä aukkoa analysoimalla yritysjärjestelyitä koskevaa julkista keskustelua metaforisesta näkökulmasta käsin. Me tarkastelemme tässä artikkelissa fuusioiden ja yritysostojen ketjua, joka johti vuosina 1995–2000 Nordeafinanssiryhmän syntymiseen. Me keskitymme näistä tapauksista kertovien suomalaisten lehtitekstien metaforisiin elementteihin. Analyysimme osoittaa, (1) miten fuusioita ja yritysostoja merkityksellistävät metaforat liittyvät usein sotaan ja taisteluun, avioliittoon ja perhe-elämään sekä urheiluun, (2) miten metaforat uusintavat ja rakentavat historiallis-kulttuurisia käsityksiä kansoista, taloudesta ja yritysorganisaatioista sekä (3) miten tämän perusteella metaforavalinnat eivät ole ”neutraaleja” retorisia ratkaisuja vaan olennainen osa yritysjärjestelyiden diskursiivista rakentumista.