Recent Submissions

  • Gummerus, Johanna; Koskull von, Catharina (Hanken School of Economics, 2015)
  • Grönroos, Christian; Voima, Päivi (Hanken School of Economics, 2012)
    Working Paper - 559
    In order to further develop the logic of service, value creation, value co-creation and value have to be formally and rigorously defined, so that the nature, content and locus of value and the roles of service providers and customers in value creation can be unambiguously assessed. In the present article, following the underpinning logic of value-in-use, it is demonstrated that in order to achieve this, value creation is best defined as the customer’s creation of value-in-use. The analysis shows that the firm’s and customer’s processes and activities can be divided into a provider sphere, closed for the customer, and a customer sphere, closed for the firm. Value creation occurs in the customer sphere, whereas firms in the provider sphere facilitate value creation by producing resources and processes which represent potential value or expected value-in use for their customers. By getting access to the closed customer sphere, firms can create a joint value sphere and engage in customers’ value creation as co-creators of value with them. This approach establishes a theoretically sound foundation for understanding value creation in service logic, and enables meaningful managerial implications, for example as to what is required for co-creation of value, and also further theoretical elaborations.
  • Hampf, Anders; Lindberg-Repo, Kirsti (Hanken School of Economics, 2011)
    Working Paper - 556
    Branding, as any other concept, has evolved over time: from the days when sheep of one herd started to be branded to distinguish them from another herd to the current era when everything, from water and flowers to clothes and food, is branded. Throughout these times, there have been numerous theories to describe and understand the underlying nuances. This paper finds the relationships in previous literature and reveals how these theories see branding from various perspectives and how they can be integrated to form a coherent view. It is also discussed how branding and society affect each other. Based on the knowledge of how branding theories have been developed as dependent variables of each other and the society, we are able to form a better understanding of the past, the present, and the future of branding.
  • Vilppo, Tiina; Lindberg-Repo, Kirsti (Hanken School of Economics, 2011)
    Working Paper - 557
    Purpose – This research paper studies how the strategy of repositioning enables marketers to communicate CSR as their brand’s differentiating factor. It aims at understanding how consumer perceptions can be managed to generate brand value through corporate brand repositioning when CSR is the differentiating factor. The purpose of this paper is to answer the following research question: How can consumer perceptions be managed to generate brand value through corporate brand repositioning when CSR is the differentiating factor? The two research objectives were: 1. to build a model, which describes the different components of consumer perceptions involved in generation of brand value through repositioning when CSR is the differentiating factor, 2. to identify the most critical components in the context of the case company, IKEA for generation of brand value during the process of corporate brand repositioning Design/methodology/approach – This paper is based on the literature review covering the logic of brand value generation, repositioning strategy and consumer perceptions connected to CSR activities. A key concept of the positioning theory, the brand’s differentiating factor, was explored. Previous studies have concluded that desirability of the differentiating factor largely determines the level of brand value-creation for the target customers. The criterion of desirability is based on three dimensions: relevance, distinctiveness and believability. A model was built in terms of these desirability dimensions. This paper takes a case study approach where the predefined theoretical framework is tested using IKEA as the case company. When developing insights on the multifaceted nature of brand perceptions, personal interviews and individual probing are vital. They enable the interviewees to reflect on their feelings and perceptions with their own words. This is why the data collection was based on means-end type of questioning. Qualitative interviews were conducted with 12 consumers. Findings – The paper highlights five critical components that may determine whether IKEA will fail in its repositioning efforts. The majority of the critical components involved believability perceptions. Hence, according to the findings, establishing credibility and trustworthiness for the brand in the context of CSR seems primary. The most critical components identified of the believability aspect were: providing proof of responsible codes of conduct via conducting specific and concrete CSR actions, connecting the company’s products and the social cause, and building a linkage between the initial and new positioning while also weakening the old positioning. Originality/value – Marketers’ obligation is to prepare the company for future demands. Companies all over the globe have recognized the durable trend of responsibility and sustainability. Consumer´s worry about the environmental and social impact of modern lifestyles is growing. This is why Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) provides brands an important source of differentiation and strength in the future. The strategy of repositioning enables marketers to communicate CSR as their brand’s differentiating factor. This study aimed at understanding how consumer perceptions can be managed to generate brand value through corporate brand repositioning when CSR is the differentiating factor.
  • Virtanen, Henrik (Swedish School of Economics and Business Administration, 2002)
    Working Papers
    Under senare tid har förekomsten av samarbete mellan konkurrerande sm-företag ökat. Forskningen kring ämnet har dock bedrivits i mindre skala, framför allt om man beaktar finländska (nordiska) förhållanden. Syftet med denna undersökning är att kartlägga förekomsten av samarbete mellan konkurrerande sm-företag i Österbotten (Finland), samt beskriva dessa. Gällande demografiska variabler jämförs dessa företag även med sm-företag som inte samarbetar. Data insamlades genom en enkät utskickad i november 2001 till 345 sm-företag i Österbotten. Svarsprocenten var 35.1. Av de respondenter som besvarade enkäten, var 47.9 procent involverade i ett eller flera samarbeten med ett eller flera företag som var deras konkurrenter. Samarbete mellan konkurrenter är således inte ett ovanligt fenomen, utan innefattar allt från informella, operativa samarbeten till formella, strategiskt viktiga samarbeten. Samarbete inom produktion var den mest vanligt förekommande formen av samarbete. Partnern kom från Finland, även om målmarknaderna för samarbetet fanns både i Finland och i utlandet. Denna undersökning kunde inte identifiera någon större skillnad mellan de sm-företag som samarbetade med konkurrenter och de sm-företag som inte samarbetade. Det intressanta är således att det inte verkar finnas några skillnader vad gäller ålder, omsättning, omsättningsökning, underleverans- och exportverksamhet mellan de samarbetande och de icke samarbetande företagen. Skillnaderna bör således sökas i andra variabler. Den enda signifikanta skillnaden kunde upptäckas i upplevelsen av konkurrens. Tidigare forskning har identifierat att osäkerhet i konkurrensen är ett incitament till att börja samarbeta med konkurrenter. Denna undersökning förstärker detta antagande. De samarbetande företagen upplevde att konkurrensen var hårdare än de icke samarbetande företagen. Bland de samarbetande företagen var det speciellt de mindre (med en personalstyrka mellan 10 och 50 arbetstagare) som upplevde att konkurrensen var hård. Undersökningen har finansierats med stipendiemedel från Sparbanksstiftelsen i Vasa och Handlande Gustav Svanljungs fond.
  • Ojasalo, Jukka (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2000)
    Working Papers
    What is the nature of customer commitment in business-to-business relationships and what are its antecedents? What Key Account Management practices help to build customer commitment? Commitment is an important element of Key Account Management since customer relationships are built upon a the foundation of commitment. Building long-term key account relationships occurs by enhancing and maintaining their commitment. Customer commitment has various antecedents, and managing commitment involves focusing on these antecedents. This paper explains the nature of commitment and describes its antecedents. It also suggests how to manage each of these antecedents to strengthen customer commitment.
  • Snellman, Kaisa (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2000)
    Working Papers
    The purpose of this study was to deepen the understanding of market segmentation theory by studying the evolution of the concept and by identifying the antecedents and consequences of the theory. The research method was influenced by content analysis and meta-analysis. The evolution of market segmentation theory was studied as a reflection of evolution of marketing theory. According to this study, the theory of market segmentation has its roots in microeconomics and it has been influenced by different disciplines, such as motivation research and buyer behaviour theory. Furthermore, this study suggests that the evolution of market segmentation theory can be divided into four major eras: the era of foundations, development and blossoming, stillness and stagnation, and the era of re-emergence. Market segmentation theory emerged in the mid-1950’s and flourished during the period between mid-1950’s and the late 1970’s. During the 1980’s the theory lost its interest in the scientific community and no significant contributions were made. Now, towards the dawn of the new millennium, new approaches have emerged and market segmentation has gained new attention.
  • Grönroos, Christian (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2005)
    Working Papers
    The goods-dominated marketing model has major shortcomings as a guiding marketing theory. Its marketing mix approach is mainly geared towards buying and does not include consumption as an integral part of marketing theory. Although it is during the process of consuming goods and services that value is generated for customers and the foundation for repeat purchasing and customer relationships are laid, this process is left outside the scope of marketing. The focus in service marketing is not on a product but on interactions in service encounters. Consumption has become an integral part of a holistic marketing model. Other than standardized goods-based value propositions can be better understood when taking a servicebased approach. It is concluded that marketing based on a goods logic is but a special case of marketing based on a service logic and applicable only in certain contexts with standardized products.
  • Wägar, Karolina; Björk, Peter; Ravald, Annika; West, Björn (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2007)
    Working Papers
    Purpose - The purpose of the paper is to explore the practice of marketing in micro firms. Which are the challenges micro firms encounter and how do they handle them? Methodology - The research methodology is based on the theory-in-use approach (Zaltman, Heffring & LeMasters 1982) in order to inductively explore the practice of marketing in micro firms. The empirical findings rest on ten case studies, where data has been generated through repeated interactions with each case. Findings - The empirical findings show that micro firms handle their marketing challenges in a distinctive manner, by creatively using available resources and network relations. Marketing in micro firms is largely about a long-term, gradual development of a position on the market. This process we label germinal marketing. Two key dimensions of germinal marketing were identified: “earning your position” and “being your brand”. Research limitations and implications - The findings rest on an explorative study consisting of ten cases and the general applicability of the results need to be validated by further studies. These cases are however sufficient to illuminate the need for further research into the area. Value of the paper - The value of the paper is twofold. First, it expands the theory-in-use approach, and presents a research method for successful inductive empirical studies of small firm phenomena. Secondly, the paper widens our understanding of the marketing reality and practice of micro firms, identifying new dimensions of marketing and revealing the strategic implications of ordinary business activities.
  • Lerviks, Alf-Erik (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2004)
    Research Reports
    A diffusion/replacement model for new consumer durables designed to be used as a long-term forecasting tool is developed. The model simulates new demand as well as replacement demand over time. The model is called DEMSIM and is built upon a counteractive adoption model specifying the basic forces affecting the adoption behaviour of individual consumers. These forces are the promoting forces and the resisting forces. The promoting forces are further divided into internal and external influences. These influences are operationalized within a multi-segmental diffusion model generating the adoption behaviour of the consumers in each segment as an expected value. This diffusion model is combined with a replacement model built upon the same segmental structure as the diffusion model. This model generates, in turn, the expected replacement behaviour in each segment. To be able to use DEMSIM as a forecasting tool in early stages of a diffusion process estimates of the model parameters are needed as soon as possible after product launch. However, traditional statistical techniques are not very helpful in estimating such parameters in early stages of a diffusion process. To enable early parameter calibration an optimization algorithm is developed by which the main parameters of the diffusion model can be estimated on the basis of very few sales observations. The optimization is carried out in iterative simulation runs. Empirical validations using the optimization algorithm reveal that the diffusion model performs well in early long-term sales forecasts, especially as it comes to the timing of future sales peaks.
  • Strandvik, Tore; Holmlund, Maria (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2000)
    Working Papers
    Our paper can be seen as a supplement to Halinen-Kaila and Tähtinen' s (2000) review of different direct research approaches on the ending of exchange relationships. Our purpose is to illuminate the borderline between research explicitly focusing on ending and research implicitly considering ending of relationships. Another purpose is to give an overview of how researchers within the Nordic School of Service Management and Nordic School of Relationship Marketing have approached customer relationship ending. A third purpose is to put forward a managerial perspective and managerial issues related to relationship ending. Finally we present some conclusions regarding further research avenues concerning relationship ending.
  • Roos, Inger (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2000)
    Working Papers
    Denna artikel diskuterar den metodutveckling inom marknadsföring som baseras på den allmänt och mycket frekvent använda kritisk-händelse metod som grundar sig på Flanagen (1954). Genom att forskningen inom nämnda område alltmer handlar om kundrelationer är det naturligt att även metoder som används anpassas till detta. Det finns emellertid flere frågetecken när man fokuserar på kritiska händelser och kundrelationer. Ett sådant är konsekvensen av den kritiska händelsen. Utan att kartlägga en verklig konsekvens av kritiska händelser som inträffat (verkligt beteende) är det emellertid svårt att utveckla metoder för framtida och kommande beteende. Därför diskuteras dessa frågor här i avsikt att föra utvecklingen mot en applicering av kritisk-händelse metoder i pågående kundrelationer.
  • Voima, Päivi (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2000)
    Working Papers
    Critical incidents have had an important role in service quality and service management research. The focus of critical-incident studies has gradually shifted from separate acts and episodes towards relationships, and even switching from one relationship to another. The Critical Incident Technique has mainly been used when studying the service sector, concentrating on the customer's perception of critical incidents. Although some studies have considered the perceptions of employees important, critical incidents have not been considered a tool for studying internal relationships to any larger extent. This paper takes a process approach and shifts the focus from an external to an internal setting. It puts forward a new technique for analysing internal relationships from a critical-incident perspective. The technique captures the dynamism in relationships through considering internal critical incidents as micro-processes affecting not only internal but also external relationships.
  • Björk, Peter (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2000)
    Working Papers
    The unique characteristics of marketspace in combination with the fast growing number of consumers interested in e-commerce have created new research areas of interest to both marketing and consumer behaviour researchers. Consumer behaviour researchers interested in the decision making processes of consumers have two new sets of questions to answer. The first set of questions is related to how useful theories developed for a marketplace are in a marketspace context. Cyber auctions, Internet communities and the possibilities for consumers to establish dialogues not only with companies but also with other consumers make marketspace unique. The effects of these distinctive characteristics on the behaviour of consumers have not been systematically analysed and therefore constitute the second set of questions which have to be studied. Most companies feel that they have to be online even though the effects of being on the Net are not unambiguously positive. The relevance of the relationship marketing paradigm in a marketspace context have to be studied. The relationship enhancement effects of websites from the customers’ point of view are therefore emphasized in this research paper. Representatives of the Net-generation were analysed and the results show that companies should develop marketspace strategies while Net presence has a value-added effect on consumers. The results indicate that the decision making processes of the consumers are also changing as a result of the progress of marketspace
  • Grönroos, Christian; Ojasalo, Katri (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2000)
    Working Papers
    The productivity of a process is related to how effectively input resources are transformed into value for customers. For the needs of manufacturers of physical products there are widely used productivity concepts and measurements instruments. However, in service processes the underlying assumptions of these concepts and models do not hold. For example, manufacturing-based productivity models assume that an altered configuration of input resources in the production process does not lead to quality changes in outputs (the constant-quality assumption). However, in a service context changes in the production resources and productions systems do affect the perceived quality of services. Therefore, using manufacturing-oriented productivity models in service contexts are likely to give managers wrong directions for action. Research into the productivity of services is still scarce, because of the lack of viable models. The purpose of the present article is to analyse the requirements for the development of a productivity concept for service operations. Based on the analysis, a service productivity model is developed. According to this model, service productivity is a function of 1) how effectively input resources into the service (production) process are transformed to outputs in the form of services (internal or cost efficiency), 2) how well the quality of the service process and its outcome is perceived (external or revenue efficiency), and 3) how effectively the capacity of the service process is utilised (capacity efficiency). In addition, directions for developing measurement models for service productivity are discussed.
  • Björk, Peter (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2000)
    Working Papers
    Kundklubbar och lojalitetsprogram, marknadsföringsåtgärder som snabbt anammats inom de flesta branscher, utgör strategiska och taktiska åtaganden som direkt stöder en relationsmarknadsföringsansats i företag. Turistbranschen är inget undantag och idag ser vi hur även researrangörer utvecklat egna kundklubbar. Den frekvens med vilken finländska turister köper paketresor till "södern" per år ligger långt från den frekvens med vilken affärsresenärerna utnyttjar flygbolagens lojalitetsprogram. Trots det finns det ingen diskussion som belyser frågan hur väl relationsmarknadsföringsteorier utvecklade för marknader med hög köpfrekvens (flygbolagens lojalitetsprogram) är användbara på marknader där köpfrekvensen är lägre (t.ex. researrangörsbranschen). I denna artikel sammankopplas relationsmarknadsföringsteorier med teorier om lojalitetsprogram och kundklubbar. Artikeln syftar till att fördjupa förståelsen för lojalitetsprogrammens och kundklubbarnas relevans i en relationsmarknadsföringsansats. Ur diskussionen härleds forskningsfrågor som kan användas för att identifiera nya centrala forskningsområden. Artikeln fokuserar på den forskning som finner sin empiriska förankring i turistbranschen.
  • Finne, Åke; Grönroos, Christian (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2006)
    Working Papers
    In order to bring insight into the emerging concept of relationship communication, concepts from two research traditions will be combined in this paper. Based on those concepts a new model, the dynamic relationship communication model, will be presented. Instead of a company perspective focusing on the integration of outgoing messages such as advertising, public relations and sales activities, it is suggested that the focus should be on factors integrated by the receiver. Such factors can be historical, future, external and internal factors. Thus, the model put a strong focus on the receiver in the communication process. The dynamic communication model is illustrated empirically using it as a tool on 78 short stories about communication. The empirical findings show that relationship communication occurs in some cases; in some cases it does not occur. The model is a useful tool in displaying relationship communication and how it differs from other communication. The importance of the time dimension, historical and future factors, in relationship communications is discussed. The possibility of reducing communications costs by the notion of relationship communication is discussed in managerial implications.
  • Ojasalo, Jukka (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2000)
    Working Papers
    What are the main elements of successful Key Account Management (KAM)? What is the nature of quality for the company and for the individual in business-to-business relationships? What kind of managerial practices are required at the company and individual level in Key Account Management? This paper focuses on these central aspects of KAM. It describes the main elements of KAM, which is a systematic marketing management approach in the business-to-business context with the objective to build profitable and long-lasting relationships with major accounts. Although paying customers in the business-to-business market are organizations, they are always represented by individuals. Thus, successful KAM requires appropriate handling of both the organizational and the individual levels. This paper describes the nature of quality for the company and for the individual in business-to-business relationships. As a synthesis, this paper suggests a framework for KAM practices deploying the main elements of KAM and the company and individual levels of business-to-business relationships. The weakness of the traditional quality management approach is that it pays little, if any, attention to customer importance. By providing similar quality to each customer, more important customers are penalized and less important customers are rewarded. This paper broadens the traditional quality management approach by introducing the concept of targeted quality based on customer importance.
  • Isoniemi, Kristina; Snellman, Kaisa (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2000)
    Working Papers
    This article expands the discussion of the impact of technology on services and contributes to a broader comprehension of the nature of virtual services. This is done by discovering dimensions that distinguish physical services from virtual services, i.e. services that are distributed by electronic means and where the customer has no direct human interaction with the service provider. Differences in the core characteristics of services, servicescape and service delivery are discussed. Moreover, dimensions that differentiate between virtual services are analysed. A classification scheme for virtual services is proposed, including the origin of the service, the element of the service offering, the customisation process, stage of the service process performed, and the degree of mobility of the service.
  • Helle, Pekka (2011)
    Working Papers - 554
    There is an urgent interest in marketing to move away from neo-classical value definitions suggesting that value creation is a process of exchanging goods for money. In the present paper, value creation is conceptualized as an integration of two distinct, yet closely coupled processes. First, actors co-create what this paper calls an underlying basis of value. This is done by interactively re-configuring resources. By relating and combining resources, activity sets, and risks across actor boundaries in novel ways actors create joint productivity gains – a concept very similar to density (Normann, 2001). Second, actors engage in a process of signification and evaluation. Signification implies co-constructing the meaning and worth of joint productivity gains co-created through interactive resource re-configuration, as well as sharing those gains through a pricing mechanism as value to involved actors. The conceptual framework highlights an all-important dynamics associated with ´value creation´ and ´value´ - a dynamics the paper claims has eluded past marketing research. The paper argues that the framework presented here is appropriate for the interactive service perspective, where value and value creation are not objectively given, but depend on the power of involved actors´ socially constructed frames to mobilize resources across actor boundaries in ways that ´enhance system well-being´ (Vargo et al., 2008). The paper contributes to research on Service Logic, Service-Dominant Logic, and Service Science.

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