[gradu] Kauppakorkeakoulu / BIZ

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    CEO power and ESG performance – The moderating effect of CEO characteristics
    (2024) Kukkohovi, Anna; Kautto, Daria; Johtamisen laitos; Kauppakorkeakoulu; School of Business
    The objective of this study is to examine the relationship between CEO power and firms’ ESG performance, and to investigate the moderating effects of CEO age, gender, and duality on this relationship. The study aims to increase the general understanding of the role of CEO power and characteristics in influencing firms' ESG which is crucial for corporate governance and sustainability practices and an extremely current topic. The sample includes 20758 firm-year observations of North American firms from the years 2003-2018. The main findings of the study indicate a negative relationship between CEO power and ESG performance. This suggests that powerful CEOs tend to have less consideration for ESG relatedissues, resulting in worse ESG performance. This is consistent with existing research and supports the view that CEOs with excessive power may prioritize their own interests over CSR activities. Additionally, the study found that the negative relationship between CEO power and ESG performance is strengthened when the CEO also serves as the chair of the board, further emphasizing the importance of appropriate corporate governance structures. Furthermore, the results suggest that the negative relationship between CEO power and ESG performance may be weakened by younger CEOs but did not provide support for the positive moderating effect of female CEOs. However, it is important to note that the small number of female CEOs in the sample limits the reliability of the results. Further research with a different sample would need to be conducted to validate these results. The theoretical contributions of this study lie in its examination of how different sources of CEO power impact the relationship between CEO power and ESG performance, as well as in the investigation of the moderating effects of CEO age, gender, and duality. By considering three different proxies to measure CEO power, the study provides a more comprehensive understanding of how different sources of power impact firms' ESG performance. Furthermore, the study addresses a gap in academic literature by exploring the combined effects of CEO power and the selected CEO characteristics on ESG performance. In addition, the findings suggest that firms should pay attention to the level of power held by the CEO, as firms with powerful CEOs tend to exhibit worse ESG performance. This is particularly important for firms seeking to improve their ESG ratings. Firms should also consider implementing appropriate control mechanisms to prevent CEOs from having excessive power, as this can lead to increased agency problems and weaker corporate governance, ultimately affecting ESG performance. Future research should further expand on these findings and explore other dimensions of CEO power and characteristics in relation to ESG performance.
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    Modern development of trade finance
    (2024) Romanovich, Roman; Kuula, Markku; Bakajic, Misa; Tieto- ja palvelujohtamisen laitos; Kauppakorkeakoulu; School of Business
    The objective of this master's thesis is to conduct a research-based project focusing on the digitalization, automation, and optimization of Trade Finance. The approach taken in this study adopts a consultancy perspective, encompassing process mapping and efficiency improvement of the Letter of Credit processes within our case company, Stora Enso Oyj. This thesis provides a thorough examination of the history and key terminologies associated with Trade Finance. Additionally, we explore the current state of affairs and discuss potential future trends. In this thesis, equal emphasis is placed on the role of digitalization, process optimization, and automation. The research conducted and the outcomes derived from this master's thesis have proven invaluable for the company. Through our analysis, we have identified significant opportunities for digitizing and automating Trade Finance processes. Furthermore, the implementation of numerous methods outlined in this thesis has yielded practical benefits. Upon completion of this thesis, readers will gain a clear and comprehensive understanding of the Trade Finance processes and the current trends related to it’s development within a large company.
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    Navigating sustainability: Finnish companies’ strategic entry into the Portuguese renewable energy market
    (2024) Vuollet, Fanny; Patala, Samuli; Johtamisen laitos; Kauppakorkeakoulu; School of Business
    This thesis thoroughly examines factors that influence the strategic choices and selection mechanisms of Finnish companies in the renewable energy sector when considering entering the Portuguese market. A shift towards sustainable energy solutions can be seen by global environmental concerns, and this study accentuates the significance of understanding the effect internal capabilities and external market conditions have on guiding international market entry strategies. Applying the theoretical principles of both international business and sustainable development, this research implements a qualitative methodology to examine interactions between company-specific proficiencies and the regulatory, economic, and technological framework of the market. Through extensive literature reviews, with the addition of semi-structured interviews with executives from Finnish renewable energy companies, the study is conducted on an empirical basis. The results of this study indicate that Finnish companies strategically select the Portuguese market due to its accommodating regulatory conditions, dedication to renewable energy targets, and the potential for consistent market demand. The technological innovation, international executive experience, and strategic business model adaptations can be seen as key internal factors in a company’s capability to leverage opportunities in foreign markets in an effective way. The study emphasizes the importance of strategic alliances and local partnership in facilitating market entry and expansion. The research augments insight into the correlation between expansion strategies in the renewable energy sector and sustainable business practices. It offers crucial perspectives for legislators intending to enhance the appeal of their markets for foreign investments and industry captains striving for enhancement in their international strategies in line with the set sustainability goals. Emerging research trajectories include a comparative analysis of distinct European markets to validate the findings and extend the comprehensiveness and generalizability of the developed strategic frameworks. This thesis aims to amplify the understanding of entering the international market in the renewable energy sector, while also providing a practical framework that can be used as a tool to assist companies and legislators in navigating the challenges of sustainable market expansion.
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    Ethical algorIthmic management in digital platforms
    (2024) Alaluusua, Vilma; Hekkala, Riitta; Tieto- ja palvelujohtamisen laitos; Kauppakorkeakoulu; School of Business
    This thesis investigates the ethical challenges posed by algorithmic management within digital platforms, focusing on developing a thorough understanding and proposing actionable strategies for ethical implementation. As digital technologies continue to advance at a rapid pace, algorithms increasingly influence various aspects of business and social interactions, fundamentally transforming traditional decision-making processes that were previously made solely by humans. This research combines a literature review with qualitative interviews to explore the nuanced perspectives of developers, managers, and users across digital platforms. By integrating theoretical insights with empirical evidence, the study aims to develop a comprehensive understanding of the topic from both literature-based and real-world viewpoints. The key ethical concerns such as bias, lack of transparency, and significant impacts on user autonomy and privacy are identified. Additionally, the consequences of these ethical issues for social equity and justice are discussed, emphasizing the need for algorithms that promote inclusivity and fairness. The findings highlight that while algorithms can enhance efficiency and decision-making capabilities, they also present substantial ethical challenges that necessitate stringent management, oversight and regulation. These challenges include ensuring fairness, accountability, transparency, and explainability in algorithmic applications, which are crucial for maintaining public trust and legal compliance. By contributing to the scholarly discourse on digital ethics, this thesis provides valuable insights for refining algorithmic management practices and suggests ways digital platforms can foster a more ethically responsible digital ecosystem.
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    Coaching in the auditing field
    (2024) Lakkala, Adina; Malmi, Teemu; Laskentatoimen laitos; Kauppakorkeakoulu; School of Business
    There is a need for redesigning performance management processes. Commonly used end reviews do not serve well as these do not provide the needed real time feedback and guidance that would further enhance the performance of individuals. Coaching focuses on the near-term work and provides a way between the subordinate and manager to go through feedback, further guidance and new information relating to the near- term work and to the challenges encountered. Management accounting has traditionally focused mainly on financial outcomes, employing frameworks and theories that are largely derived from economic principles only. Moreover, usually the focus in prior research has been on how to design control systems in production environments. With the introduction of Balanced Scorecard, the management accounting community was introduced to non-financial measures and since the importance of non-financial measures has steadily risen. When considering specifically the auditing sector the managers have grasped the concept of balanced scorecard and noticed that the learning and growth is the most important perspective when talking about the auditing field. The auditing sector relies heavily on the knowledge that the audit professionals themselves possess highlighting further the importance of developing the individuals. This qualitative research aims to look into coaching methods and more specifically identifying what is the best possible way to coach junior auditors at Big 4 firms. Besides looking at coaching at the junior level the study also addresses what other management control systems are in place in the auditing field specifically for the junior auditors. The results from this study show that the guidance coaching is the best method to approach the coaching with junior auditors. Furthermore, the study adheres the importance of coaching as bringing clarity for the juniors on the job they are doing. Main management control systems that are in place in the junior level include: results controls that mainly consist of grade promotion as a motivator or feedback from managers, personnel controls such as training, and action controls such as work reviews. When it comes to the daily work that the auditors are doing the juniors see coaching as an important tool to bring clarity to the work they are doing. Future research should focus on gaining knowledge whether coaching could be built into a more structured approach.
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    Optimal currency hedging for European investors in the U.S. markets
    (2024) Kunnari, Matias; Puttonen, Vesa; Rahoituksen laitos; Kauppakorkeakoulu; School of Business
    In this paper I use historical data from the US markets between 2003 and 2022 to show that a European investor should not have hedged away their USD currency risk in order to maximize the performance of equity-heavy portfolios measured with Sharpe ratio. The results show that as long as the equity share in their portfolio is significant and thus higher than the share of bond instruments in the portfolio, the Sharpe-maximizing hedge ratio is greatly negative. The results suggest that with bond-heavy portfolios hedging may have been beneficial in a longer term, but no statistically significant or robust conclusions can be drawn from these results. The results of not-beneficial hedging of equity portfolios is consistent with prior literature and robust to different sample periods, equity indices and measures of cost of hedging.
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    Virtual well-being: Fostering well-being in post-pandemic remote work
    (2024) Sormunen, Joel; Diehl, Marjo-Riitta; Johtamisen laitos; Kauppakorkeakoulu; School of Business
    Remote work has undergone a drastic change in recent years, as the COVID-19 pandemic has shown remote work to be a more accessible means of working than previously thought. Yet, despite a wide variety of benefits, as high-intensity remote work has become more common than ever, many implications for employee well-being need to be reassessed in light of this new context. Reviewing existing research on remote work and utilizing the self-determination theory (SDT) in tandem with the job demands-resources theory (JD-R) as theoretical lenses, the purpose of this thesis is to build understanding of post-pandemic remote work and reveal the ways in which it provides newfound opportunities and imposes demands for employees. This thesis approaches the influence of post-pandemic remote work on employee well-being through semi-structured interviews (n=8) to shed light on the experiences of Finnish remote workers, along with relevant contextual factors. Analysis of the research findings is done using reflexive thematic analysis, with themes developed primarily in an inductive fashion. Subsequently, results are linked to existing literature on remote work and observed through the theoretical frameworks of SDT and JD-R. Drawing from the experiences of interview participants, this thesis reveals newfound challenges relating to the increased frequency of widespread remote work. Whereas remote work has equipped employees with an abundance of autonomy and flexibility to organize work, it has simultaneously contributed to the intensification of work, imposing greater demands for self-organization and risking strain for many employees. Common ways of working around remote work remain ambiguous for many, with organizational support for remote work being perceived as relatively scarce. Furthermore, as post-pandemic remote work has decreased the availability and quality of workplace social interaction, there is a dire need for mitigating risks of isolation and detachment from the workplace, with mediated communication seemingly unable to act as a substitute for face-to-face social interaction. This thesis adds to the growing body of research on post-pandemic remote work, while providing practical recommendations for organizations to address its challenges in a fashion that aims to nurture the individual needs and well-being of employees in a sustainable fashion.
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    Leading succession in a family business
    (2024) Ekberg, Ida; Kibler, Ewald; Johtamisen laitos; Kauppakorkeakoulu; School of Business
    Succession is very likely an actual topic in many family businesses at some point in the life cycle of the business. There are many things to take into consideration in succession such as legal factors, financial state of the business, future development, and emotions. Passing on the operational side of a business can be a significant change for an individual, especially if they have founded or co-founded the business. As the interviews for this research revealed, in most cases the bond with the family business is more personal since it is often someone's life's work and therefore has a considerable emotional impact. Since succession is a major change for the company, I was interested in how to make it more successful with the help of leadership. This thesis presents a thorough examination of the prevalent challenges surrounding succession within family businesses, drawing from a blend of existing literature and first-hand insights gathered through six interviews. All the interviewees are working in their family’s company. The chosen companies have already done at least one succession. The theoretical framework has been compiled from scientific articles and other academical sources on the subject. The theoretical framework covers the main theories, concepts and models related to the topic. Previous studies are presented in an analytical way, with an attempt to introduce themes such as leadership and leading the succession of a family business. At the same time, it aims to address failures and successes in the process in the light of previous research findings. The analysis encompasses a spectrum of issues encountered in the succession phase, ranging from generational differences to the influence of emotions, the delicate equilibrium between family and work relationships, and all the intricacies of leadership transition. The exploration uncovered a recurring theme: the critical significance of harmonious and resilient familial relationships. By shedding light on these challenges, the paper offers valuable insights for family businesses navigating the complexities of succession planning and students currently studying this subject matter from a theoretical standpoint.
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    Exploring the responsible AI gap through the lens of theory of planned behavior
    (2024) Höynälä, Nea; Koskinen, Kari; Tieto- ja palvelujohtamisen laitos; Kauppakorkeakoulu; School of Business
    There can be limited responsible AI implementation without understanding the determinants of responsible AI behaviour. This is the first study to investigate whether a responsible AI gap exists between the attitudes and intentions and their real-world behaviour of ML/AI developers. Furthermore, it aims to uncover what factors contribute to responsible AI behaviour, or the lack thereof, using the Theory of Planned Behaviour. Twelve semi-structured interviews were conducted to investigate the attitudes, subjective norms, perceived behavioral control and intentions toward responsible AI behavior of AI/ML developers. Responses were coded and thematically analysed through the constructs of the Theory of Planned Behaviour. The study found that while there is generally positive attitudes towards responsible AI, a gap emerged when it comes to actual consistent implementation and willingness to allocate tangible resources or time towards this endeavor. Various perceived behavioral control and subjective norms factors such as the lack of knowledge, time constraints, budget limitations, constrained authority, lack of adequate support and resources, managerial pressures, and a lack of sense of personal responsibility emerged as the most important to address in promoting responsible AI within organizations
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    Failed and not ashamed: Destigmatizing failure in startup entrepreneurship
    (2024) Argillander, Sara; Mikkonen, Ilona; Markkinoinnin laitos; Kauppakorkeakoulu; School of Business
    Even though most startups fail, startup entrepreneurs continue to experience stigmas related to their failures. Yet, despite the recent growth of literature on entrepreneurial failure, the research on removing failure stigma remains scant. This thesis aims to fill this research gap by studying how startup entrepreneurs destigmatize failure. Eleven startup entrepreneurs were interviewed for the purpose of this thesis, all of whom have gone through a failure of some kind. Based on the results of a thematic analysis, I suggest that startup entrepreneurs destigmatize failure by attaching different positive or neutral meanings to it. The themes identified are: 1) Failure as a natural part of startup entrepreneurship, 2) Failure as a badge of honour, and 3) Failure as the price of an entrepreneurial way of life. The findings show that failure is not only viewed as a mandatory part of being an entrepreneur, but as something to be proud of. Entrepreneurs who openly share about their failures are considered brave, and fellow entrepreneurs are eager to absorb their learnings through public talks and mentorships.
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    The China trade shock on BRI countries’ exports through supply and demand shocks: Evidence from 2000-2021
    (2024) Romanova, Elena; Warnes, Pablo; Taloustieteen laitos; Kauppakorkeakoulu; School of Business
    This paper studies the consequences of China’s massive trade expansion, which began in the 1990s on countries that participate in the Belt and Road initiative (BRI). The Belt and Road initiative is one of China’s largest investment programs. It was launched in 2013 and included 143 participating countries from Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Europe, and the Americas as of 2021. I find that the growth of China’s imports had a positive and statistically significant effect on BRI countries’ exports during 2000-2010 and 2011-2021 in sectors with a higher initial similarity to the China’s import structure. Contrary to that, the growth of China’ exports had a negative effect on BRI countries’ exports in sectors with a higher initial similarity to the China’s export structure during 2000-2010 and a positive effect during 2011-2021 being statistically significant both times. Magnitudes of both variables were at their highest around two events: China’s accession to the World Trade Organisation in 2001 and the launch of the Belt and Road initiative in 2013. This study contributes to the literature on the effect of China’s trade expansion on global trade by providing novel evidence of a shift in time of the effect of China’s higher exports on BRI countries’ exports.
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    Misallocation and rent control
    (2024) Rinne, Simo; Saarimaa, Tuukka; Taloustieteen laitos; Kauppakorkeakoulu; School of Business
    This master’s thesis examines the effects of rent control on the allocation of rental housing. In a perfectly efficient allocation, dwellings would be allotted to the households with the highest willingness to pay for the specific dwelling. Rent control may distort this by, on one hand, causing households with a lower will-ingness to pay to demand dwellings valued higher by others, and on the other hand, requiring matching to be dictated by extra-market mechanisms likely less efficient than price-based bargaining. An empirical analysis of tenants moving from rent controlled housing to unregulated housing, based on Finnish registry data finds that on average individuals consume more floor area and live further away from municipal centers under rent control. The effects appear stronger for smaller households. However, strong untestable identifying assumptions are required, and while the effects persist across different specifications, no strict causal conclusion can be drawn. (JEL R20, R38, D12, D61)
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    Emission premium in the European stock market
    (2024) Tirkkonen, Jasmin; Suominen, Matti; Rahoituksen laitos; Kauppakorkeakoulu; School of Business
    Increasing concerns regarding climate change affect the risk profiles of assets, consequently impacting asset pricing through various channels. This thesis emphasizes the transition risk arising from the shift to low-carbon economy away from fossil fuels. While the timeline and pace of regulations regarding the use of fossil fuels remain uncertain, the trend is evident: reliance on fossil fuels poses a significant risk for a company in the future. Hence, we aim to study whether investors price this risk in the European stock market. Prior research examines primarily the US market and thus, our academic contribution is to understand emission pricing in Europe, with a specific emphasis on the Nordics. Our study involves cross-sectional regressions for the total amount of GHGs, GHG intensity and emission yearly growth rate. Our sample period is from 2015 to 2022 and consists of 1354 public companies in Europe. Emission data is obtained from Compustat Trucost database and company demographics from Refinitiv. Our main findings show that there is GHG emission premium of 7.4% in total emissions. For scope 1 premium is 5.9% and for scope 3, 7.8%. Annualised premium associated to emission intensity is 4.61%. By dividing our data into sub-groups of the Nordics and other countries, we find that emission premium in the European market is largely driven by the Nordic countries. Findings also show that the premium is a recent phenomenon since GHG emissions are only priced after the year 2018. These results implicate that investors in the European stock market demand green assets and require compensation for the risks associated to the emission levels of the investment. Our results are driven by increased regulation and change in sustainability preferences. The Nordics drive the transition with the ambitious environmental policies, increased pressure on sustainability and financing of green technologies.
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    The efficacy of affine jump-diffusion stochastic volatility models for bitcoin option pricing
    (2024) Viinikkala, Max; Nyberg, Peter; Rahoituksen laitos; Kauppakorkeakoulu; School of Business
    The current state of literature on Bitcoin option pricing is yet to evolve from its adolescence phase, marked by a discernible void concerning the paucity of comprehensive empirical studies addressing the predictive power of stochastic volatility models that incorporate two contemporaneous and correlated jump components. This gap serves as the impetus for the investigation into this obscure terrain. The Bitcoin option market exhibits a distinctive profile characterized by extreme volatility, non-stationarity, and an inherent proclivity for frequent discontinuities. These unique attributes pose challenges in accurately modeling option prices, necessitating the utilization of sophisticated models to improve model fit. This paper endeavors to fill this academic vacuum by assessing the fidelity of stochastic models in replicating volatility skews. Specifically, it employs a stochastic simulation scheme to investigate the efficacy of a state-of-the-art jump-diffusion model –known as SVCJ (stochastic volatility with correlated jumps) – in comparison with its nested counterparts. The auxiliary objective is determining which classifications of maturity-moneyness show inferior performance for said model. Empirical results indicate that the SVCJ model substantially outperforms its counterparts in both the calibration and validation periods. Maturity-moneyness classifications underscore its superiority, shown by exhibiting the lowest root mean squared errors for 64% of the categories. It is also documented that its forecasting accuracy is attenuated for shorter-dated options. The outcome demonstrates that modeling with two jump components leads to a significant improvement-of-fit in explaining the volatility surface. Thus, this double-jump feature is crucial in capturing sudden meteoric surges and nose-dives with greater accuracy.
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    Improving IT investment assessment: Exploring the integration of flexibility based on discretionary-mandatory classification
    (2024) Dao, Anh; Sinha, Vikash; Laskentatoimen laitos; Kauppakorkeakoulu; School of Business
    In today’s evolving world, technology undeniably plays a critical role in organizational success. However, deciding on the most optimal information technology (IT) investment remains a significant challenge for most companies. This difficulty originates from the inherent intangible nature of IT investment, which makes traditional quantitative methods rather less useful. Therefore, an urgent need for an efficient assessment practice that is both easy to use and contributes to meaningful decision-making emerges. This thesis aims to propose actions to improve the assessment process of IT investment by examining how flexibility (“degree of choice”) is integrated into companies’ existing practices. Our recommendations were built based on a theoretical framework developed by Joshi and Pant (2008), which was not yet empirically tested. Our thesis strives to bridge the gap between literature and practice, offering useful insights to enhance both. To achieve this goal, we conducted a multiple case study of four mid-sized and large multinational corporations. To further strengthen our findings, we consulted a Big 4 consulting expert who also has extensive industry experience from working in various tech and Fortune 100 firms. Data was gathered through semi-structured interviews and companies’ public information. Our findings reveal that companies have incorporated the concept of degree of choice in their IT assessment practice to some extent, yet rather as an intuitive than a structured approach. Therefore, we propose to introduce the degree of choice concept as a structured framework, which will potentially streamline the process by reducing miscommunication between finance and IT departments and minimizing challenges in using quantitative approaches. Additionally, by establishing a common term to prioritize capital IT investment, firms are able to make more informed capital budgeting decisions which greatly contributes to long-term financial success. From a literature perspective, our research highlights a need to adapt the framework to different organizational contexts. Additionally, considering how best to integrate risk assessment and post-completion audit (PCA) aspects into the assessment process will increase its credibility and wider practical application.
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    Improving IT investment assessment: Exploring the integration of flexibility based on discretionary-mandatory classification — A multiple case study
    (2024) Ðinh, Dung; Sinha, Vikash; Laskentatoimen laitos; Kauppakorkeakoulu; School of Business
    In today’s evolving world, technology undeniably plays a critical role in organizational success. However, deciding on the most optimal information technology (IT) investment remains a significant challenge for most companies. This difficulty originates from the inherent intangible nature of IT investment, which makes traditional quantitative methods rather less useful. Therefore, an urgent need for an efficient assessment practice that is both easy to use and contributes to meaningful decision-making emerges. This thesis aims to propose actions to improve the assessment process of IT investment by examining how flexibility (“degree of choice”) is integrated into companies’ existing practices. Our recommendations were built based on a theoretical framework developed by Joshi and Pant (2008), which was not yet empirically tested. Our thesis strives to bridge the gap between literature and practice, offering useful insights to enhance both. To achieve this goal, we conducted a multiple case study of four mid-sized and large multinational corporations. To further strengthen our findings, we consulted a Big 4 consulting expert who also has extensive industry experience from working in various tech and Fortune 100 firms. Data was gathered through semi-structured interviews and companies’ public information. Our findings reveal that companies have incorporated the concept of degree of choice in their IT assessment practice to some extent, yet rather as an intuitive than a structured approach. Therefore, we propose to introduce the degree of choice concept as a structured framework, which will potentially streamline the process by reducing miscommunication between finance and IT departments and minimizing challenges in using quantitative approaches. Additionally, by establishing a common term to prioritize capital IT investment, firms are able to make more informed capital budgeting decisions which greatly contributes to long-term financial success. From a literature perspective, our research highlights a need to adapt the framework to different organizational contexts. Additionally, considering how best to integrate risk assessment and post-completion audit (PCA) aspects into the assessment process will increase its credibility and wider practical application.
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    Critical incidents in B2B customer journeys
    (2024) Salminen, Joonas; Falk, Tomas; Markkinoinnin laitos; Kauppakorkeakoulu; School of Business
    The purpose of this research is to study customer experience in a B2B professional services context. More specifically, the study looks at customer journeys in a strategy consulting business and identifies critical incidents, moments of truth, in those journeys. Additionally, the study tests the suitability of the Critical Incident Technique in a B2B context. The journeys were mapped together with the service provider using the service blueprinting technique in a workshop setting. Then, the critical incident technique was used to collect the moments of truth along the journey. Data was collected through one-to-one interviews with customers. In the interviews, the respondents were asked to verify the suitability of the blueprint and then to describe the critical incidents step-by-step along the journey. The data was analysed by coding the answers and then deriving recurring themes from them. The great majority of the recalled incidents were positive, suggesting that the service had been provided in a satisfactory way. The most common themes in the answers were communication, scope, and industry expertise and personalisation. Clear communication was seen important as it ensures that both parties are on the same page and helps the customer understand what they are paying for. Correct scoping is vitally important as it demonstrates whether the service provider has understood the customer’s needs. It also has a large impact on the price of the service. Finally, industry expertise and personalisation were seen as important because business professionals often view their industry as different from others. Understanding that industry and the business of the customer helps with effective communication. Almost all the positive incidents represented functional quality, i.e., going the extra mile for the customer. This study demonstrated that critical incidents combined with customer journey mapping can be a useful tool for examining customer experiences in a B2B setting. This could be utilized by companies when they seek to better understand their service delivery in complex settings. Further research is recommended on the method as more evidence is needed to support the promising signals of this study.
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    Action design research: Developing a robotic process automation tool for data migration
    (2024) Karhila, Joonas; Ghanbari, Hadi; Tieto- ja palvelujohtamisen laitos; Kauppakorkeakoulu; School of Business
    Organizations undergoing digital transformation have a growing need for automation solutions. These solutions save time and resources by replacing human manual labour with automated workflows. One example of these solutions is Robotic Process Automation (RPA). The rising level of adoption in such technologies has realized the multitude of ways such technologies can be integrated to be leveraged in digital transformation. One of these use cases is data migration, a cornerstone in successfully upgrading digital systems. Since the research of the subject is minimal but there is a lot of potential for use case, this thesis will try to find out, if there is potential for more efficient processes in data migration via usage of RPA. In this thesis, an RPA tool is developed by using Action Design Research, a frame-work which dedicates itself to continuous improvement and close co-operation between stakeholders. This RPA tool is implemented in a client project, where data migration is done for Field Service Management-system transformation. The result was that there was a lot of processes inside data migration that could be made more efficient with RPA usage. It was also evident that the adoption of RPA was something that needed to be bought-in at an organizational level for the benefits to be fully realized. It was also discovered that continuous improvement during the development session was vital and stakeholders are essential to be kept in loop straight from the starting point. The findings of this research are also something that create multiple possibilities for further research around the subject, for example on how AI could be implemented to be part of RPA tools.
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    Utilizing digital tools in the new supplier discovery process
    (2024) Kohi, Kasperi; Kauppi, Katri; Tieto- ja palvelujohtamisen laitos; Kauppakorkeakoulu; School of Business
    As with many other fields of businesses, the supply chain management sector is undergoing a wide globalization trend, as more and more companies are expanding their sourcing relationships around the world, in search of quality and efficiency. Simultaneously, the amount of information available is growing exponentially, thus increasing opportunities to find suppliers and information on them. Getting access to the vast amount of available data is imperative for sourcing professionals to succeed, thus having the knowledge of the latest innovative technologies in their field becomes important. This thesis strives to connect the two parties in supplier selection professionals and digital solution developers, with the goal of enhancing the development of AI-based technology solutions in finding new suppliers. By listening and understanding the underlying needs of professionals working in the supplier selection process, the chances of these emerging technologies being successful in filling the needs of the end-users will become significantly higher. The thesis bridges the gap of existing literature on present supplier selection process concepts and the current thoughts and ideas of supplier selection professionals, with a thematic analysis approach to draw conclusions on the inputs. Together, the primary research findings and existing literature showcase how earlystage artificial intelligence is in supplier selection, as well as the vision potential future users of such technologies have for the utilization of such technologies, and how they will fundamentally change the supplier selection process in the near future.
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    Creativity in (inter)action: Exploring creativity as a collective process in Finnish organisations
    (2024) Uusitalo, Maria; Moisander, Johanna; Johtamisen laitos; Kauppakorkeakoulu; School of Business
    In the current, turbulent era marked by high uncertainty and constant changes, creativity is increasingly recognised as a crucial asset for organisations. Numerous studies have already explored the individual, social and contextual factors that influence organisational creativity, individuals’ ability to generate new and relevant ideas together within a complex social setting. However, certain orientation towards individuals often persists, easily overlooking the importance of social and collective processes modern organisations rely on. This study aims to better understand the elements of organisational creativity as a collective process, stemming from the interaction rather than individuals, through investigating the experiences of organisation members. This study investigates how the interrelations between individuals influence the organisational culture of creativity and contribute to organisational creativity as a collective process. The research question is addressed in two phases. First, secondary data from surveys that outline different aspects of organisations’ culture of creativity is analysed in the light of social and contextual factors to better understand the ongoing context for creativity. Second, primary data from the semi-structured interviews conducted within a single organisation is analysed to explore the role of interactions in the organisational culture of creativity. Findings reveal that interactions and social processes have a crucial role in both organisations’ culture of creativity and organisational creativity as a collective process. Diverse networks and relationships at work, formed through interaction, both shape and are shaped by the culture of creativity which can ideally lead to a beneficial cycle. Networks and relationships also provide conducive environment for collective creativity to emerge.