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Open Access
Article
Publication date: 16 June 2023

Akram Hatami, Jan Hermes, Anne Keränen and Pauliina Ulkuniemi

To respond to recent calls for better understanding of the complexities related to happiness management, especially from the employees' perspective, this study examines how…

1007

Abstract

Purpose

To respond to recent calls for better understanding of the complexities related to happiness management, especially from the employees' perspective, this study examines how corporate volunteering (CV), as one form of corporate social responsibility (CSR), creates sustainable happiness in business organizations.

Design/methodology/approach

Theoretical knowledge of CSR and CV as well as the literature on happiness management was examined to form a preliminary understanding of the phenomenon. The empirical section includes a qualitative multiple case study including two company cases of CV in Finland. The data were collected through qualitative interviews. Empirical analysis was made using thematical coding based on existing theory but also by allowing themes to emerge inductively from the data as well.

Findings

The study found that CV enables the emergence of sustainable happiness by allowing individual employee volunteers to transition from individual and rational mindsets to collective and emotional mindsets. A third transition was also identified, a process of change in the volunteers' approach in life that the authors describe as “from actual to potential”.

Originality/value

The study provides a theoretical contribution to the existing literature on happiness management by identifying the third dimension, from actual to potential, and depicting the way this allows employees to move from a state of being to becoming and thus the emergence of sustainable happiness. The study also contributes to existing literature on CV and CSR by revealing the way CV, as a form of practical CSR activity, generates happiness. This study concludes that companies' strategic activities that engage with society can create sustainable happiness for employees who participate. In order to achieve this, volunteering employees should have the chance to reflect on their experience and constant support from managers.

Details

Management Decision, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0025-1747

Keywords

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 5 December 2022

Hanna Komulainen, Satu Nätti, Saila Saraniemi and Pauliina Ulkuniemi

Recent literature within public service logic has called for more explicit conceptualisation of customer value in public services. This study aims to fill this gap by examining…

1596

Abstract

Purpose

Recent literature within public service logic has called for more explicit conceptualisation of customer value in public services. This study aims to fill this gap by examining how the customer value approach can be applied in the management of public health care services.

Design/methodology/approach

This study is a qualitative case study of management of public health care services in Finland. The authors interviewed 17 regional health care service developers and analyzed the interview data using thematic analysis.

Findings

The study suggests five propositions for applying customer value approach from the marketing literature in public health care service management. The study enables a deeper understanding of customer value creation in this context and improvement of public health care services.

Originality/value

This study contributes to the public management research in general and public service logic research in particular by suggesting what constitutes customer value in public health care services.

Details

International Journal of Public Sector Management, vol. 36 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3558

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 10 July 2018

Hanna Komulainen, Saila Saraniemi, Pauliina Ulkuniemi and Marianne Ylilehto

The purpose of this paper is to examine how the customer value experience conveys the restructuring of the service network in the banking industry. The banking sector has often…

1363

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine how the customer value experience conveys the restructuring of the service network in the banking industry. The banking sector has often been one of the early adopters of IT in terms of connecting their services and customers. While developing digital services, however, banks are also concerned that they are losing contact with their customers. At the same time, fast developing technologies enable new companies to enter the industry to offer their services. As a result, the service supply chains in the banking industry appear to be restructured.

Design/methodology/approach

The empirical data were collected by using a qualitative method of focus groups and interviews with end-users of banking services.

Findings

According to findings, customers value a holistic approach to the services, and such a holistic value cannot necessarily be provided by a single banking service provider because the ecosystem around such services is becoming more complex.

Practical implications

Service supply chains need to be restructured based on the end-customer value experience.

Originality/value

This study contributes to value research and especially to the discussion in service experiences by addressing some of the disruptions happening at the industry level. The paper shows that the focus should be on customer value because banks should understand that their services are not enough for the customers—they are only seen as banks, not as providers of the holistic value that is required from the customer’s point of view.

Details

Marketing Intelligence & Planning, vol. 36 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-4503

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 29 June 2017

Muhammad Anees-ur-Rehman, Saila Saraniemi, Pauliina Ulkuniemi and Pia Hurmelinna-laukkanen

The purpose of this paper is to learn how strategic hybrid orientation – constructed from brand and market orientations – is related to the brand awareness, brand credibility, and…

1540

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to learn how strategic hybrid orientation – constructed from brand and market orientations – is related to the brand awareness, brand credibility, and financial performance of business-to-business (B2B) small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Design/methodology/approach

The questionnaire was used in a survey to collect data from 250 Finnish B2B SMEs. The sampled firms were categorized into four clusters according to a two-by-two matrix, and their relationships with the brand performance outcomes were examined using one-way ANOVA and multiple regression.

Findings

The results indicate that strategic hybrid orientation is positively related to all three dimensions of brand performance, showing that two dissimilar orientations can complement each other in improving brand performance outcomes. However, the strength of complementary interaction seems to vary depending on the degree to which brand- and market-oriented attributes dominate in a firm’s strategy.

Originality/value

This is one of the first studies to provide empirical evidence to support the concept of strategic hybrid orientation for branding in B2B SMEs. This study aims to contribute to existing research on SME branding by capitalizing on B2B branding and strategic management literatures.

Details

Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, vol. 24 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1462-6004

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 16 June 2021

Aldona Glińska-Neweś, Akram Hatami, Jan Hermes, Anne Keränen and Pauliina Ulkuniemi

The purpose of this study is to examine how employee competences can be developed through corporate volunteering (CV). Specifically, this study focuses on diversity of…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to examine how employee competences can be developed through corporate volunteering (CV). Specifically, this study focuses on diversity of volunteering studies categorized according to the type of beneficiaries and intensity of volunteer contact with them. The study examines how the beneficiary-employee relation influences the development of employee competences in CV projects.

Design/methodology/approach

In this qualitative empirical study, interview data collected in Poland about the perceived effects of CV projects on employee competences was used.

Findings

The findings suggest that to understand the competences generated in CV, attention needs to be paid to the nature of the volunteering study itself. The study proposes four different logics of competence development in CV, based on the type of the beneficiary and contact with them.

Research limitations/implications

The study builds on managers’ perceptions of competence development. For a holistic understanding, future research should include employees’ perceptions of the process. Also, more research is needed regarding national and organizational settings as factors in competence development through CV.

Practical implications

The study suggests how companies could best engage in volunteering programs and improve existing ones to make them more beneficial for all parties involved.

Social implications

The findings build the better business case for CV and other corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives, i.e. they deliver rationales for business engagement in this regard.

Originality/value

The study contributes to the conceptual understanding of CSR activities by presenting four logics of competence development in CV.

Details

Social Responsibility Journal, vol. 18 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1747-1117

Keywords

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 15 July 2021

Marianne Ylilehto, Hanna Komulainen and Pauliina Ulkuniemi

The purpose of this study is to explore the customer shopping experience in the innovative technology setting. Specifically, the purpose is to understand how do innovative…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to explore the customer shopping experience in the innovative technology setting. Specifically, the purpose is to understand how do innovative technologies influence the customer shopping experience?

Design/methodology/approach

This qualitative, explorative study has characteristics of a phenomenological research strategy. The data were collected from four focus groups and ten in-depth interviews with consumers. Abductive approach with an implementation of content analysis was used as a method of analysis.

Findings

The results show that there are three critical factors in customer's shopping experience in the context of innovative technologies; (1) channel choice, (2) value dimensions related to convenience and enjoyment, and (3) social interaction. All factors are highly intertwined and influence each other.

Originality/value

This study contributes to customer experience literature by offering a framework for understanding customer shopping experiences in the innovative technology setting. These findings have important implications for retail managers seeking to enhance customer experience and achieve a competitive advantage by utilizing innovative technology.

Details

Baltic Journal of Management, vol. 16 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-5265

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 13 January 2021

Paweł Brzustewicz, Iwona Escher, Jan Hermes and Pauliina Ulkuniemi

This paper aims to examine corporate volunteering as a form of social responsibility carried out by companies in relationships with non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Applying…

1015

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine corporate volunteering as a form of social responsibility carried out by companies in relationships with non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Applying the value creation concept, the success of such relationships is based on value created between the focal company, its employees engaging in the volunteer work and the collaborating NGO actors representing the beneficiaries of the volunteer work. However, how to meaningfully engage employees and strategically manage company–NGO relationships in corporate volunteering has received less scholarly attention. The study hence asks the question: How is mutual value created in corporate volunteering collaborations between business organizations and NGOs?

Design/methodology/approach

Two qualitative case studies of company–NGO relationships involved in corporate volunteer programs for social benefit in Poland and Finland are analyzed.

Findings

Corporate volunteering offers value creation opportunities for each of the three actors in the relationships, namely, the company, the NGO and the employees who participate in the volunteer work. Particularly, employment and volunteering relationships appear to be catalysts for the creation of mutual value in the organizational relationship between a company and NGO.

Originality/value

The present study contributes to the current understanding of company–NGO relationships by emphasizing the role of individual employee volunteers in creating relationship-level value. The study adds also to existing research on corporate volunteering by identifying the way value is created in company–NGO relationships within corporate volunteering.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 36 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 28 January 2013

Tuija Mainela and Pauliina Ulkuniemi

The purpose of this paper is to examine the role of personal interaction in customer relationship management in the project business. The research question addressed is: How is…

6937

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the role of personal interaction in customer relationship management in the project business. The research question addressed is: How is personal interaction intertwined with the management of customer relationships in the project business?

Design/methodology/approach

The authors connect an extensive knowledge of personal interactions in industrial business relationships with research on social interaction in the project business to enrich their understanding of customer relationship management in that business. Exploratory case study is used to empirically examine two firms providing project business solutions: one provides highly-tailored technological solutions to the process industry, and the other provides professional engineering services to that same industry.

Findings

The study reveals two specific functions that connect personal interaction with customer relationship management. These two functions explain the importance of personal interaction and disclose the contents of interaction that should be considered in relationship and project management. Furthermore, the authors illustrate how two situational factors influence and are influenced by personal interaction.

Originality/value

The study suggests specific conceptualization of personal interaction as a part of project business management.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 28 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 14 June 2011

Emmi Rahikka, Pauliina Ulkuniemi and Saara Pekkarinen

The present challenge for many service firms is to develop an offering that is flexible and open for tailoring and at the same time achieves efficiency through standardizing…

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Abstract

Purpose

The present challenge for many service firms is to develop an offering that is flexible and open for tailoring and at the same time achieves efficiency through standardizing processes. Modularity has been suggested as being one tool for achieving this. The goal of the present study is to find out how services provided in modular form (here referred to as service modularity) can exert an influence on the value perception of the customer in the professional services field.

Design/methodology/approach

Empirical part consists of a case study of a large provider of professional services involving construction, engineering, procurement and project management service. Data were gathered by semi structured theme interviews of representatives of the case company and representatives of two of its customers.

Findings

The modular processes had an influence on the customer's expectations that are related to the experienced quality of the service, and hence they create value for the customer. In addition to the service outcome, the modular processes enhanced the customer's trust in the service provider's employees and their skills in co‐operating in a suitable way during the service process. The organizational modularity eased the customer's tasks of managing the project implementation.

Originality/value

The present study contributes the knowledge related to modularity in business services by incorporating the knowledge from the theoretical discussion on customer perceived value.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 26 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 6 July 2015

Heikki Karjaluoto and Pauliina Ulkuniemi

10043

Abstract

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 30 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

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