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Article
Publication date: 12 March 2018

Sari Laari-Salmela, Tuija Mainela, Elina Pernu and Vesa Puhakka

The purpose of this paper is to examine subsidiary positioning within the dynamic business networks in the context of multinational companies (MNCs). The research question…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine subsidiary positioning within the dynamic business networks in the context of multinational companies (MNCs). The research question of the study is: How does the positioning of a subsidiary emerge through strategic practices in the dynamic business networks of an MNC?

Design/methodology/approach

The study relies on the IMP view on strategy with a focus on market positioning activity and the strategy-as-practice approach. Positioning is seen as a question of strategic practices in the interactive spheres of the subsidiaries. In the empirical part of the study, the authors examine the practices of a forest machine industry multinational through longitudinal interview and archival data on three of its sales subsidiaries in Sweden, Russia and the USA.

Findings

The study defines core tensions in subsidiary interactive spheres and the related strategic practices that shape the positioning of the subsidiaries. The study models the practice-based network positioning of MNC subsidiaries as a dynamic play of relationship tensions.

Originality/value

Prior research has focused either on the internal organizing of the MNCs or embeddedness of subsidiaries in their local environment. Less attention has been paid to the practices of positioning through which the subsidiaries deal with the inevitable tensions at the intersection of the internal and external networks.

Details

IMP Journal, vol. 12 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2059-1403

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 11 February 2021

Kaisu Jansson, Juha Tuunainen and Tuija Mainela

While previous health-care-related hybridity research has focused on macro- and micro-level investigations, this paper aims to study hybridization at the organizational…

Abstract

Purpose

While previous health-care-related hybridity research has focused on macro- and micro-level investigations, this paper aims to study hybridization at the organizational level, with a specific focus on decision-making. The authors investigate how new politico-economic expectations toward a university hospital as a hybrid organization become internalized via organizational decision-making, resulting in the establishment of a new business collaboration and innovation-oriented unit.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors employed a social systems theoretical framework to explore organizational decision-making processes involved in the establishment of the new hybrid hospital unit. Drawing on 15 interviews and nine organizational documents, the authors describe and analyze three decision-making cycles using the concepts of complexity, decision and justification.

Findings

The findings reveal the challenging nature of decision-making during hybridization, as decisions regarding unprecedented organizational structures and activities cannot be justified by traditional decision premises. The authors show that decision-makers use a combination of novel justification strategies, namely, justification by problems, by examples and by obligations, to legitimize decisions oriented at non-traditional activities. Further, the analysis reveals how expectations of several societal systems, i.e. health care, education, science, law, economy and politics, are considered in decision-making taking place in hybrid organizations.

Originality/value

The study draws attention to the complexity of decision-making in a hybrid context and highlights the role of justification strategies in partially reducing complexity by concealing the paradoxical nature of decision-making and ensuring the credibility of resulting decisions. Also, the study presents a move beyond the dualism inherent in many previous hybridity studies by illustrating the involvement of several societal systems in hybridization.

Details

Journal of Health Organization and Management, vol. 35 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-7266

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Article
Publication date: 6 June 2016

Anssi Jussila, Tuija Mainela and Satu Nätti

The purpose of this paper is to examine the formation of strategic networks between second-tier actors in the context of a construction megaproject. The research question…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the formation of strategic networks between second-tier actors in the context of a construction megaproject. The research question addressed is: How do second-tier strategic networks form in high uncertainty projects?

Design/methodology/approach

This is a qualitative single-case study, which examines strategic network formation in the context of a nuclear power plant construction project. Focused interviews with parties involved or having an interest in the megaproject were used as the primary data collection method.

Findings

The conditions for network formation in a megaproject context are specified with a focus on the determinants of uncertainty. A total of six second-tier network types with different formation conditions and potential roles in the project are characterized.

Research limitations/implications

Analyzing the prerequisites of strategic network formation and examining the characteristics of various networks (that are either planned, taking shape or existing between the companies) in this specific context creates a basis for further study of network formation over network levels.

Practical implications

The formation of strategic networks is critical for many actors in the construction and related industries who are willing to participate in large projects. With the help of our findings, managers are able to define opportunities to orchestrate early phase network formation processes in uncertain circumstances, such as megaprojects.

Originality/value

The contribution of this paper lies in the close examination of strategic network formation from the second-tier actor perspective under circumstances of high uncertainty related to the early phases of megaprojects. Likewise, the illustration of different types of evolving nets in different phases of uncertain projects offers a contribution to the present discussion on strategic nets.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 31 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

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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…

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5860

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

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Book part
Publication date: 13 August 2014

Elina Pernu, Tuija Mainela and Vesa Puhakka

The present study approaches multinational corporations as internal networks that are constantly newly organized on the basis of relationships, operations, activities, and…

Abstract

The present study approaches multinational corporations as internal networks that are constantly newly organized on the basis of relationships, operations, activities, and tasks at hand. It combines MNCs-as-networks view with the research on supplier–customer relationship development to conceptualize the relational dynamics in the MNCs. The dynamics are seen created as the interplay of organizing within internal networks and managing of the global customer relationships. Through an empirical study on a project business MNC and analysis of the events in its global customer relationship the study defines strategies of political compromising in MNC internal networks.

Details

Orchestration of the Global Network Organization
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78350-953-9

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Book part
Publication date: 31 October 2009

Anita Juho and Tuija Mainela

Purpose – The study examines the roles of external facilitation in the internationalization process of high-tech firms.Methodology/approach – The study elaborates on the…

Abstract

Purpose – The study examines the roles of external facilitation in the internationalization process of high-tech firms.

Methodology/approach – The study elaborates on the roles of external facilitation through a case study of two small high-tech firms that took part in a partly governmentally financed facilitation program.

Findings – The study illustrates the internationalization of a high-tech firm as a process that includes actions of both the facilitating actors and the high-tech firm. It defines the primary roles of external facilitation over the facilitated internationalization process of firms.

Research limitations/implications – The internationalization was followed only during the time that the firms participated in a facilitation program. The external facilitation under study is of a program type; therefore the process followed is not a spontaneous one but the facilitation has certain planned phases. Future research should be conducted on the entire internationalization processes of these firms and on the utilization of various types of external facilitation.

Practical implications – The study shows how high-tech firms can benefit from external facilitation in their internationalization. It gives insight into how the type of the company and its background are related to the roles of external facilitation.

Originality/value – The study extends the existing research on the internationalization of small high-tech firms by focusing on the roles of external facilitation in their internationalization. There are numerous institutions and actors who aim to facilitate the internationalization of small firms, but there is a limited amount of research on the roles of these facilitators.

Details

Research on Knowledge, Innovation and Internationalization
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84855-956-1

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Article
Publication date: 9 August 2011

Tuija Mainela, Elina Pernu and Vesa Puhakka

The purpose of this research is to analyze the development of high‐tech international new ventures as an acting process by individuals in relationship networks.

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1748

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this research is to analyze the development of high‐tech international new ventures as an acting process by individuals in relationship networks.

Design/methodology/approach

The study cross‐fertilizes research on internationalization of international new ventures, opportunity development of entrepreneurs and innovation development in technology‐based firms. A longitudinal case study on the development process of an international new venture operating in the software business is used as a base for analytical generalization and theory development.

Findings

The study illustrates events at three intertwined levels of acting on the development of an international new venture. It defines internal problem solving, external solution creation, opportunity selling and opportunity organizing as the behaviors driving the emergent, multi‐level process and embedding the venture in various networks.

Research limitations/implications

Statistical generalization based on common patterns experienced by several firms was not sought in this study. Using the process research approach with event‐based analysis, the study, however, provides an in‐depth analysis of international new venture development through the actions of individuals at the level of key events. The methods for examining a complex development process over time can be utilized by other process researchers.

Practical implications

The complexity of building high‐tech international new ventures is, to a great extent, due to the necessity of handling the process at three levels simultaneously and in connection with one another. Since international new ventures are often based on business opportunities that have a short window of opportunity, the timeline creates further challenges. Embedding the business into various resourcing, legitimizing and otherwise assisting networks is crucial.

Originality/value

The study provides an insight into the ways of acting in networks that intertwines the internationalization, opportunity and technology development with development of a high‐tech international new venture. The study follows the development process in real time, something that is quite rare in previous international entrepreneurship research.

Details

Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, vol. 18 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1462-6004

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 10 November 2016

Sakari Sipola, Vesa Puhakka and Tuija Mainela

Entrepreneurial activity is currently a primary concern of many developed economies that struggle with changes in their industrial structures. Many of the traditionally…

Abstract

Entrepreneurial activity is currently a primary concern of many developed economies that struggle with changes in their industrial structures. Many of the traditionally strong industries are encountering strong global competition and declining markets, and national competitiveness is often said to be built on new entrepreneurial firms that are able to grow in global markets. The facilitating national systems for these firms are covered in the emerging start-up ecosystem discussion. This chapter aims to contribute to this discussion by incorporating an analysis of the variety of actors and activities needed in start-up industries that rely on competence bloc theory. Furthermore, inspired by cultural-historical activity theory, the study specifies the contextual-, temporal- and renewal-related determinants of the activity of start-up ecosystems. As a result, a framework for examining start-up ecosystems as platforms for high-growth entrepreneurship is proposed in terms of its core constituencies that influence the emergence and non-emergence of high-growth firms.

Details

Global Entrepreneurship: Past, Present & Future
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78635-483-9

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Article
Publication date: 2 March 2012

Kimmo Alajoutsijärvi, Tuija Mainela, Pauliina Ulkuniemi and Emma Montell

The aim of this paper is to identify the effects of business cycles on industrial business‐to‐business relationships within extremely volatile industries.

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5477

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this paper is to identify the effects of business cycles on industrial business‐to‐business relationships within extremely volatile industries.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is an in‐depth case study on Outotec plc, a leading provider of technologies for the mining and metal industries.

Findings

The study identifies the changes in a business relationship during a business cycle as the dominance between the parties and the cooperative and the competitive nature of the relationship alternate.

Practical implications

The study identifies ways to smooth the effects of business cycles in extremely volatile industries from the viewpoint of a project‐based technology provider.

Originality/value

While a significant amount of macroeconomic research on cycles and a few studies on industry‐specific business cycles can be found, this study is a rare example of company‐specific research on surviving business cycles.

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Article
Publication date: 14 August 2007

Hanna Komulainen, Tuija Mainela, Jaana Tähtinen and Pauliina Ulkuniemi

The purpose of this paper is to examine why retailers' perceptions of the value of a novel technology‐intensive mobile advertising service differ.

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3901

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine why retailers' perceptions of the value of a novel technology‐intensive mobile advertising service differ.

Design/methodology/approach

The research design follows an abductive approach. The empirical data were gathered through a field experiment by interviewing retailers who used a mobile advertising service for the first time.

Findings

This study suggests a categorisation of customer‐perceived value sub‐elements in a novel technology‐intensive business‐to‐business (b‐to‐b) service consisting of two outcome‐level benefits, three process‐level benefits, and two types of sacrifices, i.e. monetary and non‐monetary. Furthermore, the study suggests that the value elements are not of equal importance. Different retailers value different threshold benefits that influence their willingness to use the service. Moreover, the retailers' participation in value co‐creation with a service provider influences the value perceived from the service.

Research limitations/implications

This experimental empirical setting involves two limitations. The trial period was relatively short and, due to the development stage of the service, the use of the service was offered free of charge. Therefore, future research should be conducted with commercialised novel technology services.

Practical implications

Retailers differ according to their willingness and ability to use novel technology‐intensive services, which also reflects how they perceive value and what kind of value they perceive. Thus, mobile service providers need to consider offering different service packages to different types of customers. Service providers also need to ensure that retailers are aware of all the commercial and non‐commercial benefits of the novel service. Retailers should realise that the commercial potential of mobile advertising is different from the traditional means of advertising.

Originality/value

For a research audience, the study extends the existing research on value creation by focusing on retailers' different value perceptions of a novel technology‐intensive b‐to‐b service. For developers of an innovative technology‐intensive service, the study shows the different customer types and how they influence buying decisions.

Details

International Journal of Service Industry Management, vol. 18 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0956-4233

Keywords

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