COMPANION

COMPANION (A Research Community Studying Complexities of Organizational Activities) studies businesses, organizations and organizing in a variety of challenging economic settings. It examines complexities in individual companies and nonprofit organizations, in their relationships, in wider business networks, or economic areas, such as regions, states and nations. The critical realistic and social constructivist understanding of the phenomena is seen as crucial for the social, economic, and ecological sustainability of business and organizational life. Our research stresses the context-specificity and relatedness of social and economic actions and behavior to understanding the integrated world. Companion aims to increase understanding of complex and challenging organizational activities and processes through asking thought-provoking questions and challenging the current views. Explanation building emphasizes contextuality and temporality and results in revealing causal mechanisms that explain the dynamics of organizational phenomena. The current conceptual understanding is refined with new frameworks. Ontologically, the research primarily applies critical realism or social constructivism and epistemologically, abductive research designs and processual methodologies. The RC views dynamics as created in the interaction of structure and process, and the interplay of individual agency and social structure is an important element of developments over time. The research applies theoretical approaches from several disciplines to connect the partial but multiple explanations into a holistic view of the complexities of organizational activities. COMPANION emphasizes profound and innovative theoretical work. This is the basis for aiming at strong conceptual research in the four research groups with specific backgrounds, focuses and objectives as described below.

For further information on COMPANION please contact
Prof. Tuija Mainela, tuija.mainela (at) oulu.fi

CHABRE (Challenging Business Relationships) asks how can dyadic and triadic business relationships and network dynamics be understood? Relationships are viewed as interaction processes and the focus is on specific states of relationships and networks where their inherent dynamics is intensified. The aim is to understand not only ongoing relationships, but also troubled ones as well as their resolution, not only continuous but also episodic relationships and to reach not only rational but also emotional understanding of the phenomena. The theoretical discussions on sociology of emotions, social psychology, sociology, and interaction and network approach to marketing and process research and narrative methods and practice approach are used to enrich the understanding of dynamic internal and external business relationships/networks.

For further information on CHABRE please contact
Prof. Jaana Tähtinen, jaana.tahtinen (at) oulu.fi

CRESCO (Creating Spaces for Collective Opportunities in Organizations and Networks) asks how new economic activity can be co-created in dynamic, international business contexts? The conceptual focus is on collective opportunities. Collective opportunities are viewed as situations that span and integrate elements from multiple contexts in which human action and interaction transform the manifestations of economic activity. The aim is to understand international and strategic entrepreneurial and managerial behaviors as the practices and processes constituting the global businesses and economies. As the emphasis is on context and action by multiple actors, uncertainties, differences and conflicts are seen to create the space to develop collective opportunities. Theoretical discussions on internationalization, entrepreneurship, strategy as practice, experimentally organized economy, and cultural-historical activity theory, and post structuralism and process research and narrative methods are used to elaborate on collective opportunities.

For further information on CRESCO please contact
Prof. Tuija Mainela, tuija.mainela (at) oulu.fi

DICIE (Dynamism of Innovation in Complex and Changing International Environment) asks how innovations, strategy, and international business are connected by focusing on transformation of innovation‐based business models, and value creation and capture in networks/ecosystems facilitating growth and internationalization. The primary claim is that the potential in innovation and internationalization needs to be harnessed, and therefore, careful approach towards drafting business models, balancing value creation and capture, and other related issues is needed. For that purpose DICIE works closely with companies and, for example, technology clusters and conducts both multiple cases studies and longitudinal, action-type of research as well as large scale surveys. Research on international expansion has acknowledged for quite some time that deploying knowledge-based assets in innovative ways promotes successful internationalization, and, on the other hand, innovativeness and innovations also represent the outcomes of internationalization: global networks of innovation foster the speed, efficacy and effectiveness of innovation and unique intangible assets while simultaneously avoiding increase in the technological and financial risk exposure of individual companies. The critical factors in this setting are examined relying on various approaches from strategic management and renewal to open innovation, international entrepreneurship, and business models and ecosystems.

For further information on DICIE please contact
Prof. Pia Hurmelinna-Laukkanen, pia.hurmelinna-laukkanen (at) oulu.fi

SHARP (Sensing and Shaping Service Business Relationships) asks how can value creation in service business be understood? It studies dynamics of service business through sensing and shaping service business relationships from the perspectives of service modularity, service market creation, service network orchestration, and service branding. The overall purpose of SHARP group is to advance the theoretical understanding and managerial knowledge in the area of business services. The research group studies business services with understanding of service networks and variety of roles of different actors in value creation with customer. In service business, two inter-related aspects are recognized; service marketing and service management. Developing expertise in in both enables the creation of service innovations and the design of future service businesses. Theoretical discussions on services marketing, service management, interaction and network approach, industrial purchasing, and branding and both case studies and survey methods are used to discover the dynamics of service business relationships and value creation.

For further information, on SHARP please contact
Prof. Pauliina Ulkuniemi, pauliina.ulkuniemi (at) oulu.fi

http://www.oulu.fi/sharp/

Last updated: 22/8/2014