Management & International Business

The research of the Department of Management and International Business is organized through the multidisciplinary research community (RC) of COMPANION, which includes researchers from international business, management and marketing. 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 will emphasize contextuality and temporality and result in revealing causal mechanisms that explain the dynamics of organizational phenomena. The current conceptual understanding will be 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 in line with a view that “good theoretical work is far more difficult to do and requires far greater creativity than most empirical research” (Stewart & Zinkhan, 2006, 480). This is the basis for aiming at strong conceptual research in two research groups of the Department of Management and International Business with specific backgrounds, focuses and objectives as described below.

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 activities 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.

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.

Last updated: 19.7.2016