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Sökning: AMNE:(SOCIAL SCIENCES Business and economics) > Chalmers tekniska högskola > Övrigt vetenskapligt

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  • Brink, Johan, 1976- (författare)
  • Accumulation, Boundaries, Capabilities and Dynamics - Explaining Firm Growth
  • 2007
  • Doktorsavhandling (övrigt vetenskapligt)abstract
    • The aim of this thesis is to further develop the theoretical understanding of the growth of knowledge intensive business organizations. The overall aim is to understand the growth challenges of emerging firms in the knowledge-based economy. In particular this thesis addresses several aspects of the growth of small bioscience based firms. In a world characterized by global markets and rapid information transfer, the existence of firms can no longer be justified by established products and defence of old positions. The traditional logic of economic activities and industrial organization has instead increasingly been replaced by dynamic Schumpeterian competition in which firms compete based upon knowledge and innovations. This thesis depart in the emergent theories of evolutionary economics which focus on economic action and firm behaviour in a restless disequilibrium and endogenous technological change (Nelson and Winter 1982). Within such a restless capitalistic society, new firms play a central role in economic development. As a consequence, economic as well as management researchers has increased their interest in entrepreneurship and industrial dynamics. The emergence and growth new firms have been found to relate to both the introduction and diffusion of new knowledge, innovations, as well as generators of new employment. The growth of new firms is hence vital to understand from the perspective of industrial dynamic throughout the process of Schumpeterian competition and technological evolution and in the longer perspective, economic growth. The thesis is structured around the general, puzzling phenomenon of the relative absence of growing firms within this specific technological and industrial context. In order to investigate the research problem a theoretical framework is put together along two main dimensions. The first consists of a review of the research field of firm growth including such as entrepreneurial and organizational aspects. The second dimension provides a theoretical outline regarding the specific industrial and institutional environment and thus presents a context in which these new firms evolve. The focus within this thesis is primarily on the growth of the individual business organizations. The initial research problem centres around the empirically evident relative low growth rates of bioscience based firms. As a consequence of this low growth rate of firms, the industrial dynamics is instead shaped by entries of new actors, creating a highly turbulent industry. According to the dominant theories of the firm, the reasons for performing activities within the institutional form of a business organization, resulting in economic advantages of being inside the boundaries. Such knowledge and innovation based competition should be seen in the context of the firm’s unique trajectory and as a process of accumulation of associated specific capabilities and distinctive competences. Innovation is thus a process of knowledge accumulation of both internal and external learning, influenced by the specific context in which the firm resides. The lack of growth of new knowledge intensive firms within this specific industry is thus found in the complexities of knowledge accumulation as generating firm capabilities for further actions. The pressure on innovativeness and the ability for firms both to foster and take advantages of knowledge raises several issues regarding growth of knowledge intensive business organizations. Altogether understanding firm growth within this context might potentially be seen as role models for increasingly knowledge intensive firms within other industries. Even with more modest implications such findings might have profound effect when limited to the studied industrial context.
  • Stenberg, Ann-Charlotte, 1967- (författare)
  • The Social Construction of Green Building: Diachronic and Synchronic Perspectives
  • 2006
  • Doktorsavhandling (övrigt vetenskapligt)abstract
    • Abstract Although environmental issues have been on the agendas of governments, businesses and scientists for at least three decades, there still remain conceptual difficulties concerning what ‘environment’ or ‘green’ actually encompass. The concepts are in constant flux, shifting as actors who represent different social relevant groups struggle to find support for their specific interests. The overall aim of this research is to contribute new insight concerning the processes through which environmental issues are represented and given meaning in the Swedish building sector. To fulfill this purpose, three research questions have been formulated, all of them focusing on different organizational levels: how are environmental issues (1) framed? (2) made sense of?, and (3) acted upon? Furthermore, to understand the social construction of green building, the topic has been addressed from a diachronic and a synchronic perspective. The thesis draws on theories of social construction of technology, institutional change, travel of ideas, sensemaking and identity construction to explicate the qualitative empirical data, which is mainly collected through interviews, written documents, and field observations. Green building is a contested discursive terrain, where relevant groups struggle for the preferential right of interpretation of ‘green.’ The plurality of meanings enacted in several distinct logics can result in widely differing problem formulations and contradictory solutions. On organizational level, contesting views may mobilize counter-action or non-action, which is destructive for strategic environmental work. The trade magazines bias towards technical measures and their proclivity toward traditional definitions regarding environmental impacts may lock practitioners into a technocratic logic. Environmental areas that are not formulated areas of key concern risk being taken for granted, i.e., being black-boxed. Accordingly, development within these areas may stagnate, especially since those who make strategic environmental decisions in the companies are not the same people who possess environmental expertise. For environmental issues to be enacted at all levels of a company, the environmental experts would need to be empowered with a decision-making mandate. To succeed, the environmental work has to be given adequate resources and also be legitimized by the business management. To conclude, there is no one ‘true’ notion of ‘green building.’ Instead, it is a social construct with multiple interpretations, which is not only a constraint, but may also function as a driver for change and development.
  • Teppayayon, Orada, 1972- (författare)
  • A comprehensive framework for future broadband policy: Assessing the EU initiative
  • 2012
  • Doktorsavhandling (övrigt vetenskapligt)abstract
    • For more than two decades, broadband has been recognized in the EU as having great benefits for economic and social development. This recognition is evident in the first EU policy document on the telecommunications market – the 1987 Green Paper – which assumed that harmonization and liberalization through competition mechanisms could be used as tools to bring all those benefits to European citizens. Although the policy emphasized competition mechanisms in the years that followed, many additional instruments were developed and implemented in order to make broadband available to all European citizens. Some of the instruments can be seen in the form of directives, and some in the many policy strategies. All of them make a considerable contribution to the growth of broadband deployment in the EU. However, the importance of broadband infrastructures is furthermore elevated in the context of an emerging information society representing a fundamental transformation of social and economic structures resulting from innovation in information and communication technologies. With globalization, the policy impetus for broadband has shifted towards a means to increase the competitiveness of a nation or region. In addition, concerns of sustainability have emerged as a central issue for the long-run development of modern societies, and questions have been raised about the role of broadband in this context. This changing emphasis, due to globalization, competitiveness, and sustainability, impacts the design of policy instruments. A question can be raised as to which instruments can serve a new concept for future broadband policy. This thesis aims to propose a conceptual framework for broadband policy that takes into account both traditional and new aspects of telecommunications sector in an information society by observing the empirical world, and analyzing literature and empirical studies. Particularly, this thesis presents an evolutionary concept for broadband policy in the EU by providing a model for integrating the related broadband policy instruments. A timeline of all the instruments and initiatives that are being implemented is explored. This evolution is analyzed to see what kind of future model is applicable to an information society when broadband policy is based on a perspective of globalization, regional competitiveness, and sustainability. The analysis addresses how well the existing instruments are applicable to a new concept of broadband policy and what the needs are for a new policy framework.
  • Andersen, Maj Munch, et al. (författare)
  • Green Nanotechnology in Nordic Construction: Eco-innovation Strategies and Dynamics in Nordic Window Value Chains
  • 2010
  • Rapport (övrigt vetenskapligt)abstract
    • This project analyzes Nordic trends in the development and industrial uptake of green nanotechno-logy in construction. The project applies an evolutionary economic perspective in analyzing the innovation dynamics and firm strategies in the window value chains in three Nordic countries, Denmark, Finland and Sweden. Hence the project investigates two pervasive parallel market trends: The emergence of the green market and the emergence of nanotechnology. The analysis investigates how a traditional economic sector such as the construction sector reacts to such major trends. Conclusions are multiple, but among the most important are: Eco-innovation has become the perhaps most important driver for innovation in the construction sector. Search into eco-innovative business opportunities is intense among all companies along the three analyzed Nordic window chains. While we generally find a low uptake of nanotechnology in the construction sector in the Nordic countries we do find quite a high number of nanotech applications in the Nordic window chains. Eco-innovation is influencing strongly on the nanotech development. We see several examples of nano-enabled smart, multifunctional green solutions in the Nordic window chains already or about to having a commercial impact. Currently, it seems the greening of markets is beginning to affect the roles different companies play in the chain. We see a marked shift towards more sys-temic, smart eco-innovative solutions which fit well with nanotech opportunities. Overall, the recent greening of the market seems to be opening a window of opportunity for nanotechnology in the Nordic countries but the widespread discreet firm strategizing towards nanotechnology may reduce the exploitation of these.
  • Sanz-Velasco, Stefan, 1970- (författare)
  • Entrepreneurial learning: Developing opportunities and business models
  • 2006
  • Doktorsavhandling (övrigt vetenskapligt)abstract
    • The purpose of this dissertation is to explore and describe the entrepreneurial process with an emphasis on how technology-based entrepreneurs learn as they perceive and exploit opportunities. The thesis draws on a variety of entrepreneurship-oriented literature such as Austrian economics, entrepreneurial learning and the resource-based view, and it features four empirical studies, primarily among start-up ventures in the emerging Swedish mobile Internet industry. The results indicate that the dominant ‘opportunity discovery’ conceptualisation can be reconceptualised as ‘opportunity development’ to better represent the processual nature of technology-based entrepreneurship. This would also enhance our possibilities to develop tools and models of use for practitioners. The initial opportunity perceptions in these start-ups are often rudimentary, and then substantially developed—in processes that may be iterative, intrusive and interactive. Another conclusion is the need to attend to entrepreneurial learning in order to better understand ‘opportunity development’, thereby rendering our view of the entrepreneurial process more dynamic. In doing so, the thesis illustrates how entrepreneurial learning can be analysed at the infrequently used venture level, and thereby contributes to entrepreneurial learning literature. A concept that has been derived from a number of theories is presented: the business model. The concept allows analyses of entrepreneurial learning, but also captures the development of opportunities over time, partly because it addresses core dimensions of the entrepreneurial process. The value of using the business model as an analytical tool is accentuated by its role as a boundary object between researchers and practitioners. The empirical studies also suggest that entrepreneurial learning in the venture often takes place through experimentation with different business models. In view of the observed need for business model changes in early phases, entrepreneurs and venture capitalists might advantageously delay committing large resources until the business model of a venture has stabilised. The idea of ‘business modelling’ as a disciplined method for developing the business model is launched. It concerns making important assumptions explicit and turning them into hypotheses that are tested on the market. Unsuccessful ones are refuted, whereas success is considered to demonstrate viability. Depicting business modelling as a method leads to the concept of learning methodologies—recurrent patterns of thought and action—which is suggested as a contribution to entrepreneurial learning literature. To discuss the association of learning with performance, it is argued that we must first determine what learning methodology is present. The dissertation shows one example of learning methodologies that correlate positively with venture growth. Analogously to earlier research aiming to correlate individual traits with success, it is consequently suggested that learning methodologies might serve as a complementary approach.
  • Insanic, Igor, 1978- (författare)
  • Organising Product Recovery in Business Networks
  • 2012
  • Licentiatavhandling (övrigt vetenskapligt)abstract
    • The licentiate thesis includes an analysis of different ways of organising product recovery. The aim of product recovery is raw materials conservation, which is strongly related to sustainable development. The focus of this thesis has been on the physical flows from the disposers towards new end-users through different product recovery options that include recycling, remanufacturing, and refurbishing. In this thesis a framework for analysing different ways of organising product recovery in inter-organisational networks is developed. The framework applied in the study relies on the Industrial Network Approach (e.g. Håkansson et al., 2009). The analysis of empirical findings has been performed in all three network layers of the ARA model (Håkansson and Snehota, 1995), in the activity pattern, resource constellation and in the web of actors. The key research issue in the activity layer is to identify differences between activity structures with regard to principles of postponement and speculation, and activity interdependencies. In the resource layer, the research issue is to explore adaptations and tensions. With regard to the actor layer, the main research issue deals with how business relationships in terms of inter-organisational information exchange and the positioning of actors affect activity coordination and resource combining. In addition to the analysis through the models of the Industrial Network Approach, the concept of transvection (Alderson, 1965) is used as a complement to study product recovery to analyse various ways of organising product recovery. The concept of transvection regards all activities as either sorts or transformations with regard to identity, time, place, and form. Sorting is the decision aspect concerned with classification of objects and the direction of transformations of these objects. A qualitative case study in the PC industry has been conducted, with a focus on an actor, who is performing and coordinating different product recovery activities and options together with third party logistics providers and retailers of used products, as regards disposers’ different needs. The concept of transvections effectively elucidates various ways of organising activities with regard to principles of postponement and speculation as well as how sorting decisions direct and re-direct the objects in the network. Structuring of information in time, place, form, and identity dimensions supports sorting rules that steer objects into different product recovery options. This organisation of information facilitates sorting, activity coordination, and resource combining between firms. Information sharing provides possibilities for matching supply and demand of the reprocessed products and enhances resource utilisation. This thesis highlights the significance of a network perspective on organising product recovery, which adds to the literature on reverse logistics and Closed Loop Supply Chain Management. Analytical tools which were developed within the Industrial Network Approach can be applied to investigate organising product recovery. The results of this study can be useful for managers to understand the effects of integrating forward and reverse physical flows. Keywords: industrial networks, reverse logistics, closed loop supply chain management, product recovery, organising, activity coordination, resource combining, transvection, sorting.
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