Laurea University of Applied Sciences operates in the Helsinki metropolitan area, one of the most competitive regions in the world.
Laurea University of Applied Sciences operates in the Helsinki metropolitan area, one of the most competitive regions in the world. The area contains a significant concentration of higher education and research establishments, innovative companies and nationally important innovators, linked by various formal and informal networks. Due to the challenging nature of this innovation-packed environment, in order to promote development it is essential for professionals to become specialised in their areas of expertise and create wide-ranging networks.
The area contains a significant concentration of higher education and research establishments, innovative companies and nationally important innovators.
The principle of networking has been chosen as a strategy for Laurea. Laurea’s task in developing its own areas of expertise is to operate as a provincial multi-faculty university of applied sciences for the whole metropolitan area. Laurea fulfils this task by bringing together teaching, research and development activities with regional development schemes. In terms of content, Laurea focuses on service innovations, welfare, business management and ICT. With around 8,000 students, Laurea is the third largest university of applied sciences in Finland.
Laurea University of Applied Sciences has won several awards from the Finnish Higher Education Evaluation Council. In 2003-2004 and 2006-2007 Laurea was appointed as a Centre of Excellence in Regional Impact. Learning by Developing (LbD) – learning model is a pedagogical innovation that the Finnish National Evaluation Council based their decision on when Laurea was appointed as a Centre of Excellence in Education for 2005-2006. The LbD-model combines the two main functions of professional education in universities of applied sciences: professional education (learning) and education based on applied research (developing). Business fields’ developing needs and problem situations are the starting point for all learning. Through the development projects, students have the possibility to acquire the latest expertise in their field.
Laurea´s campus in Leppävaara, Espoo (Laurea Leppävaara), focuses on Service Innovations and Service Design. In southern Finland, next to the capital Helsinki and as the domicile of Nokia and most international companies in Finland – many of them information intensive service businesses – the city of Espoo is a modern, fast developing centre of business. Yet the city is green, remaining faithful to the original concept of city architecture and planning. The city follows the coastline to the west of Helsinki.
The immediate vicinity of Laurea Leppävaara has recently undergone a remarkable change and still is. Leppävaara is being designed to become a significant cultural, commercial and welfare centre, self-sufficient in terms of services, entertainment and shopping. A train service takes you to the centre of Helsinki every 5 minutes in 10 minutes. All this is in favour of Laurea Leppävaara, in terms of potential to effectively sense and reflect the changes in requirements by surrounding business. At Laurea Leppävaara, the total number of students is approximately 1700 and the number of permanent staff is approximately 70. The degree programmes offered relate to Business Management, Hospitality Management, Business Information Systems and Security Management. A new degree programme of Service Design offered in English is under construction. Many students will complete majority of their studies connected to real business projects. Several development projects are multidisciplinary, and most of them relate to service design issues. Examples of service design activities include developing new services for hotels, restaurants, cruise ships and public sector, arranging various business events, researching and developing innovation networks as well as researching challenges faced by professional business-to-business service companies and industrial companies when developing services.
Management of Innovation Networks —A Case Study of Different Approaches
Ojasalo, Jukka (forthcoming), “Management of Innovation Networks —A Case Study of Different Approaches,” European Journal of Innovation Management.
Purpose – The literature includes vast amount of research on both innovation and business networks, however the empirical knowledge of their intersection —innovation networks and their management— is still scarce. This empirical study aims at increasing the knowledge of management of innovation networks by mapping characteristics of management approaches of two case companies. These companies operate in the software business and develop their products in inter-organizational networks. Special attention is paid to differences in the management approaches between the case companies
Methodology – The present empirical article is based on analysis of two case companies representing very different and contrasting approaches to management of innovation networks. The empirical study is conducted among SMEs in the software business.
Findings – As a result of the analysis, several aspects of management of innovation networks are identified and their nature was explained. These aspects are: a) duration of the network, b) rewards from the network, c) fundamental meaning of the network, d) the nature of the networked organization, e) planning, control, and trust, f) hierarchies, authority, and coordination. These aspects are powerful in mapping and explaining the characteristics of innovation network management.
Theoretical implications – The theoretical contribution of the study relates to the identification certain aspects, which are relevant in understanding and explaining the nature of innovation network management. In terms of these aspects it is easy to get a snapshot on how an innovation network is managed. These aspects also provide a usable framework for comparing the management approaches of different innovation networks. The second theoretical contribution relates to the identification of two different fundamental views on how controlled and structured the management of innovation networks should be. The empirical material found that the degree to which companies are oriented towards controlled and structured management in inter-organizational innovation networks may vary significantly. One company may prefer very free management approach while another applies a rigid one. The third contribution relates to the finding that management of innovation networks may be driven by other than economic objectives, although economic realities are always present. The management of the network is likely to be different when the orientation to profit maximization varies.
Practical implications – Various management practices are suggested and discussed in the context of each of the identified aspects of innovation network management.
Developing Industrial Services – An Empirical Study
Ojasalo, Katri (2007), “Developing Industrial Services – An Empirical Study”, The Business Review, Cambridge, Vol. 7 No. 1, pp. 58-62
The integration of manufactured products and services is becoming a trend, and the industrial service business is a fast growing business area in the manufacturing industry. Many companies have tried to develop industrial services to create new business with customers but many of them have failed. In many cases, customers have not valued the proposed service models because of the lack of added value to the current co-operation between supplier and customer. The purpose of this empirical study is to gain an understanding as to what are the most important challenges when an equipment manufacturing company begins to develop service offerings to its customers.
What Prevents Effective Utilisation of Customer Knowledge in Professional B-to-B-services? An Empirical Study
Nätti, Satu & Jukka Ojasalo (forthcoming), “What Prevents Effective Utilisation of Customer Knowledge in Professional B-to-B-services? An Empirical Study,” The Service Industries Journal, Vol. 28 No 9.
The present empirical article is based on a case study of a professional service organisation in the field of business-to-business education and consultancy services. This study contributes by increasing the knowledge of organisational inhibitors of customer knowledge utilisation in collaborative customer relationships by describing four organisational aspects inhibiting internal customer knowledge utilisation. The first is a professional service organisation’s dominant logic, which refers to a barrier between organisation and customer. The second relates to cultural characteristics, referring to barriers between individuals and groups. The third barrier is the organisational structure of the professional service firm and the fourth barrier relates to systems and administrative routines.
Loose Coupling as an Inhibitor of Internal Customer Knowledge Transfer: Findings from an Empirical Study in B-to-B Professional Services
Nätti, Satu and Jukka Ojasalo (forthcoming), “Loose Coupling as an Inhibitor of Internal Customer Knowledge Transfer: Findings from an Empirical Study in B-to-B Professional Services,” Journal of Business and Industrial Marketing.
Purpose of the paper – This article aims at increasing the knowledge of how loose coupling inhibits internal customer knowledge transfer and utilization in a professional service organization.
Methodology – The present empirical article is based on a case study of two professional service organizations in the field of business-to-business professional services.
Findings – This article shows that internal fragmentation seems to be inherent in this type of organization, and may cause many problems in customer-related knowledge transfer among individuals, collegial groups and hierarchical levels in a professional service organization. All of these problems in collective knowledge utilization influence both the service offering creation and general relationship coordination in the collaborative relationship.
Research limitations and implications – The present methodology does not allow generalizations with statistical reliability. Research implications relate to the inhibitors of internal customer knowledge transfer in b-to-b professional service organizations.
Practical implications – This paper provides managerial suggestions for how to deal with the inhibitors of customer knowledge transfer. This includes for example developing unified goals, strengthening cultural cohesion and cooperation in the organization, building forums of dialogue between individuals and subgroups, and structuring relationship coordination systems (i.e. key account management systems), keeping customer-related knowledge transfer in mind.
Value of the paper – The knowledge of inhibitors of internal customer knowledge transfer in b-to-b professional service organizations is very scarce. This study contributes by increasing the knowledge of various inhibitors of customer-related knowledge transfer and their influence on customer-related knowledge utilization in collaborative customer relationships.
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