New doctoral thesis on the politics of value creation

In a new doctoral thesis from CERS, Mikko Laamanen examines the political elements of value creation.


Value creation in the Finnish labour market is less co-creational, experience-driven and harmonious than acknowledged until now. In his doctoral dissertation “The Politics of Value Creation” Mikko Laamanen investigated the collective and conflictual elements that are currently scant in value creation, questioning the congruent view that he claims is inherently partial and romantic.

Laamanen examines practices in the Finnish labour movement in the post-national income policy agreement period, with increasing institutional animosity and lessening ‘value’ on union membership. Based on his fieldwork, Laamanen questions the nature of value and its creation as being only economic, but pertaining to participation and equality. Thus, any examination of value and its creation has to consider the implications of power and conflict to the affected actors and environments. Laamanen concludes that understanding value creating interactions void of conflict is a serious limitation to understanding both the economic and social developments in our societies.

His findings are based on interviews with trade union leadership as well as ethnographic fieldwork in a trade union organization illustrating how strategic claims, relations and practices were discussed and maintained. The multiple and divergent claims about Finnish labour market, institutional relations and engagement with membership are illustrative of the ‘collective-conflictual value creation theory’ constructed in the dissertation. “Beyond the challenges to organized labour, the theory can be used as a framework to understand the changes in the economy towards new collaborative, platform-based forms, the blurring boundaries between roles of participants in value creating activities or the claims put forward as alternative facts in what is increasingly post-truth politics.”


M.Sc. (Econ.) Mikko Laamanen will defend his doctoral thesis in Marketing entitled “The Politics of Value Creation” on Thursday 16 February, 2017 at 12 noon.

Place: Assembly Hall, Hanken School of Economics

Opponent: Professor Hervé Corvellec, Lund University (Sweden)

Custos: Professor Tore Strandvik, Hanken School of Economics

The dissertation can be found online:

Contact: Mikko Laamanen, +33 6 21 19 47 86,