Ongoing research

Ongoing research
  • The role of high-impact SMEs in ecosystems: niches, keystones and domains
  • Study of the entrepreneurial startup process: How individuals seek to start new businesses in Finland
  • Happiness Entrepreneurship
  • Value from Emotions in Business
  • Leading corporate entrepreneurship - The role of leadership and corporate governance in fostering corporate entrepreneurship for renewal

The role of high-impact SMEs in ecosystems: niches, keystones and domains

Ecosystems have become an essential part of contemporary business life. Ecosystems are complex constructs; they overlap and consist of more or less coupled organizations. Research indicates that organizations need to learn how to strategize in such complex environments. They should especially learn how to find their role as niche players, keystones or physical dominators since these roles are the most profitable and sustainable. Research also indicates that organizations should learn how to create, maintain and relate to platforms in the ecosystems since platform management have proved to be essential in ecosystem survival. Thus this research aims to explore the roles of Finnish SMEs in business ecosystems and how they can develop capabilities for strategizing and performing platform management. We focus on SMEs since the potential for growth can be found in such organizations, and pose the following research question and aims:

How can Finnish high-impact SMEs develop their ecosystem strategizing capabilities?

The project takes a "Strategy-as-practice" approach and the aim is to improve SMEs strategic capabilities in:

  1. Performing platform management in ecosystems.
  2. Acting as niche players in ecosystems.
  3. Acting as keystones or maneuver in relation to keystones in ecosystems.
  4. Acting as physical dominators, alternatively domain owners, in ecosystems.

The project has been funded by Tekes for year 2014-2015. It is a collaboration project between researchers at Hanken (Thommie Burström and Pia Arenius) and at University of Turku (Pasi Malinen, Mikko Grönlund, Kaapo Seppälä, Tuomas Ranti).

The project has now been finalized and the full report can be found here.

Study of the entrepreneurial startup process: How individuals seek to start new businesses in Finland

The purpose of this project is to enhance our understanding of what happens during the startup process and what distinguishes successful startup efforts from the less successful ones. The project begins by screening a large random sample of members of the adult population. Using validated, widely accepted questions we identify individuals who have recently began to work on starting up a new venture. We then intent to follow these individuals over a period of five years. This project follows the procedures developed in projects such as the Panel Study of Entrepreneurial Dynamics and the Comprehensive Australian Study of Entrepreneurial Emergence.

In this project we are collaborating with researchers from Aalto University, University of Turku and from the Aston University in Birmingham on an initiative related to developing a harmonized set of EU national business creation panel studies.

We have received funding from the Jane and Aatos Erkko Foundation for starting the data collection in 2014.

For further interest, please contact: Assistant professor Juhana Peltonen

Happiness Entrepreneurship

Happiness Entrepreneurship is herein understood as the study, pursuit and defence of happiness. The aim of our research project is to develop existing theoretical understanding, models and teaching material to promote entrepreneurial happiness. The research is well rooted in existing theories on value and value creation. In the context of family business research, entrepreneurial happiness is seen as a central theme for the development of well-being for all stakeholders involved. In order to further develop our research in this topic, we are open for various empirical research projects and engagements with relevant co-operation partners, including companies, institutions, researchers and students.

For further interest, please contact: Dr. Markus Wartiovaara

Related publications: Values and Freedom: an inquiry into the rise and fall of billionaire wealth

REMM, Rationality and Individual Value Creation

Value from Emotions in Business

Traditionally both practitioners and researchers have focused on rational aspects of value creation in business and neglected the role of emotions as a source and media in business success. Recent entrepreneurship research, however, has shown the important role of emotions in successful internal and external organizational performance. Therefore, in order to survive companies need to learn how to draw value from emotions in novel global ecosystems, where a transformational shift from value creation to more complex value co-creation is taking place. The novel value co-creation takes place through developing emotion driven dynamic business models and demands for novel knowledge on emotion management in business.

The A!HA Aalto Hanken Research Consortium has recently submitted an application to Tekes on a 2-year explorative project seeking to create a tool for linking emotions and value creation.

For further interest, please contact: Assistant professor Thommie Burström

Leading corporate entrepreneurship - The role of leadership and corporate governance in fostering corporate entrepreneurship for renewal

The early stages of entrepreneurial process are characterized by ambiguity. Subjective insights and interpretations of the situation and incomplete ideas about the concept set tone to the work. As the clarity about the opportunity improves and the concept matures the entrepreneur reaches a stage where he is ready to make his personal commitment to the case. In the radically innovative initiatives commitment is based on entrepreneurs subjective judgment. In order to get support and resources from the surrounding organization the entrepreneur needs to convince the organization about the merits of the case. For this to happen entrepreneur's interpretation and judgment of the situation needs to be sufficiently shared and internalized by the decision makers. The governance and leadership principles of the company define the arenas and set the tone of instances where the settlement of entrepreneurial subjectivities and common strategic agenda of the company takes place. The goal of the project is to bring clarity to how this settlement between entrepreneurs' subjectivities and common agenda of the organization take place in a large corporate context.

This is a joint project with professor Martin Lindell, Seppo Laukkanen and Anssi Vanjoki.

For future interest, please contact: Professor Martin Lindell