| 13.06.2024

Managerial perceptions shape strategic activities in collaborative business ecosystems

In the midst of climate change, pandemics, and digital transformation, managers find themselves at the forefront of navigating uncertainty. New research shows how managers make sense of this dynamic business environment and what the implications are when it comes to strategic decision-making.

Kaisa Penttilä

Companies worldwide have embraced the concept of ecosystems. Collaboration and co-creation are now integral to their strategic vision. In her doctoral thesis Kaisa Penttilä found that, not all managers perceive these collaborative organisational forms equally, leading to intriguing variations in what type of opportunities are spotted and perceived feasible. 

“What we see is that companies have increasingly engaged in co-creative and collaborative efforts to address sustainability challenges and drive innovation. These partnerships, often allow organisations to tap into expertise beyond their own boundaries”, says Penttilä. 

Penttilä’s work emphasizes the intertwining of managers’ perceptions with their experiences, identity and emotions. Understanding these mechanisms is essential for effective strategizing in transforming business ecosystems, she argues. 

“What I have seen in my work is that part-taking in building ecosystems requires trust and openness between collaborating partners, especially on the individual level. But we must also acknowledge the differences in interests and motivations, which can sometimes be very hard to align”, says Penttilä. 

Managers should consider how the perceptions of the different actors in the ecosystem impact their strategic decisions. They should also actively seek to challenge their existing frames of thinking, identify new ways of thinking and acting, and seek alignment between different interests, to strengthen the functioning of local business ecosystems. 

You can read the whole thesis here: 
Microfoundations of Strategizing in Transforming Business Ecosystems  A sensemaking approach 

Kaisa Penttilä will defend her doctoral thesis 18 June 2024 at 12.00 noon in V142, Hanken in Vaasa. You can join the online stream here: https://go.hanken.fi/defence-penttila 

Opponent: Professor Daniel Kindström, Linköping University 
Custos: Professor Sören Kock, Hanken School of Economics 


Further information: 
Kaisa Penttilä 
+358 50 490 9010