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OULU

BUSINESS

SC HOOL REPORT


PHOTO: KATI LEINONEN

PHOTO: STUDIO JUHA SARKKINEN

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Finnish Economy, Finnish competitiveness and outlook for the future were discussed in the May 2015 Business Forum. 1

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NORTHERN SERVICE DAY 2015 – CREATING GLOBAL BUSINESS FROM EVERYDAY EXPERIENCES More than 200 service ecosystem operators from Northern Finland took part in the event and discussed possibilities for differentiation by offering experiences in the global competitive environment.

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BRIGHT CLOUDS – DARK CLOUDS (BC-DC) BC-DC Energy project provides a research-based model and community for the development of variable, distributed production for energy.


CONTENTS

Oulu Business School............................................................................................ 5 Oulu Business School’s Important Milestones................................................ 6 A Word From the Dean....................................................................................... 8 AACSB Accreditation.......................................................................................... 10 Management and Organization ........................................................................ 12 Oulu Business School Key Facts....................................................................... 13 Education In Oulu Business School.................................................................. 15 Exchange Studies.................................................................................................. 32 Collaboration between University of Oulu and Local Business Life........ 34 Graduation Ceremony, Oulu Business School.............................................. 36 Finanssi – The Association of Oulu Business School Students.................. 38 Martti Ahtisaari Institute of Global Business and Economics.................... 41 Alumni.................................................................................................................... 47 Research................................................................................................................. 49 Business Kitchen.................................................................................................. 59


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It is with the same forward-looking pioneer spirit, and positive and active attitude, that we will grasp future challenges. Oulu Business School (OBS) at the University of Oulu is a truly international research and educational institute for business and economics.The high quality of our research and education has been acknowledged with the esteemed AACSB accreditation, earned by only 5% of the world’s business schools. We are based in Oulu, the lively capital of Northern Scandinavia and home to the multidisciplinary University of Oulu. Oulu Business School effectively collaborates with local businesses and the larger society. Our students can choose from diverse study programme options. They can become top experts in business and economics by earning a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree, or strengthen their professional expertise gained in working life — in English or Finnish.The international flavour of OBS is also evident in the Martti Ahtisaari Institute, with its focus on global business and economy

as well as the challenges posed by advancing sustainable and responsible business. Oulu Business School is a young and dynamic community, but our success is grounded in decades of experience: economic sciences have been taught at the University of Oulu since 1959. Full degrees in economics and business administration have been in the study portfolio since 1991, and in 2000 the Faculty of Economics and Business Administration was established as an independent unit. In 2010, we changed our name to Oulu Business School to better match our mission and focus on business studies. For OBS, the first decade of the century was a time when we saw significant growth and met ever-higher quality criteria. It is with the same forward-looking pioneer spirit, and positive and active attitude, that we will grasp future challenges.


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O U L U BU SINE SS SC HOOL’S IMP ORTANT MILESTON ES

OULU BUSINESS SCHOOL’S IMPORTANT M I L E S TO N E S

1958 University of Oulu founded. 1959 Professorship in Economics established. Students graduate with Bachelor of Science in Philosophy degree. 1980 First Bachelor of Social Science degree in Economics. 1984 Associate Professorship in Business Economics in the field of development and management of business created. 1991 Professorship in Corporate Economics and Business in the field of accounting established. 1992 Associate Professorship in Marketing established, followed by a full professorship in 1994. 2000 Faculty of Economics and Business Administration established in the University of Oulu. 2001 Degree programme in Logistics established.

2002 Degree programme in Management and Organization launched. 2007 International Business becomes the latest degree programme in Oulu Business School. 2008 MBA Programme launched. 2012 Management and International Business merge. 2012 Martti Ahtisaari International Doctoral Scholarship Programme launched. 2013 Oulu Business School earns AACSB Accreditation. 2014 April 2014 – Official AACSB Accrediation Recognition Ceremony. Launch of the New Bachelor Programme. 2015 Renewal of the International Master’s Programmes.


OUR VISION. As part of the University of Oulu, we aspire to be an international, multidisciplinary, research-based business school.

Nordic Spirit – International Heart

OUR VALUES. In all our activities we follow the fundamental values of expertise, responsibility to ourselves and others, and a pioneering spirit. OUR MISSION. We generate business competencies in cooperation with the scientific community, business partners and larger society. We strive to develop expertise, and foster the development of leadership qualities in our students. Through our actions and global mindset, we participate in the development of the economy, especially in Northern Finland.


PHOTO: TIMO HEIKKALA/EKONOMI-LEHTI

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A WO RD F RO M T H E DEAN

A WORD FROM THE DEAN Looking back at 2015, it’s evident that the operating environment of business schools and universities is changing, both in Finland and globally. A changing financial situation, increasingly global business and digitalisation are among the factors that influence us. Long-term strategic planning together with university management took place throughout 2015, as the new university strategy was being planned. After the launch in early 2016, we will look more closely at aligning our own activities with the strategy. A strategic theme that runs through all our activities is responsibility. The research conducted at Oulu Business School centres around responsible and sustainable business, which is organised into three subthemes and research communities: Sustainable Corporate Governance, Sustainable and Efficient Economic Development, and Complexities of Organisational Activities. Responsibility is also being introduced more strongly into education and other activities through a mandatory course, as well as Oulu Business School’s and the Martti Ahtisaari Institute’s roles in the Sustainability Literacy Test, a widely used and acknowledged tool for the various initiatives on sustainability led by higher education institutions to assess and verify the sustainability literacy of their students. We also play an active role in a Nordic

working group that aims to increase the role of responsibility and sustainability in business studies. In recent years, one of our major strategic development topics has been internationalisation. An important development in 2015 was a new double degree agreement with the University of Liége in Belgium. In addition, over ten new exchange agreements were signed with new partner universities in Germany, France, Ireland, Liechtenstein, Slovenia, the UK, Russia and Hong Kong. Oulu Business School’s students now have nearly 30 new exchange positions available exclusively to them. Our own studies are also becoming significantly more international, as since autumn 2015, all of our Master of Science programmes are now available in English. A topic that has been more prominent than ever in the daily life of Oulu Business School is digitalisation. In 2015 a joint undertaking in digital education was planned among a number of Finnish business schools. As a result, in 2017 a new, fully digital study module consisting of six courses and a company simulation will be launched for minor subject students. It also supports entrepreneurship by equipping the students with the basic skills needed in business. Digitalisation was discussed further in the annual meeting of Finnish business schools, hosted by Oulu Business School in August. In 2015 we also redesigned the mandatory master’s level course – Globally Responsible Business – to be carried out online. This way, students will benefit from a more flexible practical implementation without the need to attend regular lectures. The lessons learnt from this course will serve our faculty when designing and updating other courses.


A WO R D F RO M T H E D E A N

We feel it is ever more important to work together with the surrounding society, foster cooperation with our various stakeholders, and link our studies closer to working life. Our strategic planning is also closely linked to AACSB International. In 2015 our faculty participated in AACSB conferences and updated their knowledge on the new standards and current trends in business education. As digitalisation is of increasing importance to us, a group of professors and lecturers took part in the AACSB Online and Blended Education seminar. We are also working closely with the European Affinity Group, and have assumed a central role in the Leadership Team of the Group. This is another opportunity to strengthen our links with our AACSB partners and work closely together on common goals and challenges. What about research and education, our bread and butter? We fared well in nationally competed research funding and corporate funding in 2015. We were granted research funding by the Academy of Finland for a large research project involving several partners. The Bright Clouds – Dark Clouds (BD-DC) project seeks to provide a research-based link between the development of the variable, distributed production of energy and the recent work of Finland’s parliamentary committee on energy and climate issues, summarised in the Energy and Climate Road Map for Finland. The results of the first cohort of students in the new bachelor’s programme demonstrate that the

programme structure encourages efficient studies – a growing number of students easily exceed the target amount of ECTS credit points. We also saw a record number of bachelor’s degrees last year. Along with the renewal of our master’s and bachelor’s programmes, the Executive MBA was also redesigned: it now has a new programme structure, teaching methods have been developed, and the content has been refocused to better match students’ needs. Student feedback has been very positive. We feel it is ever more important to work together with the surrounding society, foster cooperation with our various stakeholders, and link our studies closer to working life. An increasing number of company representatives visit our lectures and bring the latest from the world of business to our students. In 2015, student teams carried out case assignments for start-up companies, and in the Practices in Marketing course, companies from different fields and industries introduced the students to a practical issue in marketing, e.g. segmenting, internationalisation of bornglobal companies, or marketing campaigns.The renewed bachelor’s programme also includes a multidisciplinary company project, in which six local companies took

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part in 2015. The students developed services for the companies based on their needs, such as developing a new retail concept or surveying customer needs. This type of cooperation not only helps us keep our courses updated and current,but motivates our students and directs their thoughts to life after university and the skills needed to succeed in their careers. What about next year? In 2016 we will continue to put even more effort than before into AACSB accreditation development work.The University of Oulu’s fundraising campaign is ongoing and will show in our work as well. We will look more closely at our mission in light of the university’s new strategy, and realign the strategic action plan accordingly. I invite our partners and stakeholders to participate in the daily activities of the business school, and I extend my warmest thanks to them for their continued support.

Petri Sahlström, Dean of Oulu Business School


A AC S B AC C RE DITATION

SPRING 2010

SUMMER 2 011

FALL 2011

FALL 2012

FALL 2012

WINTER 2012

SPRING 2013

Full member of AACSB

Eligibility

Mentor appointed

SAP (Standards Alignment Plan) submitted

SAP accepted

PRT Chair appointed

SER (Self Evaluation Report) submitted

PHOTO: STUDIO JUHA SARKKINEN

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GETTING GLOBAL WITH AACSB: SOWING, NURTURING AND HARVESTING THE GARDEN OF INTERNATIONALIZATION During 2015, we suddenly realised that OBS had become the most international business school in Finland, when looking at our Master’s programme graduates. More than 12% of our own graduates in the previous year were originally from outside Finland. Furthermore, our share of international Master’s graduates overall in Finland was over 15%.This is pretty cool, we think. It also helps in fulfilling our mission – to participate in the development of the economy, through our actions and global mindset. Well, how did this happen then? The foundations were obviously built during 2003–2008, when creating our set of international Master’s programmes. In the business of business schools, the cycles are longer than in fashion. It takes time and active patience to grow. From the first few graduates of the early years, we have come up to these impressive numbers. Many of these graduates

have stayed and graduated with their Ph.D. degrees – some are now our faculty members. Others have found their place in Finnish businesses, in Finland and abroad. It must be acknowledged that the AACSB process, as well as, of course, the distinction through accreditation, has boosted our market value and presence within the global business school community. We are now on the map when it comes to the most-wanted business study locations around the globe. We are also the world’s northernmost AACSB-accredited business school – that’s something exotic for you to know. This journey is ongoing. During 2015, we completed an important renewal of our Master’s programmes. They are now all international, and all taught in English. This will result in even better opportunities for the future, to support the growth of international businesses in our


A ACS B AC C R E D I TAT I O N

FALL 2013

NOVEMBER 2013

APRIL 2014

PRT (Peer Review Team) visit

Oulu Business School granted AACSB International Accreditation

Official Recognition Ceremony at AACSB ICAM, Singapore

SUMMER AND FALL 2014

Work on continuous improvement objectives

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YEAR 2015

Renewal of the International Master’s Programmes

We are now on the map when it comes

to the most-wanted business study locations around the globe.

We firmly believe that it is fundamentally important to take an active role in the international community of business schools and businesses. The AACSB International provides a great opportunity to get a flying start in this. Even if the weather may sometimes be turbulent in the global markets, there is far more to gain than to lose by taking an active stand. And it is a lot more fun, too. Sauli Sohlo, Deputy Director of the Martti Ahtisaari Institute Head of Accreditation, Oulu Business School

During 2015, we

completed an impor tant renewal of our Master’s programmes. PHOTO: STUDIO JUHA SARKKINEN

region, as well as in our partner regions around the world. It will further improve the quality of our research, education, and other activities, and will expand our global networks. All this will benefit our alumni, current and prospective students, and our faculty and stakeholders.


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O U L U BUS IN E S S S C HOOL

OBS MANAGEMENT IN 2015 Professor Petri Sahlström, The Dean of Oulu Business School

DEAN Council

Professor Pauliina Ulkuniemi, The Vice Dean for Education.

SUPPORT Staff

The following are chairs of their departments: Professor Janne Järvinen, Department of Accounting Professor Rauli Svento, Department of Economics Professor Jukka Perttunen, Department of Finance Professor Tuija Mainela, Department of Management and International Business Professor Jari Juga, Department of Marketing Professor Veikko Seppänen, Director of the Martti Ahtisaari Institute

Marketing

Management & International Business

Accounting

Finance

Economics

Mar tti Ahtisaari Institute of Global Business and Economics Institute Research Groups and Educational Programmes: OASIS, SHARP, SEED, Sustainable Corporate Governance, EMBA


O U L U B U S I N E S S S C H O O L K E Y FACT S

OULU BUSINESS SCHOOL KEY FACTS 2015 FINANCIAL DATA (in Euros)

Budgetary state funding External funding Academy of Finland Tekes European Union Structural funds Foundation Municipality Other public Private companies Business activities (MBA, EMBA) Other income Total funding Operating costs Staff expenses Other expenses Depreciation Internal items Total operating costs Surplus/(deficit)

2014 5 879 630

75.5%

2015 6 439 900

DISTRIBUTION OF FUNDING 2015 74%

180 550 578 906 21 140 324 004 77 917 6 199 67 113 39 122 560 774 60 552 7 795 907

2.0% 7.5% 0.3% 4.0% 1.0% 0.1% 1.0% 1.0% 7.0% 1.0%

453 395 982 720 39 280 136 607 56 095 47 358 60 911 45 874 358 983 72 517 8 693 642

5% 11% 0.5% 2% 1% 1% 1% 1% 4% 1%

5 911 448 1 329 073 4 321 803 483 8 048 325 (252 418)

73% 17% 0% 10%

5 654 530 1 542 715 6 376 981 671 8 185 292 508 350

69% 19% 0.1% 12%

Professors Teaching and research Other Total

2011 16 58 26 100

2012 16 70 28 114

2013 16 81 25 122

2014 15 72 18 105

2015 14 74 22 110

EDUCATION ACTIVITIES OVER PAST 5-YEAR PERIOD

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

1856/216 290/56 515/36

2003/200 142/41 401/55

2049/190 171/30 392/53

2382/190 201/30 435/67

2643/190 55/10 730/111

122 170 4

159 238 4

127 175 4

173 207 12

247 182 8

FACULTY & STAFF OVER PAST 5-YEAR PERIOD

Applications / accepted Bachelor’s and Master’s programmes Finnish Master’s programmes (+2) International Master’s programmes Degrees Bachelor of Science Master of Science Doctor of Science

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74%

Budgetary state funding 74% • 6 439 900 Academy of Finland 5% • 453 395 Tekes 11.5% • 982 720 European Union 0.5% • 39 280 Structural funds 1.5% • 136 607 Foundation 0.5% • 56 095 Municipality 0.5% • 47 358 Other public 1% • 60 911 Private companies 0.5% • 45 874 Business activities (MBA, EMBA) 4% • 358 983 Other income 1% • 72 517

DISTRIBUTION OF FUNDING 2014

75.5%

Budgetary state funding 75.5% • 5 879 630 Academy of Finland 2% • 180 550 Tekes 7.5% • 578 906 European Union 0.3% • 21 140 Structural funds 4% • 324 004 Foundation 1% • 77 917 Municipality 0.1% • 6 199 Other public 1% • 67 113 Private companies 1% • 39 122 Business activities (MBA, EMBA) 7% • 560 774 Other income 1% • 60 552


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O U L U BU SINE SS SC HOOL KEY FACT S

RESEARCH * ACTIVITIES OVER PAST 5-YEAR PERIOD

2011 33 48 51 32 54 33

Scientific articles (refereed) Other scientific publications (refereed)** Activities in scientific publications*** Other publications Scientific presentations Activities related to scientific conferences

2012 46 48 50 38 44 20

2013 45 45 73 31 80 20

2014 35 38 45 22 35 7

2015 45 22 55 43 37 17

*Figures are based on the “Oulun yliopisto tutkii” database **Includes refereed scientific conference papers and compliances ***Includes referee tasks, member of the editorial board, Editor

FACULTY & STAFF

APPLICATIONS TO BACHELOR’S AND MASTER’S PROGRAMMES 3000

90 81

80

50

250

2382

2000 1856

58

60

2643

2500

74

72

70

70

2003

200

1500

30

28

26 16

25 16

16

15

18

14 8

10 0

2011

Professors

2012

Professors andresearch research Teaching Teaching and

Other

2013

Other

2014

2015

150

1000

100

500

50

0

0

2011

2012

Applications

247

238

2049

40

20

DEGREE DISTRIBUTION

2013

Applications in 2011–2014 Applications in 2015

2014

2015

207 175

170

182

173

159 127

122

4 2011

4 2012

Bachelor of Science Master of Science Bachelor of Science Doctor of Science

4 2013

12 2014

Doctor of Science

Master of Science

8 2015


E D U C AT I O N I N O U L U B U S I N E S S S C H O O L

STUDENTS IN 2015:

300 NEW STUDENTS ADMITTED: 204 into Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree Programs 111 International Master’s Degree Students 16 Doctoral Students

DISTRIBUTION OF MASTER OF SCIENCE DEGREES AT THE UNIVERSITY OF OULU, 2015

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EDUCATION IN OULU BUSINESS SCHOOL Oulu Business School is responsible for developing the knowledge and competence of its students, and for equipping them to meet the criteria required of future leaders at home and abroad. Learning experience, where theoretical knowledge can be applied in actual business environments, is emphasized in the curriculum. OBS caters for the needs of its students by providing personal tutors to guide the preparation of personal study plans. Oulu Business School consists of five departments and students are offered studies in five different majors; Accounting, Economics, Finance, International Business Management and Marketing. Studies in Oulu Business School lead to following degrees: Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) in Economics and Business Administration Master of Science (M.Sc.) in Economics and Business Administration Doctor of Science (D.Sc.) in Economics and Business Administration

Faculty of Humanities 14% • 175 Faculty of Education 18% • 223 Oulu Business School 15% • 182 Faculty of Science 9% • 105 Faculty of Technology 12% • 149 Faculty of Medicine 17% • 211 Faculty of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine 1% • 16 Faculty of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering 11% • 138 Oulu Mining School 1% • 16 Oulu School of Architecture 2% • 30

OBS caters for the needs of its students

by providing personal tutors to guide the preparation of personal study plans.

Along with the three international master´s degree programmes (Finance, Financial and Management Accounting and International Business Management), OBS has strengthened its position as an international, university-level business educator. It has become the most significant provider of courses and degree programmes taught in English in the University of Oulu.


PHOTO: TIMO HEIKKALA/EKONOMI-LEHTI

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E D U C AT I O N I N O U L U B U S I N E S S S C H O O L

BUSINESS SCHOOL DEANS GATHERED IN OULU TO DISCUSS DIGITALIZATION

This year, Oulu Business School hosted the annual meeting of Finnish business schools. Over 30 deans, vicedeans, directors of studies, and administrators travelled to Oulu for a two-day event around the theme of digitalisation and how it influences education and research in Finnish business schools. The huge development taking place in nearly all areas of our everyday lives was examined from various aspects, including the history and expected future development of digital technologies, current research in the area, changes in consumer behaviour, industry dynamics and business logics, and interestingly also within learning and teaching. From the perspective of business schools, the issue of digitalisation is important in terms of two inter-related aspects: 1) how to ensure that our education results in the competencies required by business experts in the future digitalization of businesses, and 2) how to manage our own educational processes so that digitalisation is fully embraced and implemented. Serious thinking, but also action, is needed!


E D U C AT I O N I N O U L U B U S I N E S S S C H O O L

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Oulu Business School will offer an

online version of our course on Globally Responsible Business, obligatory in all of our Master’s programmes.

Concerning the question of managing our own educational processes, digitalisation not only provides tools for more efficient and high-quality teaching methods, but it also enables us to provide students with opportunities to develop their skills for the information society of the future. Pedagogical principles of the past are not likely to work well for students who, since their birth, have been playing with smart devices and interacting through various channels of social media. More importantly, when knowledge is no longer possessed by an individual expert, but constantly created within social media networks that respond on-line 24/7, we need to think differently about various aspects of our teaching processes.

Oulu Business School is taking up the challenge by increasing the use of digital elements in its pedagogical processes. As one example, we will offer an online version of our course on Globally Responsible Business, obligatory in all of our Master’s programmes. With our pioneering spirit, we want to develop educational processes to meet the needs of digitalisation! Pauliina Ulkuniemi, Vice Dean for Education

PHOTO: TIMO HEIKKALA/EKONOMI-LEHTI

In terms of the content that business schools include in their curricula, digitalisation should not be seen as a separate issue that could be handled by adding specific courses dedicated to it, but more importantly, digitalisation should be intertwined into all aspects of business that we teach.


E D U C AT I O N I N O U L U B U S I N E S S S C H O O L

A MESSAGE FROM T H E V I C E D E A N F O R E D U C AT I O N It is highly necessary that we provide meaningful international learning experiences for our students How do we develop education that equips our graduates with such knowledge and skills that they are able to act as future generators of sustainable value for business and thus for society? The brave question above reflects one of the key learning goals that we have set for our Master’s programmes. To us, this goal provides a framework for developing our education in many ways, and the year 2015 has been a period of active development within this area. Our development efforts have been guided by our continuous improvement process, focusing on Assurance of Learning. Accordingly, we have initiated multiple improvements along the course of the programmes and the students’ study paths. Firstly, to achieve the goal and educate future generators of sustainable value, it is highly necessary that we provide meaningful international

learning experiences for our students, and enable them to gain a thorough understanding of the determinants of global business and how local companies are connected to the international environment through the different aspects of their business model. In autumn 2015, our international programme portfolio was widened to encompass all the major disciplines significantly enriching the international atmosphere of our MSc classrooms. In addition, a lot of attention was given to increasing the international exchange opportunities for our Finnish students, as new exchange relationships with partner universities were established and a double degree Master’s programme in finance was created with the University of Liege, HEC Management School, in Belgium. As a second development area, an awareness of what responsibility means in different business contexts is crucial from the perspective of our goal. How can the social

PHOTO: STUDIO JUHA SARKKINEN

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E D U C AT I O N I N O U L U B U S I N E S S S C H O O L

and environmental aspects be intertwined with the economic objectives of a company? In relation to this, a new MSc-level capstone course was initiated, Globally Responsible Business, in which all the MSc students from different business disciplines come together to study responsibility and examine how responsibility is intertwined into local businesses as well. Finally, the importance of the abilities to co-operate, communicate, and create a shared understanding of issues related to responsibility is highly important in the light of our aim to educate future generators of sustainable value. To achieve such learning goals, we have introduced a series of improvements into our programmes and education. Modern pedagogical methods were introduced in multiple courses. As one example, we initiated a strategic development plan to increase the use of digital elements in our teaching and learning processes. During 2015, we were also happy to witness the results from the development efforts that we have put into our education during the last few years. Students’ study progress in our new programmes turned out to be very good, and the feedback gained through our Assurance of Learning process was very satisfying. We look forward to proceeding with the continuous improvement of our education. Pauliina Ulkuniemi, Vice Dean for Education

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OULU BUSINESS SCHOOL’S DEGREE PROGRAM PORTFOLIO

BACHELOR'S PROGRAMME

Economics and Business Administration

MBA & EXECUTIVE EDUCATION

Executive MBA Client Specific Executive Education Programmes

MASTER’S PROGRAMMES

International Business Management Accounting Marketing Finance Economics

DOCTORAL PROGRAMME

Management International Business Economics Accounting Marketing Finance


EDUC ATION 20

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ONLINE AND BLENDED EDUCATION SEMINAR IN TAMPA, FLORIDA NOVEMBER 16–17, 2015 Motivated by the endeavour to develop education in OBS more with the help of modern technology, we had high hopes when we arrived at the online and blended education AACSB seminar in warm Tampa. Actually, our work on online pedagogy

Digitalisation is not the aim itself, but one pedagogical tool among others. had already started beforehand, by participating in an online course ourselves. Participating in this most modern online course gave us lots of ideas before the intensive two-day wrap-up seminar in Tampa. Besides, the two days of discussions and group work measured up to our expectations well. The facilitators, Tawnya Means and Brian Ray from the University of


E D U C AT I O N I N O U L U B U S I N E S S S C H O O L

Digitalisation does not change the fact that the learning goals of the programme should always be the most important guideline. Florida, accompanied by Joseph Stephens from the University of Texas at Austin, introduced us to a new world of concepts and tools that could be beneficial in developing our education. Discussions with facilitators and other participants were indeed an eye-opening experience. This was also because the seminar did not focus so much on the technology, but on pedagogy, as well as enabling and measuring learning. What we realised is how much potential there is in developing the use of technology in our education. Our impression that our Assurance of Learning cycle is in relatively good shape also gained strength in these discussions. We also got a possibility to consider how we could organise some of our own teaching online. Those ideas were also presented to the whole group, enabling us to get more ideas usable for our own teaching. This online experience and the related discussion at the seminar crystallised concrete ideas for us, and gave us lots of inspiration to develop our programmes further. Now we have a clear goal to involve elements of digital learning in every four business study modules in our Bachelor’s programme. Likewise, we have a goal

to utilise digital elements in every single Master´s programme. Digitalisation does not change the fact that the learning goals of the programme should always be the most important guidelines when considering different pedagogical alternatives. For example, if we want to teach leadership and human interaction, digital learning is probably not the only way to reach that learning goal, but face-to-face methods are needed, too. Digitalisation is not the aim itself, but one pedagogical tool among others. That is why we are not aiming at creating fully online programmes, but prefer a blended approach with a variety of teaching methods. When digitalisation can help us in enhancing the learning experience of our students, by making learning more attractive, fun, flexible, and experiential, we will use it. Sinikka Moilanen, Master’s Programmes Director Satu Nätti, Bachelor’s Programme Director

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BACHELOR OF SCIENCE (BSc) I N E C O N O M I C S A N D B U S I N E S S A D M I N I S T R AT I O N Our Bachelor’s programme is a generalised, interdisciplinary programme that consists of a balanced amount of studies from different disciplines (economics, international business management, finance, accounting, and marketing). In addition, the programme includes basic-level academic studies like mathematics, statistics, language, and communication studies. There is one optional minor included, which can be, for example, business law, mathematics and statistics, languages and communication skills, industrial engineering, or entrepreneurship, to mention just a few of the possibilities our multi-disciplinary university has to offer to our students. After graduating from the generalised Bachelor’s programme, students continue to the Master`s programme with a chosen specialisation.

We have given special emphasis to giving our students an understanding of the fundamentals of international business.

1ST YEAR

2ND YEAR

3RD YEAR

COMPULSORY STUDIES, 15 ECTS.:

ANALYTICAL SKILLS, 25 ECTS.:

Orientation to Studies, 3 ects Statistics and Mathematics, 12 ects

Finnish Economy and Economic Policy

Financial Statement Analysis

LANGUAGE AND COMMUNICATION STUDIES 20 ECTS:

Distribution and Retail Management

Portfolio Theory

Finnish and Swedish, 9 ects Optional Language Studies, 11 ects

Monetary Economics

BACHELOR’S THESIS, 10 ECTS

ONE MINOR SUBJECT, 25 ECTS.

INTRODUCTION TO BUSINESS STUDIES, 30 ECTS.:

BUSINESS PROCESSES, 30 ECTS.

GLOBAL PERSPECTIVES, 25 ECTS.

Introductory Economics

Organisations and Management

Strategic Management

Management Accounting

Global Economics

Managing Multinationals

Contract and Company Law

Bookkeeping and Financial Reporting

Practices in Marketing

Investment Decisions

Internationalisation

Strategic Marketing Management

Financial Decisions

Company Project OR Intership

Management Control

Principals of Marketing


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Developing an ever deeper connection to the local business life is one way to contribute to regional development, which is part of our mission.

Continuous improvement is one of our core values, and in the future we will also find it crucial to maintain and improve the good quality of our educational processes. This includes

further development of pedagogical methods, programme management, student tutoring, and digitalisation in education, to mention just a couple of examples. Developing an ever deeper connection to the local business life is one way to contribute to regional development, which is part of our mission. Satu Nätti, Oulu Business School BSc Programme Director

PHOTO: TIMO HEIKKALA

In an accredited business school like ours, and in all our programmes, we must be able to prove that real learning happens according to the learning goals defined. In our Bachelor’s programme, we have to ensure that our graduates have knowledge across a variety of business disciplines, and that they demonstrate knowledge of the different business processes and key functions of an organisation. They have to demonstrate analytical thinking and oral and written communication skills appropriate to everyday business situations. In addition, we have given special emphasis to giving our students an understanding of the fundamentals of international business.


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MASTER OF SCIENCE (MSc) IN ECONOMICS AND BUSINESS A D M I N I S T R AT I O N

MSC (ECON. & BUS. ADM.) IN INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS MANAGEMENT The International Business Management education focuses on managing and leading international businesses. The topics are combined from different fields of managing business, which makes international business management a truly multidisciplinary field of studies. The distinctive nature of the education materialises through the combination of management and international business, especially from the viewpoints of innovativeness and entrepreneurship. The education includes four core learning themes: theories and concepts of international business management, organisational applications, leadership execution, and personal insights into international business management. A close connection between theory and practice is maintained in research, teaching, and company projects. During the studies, the students are

involved in and actively participating in assignments for both small and large companies. MSC (ECON. & BUS. ADM.) IN ACCOUNTING Students enrolled in the programme have an opportunity to pursue either financial accounting or management accounting. Financial accounting explores profit and loss accounting, using financial statement data in decision-making, incentive

Management accounting focuses on cost accounting, budgeting, capital investment planning, and management control.


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compensation of top management, auditing, and firm valuation. Management accounting focuses on cost accounting, budgeting, capital investment planning, and management control. However, the programme is designed so that it gives a solid foundation for understanding the different areas of accounting. The programme also equips its students with the necessary abilities to enter doctoral education. MSC (ECON. & BUS. ADM.) IN MARKETING Marketing practice has a strategic nature, and hence marketing education gives you the capabilities to succeed in strategic management, including at international level. Our professional focus lies in customer and network relationship management. The changes in the marketing environment, such as globalisation, the digital economy, servitization, and value-creating networks, combined with business relationships and networks, comprise our department’s focus areas in research as well as in teaching. The education we provide is based on high-quality research and active co-operation with local enterprises and organisations. Therefore, the programme also equips its students with the abilities necessary to enter doctoral education. MSC (ECON. & BUS. ADM.) IN FINANCE The programme covers the core areas of finance: asset pricing, portfolio management, corporate finance, and risk management. Additionally, students in the programme gain special insight into the areas

of individual investor behaviour and the management of alternative assets. Students will develop the quantitative skills necessary to produce thorough research analysis. Therefore, the programme also equips its students with abilities necessary to enter doctoral education.

Our professional focus lies in customer and network relationship management. MSC (ECON. & BUS. ADM.) IN ECONOMICS The Master’s programme in economics offers students strong theoretical and methodological knowledge in economics. The learning process in economics is based on a cumulative increase in understanding about economic processes. Exercises and the writing of term papers are included in the lecture series. Reading of international scientific journals is an essential part of the studies. Social and economic changes in the operating environment will open new missions for economists all the time.

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CO-BRANDING, PRODUCT E X T E N S I O N S A N D N E W TA R G E T GROUPS: students presented their solutions in Oulu Business School and the Air Guitar World Championships case finals

Students shone in the case competition organised by the Air Guitar World Championships (later AGWC) and Oulu Business School. The three best groups on the Strategic Marketing Management course were able to present their ideas for the background organisation of the AGWC in the finals, on Monday 11th of May. The winning team focused in its work on developing the competition

The students have managed to present interesting business models with low risk and good potential for growth. concept in France.The team, consisting of both Finnish and French students, was called “Freshers”.They considered the

case a challenging but also interesting experience.“Air guitar is not the easiest subject for marketing, so developing credible ideas has been demanding for us. Despite the amount of work, we have really enjoyed working as a group.We have learned to know each other at least as well as we have come to know the topic of the course: strategic marketing,” the team notes. The project manager for OBS, Soile Pitkänen, who was a member of the jury along with the producers of the AGWC, Susanna Kyllönen and Hanna Jakku, praised the students’ ideas. “I find the ideas to be innovative, concentrating exactly on the issues that require progress. The students have managed to present interesting business models with low risk and good potential for growth. Moreover, there is now a whole new variety of tools to increase the awareness of the event through new media”, explains Pitkänen appreciatively. Next, the finalists realised their ideas in a marketing internship for the organisation behind the AGWC. According to Ilkka Ojansivu, who leads the course, the internship is a significant reward for the work involved: “It


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E M BA – E X E C U T I V E M A S T E R O F B U S I N E S S A D M I N I S T R AT I O N The Air Guitar World Championships celebrated its journey of 20 years in the summer of 2015.

The kick-off of the course was announced in class during normal teaching activity, but from then on the teaching was based on videos, electronic material, and discussions in the Optima learning environment. The students found the course materials very useful and used them widely in their organisations to benefit their learning. The discussion area in Optima provided them with an excellent medium in which to test and receive comments on their ideas and companyspecific views, spreading the discussion across a wide array of different industries.

is of great importance to teach marketing theories, but also to provide students with a chance to put them into practice. In addition to motivating the students, the case also teaches them to take a critical look at their own work, as they must be able to stand behind their words and theories.” The Air Guitar World Championships celebrated its journey of 20 years in the summer of 2015. The goal of the event is to promote world peace.The ideology behind the event states that all wars would come to an end, climate change would stop, and all the bad things would disappear if everybody around the world just played air guitar. Ilkka Ojansivu, Post-doctoral Researcher, Department of Marketing

The EMBA programme developed its offering during 2015 with one online course, minor adjustments in course content, and small changes in its collaborative faculty from outside the University of Oulu. EMBA’s “Customer-centric approach to business” is the first fully online course offered by Oulu Business School. The responsible teachers at OBS, Satu Nätti and Saila Saraniemi, together with technical help by EMBA programme coordinator Pirjo Jaukkuri, developed the course to be studied and taught fully online without any faceto-face teaching at all.

Two study groups were conducted through the course during 2015, and small adjustments have been made to the original course structure based on the feedback of these cohorts. Our journey in developing digital learning experiences continues… Antti Kauppila, Programme Director, Executive MBA

EMBA’s “Customercentric approach to business” is the first fully online course offered by Oulu Business School.


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PHOTO: AALTO STRATEGY CASE COMPETITION

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T H E A A LTO S T R AT E G Y C ASE COMPETITION

A team of Oulu Business School students under the name of ”The Northern Minds” was invited to participate in the semifinals of the Aalto Strategy Case Competition by Boston Consulting Group at the Aalto Design Factory in Espoo. The team consisted of four members: Mikko Järveläinen, Aleksi Poropudas, Ville Kotiranta, and Atte Savolainen.Their background in international business, management, and finance offered a unique mix of capabilities for a case competition setting.The place in the semi-finals was secured by a successful qualification case, which enabled the top 20 case teams in Finland to attend the ASCC.

The ASCC offers corporate par tners a setting where they can introduce themselves to the most talented Finnish case teams. The Aalto Strategy Case Competition of 2015 was the third consecutive competition held by the Master’s Programme of Strategy of Aalto University and its corporate partners. In the previous years, McKinsey & Company has been the main partner, and other partner companies have been Microsoft, IBM, Kone cranes, and Sanoma. This year, Boston Consulting Group was the main corporate partner with


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The Oulu Business School team, ”The Nor thern Minds”, tackled a case by YLE in the semi-finals, which challenged the team to create a new media strategy for the company. other partner companies such as YLE, Finnair, and Kesko. The ASCC offers corporate partners a setting where they can introduce themselves to the most talented Finnish case teams.The winning team was invited to the first round of interviews with Boston Consulting Group. The ASCC semi-final and final were both in a four-hour case competition format. The four most successful teams were invited to the final. The Oulu Business School team, ”The Northern Minds”, tackled a case by YLE in the semi-finals, which challenged the team to create a new media strategy for the company.The most beneficial skills in case competitions, according to the team, are communication, financial analysis, and business development skills. The semi-final case was presented to a three-person panel consisting of a BCG consultant, Kesko representative, and the director of the Master’s strategy programme. The solution by The Northern Minds was highly praised

for its innovative approach, however it was not enough to secure a place in the top four. The evening of the case competition was dedicated to mingling with the corporate partners, while enjoying champagne and dinner at the Aalto Design Factory. ”The Northern Minds” team was able to acquire vital contacts in consulting and other industries. The most pleasurable moments during the evening, according to the team, were the discussions with the BCG consultants about the characteristics of consulting life. The overall experience of the highest national-level case competition with corporate networking provided an ideal environment to introduce ”The Northern Minds” to the debonair consulting life. Case closed. Ville Kotiranta, International Business Management

THE TEAM “NORTHERN MINDS”: Aleksi Poropudas (International Business Management) Mikko Järveläinen (International Business Management) Atte Savolainen (Finance) Ville Kotiranta (International Business Management)

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G LO BA L LY R E S P O N S I B L E BUSINESS – OBS’S NEW COURSE ON RESPONSIBILITY AND SUSTAINABILITY IN GLOB AL BUSINESS CONDUCT

PHOTO: STUDIO JUHA SARKKINEN

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‘Globally responsible business’ or ‘sustainable business’, as it is often referred to, has become a buzz-word both in scientific discussions and in the world of business professionals and stakeholders. Rightly so, as past and present societal disparities and environmental catastrophes have often been influenced by business conduct and the larger frameworks they take part in. Jan Hermes, doc t or al st u den t in International Business Management, was one of the teachers on OBS’s pilot course on the topic in spring 2015.

This course removed the scales from many students’ eyes and showed them the responsibility they carry when making decisions as accountants or business managers, for example.

OBS’s new course “Globally Responsible Business” took place for the first time in the beginning of 2015 and focused on responsibility and sustainability in companies’ economic, social,


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and environmental bottom lines. In multicultural and multidisciplinary groups, students were encouraged to investigate case companies’ business activities against a background of responsibility and sustainability, both locally and globally. This course removed the scales from many students’ eyes and showed them the responsibility they carry when making decisions as accountants or business managers, for example.The students were also the first ones in OBS to take the global Sustainability Literacy Test – a set of 50 questions focusing on different aspects of sustainability. Students also learned how powerful their lever to move business conduct into ethically correct directions actually is, as one student majoring in Finance emphasised in her individual learning report:

Martti Ahtisaari Institute and Oulu Business School took initiative in piloting the globally used Sustainability Literacy Test in Finland. The test is the product of international cooperation supported by the United Nations. It is a widely acknowledged tool for the various initiatives on sustainability lead by higher education institutions to assess and verify the sustainability literacy of their students. The test was piloted in Oulu in February 2015, and it has since been adopted by a number of Finnish business schools and universities. Martti Ahtisaari Institute is

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S U S TA I N A B I L I T Y LITERACY TEST currently active in developing Nordic cooperation that aims at distributing the test wider and works together with other business schools to develop the test further.

“…I realised during the course that if a company is committed to sustainability with a keen interest in its production processes, it will result in the provision of quality service, improved product designs, and production efficiency, which eventually leads to environmental development.” Having received a lot of constructive and valuable student feedback on this course, we are looking forward to improving both the content and teaching methods, and embarking on the next responsibility challenge in spring 2016. Jan Hermes Doctoral student, International Business Management Sustainability Literacy Test -team: Marja Aro, Jan Hermes, Antti Kauppila, Anne Keränen, Satu Nätti, Sauli Sohlo and Pauliina Ulkuniemi.


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OULU BUSINESS SCHOOL’S EXCHANGE STUDENTS 100 87

90 80 70 60 50

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88 81 82

96 84 70

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40 30 20 10 0

2007 2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

Exchanges (own students) Exchanges (foreign students)

EXCHANGE FROM OULU BUSINESS SCHOOL France • 5 Germany • 14 Czech Republic • 5 Australia • 2 Austria • 1 Mexico • 2 Belgium • 1 China • 1 Hong Kong • 3 Italy • 5 Sweden • 3 United States • 10 Slovenia • 2

South Africa • 1 Spain • 2 Portugal • 2 Indonesia • 2 Malaysia • 1 Netherlands • 7 Poland • 1

EXCHANGE STUDIES

EXCHANGE TO OULU BUSINESS SCHOOL France • 27 Germany • 26 Czech Republic • 9 Japan • 2 Belgium • 2 China • 9 Hong Kong • 3 Italy • 7 Singapore • 2 United States • 2 Brazil • 2 Hungary • 2 Spain • 1

Liechtenstein • 1 Portugal • 1

The University of Oulu and Oulu Business School offer many different study opportunities for foreign exchange students. Within Europe, Oulu Business School has around 40 partner universities in the Erasmus exchange program and several partners outside Europe with bilateral exchange agreements. In addition, Oulu Business School degree students are offered many options for study exchanges all over the world. Different exchange programs and agreements allow for exchange periods of varying duration.


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OULU BUSINESS SCHOOL’S STUDENT EXCHANGES IN 2015

Outgoing students Incoming students Outgoing and incoming students


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ENTREPRENEURSHIP TRAINING IN THE UNIVERSITY OF OULU In the University of Oulu, the theme of 2015 was entrepreneurship. One of the aspects of this theme was the development of entrepreneurship training at the University of Oulu. “Learning to be an entrepreneur requires slightly different teaching methods than those of traditional academic teaching. Entrepreneurship is its own ‘scene’, in which it is beneficial to assume a certain mind-set, and to know how to enter the market and obtain funding,” says Petri Ahokangas.

The year of entrepreneurship culminated with the opening of the Tellus Innovation Arena in the University of Oulu at the beginning of 2016. This space offers a framework for students and scientists to cooperate with companies. The university will

Learning to be an entrepreneur requires slightly different teaching methods than those of traditional academic teaching.

In addition to his own research, Petri Ahokangas has been responsible for running the new 25-credit entrepreneurship programme, which is slated for inclusion in the Business School’s curriculum sometime in 2016. ”We have had eager participants on these courses from every faculty. Previously, only a few students and scientists were interested in entrepreneurship, but this attitude has been completely reversed in the face of today’s uncertain labour market,” Ahokangas continues.

also organise a biannual Demola workshop, in which students of the University of Oulu and Oulu University of Applied Sciences can think out of the box on assignments given by companies.


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Johanna Bluemink is Business Kitchen’s main organiser of events encouraging entrepreneurship.

We have had eager par ticipants on these courses from every faculty.

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G R A D UAT I O N C E R E M O N Y , O U L U B U S I N E S S S C H O O L

G R A D UAT I O N CEREMONY

The last graduation ceremony at Oulu Business School in 2015 was held in the restaurant Julinia on the 18th of December. On that day, 14 graduates of both the Master’s and Bachelor’s programmes arrived to receive their certificates and diplomas. Welcoming words from the coordinator of studies, Merja Inget, and live music played by acoustic guitar opened the ceremony. After that Pauliina Ulkuniemi, Vice Dean of Oulu Business School, gave a speech about the challenges that our graduates would face in the future. According to her, business life is in a state of continuous change, where an ability to observe things from various perspectives will be a competitive advantage. She also stated that analytical and business skills, combined with an ability to communicate, openness, and courage, are the tools for success in working life.

Business life is in a state of continuous change, where an ability to observe things from various perspectives will be a competitive advantage.

After the presentation of diplomas, Eemeli Väyrynen, one of the graduates, gave a speech


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about his feelings on graduation day. He had been working with one of the top economists in Finland, from whom he had learned that no one already has to be an expert when they graduate. He emphasised the importance of being aware of what one knows and what one doesn’t know, as this enables continuous learning. To support this constant learning, the years spent in school and at the University of Oulu had given Eemeli valuable analytical tools for working life. Finally, he advised the graduates not to be afraid of mistakes, as a failure is better than not even trying.

MARKUS VAINIONPÄÄ Markus Vainionpää, who graduated with Management as his major, finds that different kinds of group learning methods were the most fruitful thing at OBS. “It might also be a question of personality, but at least I can say that I have learned most from the real-world cases done in groups.” Markus finds studying in OBS in general really smooth:“Everything works here as it should and student discussion is encouraged. OBS has offered great learning experiences.”

ANNUKKA SIPONKOSKI The topmost feelings for Annukka Siponkoski, who recently graduated with a major in Economics, are both happiness and wistfulness. She especially enjoyed the vivid international atmosphere at the University of Oulu, and among other things she has been involved in the exchange student organization ESN since the beginning of her studies. She sums up her feelings by saying: “I am really proud of the University of Oulu and OBS, as they offer a truly international environment for their students.”


FINANSSI – T H E A S S O C I AT I O N O F O U L U BUSINESS SCHOOL STUDENTS FINANSSI is the Association of Economics and Business students at Oulu Business School. The association was founded in 1991 upon the commencement of business degree education at the University of Oulu, and currently has over 1600 members. The association, also referred to as a guild, uses purple as its identifying colour, which can be seen adorning the guild ribbon, for example. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the banknote with the highest face value in the history of the Finnish mark was purple.The guild’s crest is based on the emblem of the University of Oulu, which is intertwined with two snakes to symbolize wisdom and proactivity.

Finanssi influences academic affairs proactively with the faculty in order to ensure a high quality of studies. Finanssi plays two significant roles in the daily life of its members. First, Finanssi influences academic affairs proactively with the faculty in order to ensure at high quality of studies. Secondly, the association arranges all kinds of activities from soirées to excursions to local firms. The most notable event is the grand annual ball in which the faculty and students gather together to honor


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FINANSSI K E Y FA C T S : Finnish academic traditions. Finanssi also arranges an annual excursion to Helsinki where students meet with firms and explore career opportunities. The association rules state that Finanssi may engage in organizing training courses, seminars and other similar events that promote the ability and well-being of members to the association as students and future graduates. Sporting, cultural and other leisure activities are also important to the association. Finanssi’s training course has been a very inexpensive way to participate in high-quality training sessions organized by business students to get enrolled in a business school. This training course was previously part of Finanssi’s fund-raising, and participation fees were directed at creating and maintaining services for the members of the association. Because of the demand and growth of the training course, Finanssi decided to set up a private company in 2014, which can better continue to provide an exceptional quality of training at a competitive price for a growing audience. This company, Fixindex Ltd., is 100% owned and operated by Finanssi. The association’s long-term plan for the establishment of the company is to eventually include many other activities to grow under the aegis of Fixindex. Because Finanssi is a non-profit organization, a private company may bring the association security, protecting the interests of business students in Oulu in the future by ensuring the continuity of

Finanssi´s activities. After all, the association’s goal is to enrich the university life of the business students at Oulu – for freshmen, exchange students, and graduates, purple is the color that binds the guild members together, year after year. Miia Paavola, Chairman of the Board in 2015

FOUNDED 1991(Celebrating its’ 25th anniversary in October 2016) • Over 1,600 members currently • Almost 200 new members every year • 10 people in the board • 7 committees • Finanssi’s PRIVATE COMPANY FIXINDEX was established 2014 • DELIVERS four issues and hundreds of copies of Egonomi (Finanssi’s own guild magazine) • INTERDISCIPLINARY party: 6 times a year involving thousands of students from Oulu • ORGANIZES the Oulu Pool Party at Eden Spa in March together with engineering students • Organizes one of the biggest business school STUDENT EVENTS in Finland (VVV-cruise with over 700 students from all around Finland) • Organizes a huge 1ST OF MAY EVENT for over 500 university students • Organizes one BIG EXCURSION per year incorporating visits to some of the nation’s top companies such as Rovio, Kone, and Accenture • DOZENS of board MEETINGS and dozens of committee meetings per year • Produces two large QUESTIONNAIRES that focus on the development of education in OBS and the services Finanssi provides for its members • Publishes a WEEKLY NEWSLETTER • ACTIVE on Facebook, LinkedIn, Issuu, Twitter, Instagram and has its own picture gallery and exam archive.


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F I N A N S S I – T H E A S S O C I AT I O N O F O U L U B U S I N E S S S C H O O L S T U D E N T S

S T U D E N T S G A I N VA L UA B L E K N OW L E D G E A B O U T WO R K I N G L I F E I N A N N UA L E XC U R S I O N Finanssi ry, the Association of Oulu Business School students, arranged its yearly excursion to Helsinki in March 2015. Nearly 50 students gained some valuable knowledge about job opportunities and working life after graduation. The three-day trip was financially supported by both Oulu Business School and Finanssi ry, so students got to experience the global atmosphere of top-notch firms at a fairly reasonable cost.

consulting cases, which had to be solved under time pressure. The cases were presented and finally the best group was given an award. The visit to EY received a lot of positive feedback from the attendees. After that, the group divided between Nordea and Dynamo & Son, according to the students’ major subjects. Students interested in accounting and financing went to Nordea, while the rest went to Dynamo & Son. After that, the whole group gathered together at Dream Broker, where many alumni of Finanssi are also working. The students were divided into groups, and the groups were given the task of making a marketing video. Again, the best ones were elected and given an award.The visit to Dream Broker was surprising in an enthusiastic way, because many of the students got to try something new.

The annual trip gives some fine examples of the broad possibilities that Finnish business school graduates have on the job market.

The students visited three different companies on the first day. Everyone attended a visit to E r n s t & Yo u n g , w h e r e t h e c o m p a n y representatives held a workshop for the students. The workshop was led by a group of young and recently graduated company representatives. The students were divided into several smaller groups and every group was given different


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On the second day, the excursion headed to the Finnish headquarters of Unilever, where the representatives took our students for a tour and held a workshop. The company representatives talked about the history of the company. Afterwards, the students were given the task of making up a marketing campaign, with a different product for each group. The point of the marketing campaign was to emphasise Rainforest Alliance Certified products, such as Magnum icecream and Lipton tea. After that, we headed to Nestlé, which is a global rival for Unilever. This was intended to give a perspective of two companies of the same kind. The company representatives explained the history of the company and also described their careers, and how they ended up working at Nestlé. There was also a more relaxed evening event organised by the Finnish Association of Business School Graduates, Suomen Ekonomit, where two graduates shared their thoughts and experiences in working life. Timo Saranpää, the chairman of Suomen Ekonomit, was also there and spoke to our students. The annual trip gives some fine examples of the broad possibilities that Finnish business school graduates have on the job market. It is also the most popular working life-oriented activity that Finanssi arranges, together with multiple visits to local companies every year. Niklas Alho, Board member of Finanssi ry 2015

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MARTTI AHTISAARI INSTITUTE O F G L O B A L BUSINESS AND ECONOMICS The Martti Ahtisaari Institute addresses research and educational issues in the global economy and international business, in order to help companies to grow and prosper, as one of the research units of Oulu Business School and as an institution established by the University of Oulu already in 2008. The institute’s research activities in 2015 focused on the rapidly emerging digital businesses, in which a remarkable portfolio of R&D projects was carried out and a joint professor with VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland continued his work. In the area of responsible business, the first doctoral research was completed that was supported by the institute. In energy economics, one of the four research groups supported by the institute, and a joint research professor with the Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE), continued their work. The other three research groups at the institute were dealing with sustainable corporate governance, service business relationships, and persuasive systems solutions. New research groups will be selected in 2016.

Moreover, altogether eleven doctoral researchers were supported by the institute, including several international students, and three of them earned their degrees. Many of the researchers established close contacts

Many of the researchers established close contacts with foreign research par ties and spent par t of their time abroad as visiting researchers. with foreign research parties and spent part of their time abroad as visiting researchers. The institute’s financial contribution was often pivotal in making this possible, and helped in extending and deepening scientific co-operation at the grass-roots level. Project-based R&D carried out by the institute was considerably extended during


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PHOTO: STUDIO JUHA SARKKINEN

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2015, in part because of new people joining the institute and bringing their projects with them, but also related to such unfolding opportunities as new funding programmes provided by the Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation (Tekes), and the European structural funds meant for regional development and growth. Co-operation within the Oulu Innovation Alliance (OIA) affected many of the new project launches, too, as well as the constantly increasing need for multidisciplinary research agendas and efforts. In addition to collaboration with VTT and SYKE, the institute continued to take part in the joint activities of OIA, which, however, moved to a new ecosystem-based setup. In connection with this, the University of Oulu strengthened its operations for supporting entrepreneurship, incubation of new innovation-based start-ups, and involvement of researchers and students in new business creation. The work carried out by the institute in connection with Business Kitchen and its supporting projects, which will continue, was important for this. A few people moved from the institute to serve in the university-level support organisation for innovation and entrepreneurship, in connection with the launch of the Tellus Innovation Arena on campus. Several events were organised on current global business and economics topics. Moreover, close collaboration was continued with the Globally Responsible Business Initiative (GRLI), including co-operation related to the Sustainability Literacy

The institute’s personnel continued to take par t in the fur ther development and management of the AACSB-cer tified operations of Oulu Business School. Test, in which the institute was a forerunner in the Nordic countries. The institute’s personnel continued to take par t in the fur ther development and management of the AACSBcertified operations of Oulu Business School. Executive education was offered not only to Finnish student groups, including EMBA and Master of Safety programmes, but also to several Chinese student groups from Shanghai. Moreover, student groups also took part in exchanges with the French EMLYON Business School, as has already happened several times and with a great succes. Professor Veikko Seppänen Director, Martti Ahtisaari Institute


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In 2015, Martti Ahtisaari Institute arranged a range of seminars on current topics. In May Oulu Business School’s own professors were invited to present their opinions on the current state of Finland’s economy. The seminar attracted a large numbers of participants from our alumni and businesses in the region. Finnish Economy was discussed further in August by Member of the Finnish Parliament Juhana Vartiainen, and by a variety of speakers in the November seminar focusing on Finnish competitiveness and outlook for the future. Other timely topics were digital business, energy economy and renewable energy sources, as well as EU Economy and Security. BUSINESS FORUM 2015, 18 MAY 2015 The state of Finland’s economy – are we on the cusp of new growth?

and wellbeing and related research. Tekes experts also introduced various new funding schemes and met with participants interested in starting new projects.

The Finnish economy – where are we headed? Mikko Puhakka, Professor of Economics, Oulu Business School

CURRENT ISSUES IN ENERGY ECONOMY, 12 AUGUST 2015

For how long can stock prices keep rising? Juha-Pekka Kallunki (picture 1), Professor of Accounting, Oulu Business School Digitalisation – products and services or machine-people? Veikko Seppänen, Professor, Director, Martti Ahtisaari Institute DIGITAL BUSINESS, 29 MAY 2015 Martti Ahtisaari Institute hosted a seminar on digital business in which professors Timo Koivumäki and Jaakko Sauvola from the University of Oulu, Tuomo Tuikka from VTT, and a range of funding experts from the Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation, Tekes, discussed different aspects of digital business, e.g. changes brought about by digitalization, digitalization

Intermittency and the Value of Renewable Energy. Dr. Gautam Gowrisankaran, Professor of Economics in the Department of Economics, Eller College of Management, University of Arizona. Economic Value of Variable Energy in the Nordic Power Markets. Dr. Maria Kopsakangas-Savolainen, Research Professor of Energy Economics at the Finnish Environment Institute and the Martti Ahtisaari Institute and Department of Economics, Oulu Business School ECONOMY HOUR WITH JUHANA VARTIAINEN, 27 AUGUST 2015 Finnish MP Juhana Vartiainen challenged the audience with the question: How can we jump start the Finnish economy in spite of heavy international competition and an aging population? Only structural changes can save Finland. Juhana Vartiainen, Member of the Finnish Parliament

PHOTOS: STUDIO JUHA SARKKINEN

Major investments and the future of manufacturing in Finland Petri Sahlström (picture 2), Dean and Professor of Accounting, Oulu Business School

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SUPPORT FOR THE FUTURE, 4 NOVEMBER 2015 In the seminar organized in cooperation with the Foundation for Economic Education and Martti Ahtisaari Institute, the audience learned about the mission and history of the Foundation, as presented by Executive Chairman Reijo Karhinen and CEO Johanna Vesterinen. After the opening speech by Honorary Commercial Counselor Ilkka Lantto, Oulu Business School experts presented business development cases together with innovative businesses and start-ups from the Oulu region. Opening words. Honorary Commercial Counselor Ilkka Lantto, Chairman, Northern Ostrobothnia Regional Committee of the Foundation for Economic Education. Finland’s future being forged – greatest threats and opportunities. Executive Chairman Reijo Karhinen, OP Group, Chairman of the Board of the Foundation for Economic Education Foundation for Economic Education supports the future. Johanna Vesterinen, CEO, Foundation for Economic Education

WORLD AFFAIRS FORUM: EU ECONOMY AND SECURITY, 16 NOVEMBER 2015

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We need to step up joint European effor ts. The European Union member states are challenged by slow economic growth, uncertainty over the functioning of European welfare systems, and unrest in the EU’s neighbouring regions. Austrian Ambassador Dr. Elisabeth Kehrer (picture 1) and Member of the Finnish Parliament Tytti Tuppurainen (picture 2) discussed these current challenges at the Martti Ahtisaari Institute’s World Affairs Forum, arranged at the University of Oulu on Monday 16 November 2015. Dr. Elisabeth Kehrer: Current challenges of the European Union – what role for smaller EU states like Austria?

Business Kitchen and new start-ups in Oulu. Coordinator Anne Sorvari, Martti Ahtisaari Institute Case: Laturi Corporation, Vesa Tornberg

Dr. Elisabeth Kehrer stressed the need to step up joint European efforts, as any solution to the refugee phenomenon will have to be found jointly. In terms of the economy, she highlighted the need for a broader European debate on how to make the structural changes that are required to remain globally competitive while maintaining Europe’s successful combination of a market economy and social welfare. The EU must also take into account rapid changes in the workplace due to automatization.

The new service business and customer value creation. Professor Pauliina Ulkuniemi, Oulu Business School Case:The Municipality of Tyrnävä, Marjukka Manninen

Tytti Tuppurainen: Finland and the EU – Towards Economic and Social Well-being

Digital business – Finland’s future? Professor Veikko Seppänen, Martti Ahtisaari Institute. Case 1: R-Taso, Outi Törmänen Case 2: URA ring, Tommi Pyykönen

Closing remarks. Dean Petri Sahlström, Oulu Business School

Tytti Tuppurainen stressed the importance of the economy as the basis of European integration.The most urgent task is to promote free trade. Both Austria and Finland would gain hugely if and when the Transatlantic Trade and Investment

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Partnership (TTIP) is agreed between the European Union and the United States. Secondly, it is in our common interest to ensure that borders remain open between EU member states. It is also in the interests of Austria, Finland, and the whole of Europe to avoid over-reacting to the current influx of asylumseekers and other immigrants.

It is in our common interest to ensure that borders remain open between EU member states.


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M A RT T I A H T I S A A R I I N T E R N AT I O N A L DOCTORAL SCHOLARSHIP P R O G R A M M E Martti Ahtisaari International Doctoral Scholarship Programme enhances high-quality research and education in challenges of sustainable and responsible business, as well as functioning of the global markets and economy as a whole. The programme supports the internationalization of the University of Oulu. There are currently 11 active doctoral students in the programme: Atkova, Irina Beyer, Bianca Heikka, Eija-Liisa Hermes, Jan Lehto, Irene Mubaraz, Syed Nadeem, Waqar Nuutilainen, Riikka Oduor, Michael Rantakari, Anniina Wang, Fan

PHOTO: TIMO HEIKKALA

In 2015, several of our students have successfully defended their PhD: Elsilä, Anna: Essays on executive equity-based compensation and equity ownership Keränen, Anne: Business leaders’ narratives about responsibility in leadership work Törmälä, Minna: Co-creation of corporate brand through stakeholder relationships in B2B SMEs

ANNE KERÄNEN:

Business leaders’ narratives about responsibility in leadership work Anne Keränen defended her doctoral thesis on 4 December 2015. Her subject, responsible leadership in business, aroused interest from many quarters. Her public defence was accordingly packed with a curious audience, and copies of the thesis quickly sold out at the event. The subject of the thesis is strongly linked to the discussion on business ethics. Scientists have been engaged in this discussion for a long time now, but it would appear that today’s business environment sets new challenges for responsibility. Anne has nurtured the idea of writing a doctoral thesis ever since she earned her masters’ degree in economic sciences from the University of Oulu. During her 15-year career in HR, she gradually settled on responsibility in leadership as her subject. ”The voice of the leaders themselves and the meaning of leadership have been somewhat neglected in this field, since responsibility in its full


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The voice of the leaders themselves and the meaning of leadership have been somewhat neglected in this field. sense is a different concept from the responsibility tied to corporate systems and structures,” Anne says. For her study, Anne interviewed 10 executives who had spoken publicly on the significance of responsibility in business. She did not find a single recipe for responsible leadership, but most of the executives considered it vital for leaders to surround themselves with people and take all available expertise into account in decision-making.The executives also stressed the importance of understanding the company’s role in society at large. Anne is active in the development of teaching in the field of business responsibility at the Business School, and she has contacts and collaboration with a variety of international and local networks. For example, she is a member of the GRLI (Globally Responsible Leadership Initiative) network, in the development of the Oulu University of Applied Sciences’ visionFactor programme for responsible leadership, and she is a founding member of the Finnish Association for Human Resources Management HENRY’s responsibility network. All of these diverse actors have grasped the topical challenge of promoting responsibility in business leadership.


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A LU M N I – C O M B I N I N G B U S I N E S S PROFESSIONALS, STUDENTS AND FAC U LT Y The primary goal of our alumni activities is to substantially improve the cooperation between alumni and their employers, and to increase their influence on teachers, students, and researchers, for whom the University of Oulu alumni are a significant and important link to the continuously changing business environment. Close cooperation with alumni also prompts ideas for Master’s theses and improves the recruitment prospects of graduates. Oulu Business School has the most significant alumni network of all the faculties at the University of Oulu. The increase in the alumni network has been impressive since 2008. There are currently hundreds of active members of the alumni network. Our aim is to further expand that alumni network.

(CEO and owner, Hoivanet Oy), and Maarika Hienonen (EMEA Transformation Manager, Microsoft) felt the need to give something back to their alma mater.

A seminar entitled Alumni Career Paths was held for students of OBS in the recently renovated L2 lecture hall on the 9th of December. There, three ambitious women described how they had ended up in their current work positions, and shared their thoughts on both working and student life. This year, the alumni gathering initiative came from alumni themselves, as Kati Eriksson (CFA, Foundation for Aalto University Science and Technology), Minna Isotalus

The seminar began with a couple of words from the dean, Petri Sahlström, who emphasised the importance of alumni activities. After further welcoming words from Johannes Saarela, responsible for alumni affairs at OBS’s student guild Finanssi, the panellists had a chance to introduce themselves briefly. Our alumni had quite impressive backgrounds, even though all of them had experienced a lack of direction at some point in their careers. As Maarika Hienonen mentioned, “It didn’t feel

No one can concentrate on just one area of expertise, but mastering different interests is a strength in working life.

Maarika Hienonen and Kati Eriksson shared thoughts on their career paths.


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Alumni activities clearly serve students, and our alumni this year were hoping for even more co-operation between students and graduates. so straightforward back then, but now it seems everything went as it was supposed to.” However, success in one’s career requires certain traits and, according to the panellists, one has to be interested in a wide range of things to be capable of networking and to have the right attitude. As Kati Eriksson pointed out several times during the seminar, “No one can concentrate on just one area of expertise, but mastering different interests is a strength in working life”. Another skill that was often brought up was the ability to communicate concisely. The seminar included vivid discussions about topics such as job-seeking, the balance between studying and leisure time, mistakes, and equality between men and women. After the seminar,

This year the initiative to visit came from our alumni Maarika Hienonen, Minna Isotalus and Kati Eriksson.

there were still several students who wanted to chat with the panellists. Alumni activities clearly serve students, and our alumni this year were hoping for even more co-operation between students and graduates. “Actually, we brainstormed on the flight about an idea of a round-table event, which would be a bit more informal and would gather students and us alumni together”, Minna Isotalus explained after the event.


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All of the alumni had been either a mentor or mentored, and they all had greatly benefitted from these experiences. This year the initiative to come for a visit came from our alumni. Minna Isotalus summed this up: “I wanted to give something back, as Oulu Business School and free education has given me a lot in my life.” Kati Eriksson had got the same feeling when returning to the university world in her current position. Maarika Hienonen could not participate in the seminar last year, so she wanted to be present this year. When our alumni were students, there were not as many alumni activities as there are today. All of them had been either a mentor or mentored, and they all had greatly benefitted from these experiences. “I had a mentor via SEFE, who happened to be from the same niche. But he could have very well been from a different niche”, Maarika Hienonen reflects. Our alumni have been glad to hear about all the changes in the increased alumni activities that have taken place at Oulu Business School since their graduation. “That all sounds great, so just keep up the good work!” Kati Eriksson smiles.

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RESEARCH AT O U L U BUSINESS SCHOOL Oulu Business School produces international level research in all main business subjects. All five departments produce papers sought after by highquality international journals. IN 2015, MEMBERS OF THE OBS FACULTY PUBLISHED IN MANY SCHOLARLY JOURNALS INCLUDING: Applied Economics Letters Baltic Journal of Management Ecosystem Services Ephemera: Theory and Politics in Organization Forensic Science International Global Economy Journal IEEE Communications Magazine IMP Journal Industrial Marketing Management International Economics Letters International Journal of Business and Globalisation International Journal of Business and Management International Journal of Business Excellence International Journal of Human Resources Development and Management International Journal of Information Management International Journal of Innovation Management


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International Journal of Logistics Management International Journal of Logistics Research and Applications International Journal of Management and Enterprise Development International Journal of Project Management International Journal of Technology Marketing Journal of Accounting and Public Policy Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing Journal of Business Finance and Accounting Journal of Business Models Journal of Empirical Finance Journal of Environmental Economics and Policy Journal of Health Organization and Management Journal of Intellectual Capital Journal of International Entrepreneurship Journal of Management Inquiry Journal of Systems and Information Technology Knowledge and Process Management Metsätieteen aikakauskirja Minerva Nordic Journal of Business Pacific Economic Review Papers in Regional Science Procedia Economics and Finance Qualitative Research in Accounting and Management Review of Network Economics South Asian Journal of Business and Management Cases

RESEARCH AT O U L U BUSINESS SCHOOL Oulu Business School produces high-quality and topical research knowledge both for the needs of business life and society at large. Internationally recognized and esteemed research is considered a fundamental basis of the high-quality economics and business education offered by Oulu Business School. Research is conducted in the areas of Accounting, Economics, Finance, Logistics, International Business, Management and Marketing.

Oulu Business School produces international level research. The main research focus areas of the school are: 1) “Sustainable and Efficient Economic Development and Business,” 2) “Corporate Governance in Accounting and Financing Context,” and 3) “The Complexities of Organizational Activities and Business Networks in International Context”. These topics reflect the fields of expertise of our researchers, and are also the themes of the Martti Ahtisaari Institute’s research projects.


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COMPANION aims to improve the understanding of complex and challenging organizational activities and processes by asking thought provoking questions and challenging current views.

PHOTO: AALTO STRATEGY CASE COMPETITION

MANAGEMENT & INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS The research of the Department of Management and International Business is organized through the multidisciplinary research community (RC) of COMPANION, which includes researchers from international business, management and marketing. COMPANION aims to improve the understanding of complex and challenging organizational activities and processes by asking thought provoking questions and challenging current views. ECONOMICS Recent research at the Department of Economics focuses on environmental and energy economics, regional economics, longrun macrodynamics and decision-making under conditions of uncertainty.

ACCOUNTING Recent years have seen an increasing demand for high-quality governance mechanisms in corporations covering financial reporting, management control, auditing, and executive compensation. Research activity at the Department of Accounting covers the design of these broadly defined governance mechanisms.


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MARKETING

RESEARCH I N GLOBAL BUSINESS AND ECONOMICS

Research in marketing at the Oulu Business School has three focal areas. The first area is industrial marketing, the second is electronic business, and the third area is logistics and supply chain management. FINANCE The discipline of Finance at the Oulu Business School educates professionals to meet the growing needs of the finance sector. The education is based on the latest research evidence covering all the most important financial branches with an emphasis on asset allocation, delegated portfolio management and behavioral finance.

Research activity at the Depar tment of Accounting covers the design of these broadly defined governance mechanisms.

OULU ADVANCED RESEARCH ON SOFTWARE AND INFORMATION SYSTEMS (OASIS) The Oulu Advanced Research on Software and Information Systems research group studies how software and information systems, in particular web-based services, can best serve people and organizations performing knowledge work and other similar activities.

Four research groups in global business and economics operate within at the Martti Ahtisaari Institute for the period 2013–2015. The Management Board of the Martti Ahtisaari Institute discussed expert evaluations of applicants at its meeting on 21 March 2013 and the following research groups were nominated by the Martti Ahtisaari Institute for 1.4.2013 – 31.12.2015:

SENSING AND SHAPING SERVICE BUSINESS RELATIONSHIPS (SHARP) The SHARP (Sensing and Shaping Service Business Relationships) research group aims to advance theoretical understanding and managerial knowledge of the area of business services. The research team has produced new information e.g. in the area of digitalization and its impact on businesses and market.


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SUSTAINABLE AND EFFICIENT ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (SEED) The project looks at the basic principles of and opportunities for sustainable and efficient economic development in three topics: energy markets, regional development, and sound economic pathways for developing countries. SUSTAINABLE CORPORATE GOVERNANCE Sustainable Corporate Governance investigates how the personal characteristics of board members, CEOs (Chief Executive Officers), CFOs (Chief Financial Officers) and other top corporate insiders affect the two key decisions on stockbased executive compensation, that is, the design of their stock-based compensation schemes, and the subsequent insider trading of those stocks.

Cloud computing as an enabler of large scale variable distributed energy solutions: PHOTO: KATI LEINONEN

The SHARP (Sensing and Shaping Service Business Relationships) research group aims to advance theoretical understanding and managerial knowledge of the area of business services.

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BRIGHT CLOUDS – DA R K C L O U D S (BC-DC) Two major changes and challenges are driving the new wave of disruptive technical change in energy and especially in the electricity system. Renewable energy sources (RES) like wind, sun, and biomass are expected to increase their market share substantially in the coming years. At the same time, the electricity transmission and distribution grid is becoming smart through digitalisation. Together, these forces change the currently rather rigid system into a flexible twoway market. Renewable resources are necessary to diminish CO2 emissions and global warming. However, the increasing use of renewable resources also brings new challenges at the system level. Wind and photovoltaic power are, by nature, variable and intermittent. They cannot be dispatched into the system to respond to demand changes like traditional power plants. They produce when the wind is blowing or the sun is shining, and this is an

Marita Laukkanen, Enni Ruokamo, Maria Kopsakangas-Savolainen and Santtu Karhinen in BC-DC’s Kickoff event.


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PHOTO: KATI LEINONEN

The principal investigator of the consortium, Professor Rauli Svento from Oulu Business School and Vice Manager, Professor Maria Kopsakangas-Savolainen, Oulu Business School.

uncertain and variable phenomenon. The system must anticipate this and prepare for sudden changes. The basic way to do this is to form a capacity market where producers can keep their capacities ready to be used when needed.This creates extra system-level costs. Smart grids offer another possibility to tackle this problem. Being a two-way system, the modern grid changes the role of consumers from passive electricity out-takers into active prosumers in the system. It

BC-DC aims to produce new research-based solutions to combine these traditional and new ways of solving the variability and intermittencyrelated problems. becomes possible to feed one’s own production based on assembled solar panels in the system. At the same time, new types of agreements shall be developed for active prosumers. It becomes possible to sell one’s consumption in the system. When the intermittency problem threatens to drive the system into overload, some consumers can be asked to diminish their consumption and, based on the agreement type, this can be compensated in the electricity bill. BC-DC aims to produce new research-based solutions to combine these traditional and new ways of solving the variability and intermittency-related problems. The idea is that new types of digital services are needed to accomplish this. A new type of aggregator or broker is needed to optimise over the originating heterogeneity in the system. The produced solutions that combine capacity markets and demand responses must be scalable so that they can be applied in various types of system configurations. This is a genuinely interdisciplinary task and the BCDC consortium is constructed with a clear view of

PHOTO: KATI LEINONEN

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BC-DC Market research group members, Doctoral Student Santtu Karhinen and Research assistant Chao Ding.

this necessity. The consortium involves economists, ICT engineers, meteorologists, information-processing scientists, and informatics. The organisations involved are the University of Oulu (Economics Research Unit, Centre of Wireless Communications, Information and Communication Studies), the Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE), the Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI), the University of Helsinki (HY), and VATT Economic Research Institute. BC-DC has an advisory board with 15 core firms in the field participating. We have two strategic partners, the Finnish Clean Energy Association and the HINKU Forum. We have a strong emphasis on interaction and communication, and we aim at truly effective use of the knowledge management and communication abilities of our information and communication research team.The principal investigator of the consortium is Professor Rauli Svento from Oulu Business School.


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PHOTO: KATI LEINONEN

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The BC-DC consortium involves five partners and seven research teams. The partners are The University of Oulu,The University of Helsinki, Finnish Environment Institute,VATT Economic Research Center and The Finnish Meteorological Institute. In the research teams there are, besides economics, expertise from electrical engineering and ICT communication (CWC), software programming, weather forecasting and knowledge management and scientific communication.


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RESEARCHER PROFILE: SAKARI SIPOLA Sakari Sipola finished his doctoral thesis in June 2016 with title “Understanding growth and non-growth in entrepreneurial economies. Analysis of start-up industries and experimental winner generation in Finland, Israel and Silicon Valley.� He conducts research and teaching relating t o d i f f e re n t a s p e c t s o f h i g h - g ro w t h f i r m s a n d entrepreneurial environments, and is actively in touch with both local and international actors. What kinds of things inspired you to research this topic in your doctoral thesis? I wanted to understand why Finland has not generated more internationally successful start-ups despite the assumable good pre-conditions for this. So, there was a clear problem to be examined.This led me to search geographical areas with a long track record in fostering start-ups that become market leaders internationally. Silicon Valley and Israel are two prominent examples with such a history, so I took a deep dive into their history, evolution, and functioning in the present, and compared that to what we have in Finland. This is relevant, as not only Oulu, but also Finland and Europe overall are

organizing towards the generation of economic growth through entrepreneurial ventures. High-growth firms and start-ups have a particular role in this change. How do you apply this thesis in your teaching? I have a simple thesis that I aim to execute in my teaching – to educate the change agents of society and the economy. We need to equip our students not only with the newest knowledge and broad thinking, but especially with a can-do and high-aiming mindset. This is what students in entrepreneurial hotspots like Silicon Valley are exposed to and adopt: an entrepreneurial or design-based approach for framing and thinking about problems and opportunities in various organisations, not only start-ups, and capabilities to take action and align resources for execution. Inherent in this notion is the ability to be critical and constructive in the dialogue, and to challenge the past in order to build the new. Such students are an important asset to both new and existing organisations, and are also important to the region. Sakari Sipola, Post-doctoral researcher at the Oulu Business School Department of Management and International Business

We need to equip our students not only with the newest knowledge and broad thinking, but especially with a can-do and high-aiming mindset.


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NEED FOR SPEED I N S O F T WA R E BUSINESS

The state of the global economy has been turbulent during the last few years, and simultaneously the Internet has rapidly become far more pervasive than it was only a few years ago. Furthermore, these transformational effects are spreading into several sectors of the economy and society via new innovations, services, and the emergence and quick success of new companies. The complexity and competition around the new Internet infrastructure, services, and business environment will increase dramatically, which will fundamentally change the way software will be developed, deployed, and used to reach business goals. Hence, increasingly, products and services are not developed by a single company but rather by a network of collaborating companies. As a result, many businesses are starting a major shift in how they define their next-generation competitive strategy, new leadership approach, and operating processes that would form a strong basis for changing economic conditions. The main goal of the ongoing


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business transformation is to create a foundation for the next-generation competitive strategy and operating processes that, together, form a response to the changing economic conditions. Companies must be able to deliver value in real-time and to adapt to the radically new business conditions and opportunities outside their existing business domains. This approach requires new leadership approaches and styles, as well as fundamental rethinking of how companies continuously improve and develop their existing business models.

Companies must be able to deliver value in real-time and to adapt to the radically new business conditions and oppor tunities outside their existing business domains. In the Need for Speed programme, we call this new approach the Mercury Business, which briefly means the capabilities to adapt to new business conditions and aggressively go to new business areas searching for new opportunities with minimum effort. The main goal for Mercury Business is to find “new money� by actively scouting new business opportunities outside existing business, and by introducing new products and services outside the existing markets. Oulu Business School has supported these digital services companies towards

Need for Speed (N4S) will create the foundation for Finnish software-intensive businesses in the new digital economy. this goal by introducing new working practices, tools, and methods. For instance, using the qualitative action research method, we have developed a business model concept that supports the view of a business ecosystem better than any other business model concept. We also developed the opportunity test-bench tool, which enhances a quick evaluation of apparent business opportunities, or business ideas as companies call them. Need for Speed (N4S) will create the foundation for Finnish software-intensive businesses in the new digital economy. The consortia consists of 13 large industrial organisations, 16 SMEs, and 11 research institutes and universities. N4S is the largest TEKES-funded programme, with its â‚Ź80M budget. The programme is executed by the forefront Finnish software companies. The N4S programme has had a speedy start, producing more than 500 results already, of which 150 research articles are also published. The programme started in January 2014 and will last until February 2017. Marko Juntunen, Doctoral student, Project Manager N4S Oulu Business School, Department of Management and International Business http://www.n4s.fi/fi/dokumentit/artikkelit/ http://www.n4s.fi/fi/2014magazine-fi/


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PHOTO: STUDIO JUHA SARKKINEN

B U S I N E S S KITCHEN BUSINESS KITCHEN is the university entrepreneurship hub in the center of Oulu where anyone can come to develop their ideas or business with the support of a local and global network. Business Kitchen was established in 2012 by Oulu Business School and the Martti Ahtisaari Institute at the University of Oulu, together with Oulu University of Applied Sciences.

to several organizations and services that promote entrepreneurship. Demola Oulu, an international innovation platform, facilitates multidisciplinary student teams that cocreate innovative solutions for companies. In addition, OuluES is a student-run entrepreneurship society that plays an active role in the Business Kitchen promoting entrepreneurship by organizing events, workshops, and competitions.

Business Kitchen is home to several organizations and services that promote entrepreneurship.

The aim of Business Kitchen is to act as a hub between universities and companies in the Oulu region. In line with the overall strategy, universities can offer their expertise and networks to support local companies and benefit from incorporating new-found knowledge of the reality of working life and its networks into their study programs. Business Kitchen is an important part of the Oulu Innovation Alliance collaboration, where the shared goal is to create the best ecosystem for growth-oriented SMEs to prosper in a lively research and innovation community.

As an open innovative space, Business Kitchen offers working and co-location space for students and entrepreneurs in the heart of Oulu. Several events, training sessions and collaborative networks are employed to strengthen the entrepreneurial orientation among students and to offer business development support to entrepreneurs. Business Kitchen is home


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at achieving this goal. And as the event was about business, the joint stand of Oulu-based start-ups introduced the participants to support activities for entrepreneurship and start-ups.

N O RT H E R N S E RV I C E D AY 2 0 1 5 – C R E AT I N G GLOBAL BUSINESS FROM E V E R Y D AY E X P E R I E N C E S Northern Service Day, held in Oulu for the third time, once again sold out. More than 200 service ecosystem operators from Northern Finland took part in the event and discussed possibilities for differentiation by offering experiences in the global competitive environment. The day saw numerous presentations and a panel discussion on the subject. The panellists were Tony Manninen from Ludocraft, Antti Kairakari of Whatever Group, Heini Tuorila from Haltia, Tommi Uhari from

Uros and Jari Moilanen of Nokia. The consensus was that constructive interaction is emphasised when the goal is to create services and solutions whose value is perceived through the experiences they provide. By stressing genuine interaction based on personal service, even small companies can cut it in the global competition. Nor should understanding one’s own processes be neglected when seeking to support the customer’s processes. Building a scalable business also calls for digitalisation and enhanced use of information. In the concluding remarks for the day, the speakers stated that a common understanding of a service’s value proposition is required both with the customer and within the organisation. The organisers’ stands offered the participants the opportunity to test various methods, solutions and expertise aimed

Northern Service Day was organised by BusinessOulu, the University of Lapland, the City of Oulu, Oulu University of Applied Sciences, the University of Oulu, the Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation Tekes and VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd. At the University of Oulu, the Business School’s Department of Marketing was responsible for the university’s participation in the event, exhibiting its latest research projects and results related to the development of digital services.The umbrella organisation for the event is the Finnish Service Alliance, a national community for service business and research. Saila Saraniemi, DSc (Econ.), University of Oulu, Business School, Department of Marketing

The consensus was that constructive interaction is emphasised when the goal is to create services and solutions whose value is perceived through the experiences they provide.


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AVA N TO AC C E L E R ATO R

The star t-ups are quite different from each other, but what unites them is their passion for building their own star t-ups even whilst studying.

Avanto Accelerator, a new pre-start-up accelerator programme that guides students in turning their ideas into products and businesses, has started in the Business Kitchen, the university entrepreneurship hub in the centre of Oulu. As part of the Martti Ahtisaari Institute’s Strengthening University Industry Collaboration project, the aim of the pilot is to create a programme for the speedy commercialisation of ideas and to facilitate teams from different faculties. The first pilot was organised in autumn 2015 with great results: 7 teams finished the programme and 5 teams will be establishing companies in the next few months. During the three-month programme, teams have taken part in various coaching workshops in order to improve their skills, know-how, and business models. Participants have also gathered feedback from the market, validated

The aim of the pilot is to create a programme for the speedy commercialisation of ideas and to facilitate teams from different faculties.

own start-ups even whilst studying. Fineria energy, a hybrid power generator, pitched in Polar Bear Pitching to world-wide fame and has been featured in Kauppalehti, Techcrunch, and Bloomberg. Koreina will be opening their stylish and ethical cosmetics web-store in April 2016, while Hazzle won second place in AVEK’s pitching competition in Tampere and is currently developing their event application further. Housebook is building collaborations with B2B customers that will use their house management system. Famous for their wearable robot, Grovestream Engineering is currently filming a mini-series on their robotic suits with YLE. Academy of Nordic exports Finnish education to China, and brings students from China to Finland for an immersion in Finnish education.

their products, and identified customers throughout the process. They have also connected with industry experts and investors.

Avanto Accelerator is a three-month programme that is run every spring and autumn in the Business Kitchen.

The start-ups are quite different from each other, but what unites them is their passion for building their

Anne Sorvari, Head of Avanto Accelerator at Business Kitchen


PHOTO: HENRI LUOMA

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P O L A R B E A R P I TC H I N G One of the creations of Business Kitchen is the unlikely business event, Polar Bear Pitching, which has been named the world’s only sub-zero Dragon’s Den by the Guardian. The event gathers the hot spotlight of the world on the cold waters of Oulu, Finland. For once, entrepreneurs get to pitch to top-tier investors for as long as they want, with no time limit.They just have to deliver the pitch standing in an ice-hole, in freezing cold water! It is not just the entrepreneurs who are captivated by the challenge, but many of the investors insist on taking the plunge into the ice-hole. Even Bruce Oreck, the U.S. Ambassador to Finland, was eager to jump onto the literally coolest stage and deliver an ice-cool keynote. Moreover, the melodies of Jean Sibelius’ Finlandia were heard emerging from the ice-hole. The concept was created by Business Kitchen staff and the event was organised in collaboration with Midnight Pitch Fest NPO. Community collaboration being the hallmark of Business Kitchen, the organising team included the Oulu Student Entrepreneurship Society and several other startup organisations in Oulu, who together turned the idea into an event that garnered the attention of the world’s media, with articles about Polar Bear Pitching and Oulu being written in the Times, the Guardian, TechCrunch, Al Jazeera, South China Morning Post,


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AFP, and several other news agencies. As Polar Bear Pitching is noted around the world, it is helping market Oulu-based companies to the world. The second time the event was organised, it attracted participants from around the globe – companies from India, Israel, the UK, the US, Sweden, Estonia, and Norway had trained hard for the challenge and were ready to impress the world. As the event has evolved into one that attracts the attention of international start-up communities, it offers a great opportunity for Oulu’s start-up community to establish fruitful relationships with international rising stars.

Polar Bear Pitching uniquely highlights the special climate of the long Finnish winter and the cold conditions that have shaped Finnish entrepreneurs and society for centuries. Polar Bear Pitching uniquely highlights the special climate of the long Finnish winter and the cold conditions that have shaped Finnish entrepreneurs and society for centuries. Instead of complaining about the cold, or the harsh economic drawbacks, we embrace it and are ready to show the world some Finnish “Sisu”, or perseverance, which transforms difficulties into diamonds. Mia Kemppaala and Anne Sorvari, Business Kitchen Oulu Business School Martti Ahtisaari Institute of Global Business and Economics

WRITERS IN OULU BUSINESS SCHOOL ANNUAL REPORT 2015: Managing Editor: Pasi Karjalainen | Editorial Assistant: Katri Korhonen | Texts: Niklas Alho, Marja Aro, Jan Hermes, Marko Juntunen, Antti Kauppila, Mia Kemppaala, Anne Keränen, Katri Korhonen,Ville Kotiranta, Sinikka Moilanen, Satu Nätti, Ilkka Ojansivu, Miia Paavola, Petri Sahlström, Saila Saraniemi,Veikko Seppänen, Sakari Sipola, Sauli Sohlo, Anne Sorvari, Rauli Svento, Pauliina Ulkuniemi | Translation & Language Revision: Semantix Finland Oy | Photographs: Aalto Strategy Case Competition, Marja Aro, Timo Heikkala/ Ekonomi-lehti, Pirjo Jaukkuri, Anton Jussila, Katri Korhonen, Kati Leinonen, Henri Luoma, Satu Nätti, Ilkka Ojansivu, Oulu Business School and University of Oulu, Saila Saraniemi, Studio Juha Sarkkinen | Layout: Pakkahuone Oy

Nordic Spirit – International Heart OULU

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Annual Report 2015  
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