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Oulu Business School

Annual Report 2019


WRITERS IN OULU BUSINESS SCHOOL ANNUAL REPORT 2019

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Content

Managing Editor: Marja Alatalo | Texts: Petri Ahokangas, Marja Alatalo, Pia Hurmelinna-Laukkanen, Mari Juntunen, Janne Järvinen, Antti Kauppila, Anne Keränen, Maria Kopsakangas-Savolainen, Mirjam Lehenkari, Tuija Lämsä, Waqar Nadeem, Pentti Pikkarainen, Mikko Puhakka, Jaakko Simonen, Sauli Sohlo, Kati Valjus | Translation & Language Revision: AAC Global Oy | Cover: Pirjo Jaukkuri | Photographs: Marja Alatalo, Rami Hanafi / Rami Hanafi Photography Ltd, Pirjo Jaukkuri, Niko Raappana / Studio PSV, Mikko Törmänen / Mikko Törmänen Photography | Layout: Siberia

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30

Oulu Business School

Milestones

A Word From the Dean Cover photo: The main entrance of the University of Oulu was wearing the signatory lilac colour of the Foundation for Economic Education in November 9, 2019 to celebrate the Foundation’s 100th anniversary.

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AACSB Accreditation

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Management and Organization

Nordic Spirit – International Heart

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Key Facts

Education

Exchange Studies

Finanssi – The Association of Oulu Business School Students

32

Research

44

Impact


Oulu Business School

Our students can choose from diverse study programmes. 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. 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 face future challenges.

OULU BUSINESS SCHOOL

Oulu Business School (OBS) at the University of Oulu is an 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 collaborates with local businesses and the larger society.

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Oulu Business School’s Important Milestones

Extension of AACSB Accreditation.

Discipline-based departments merged into three research units.

Renewal of the international Master’s programmes.

Launch of the new Bachelor Programme.

Oulu Business School to earn AACSB Accreditation.

Martti Ahtisaari International Doctoral Program launched

2019

2017

2015

2014

2013

2012

Faculty of Economics and Business Administration established.

Degree program in Logistics established.

Degree program in Management and Organization launched.

International Business degree program launched.

Martti Ahtisaari Institute of Global Business and Economics established within Oulu Business School.

Name changed to Oulu Business School.

2000

2001

2002

2007

2008

2010

Associate Professorship in Marketing established.

Professorship in Corporate Economics and Business in the field of accounting established.

Associate Professorship established in Business Economics in the field of business development and management.

First Bachelor of Social Science degree in Economics.

Professorship in Economics established.

University of Oulu founded.

1992

1991

1984

1980

1959

1958

OULU BUSINESS SCHOOL

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

Our Mission

Our Values

PHOTO: RAMI HANAFI

In all our activities we follow the fundamental values of expertise, responsibility to ourselves and others, and a pioneering spirit.

OULU BUSINESS SCHOOL

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.


From the Dean

The societies and economies around us are experiencing profound changes, such as digitalisation. Instead of fear, these transformations will create many exciting possibilities for business schools. We are a rather small business school located in the North, but we still face fierce international competition. Our location may be an advantage in the future. It is quite likely that economic and business activities will greatly intensify in the North and the Arctic in the near future. It is not presumptuous to foresee many possibilities for our business school in these developments. The high international quality of the research in business schools is often measured by their faculty’s research published in journals listed in the Financial Times FT50 list. I am happy to report that

we have added more names to our list of researchers who have published in these journals (see page 39). We have therefore been able to advance our international reputation at the frontiers of business research. Our doctoral students can produce dissertations of high international quality. Ms Irina Atkova’s dissertation, “From opportunity to business model – an entrepreneurial action perspective”, was awarded the annual Emerald/EFMD Outstanding Doctoral Research Award in the Management and Governance category. Almost 300 dissertations competed for these awards. We did a splendid job in education again in 2019. Our Bachelor’s and Master’s degree programmes remained attractive for both national and international applicants. Our students continued to progress well in their studies, and they took less time to complete their degrees. Improvements in our degree structures and academic support are paying off. During 2019, we placed more emphasis on online education by offering a wide range of online courses for both our own students and those from other faculties and universities. An example is the national

online minor study module LITO, which was awarded the Finnish Business School Graduates’ Teaching Award in 2019 (see page 26). The development of our education is an on-going process! I thank our faculty, staff and students for their indispensable input to the activities of the Oulu Business School. The support of our alumni, friends and the surrounding community is important. The success we achieve will belong to us all. Take care, and with my best wishes,

Mikko Puhakka Dean

A WORD FROM THE D E A N

I am writing these words amidst one of the worst global crises many of us have experienced in our lifetimes. This is an unprecedented challenge for us all. I trust that we’ll see this through – and gain precious experience for the future. Our particular job will be to utilise this experience in business education, and I am sure our research will be greatly stimulated by these events. I believe we are well equipped to succeed in these endeavours.

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A WORD FROM THE D E A N

PHOTO: STUDIO P.S.V.

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A AC S B ACCREDITATION

PHOTO: RAMI HANAFI

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Towards the 2020 AACSB Accreditation Standards

What seems to remain in the future standards, according to the draft versions—and at our school as well—is the emphasis on engagement, innovation and impact in all our operations. This is very much welcomed, since a high-quality school just cannot exist in a bubble, inconsiderate of the events, needs and developments in its context of operation. What also remains, although also enhanced with some updates and clarifications, are the two, often

What is new in the draft 2020 standards, is the increased emphasis on responsibilities of business schools towards the larger society—not only the business community and economy. The importance of this topic is evidenced by fact that these issues are discussed specifically under a standard of their own—one of nine altogether. Since we know that throughout the history of modern business schools, changes in the AACSB standards have had profound impacts on how the schools behave and function, it will be hugely interesting to see the effects also this time.

Looking eagerly forward to the future of global business school community,

Sauli Sohlo Deputy Director of Martti Ahtisaari Institute Head of Accreditation, Oulu Business School at the University of Oulu

A AC S B ACCREDITATION

At the same time, in the Oulu Business School we have recognized that the changing environment of our operations will lead to changing expectations also of the future business and economics experts. Digitalization, adaptability to changing business environments, as well as the continuing global megatrends requiring innovative business approaches, are some of these phenomena.

most challenging areas of the standards, namely faculty qualifications and assurance of learning requirements. This is warmly welcomed throughout the quality-driven AACSB community, since these elements remind us all to pay continuous attention to two indisputably important ingredients of quality business programmes: ensuring an up-todate, high-expertise faculty and well thought out teaching and learning practices. These two criteria are also factors, by which AACSB accreditation stands out amongst some other international accreditations.

PHOTO: MIKKO TÖRMÄNEN

2019 was a year of intensive preparation for the upcoming 2020 Accreditation Standards update. The AACSB set up the Business Accreditation Task Force (BATF) to liaise with the global AACSB Accredited schools’ community, and to co-create and finally propose two draft versions of the standards update.

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OBS Management in 2019

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Professor Mikko Puhakka The Dean of Oulu Business School

DEAN Council

Professor Janne Järvinen The Vice Dean for Education

Professor Juha-Pekka Kallunki Department of Economics, Accounting and Finance Professor Vesa Puhakka Department of Marketing, Management and International Business Professor Veikko Seppänen Martti Ahtisaari Institute

Department of Economics, Accounting & Finance

Department of Marketing, Management & International Business

Research Groups and Educational Programmes

Martti Ahtisaari Institute

OULU BUSINESS SCHOOL

SUPPORT Staff

The following are chairs of their departments:


Oulu Business School Key Facts 2019 FINANCIAL DATA (in Euros)

DISTRIBUTION OF FUNDING 2018

5 998 314

2019 0%

2019Â 77%

6 278 304

76%

Budgetary state funding (76%) Academy of Finland (4%) Business Finland (2%)

External funding Academy of Finland

406 522

5%

320 502

4%

Business Finland

303 310

4%

193 375

2%

European Union

49 261

0,6%

72 885

0,9%

Structural funds

87 120

1%

179 518

2%

Foundation

69 556

1%

85 629

1%

Municipality

56 130

1%

63 038

1%

Other public

53 711

1%

45 591

1%

Private companies

21 600

0%

12 630

0%

Business activities

463 100

6%

448 205

5%

Other income

325 061

4%

561 209

7%

Total funding

7 833 685

8 260 886

European Union (0,9%) Structural funds (2%) Foundation (1%) Municipality (1%) Other public (1%) Private companies (0%) Business activities (MBA, eMBA) (5%) Other income (7%)

2018 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% Budgetary state funding (77%) Academy of Finland (5%) Business Finland (4%) European Unaion (0,6%)

Operating costs

Structural funds (1%)

Staff expenses

5 637 312

74%

5 657 543

69%

Other expenses

1 749 566

23%

2 097 798

25%

Foundation (1%) Municipality (1%)

Depreciation Internal items Total operating costs

7 868

0,1%

4 599

0,1%

188 695

2%

479 072

6%

7 583 441

8 239 012

Other public (1%) Private companies (0%) Business activities (MBA, eMBA) (6%)

Surplus/(deficit)

10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80%

250 244

21 874

Other income (4%)

OULU BUSINESS SCHOOL K E Y FAC T S

Budgetary state funding

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FACULTY & STAFF

FACULTY & STAFF 2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

Professors

14

17

19

18

16

Teaching and research

74

74

68

65

59

Other

22

23

10

11

14

Total

110

114

97

94

89

12

80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0

2015

EDUCATION ACTIVITIES 2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

2825/181

2667/178

Applications /accepted 2643/190 2531/180 2692/180

Finnish Master's Programmes (MSc)

55/10

65/11

93/10

51/12

116/10

International Master's Programmes (MSc)

730/111

738/115

477/103

1716/128

847/109

2016

2017

2018

Teaching and research

2019 Other

APPLICATIONS TO BACHELOR’S AND MASTER’S PROGRAMMES 5000 4000

193

197

214

205

229

Doctor of Science

8

9

7

9

8

3000 2000 1000 0

RESEARCH* ACTIVITIES 2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

2016

2017

2018

2019

DEGREE DISTRIBUTION

Scientific articles (refereed)

45

47

48

74

92

250

Other scientific publications (refereed)**

22

43

22

40

78

Activities in scientific publications***

55

50

43

36

32

200

Other publications

43

50

67

23

20

Scientific presentations

37

25

19

12

18

Activities related to scientific conferences

17

8

13

3

12

*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

2015

150 100 50 0

2015

2016

Bachelor of Science

2017

2018

Master of Science

2019 Doctor of Science

OULU BUSINESS SCHOOL K E Y FAC T S

214

228

3630

224

182

4592

247

Master of Science

3262

Bachelor of Science

3334

Degrees

3428

Bachelor's and Master's programmes (BSc + MSc)

Professors


NEW STUDENTS ADMITTED IN 2019

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188 into Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree Programmes

109

Doctoral students

PHOTO: RAMI HANAFI

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OULU BUSINESS SCHOOL K E Y FAC T S

International Master’s Degree students


Education


A Message from the Vice Dean for Education

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OULU BUSINESS SCHOOL’S DEGREE PROGRAM PORTFOLIO BACHELOR’S PROGRAMME • Economics and Business Administration

The University of Oulu offers a wide range of courses and trainings in university pedagogy as well as digital teaching skills, and this includes training for the faculty as well. During 2019 OBS has made efforts to establish and renew expertise in university teaching, which means developing sets of skills and knowledge that consistently achieve better learning outcomes. This meant making increased efforts in facing the challenge of how to teach our students more complex thinking and problem-solving skills than were perhaps widely needed in the past, and how to teach these to a larger and more diverse student body. The past year also saw new initiatives. We have put more emphasis on online education by offering

2019 was a year of consolidation and renewal a range of new courses. In addition, plans for a new master’s programme titled, Business Analytics, have been drafted. We believe that analytics will be at the heart of gathering the evidence and insights needed to accomplish the transformational changes demanded by the current business environment, and that robust data analytics will be a key ingredient for strategic innovation in the future. We are also confident that widespread recognition and adoption of these expert practices will profoundly change the nature of our teaching in the future and have a large beneficial impact on higher education.

Janne Järvinen Vice Dean for Education

MASTER’S PROGRAMMES • Accounting • Economics • Finance • International Business Management • Marketing

MBA & EXECUTIVE EDUCATION • Executive MBA • Client Specific Executive Education Programmes

DOCTORAL PROGRAMME • Accounting • Economics • Finance • International Business • Management • Marketing

OTHER • Entrepreneurship Minor • Business Law Minor • National Online Business Minor Studies Module LITO

E D U C AT I O N IN OULU BUSINESS SCHOOL

After having secured re-accreditation, OBS activities in 2019 focused both on consolidation and renewal. During the year, we made efforts to streamline our master’s level course structure. As funding will become more insecure in the future, we will face increasing efficiency pressures while being at the same time fully committed to high academic standards. All in all, our educational output measured in bachelor’s and master’s degrees remained high, and the time to complete our degrees improved. Application pressure also remains strong.


Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Economics and Business Administration

Our bachelor’s programme answers comprehensively to society’s needs. We have taken regional competence needs into account in the

design of the program as well as possible: after all, one of the central purposes of a university is to serve its region’s business sector with the education it provides to its students. Our bachelor’s students major in economics and business administration and their studies include all subject matters in both fields (economics, financial and management accounting, international business management and marketing). The programme’s strategy emphasises internationality. Diverse exchange studies that support a student’s competence goals are a key aspect of career planning, and our students have very actively participated in exchange programmes to study all over the world. This provides our students with fantastic opportunities to develop their skills and form new social networks that will benefit them in the future. In 2019, one our central goals was increasing the relevance of the education we provide to working life which is why we invested in researching what competence needs exist in the business sector. This was done, for example, by forming working groups within our business school. This also supports the University of Oulu’s work toward its goal of continuous learning: “Continuous learning is the continuous development of competence from the

perspective of the individual, employers and society as a whole.” In 2019, we were granted project funding by the Ministry of Education and Culture for the development and expansion of our course portfolio. The funding strategically benefits the University of Oulu’ development of the educational offering of continuous learning and bolsters the university’s profile.

Tuija Lämsä Bachelor’s Programme Director, Oulu Business School

We aim to increase the working-life relevance of our education

E D U C AT I O N IN OULU BUSINESS SCHOOL

As an AASCB accredited educational institute for economic sciences, we must fulfil the quality standards for the accreditation. This means our teaching is always based on high-quality research, and the learning objectives for our bachelor’s programme are defined in our organisation’s mission statement. The target of our bachelor’s programme is to produce experts with extensive competence in business and management, and who have an excellent grasp of the central mechanisms and processes of business operations. The programme also focuses on introducing students to different business environments and the challenges of business operations. Students are tasked with projects that involve putting their skills into practice and resolving business-related issues. These targets are present in several of our courses – the goal is to turn our students into individuals who have mastered critical analysis and can use and apply their skills and knowledge already during their time at our university with practical assignments and work duties. We also teach our students to selfassess their learning and competence.

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E D U C AT I O N IN OULU BUSINESS SCHOOL

PHOTO: RAMI HANAFI

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In 2019, the development work of our five master’s programmes continued. Some changes were made to the course structures to streamline the programmes. In general, our international and Finnish master’s programmes remained one of the most popular choices in the eyes of applicants in the University of Oulu. In 2019, Oulu Business School had 648 master’s level students in five programmes: economics, financial and management accounting, finance, marketing and international business management. This number includes students who transferred from our own bachelor’s programmes to a master’s programme and the students who were admitted directly into master’s programmes. The international master’s programmes of Oulu Business School were applied to from all over the world, and we received a total of 847 applications for the programmes. As in the years before, the programme for international business management was one the most popular programmes in the entire University of Oulu. In

total, 109 new students were admitted to our international master’s programmes. The financial and management accounting master’s programme taught in Finnish was also significantly more popular this year with a total of 116 applicants, i.e. over 50% more than last year. As in the previous years, 10 applicants were admitted to the programme. A total of 119 applicants started their studies in our master’s programmes in 2019. In addition to this, 193 students from our bachelor’s programmes applied for master’s programmes internally. In 2019, a total of 201 master’s theses were finalised in the Oulu Business School. Of these, 108 theses were made in the programmes of financial and management accounting (48), finance (34) and economics (26). A total of 93 master’s theses were made in the programmes of marketing and international business management – 48 theses and 45 theses respectively.

The AACSB accreditation awarded to us necessitates fulfilling a set of standards that we also use to continuously develop the content of our programmes and our teaching methods. The most central learning objectives of our master’s programmes are analytical thinking and problemsolving skills, competency in the programmes field on science, business competence, responsible leadership and communication skills. We will continue to develop our programmes in cooperation with the other faculties of the University of Oulu, the businesses in the region and other stakeholders in the future as well.

Jaakko Simonen Master’s Programme Director Oulu Business School

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E D U C AT I O N IN OULU BUSINESS SCHOOL

Master of Science (MSc) in Economics and Business Administration


PHOTO: MARJA ALATALO

The application pressure remained strong in all our programmes

E D U C AT I O N IN OULU BUSINESS SCHOOL

PHOTO: MARJA ALATALO

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E D U C AT I O N IN OULU BUSINESS SCHOOL

PHOTO: RAMI HANAFI

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Doctor of Science (DSc) in Economics and Business Administration

Torvinen, Hannu, It takes three to tango: end-user engagement in innovative public procurement.

The following doctoral theses were successfully defended in Economics: Ruokamo, Enni, Household preferences for energy goods and services: a choice experiment application and in Accounting: Jenni Kallunki, Corporate insiders’ personal characteristics and insider trading.

With these theses, the quantitative goals set for doctoral training at the OBS were met.

Three dissertations were finalized in International business: Brahman, Paskaran, Cultural practices in the project based construction companies: its impact on information system implementation; Olaleye, Sunday, The role of mobile devices in online retailing: empirical evidence from Finland and Nigeria; Xu, Yueqiang: Open business models for future smart energy: a value perspective. Similarly, three theses were examined and accepted in Marketing: Haukipuro, Lotta, Usercentric product and service development in a multicontext living lab environment: case OULLabs and PATIO; Keränen, Outi, Developing public-private partnerships in centralized public procurement;

Doctoral research is being continuously developed, and an assessment of learning indicates that the graduates demonstrate expertise in their own field, have competences in interdisciplinary thinking in the fields of business and economics, and have competences in scientific communication. In the spirit of continuous development, 2019 marked the publication of a new doctoral study guide, and a decision to launch a new development group for OBS doctoral studies. These will be central tools in making the doctoral studies smoother in the years to come.

Pia Hurmelinna-Laukkanen Director of Doctoral Training Programme, Oulu Business School

Making the doctoral studies smoother is the next big goal

E D U C AT I O N IN OULU BUSINESS SCHOOL

In 2019, new doctoral research was finalized and published in various fields and on varied topics.

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The Executive MBA Programme Turned 30 Years Old

The event also included a review of the programmes 30 years of operation, starting from the times when the City of Oulu was only just adjusting to its new role nationally and its focus on technology. At that time, establishing a department of economics and business administration, let alone a whole specialised school, was wishful thinking, if even that. The EMBA programme was started in the university’s

After several interesting events and turns, the EMBA programme ended up in its current home in the AASCB accredited Oulu Business School, where it assists in the completion of the mission of strengthening the competence and success of Finnish industries with research-based and applied business management information. Students graduating from the EMBA and Master of Safety programmes were also given their diplomas at the 30th anniversary celebration. In addition, a new award was introduced: the Martti Ahtisaari Institute will award an honorary certificate and a Luottamuksen lintu sculpture to the final theses in the Executive MBA programme that examine responsible business management and are given at least the grading of Very good. This year, the award was given to Iiris Puro, OP Suomenselkä’s bank manager, and Jaana Korhonen, director of Kainuu’s Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment. In her thesis, Puro focused on the regional impact of banks from the point of view of responsible business management. Korhonen examined how trust is established within a network of experts. The sculptures and honorary certificates

were handed over by Veikko Seppänen, director of the Martti Ahtisaari Institute. Antti Kauppila Programme Director Executive Education

Honorary certificate and a Luottamuksen lintu sculpture was given to Iiris Puro, OP Suomenselkä’s bank manager.

E D U C AT I O N IN OULU BUSINESS SCHOOL

Mikko Puhakka, the dean of Oulu Business School, gave the opening speech of the event, while director Johanna Bluemink delivered the University of Oulu’s greetings. Alumni speeches were given by Kati Ruohomäki, the chief policy adviser of the Confederation of Finnish Industries, who spoke on the subject of how Finnish industries are responding to the climate change, and VTT’s Vice President Jussi Paakkari, who spoke about the role of new technology in enabling growth.

unit for continuing education with the full support of the technology village (as it was at the time) and the City of Oulu.

PHOTO: PIRJO JAUKKURI

The Executive MBA programme celebrated its 30th anniversary in the university’s Saalastinsali hall during the Midsummer week of 2019. Everyone who had graduated from the programme during the 30 years was invited to the celebration. In addition to alumni, a large group of the teachers who have taught in the programme were invited, together with other key people who had participated in the programme’s organisation throughout the years.

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E D U C AT I O N IN OULU BUSINESS SCHOOL

PHOTO: PIRJO JAUKKURI

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PHOTO: RAMI HANAFI

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From Thesis Supervision Experience to High-Quality Research

Mari Juntunen and Mirjam Lehenkari have years of experience in supervising hundreds of bachelor’s theses. They have noticed that students are often confused about how to carry out a literature review in practice. In order to guide the students better, Mari and Mirjam decided to examine the process in detail. Interviews with the OBS’ bachelor’s thesis supervisors and some of their students played a key role in the study. In 2019, the findings of their research were published in the highly respected journal Studies in Higher Education. Mari and Mirjam summarize their study as follows: “Existing research typically describes the literature review process as a linear process, in which predefined steps logically follow each other in a given order. This is not, however, what we find in our study—quite the opposite seems to be true. Rather than being a straightforward path, the process

appears to be iterative, non-structured and multilayered.” “One of the aims of our study was to relieve the anxiety that is often experienced by beginning researchers. Although the framework presented in the paper is specifically designed for bachelor’s level students, master’s and doctoral students as well as more experienced researchers may also benefit from our findings.” “Finally, we hope that the publication of our study serves to inspire our colleagues to start documenting their valuable contributions to the high-quality education that OBS provides. These efforts are also important from the viewpoint of our highly respected AACSB accreditation, yet appropriately appreciated only if we make them more visible.”

Mari Juntunen Senior Research Fellow (Marketing), Chair of the Marketing Programme Mirjam Lehenkari Senior Lecturer (Finance)

Full text of the article A narrative literature review process for an academic business research thesis is available from the researchers: mari.juntunen@oulu.fi, mirjam.lehenkari@oulu.fi

Bachelor’s thesis process seems to be anything but linear

E D U C AT I O N IN OULU BUSINESS SCHOOL

A collaborative group of thesis supervisors at OBS enables that approximately 150 students complete their bachelor’s thesis each year. For the students, the bachelor’s thesis—a literature review on a topic they have chosen themselves—is typically their first experience of academic writing and conducting scientific research.

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Teaching Award for the National Online Study Module LITO

Akram Hatami, Anita Juho, Hanna Komulainen, Tuula Lehtimäki, Jenni Myllykoski and Vesa Puhakka from the Oulu Business School were among the people awarded. The national LITO study module is built in cooperation with all the Finnish Universities teaching economic sciences: Aalto University, Hanken School of Economics, the University of Eastern Finland, the University of Jyväskylä, LUT University, the University of Oulu, the University of Tampere, the University of Turku and the University of Vaasa. The module consists of eight online courses which are conducted together by the nine universities. LITO is targeted towards university students who are not majoring in business and economics. LITO utilizes new ways of organizing teaching in terms of scope and practice. The developers and teachers of LITO have done great work to improve the accessibility of digital teaching and

education. The Finnish Business School Graduates also acknowledged the cooperation between the universities. “Cooperation across university borders remains way too complicated. Thus, teaching in this kind of project has required not only the willingness to teach but also courage and a positive attitude towards development work. The Finnish Business School Graduates want to support and spread these traits in business studies as well as in higher education in general,” explained the chair of the Finnish Business School Graduates Timo Saranpää at the award ceremony.

LITO offers business studies to non-business students across university boundaries

Postdoctoral researcher Hanna Komulainen from Oulu Business School received the award in the award ceremony. “The award is a great recognition for the development work we have done in the field of business online education. Hopefully this award will give us more visibility among non-business students interested studying business,” she commented on her way back to Oulu.

More information about LITO is available online at lito.fi

PHOTO: MARJA ALATALO

The Finnish Business School Graduates’ Annual Teaching Award was given to the developers and teachers of the national online business minor studies module LITO. Altogether 30 people received the award in the award ceremony at Aalto University on August 19, 2019.

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E D U C AT I O N IN OULU BUSINESS SCHOOL

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Oulu Business School’s Exchange Students

Canada 2 0

United States 9 0

The University of Oulu and Oulu Business School offer many different study opportunities for foreign exchange students. Within Europe, Oulu Business School has around 50 partner universities in the Erasmus exchange program and several partners outside Europe with bilateral exchange agreements. In addition, the University of Oulu offers business students many other options for study exchanges all over the world, via university level exchange agreements. Different exchange programs and agreements allow for exchange periods of varying duration.

STUDENT EXCHANGES TREND Brazil 0 1

150

120

90

60

Outgoing students

30

0

Incoming students 2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

* Statistics do not include short exchange periods (less than 3 months)


Russian Federation 1 2

29

Japan 0 5

China 3 8

Ireland 1 0

United Kingdom 2 0

Netherlands 2 4 Belgium 8 1 Luxembourg 1 0

France 15 42

Spain 6 4

Sweden 5 1

Taiwan 0 2

Thailand 3 0

Poland 1 2

Germany 8 29

Switzerland 2 0

Hong Kong 5 4

Indonesia 4 0

Czech Republic 6 8 Austria 2 1 Italy 3 5

Slovenia 1 0

Australia 4 1

OULU BUSINESS SCHOOL’S E XC H A N G E S T U D E N T S

Norway 1 0


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FINANSSI KEY FACTS •

FOUNDED 1991: celebrated its 28th anniversary in October 2019

Over 1600 MEMBERS currently

Almost 200 new members every year

12 people on the board

9 committees

Finanssi’s PRIVATE COMPANY FIXINDEX was established in 2014

Delivers four issues and hundreds of copies of guild

INTERDISCIPLINARY PARTY: 6 times a year

MAGAZINE EGONOMI a year involving thousands of students from Oulu Organizes a huge 1ST OF MAY EVENT for over 500 university students •

Organises 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

PHOTO: RAMI HANAFI

Publishes a WEEKLY NEWSLETTER

E D U C AT I O N IN OULU BUSINESS SCHOOL


Finanssi ry – 28th Anniversary

Dear Finanssi ry members and guests, it is my pleasure to congratulate the 28 years old Finanssi ry on behalf of the Oulu Business School. Congratulations! As it is the University’s 60th anniversary, it is good to think back to where it all began. Even though it has only been 28 years since the education of economic sciences started in the University of Oulu, the roots of it are far older. The road of becoming an independent faculty has been long. 58 years ago, the teaching of economics began at the Faculty of Philosophy. Later, in the 1970s, the Department of Economics first became a part of the Faculty of Humanities and in the 1980s the Faculty of Technology. Business education began in 1991 in the Faculty of Technology. It was not until the turn of the millennium that the independent Faculty of Economics, the present Oulu Business School, was born. As you can see, at the university and in society, we are living in a state of constant change. We often have to adapt quickly to agile situations. These constant changes affect our operations and thus indirectly affect you, dear students. However, we strive to implement one of our core values, responsibility, in all our operations, also in challenging and changing circumstances. Dear members of Finanssi, we hope that the cooperation between you and our faculty will continue to be as rewarding as it has been to this day. Nothing is more valuable than hearing the voice of students when developing our activities. Now, at this moment, I want to wish everyone a good evening. Once again, congratulations Finanssi ry!

E D U C AT I O N IN OULU BUSINESS SCHOOL

In October 2019, Finanssi ry, the student organization for Oulu Business School students, was celebrating its 28th anniversary and we had the pleasure to join the celebration. Anne Keränen, postdoctoral researcher from Martti Ahtisaari Institute, gave a celebration speech at the solemn ceremony on behalf of Oulu Business School:

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Research


Research at Oulu 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 OBS. Research is

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conducted in three research units: the Department of Economics, Accounting and Finance, the Department of Marketing, Management and International Business, and the Martti Ahtisaari Institute.

The effects of chief executive officers’, board members’ and auditors’ traits and other personal characteristics on various corporate outcomes of their firms.

2.

Organizational entrepreneurship and strategic practices.

3.

Sustainable and efficient economic development and business.

4.

Service business from the perspective of customer experience, value formation and service network orchestration.

5.

Business dynamics, models and ecosystems, responsible management.

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1.

PHOTO: MARJA ALATALO

OUR MAIN RESEARCH FOCUS AREAS ARE:


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IN 2019, OBS FACULTY HAVE PUBLISHED IN A VARIETY OF SCHOLARLY JOURNALS • Finnish Journal of eHealth and eWelfare

• African journal of information systems

• Fteval journal for research and technology policy evaluation

• African journal of science, technology, innovation and development

• Health marketing quarterly

• Barents Studies • British journal of management

• Ima journal of management mathematics

• International journal of production research • International journal of technology management • Journal of accounting and organisational change • Journal of business ethics

• Journal of organizational change management • Journal of orthopaedic surgery and research • Journal of strategic marketing • Journal of technology in human services • Journalism and mass communication quarterly

• Industrial marketing management

• Journal of business models

• Management of environmental quality

• Journal of business research

• Nature genetics

• Computers in human behavior

• Information communication and society

• Journal of clinical nursing

• Contemporary accounting research

• Information research

• Production planning and control

• International business review

• Corporate reputation review

• International journal of agile systems and management

• Business ethics: a european review • Central European journal of communication

• Current issues in tourism • Discrete dynamics in nature and society • Ecosystem services • Electronic journal of information systems in developing countries • Electronics • Empirical economics • Energies • Energy economics • Energy journal • Energy policy PHOTO: RAMI HANAFI

• IEEE transactions on cognitive communications and networking

• International journal of pharmaceutics & pharmacology

• European journal of marketing

• International journal of bank marketing • International journal of climate change strategies and management • International journal of e-business research • International journal of emerging markets

• Journal of corporate finance • Journal of east-west business

• Project management journal

• Journal of economic and administrative sciences

• Rationality and society • Science and public policy

• Journal of empirical finance

• Studies in higher education

• Journal of environmental management

• Studies in nonlinear dynamics and econometrics

• Journal of epidemiology and community health

• Technological forecasting and social change

• Journal of financial and quantitative analysis

• Technology innovation management review

• Journal of health organization and management

• The Arctic Institute

• International journal of information management

• Journal of innovation management

• International journal of innovation in the digital economy

• Journal of management control • Journal of management development

• International journal of logistics management

• Journal of media management and entrepreneurship

• The international journal of management education • Wireless networks

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• Accounting, auditing and accountability journal


Moments Before the Thesis Defence Day – and Life After It

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When asked what the best thing is about being a doctoral student, both Outi and Hannu mention freedom. “As a researcher, I have the freedom to

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Without challenging yourself and others, could you even call it a journey? One of the key characteristics a doctoral student must have is tenacity. “Tenacity will bring you to the dawn of your thesis defence day, and you will gain plenty of it during your studies”, says Hannu Torvinen, a researcher in marketing who defended his thesis just recently. Tenacity is needed in accumulating the necessary competence and in learning from the mistakes everyone is bound to make. Luckily, doctoral students can rely on the help of an international academic community.

PHOTO: RAMI HANAFI

Stepping into the world of academia is often a rich and exciting experience. Doctoral students learn to not only navigate the academic world, but to also challenge themselves. “As a doctoral student, I’ve had to step out of my comfort zone in many situations and I’ve really had to challenge myself too”, says Outi Keränen who completed her D.Sc. in marketing in February 2019.


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PHOTO: MARJA ALATALO

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Tenacity brings you to the dawn of your thesis defence day

The strongest memory of their thesis defence day for both young doctors is a strong sense of community. “I loved being able to share and celebrate the results of my work with my colleagues, family and friends,” says Outi. Hannu remembers fondly a conversation he had with his

And what happens after the long-awaited event? Outi felt a little bit empty after her thesis defence day. “I didn’t know what I was supposed to do or research next”, she says. However, the routines of everyday life and work quickly fixed the problem. Today, Outi and Hannu continue their career as academic researchers, studying both familiar subjects and completely new ones. The next important day on their calendars is the University of Oulu’s 11th doctoral promotion ceremony organised in the autumn of 2020.

Outi Keränen D.Sc. (Economics & Business Administration), examined the development of public-private partnerships in centralised public procurement in her doctoral thesis. Today, she is studying sustainable innovations and how they can change industry networks, among other things. She has also continued her research in the subject of public procurement.

Hannu Torvinen D.Sc. (Economics & Business Administration), studied end-user engagement in innovative public procurement in his doctoral thesis. Currently, he is working on further research in the measurability of innovative public procurement alongside completely new subjects.

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Outi says her thesis defence day was just a distant thought right until the finish line. Hannu admits to being more or less stressed during his studies about his thesis defence day, which finally came in December 2019. “At times, I was a nervous wreck trying to convince myself there’s nothing to worry about.” Everyone gets nervous as the date approaches, even though colleagues who have been in the same situation try to downplay the need for stressing and highlight all the exciting moments that are part of the thesis defence day. “When I finally began my introductory lecture, I noticed they were absolutely right”, Hannu says with a smile.

opponent, Norwegian assistant professor Morten Abrahamsen. “Although many of the questions he asked were difficult, there was a strong sense of community and cooperation that lasted all day, even to the doctoral thesis dinner’s after party!”

PHOTO: MARJA ALATALO

follow my passion and to really dig into the things that I find interesting”, says Outi. However, freedom comes with its own challenges as well: researchers are constantly presented with new ways and methods for doing their work. Decisions relating to them are ultimately made independently.


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PHOTO: MARJA ALATALO

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Ethics in the Sharing Economy

“We became interested in the topic due to recent data breaches concerning these platforms. For instance, some time ago all the personal information of Uber’s 57 million users was exposed to a data breach by hackers. Uber silently paid the hackers but did not notify any consumers whose personal information had been leaked, and this has led to serious concerns among platform users,” Waqar explains.

Research provides evidence that platform users not only have ethical concerns in terms of how their privacy and the security of their information are handled, but they also have concerns about how committed these platforms are to business ethics in general and how reliable the individual service providers in these platforms are. “These ethical concerns influence how users aim to participate in value co-creation activities on these platforms in the future, including sharing their experiences and recommending service providers and platforms to other users. Particularly among young adults, users’ trust in the platform is important in explaining this relationship,” Mari explains.

Waqar Nadeem Assistant Professor, Marketing, Oulu Business School Mari Juntunen Senior Research Fellow, Marketing, Oulu Business School

Full texts of the research are available online: • Nadeem, W., Juntunen, M., Hajli, N., & Tajvidi, M (2019) The Role of Ethical Perceptions in Consumers’ Participation and Value Co-creation on Sharing Economy Platforms. Journal of Business Ethics. 1-21. (FT50) doi: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10551-019-04314-5 • Nadeem, W., Juntunen, M., Shirazi, F., & Hajli, N (2020) Consumers’ Value Co-creation in Sharing Economy Platforms: The Role of Social support, Consumers’ Ethical Perceptions and Relationship Quality. Technological Forecasting and Social Change. 151, 1-13 (JUFO 3) doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.techfore.2019.119786

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We all are familiar with various forms of online sharing economy platforms, such as those of AirBnB in accommodation, Uber in transportation and Foodora in food-delivery. Marketing researchers Waqar Nadeem and Mari Juntunen being the lead authors with international collaborators have examined consumers’ ethical perceptions of such platforms. Their research was published in two prestigious journals, the Journal of Business Ethics and Technological Forecasting and Social Change. The first belongs to the top FT 50 listed journals – a ranking used by the Financial Times in compiling the most prestigious Business School research rankings. And the second is a JUFO3 ranked journal.

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More for Climate Change – Together

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Taking the lead in BCDC Energy has been both challenging and pleasant at the same time. I have had the privilege to work with Rauli for a long time and I can sincerely say that nobody has taught me so much about academic work and operating in that world than he has. It is precious to know that I can continue to ask him for support—whenever I am lacking experience, I can borrow his. The world has entered a new era. The last three IPCC reports highlight how much smaller the effects of climate change will be if we manage to keep the change to one and a half degrees instead of two degrees. The common message from us researchers is that the next 10–12 years will be decisive in this battle. In order to achieve the goal of one and a half degrees, it is important to reduce emissions drastically, while at the same time taking care of carbon sequestration and carbon capture. The energy sector will play a crucial role in reducing

emissions. In 2018 Finland’s emissions were 56.5 million tons in total of which the energy sector caused around 40 million tons. To minimize emissions quickly, a clear understanding of the economy, people, climate and digitalization are needed. An emissions-free energy sector will effectively be achieved by combining the expertise of different disciplines and actors, and by moving from sub-optimization to total optimization. This is also the case with BCDC Energy. BCDC Energy is moving towards its last year as a Strategic Research Council project. This phase will be challenging but, first and foremost, interesting and inspirational. In the upcoming year, in addition to creating new things, we want to take on the challenge of pushing forward multidisciplinarity and interdisciplinarity. We are taking up this challenge by harnessing the expertise of all the disciplines and parties involved in the project together in a more and more concrete way.

Last October we organized a workshop for the BCDC Energy researchers where the focus was on concretizing research results. We agreed on the goals for the final year as well as even closer collaboration among researchers. Together we will build a demonstration focused on efficient management of data flows. The University of Oulu campus and solar panels currently being installed on campus will serve as a platform for the demonstration. The panel production and consumption data will be combined using the 5G network on the campus. Another concrete action focuses on creating an energy consumption benchmarking tool for consumers. The tool will enable consumers to monitor their own and others’ consumption behaviour. In our third joint assignment, we are focusing on consumption and small-scale production data produced by the household sector. Instead of

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Research Professor Maria Kopsakangas-Savolainen became the BCDC Energy Project Manager in late 2019 as the previous manager Professor Rauli Svento retired. The situation is special for the reason that Kopsakangas-Savolainen has been collaborating with Svento already for 27 years: first as an undergraduate student, then as a doctoral student, and after the doctoral defence as a colleague.


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The energy sector will play a crucial role in reducing emissions

I am grateful that I will get to spend the next year with these research questions and the incredible BCDC Energy team.

The article was originally published in Finnish on BCDC Energy website at http://www.bcdcenergia.fi/tarina/osa-14/

PHOTO: MIKKO TĂ–RMĂ„NEN

Maria Kopsakangas-Savolainen BCDC Energy project manager Research professor Oulu Business School and the Finnish Environment Institute SYKE

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focusing on individual targets, our goal through a time series is to demonstrate the economic and environmental benefits that coordinated management of consumption and solar power generation brings compared to partial optimization.


R E S E A R C H AT OULU BUSINESS SCHOOL

PHOTO: PIRJO JAUKKURI

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Future Leaders Will Be Trained in a New EU Project

The project will create a research and education network that will be applied to research new and complex phenomena in the fields of science, technology, health and humanities. The network between different branches of science, industries and technologies provides an international platform for the training of doctoral candidates. The Legitimation of Newness and Its Impact on EU Agenda for Change (LNETN) project is comprised of fifteen doctoral dissertation projects, four of which are implemented in Oulu. The application process for doctoral candidates opened in March 2020. The project, which has received millions in funding, includes the universities of Oulu, Aalborg, Halmstad and Glasgow. In addition to universities, the project will involve several partner organisations from around the world, from Finland these are Nokia and Bittium. The objective of the project is to examine future social and economic phenomena in a manner that supports future decision-making and policy implementation as well as economic development.

At the same time, the international career and employment opportunities of young researchers will be promoted by developing their capabilities to respond to future challenges. “We are pleased and excited about the project. A project of this size is absolutely fantastic for both the Business School and the University as a whole,” says Senior Research Fellow Petri Ahokangas from the Martti Ahtisaari Institute. Oulu Business School is involved in seven research projects. The projects carried out at the University of Oulu focus on the peer-to-peer challenges of smart energy distribution networks, future businesses applying the 5G/6G technology, the development of platform business models utilising the management of personal data, and the emergence of new markets focusing on personal data. The projects, led by the University of Oulu, will be implemented in close cooperation with Nokia and Bittium, which not only bring the practical

A project of this size is absolutely fantastic for both us and the University of Oulu perspective of companies to the projects but also serve as mentors for doctoral candidates.

More information provides: Petri Ahokangas Martti Ahtisaari Institute petri.ahokangas@oulu.fi Timo Koivumäki Martti Ahtisaari Institute timo.koivumaki@oulu.fi Minna Pikkarainen Martti Ahtisaari Institute minna.pikkarainen@oulu.fi

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 860364.

R E S E A R C H AT OULU BUSINESS SCHOOL

The international multidisciplinary joint project examining the sustainability and effectiveness of new business has received 4.3 million euros in funding from the European Union Marie Sklodowska-Curie Innovative Training Networks programme. From the University of Oulu, the Martti Ahtisaari Institute from the Oulu Business School will be taking part in the project. The funding share of the University of Oulu is 1.1 million euros.

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Impact


Impact of Oulu Business School

In addition, our researchers published or appeared actively in professional or popular publications (24), such as Tekniikka & Talous, Osto & Logistiikka and Lääkärilehti. They also participated in several academic and professional conferences (59) as invited speakers.

Oulu Business School Business and Research Seminars

TAXATION FORUM 11 February 2019 Taxation in the midst of changes? Globalisation, new business models and technological advances have brought new challenges to taxation. What are the prospects for taxation in Finland and elsewhere right now? How is taxation changing? In the seminar, organised by Martti Ahtisaari Institute of Oulu Business School, Director of Finnish Tax Administration, Professor of Accounting and Vice Judge were answering these questions. Markku Heikura, Director General, Finnish Tax Administration Petri Sahlström, Professor, Oulu Business School Pirjo Vaarala, Vice Judge

A total of 218 positions of trust

NORTHERN SERVICE DAY 26 March 2019 The digital service business is based on trust The 7th Northern Service Day brought together service business professionals and executives. The aim is to inspire the development, design and commercialization of new services and business. The event was organized by City of Oulu, Oulu University of Applied Sciences, VTT, University of Oulu, Finnish Service Alliance and Oulu Innovation Alliance. Speakers Jarno Limnéll, CEO, Tosibox Perttu Luomala, Strategic Service Designer, OP Veli-Matti Keloneva, Finance Manager, City of Oulu Jari Stenvall, Professor, Tampere Unversity Panelists Jenny Kurkela, Entrepreneur, Restaurant Ostroferia Heini Tuorila, Marketing Manager, TactoTek Janne Hietanen, Sales Manager, BO Lkv Tomi Takarautio, Finance Manager, Autolle.com

I M PAC T OF OULU BUSINESS SCHOOL

In 2019, Oulu Business School faculty members took part in various societal activities. They held a total of 218 positions of trust in the university community. These positions include i.e. referee and associate editor tasks of peer-reviewed journals (75), positions of trust in high level academic bodies (31) as well as in professional bodies and companies (38), and chairing and membership of the board of a large company or an association (8).

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DATA ECONOMY: OPPORTUNITY, UTOPIA OR DYSTOPIA?

16 September, 2019

26 September 2019

What is taking place in the area of connected health innovation in Finland and Singapore? Learn about concrete examples on how to use business models to co-create value in health ecosystems and system thinking to evaluate impacts of the connected health solutions. The seminar was organized by University of Oulu and VTT.

Seminar organized by Foundation for Economic Education, Oulu Business School and Martti Ahtisaari Institute celebrateds the 100th anniversary of the Foundation of Economic Education. In the seminar, threats and opportunities of data economy were discussed from several different perspectives. Jouko Niinimäki, Rector, University of Oulu Johanna Vesterinen, CEO, the Foundation for Economic Education Marko Ahtisaari, Director Janne Järvinen, Vice President, VTT Satu Nätti, Professor, Oulu Business School Jyrki Wallenius, Professor Emeritus, Aalto University

THE UNIVERSITY BUSINESS FORUM: RESPONSIBILITY AND SUSTAINABILITY TRACK

PHOTO: MIKKO TÖRMÄNEN

16 October, 2019

Marko Ahtisaari, Director

This year, the University Business Forum, organized by the University of Oulu Innovation Centre, introduced three tracks in the event. Martti Ahtisaari Institute of Oulu Business School hosted the responsibility and sustainability track where business professionals and researchers discussed on the theme.

Pauliina Ulkuniemi, Professor, Oulu Business School Petri Sahlström, Professor, Oulu Business School Elina Lehtomäki, Professor, Faculty of Education Pertti Huuskonen, President & CEO, Lunacon Oy Katri Luoma-aho, Department Manager, Environmental Services, Pöyry

BENEFIT FROM DIGITALIZATION 31 October 2019 Experiences on the path of digitalization Seminar on business development opportunities provided by digitalization. Organized by the DIGILEEAP project of the University of Oulu and VTT Technical Research Center of Finland. Timo Koivumäki, Oulu Business School, Martti Ahtisaari Institute Jukka Kääräinen, VTT Marko Heikkinen, Pipelife Finland Oy Riikka Pesämaa, Pikku-Riikka Satu Lapinlampi, Hiottu Oy Heikki Anttila, Botlabs Oy Marko Juntunen, Oulu Business School, Martti Ahtisaari Institute Leila Saari, VTT

I M PAC T OF OULU BUSINESS SCHOOL

CONNECTED HEALTH AND INNOVATION SEMINAR


Advancing Equality in Business

In the project, three entrepreneurship and business management training programmes are created and piloted during a three-year period. The project will increase business leadership competences and promote career advancement for women from one position to another, or help women advance from employment into entrepreneurship. In addition, female entrepreneurs will be supported and encouraged for business development, business growth and internationalization. Female entrepreneurs will also be also encouraged in fields of industries traditionally less occupied by female entrepreneurs. The fPlaza project consists of three training programmes—fLeader, fDesign and fGrowth. The methods used in the programmes include: training periods, different learning materials for enhancing management and entrepreneurship skills, expert

and training exchange programmes, joint seminars and international study trips. Joint workshops and developing and sharing knowledge in the programme will help to create conditions for new products and services, help find new markets, and to form new networks. The first programme, fLeader, started in September 2019 and ends in May 2020. So far, the programme’s success has been overwhelming—there was so much interest in the programme that it was necessary to form two groups instead of one. fLeader aims at strengthening the participants’ leadership potential, interaction skills and networks in order to advance women’s leadership abilities, responsible business and growth. The fLeader programme will be conducted for the second time in fall 2020. The other two programmes, fDesign and fGrowth, are running in 2020 and 2021. The fDesign programme started in January 2020 and ends in May. The third programme, fGrowth, will begin in 2021. The main international partners of the project are a Bulgarian innovation and design company Fabrica 360 and a Spanish business school Fundacion EOI Escuela de Organización Industrial.

fPlaza aims to reduce gender segregation at work internationally Through international cooperation, good education innovations and best practices will be recognized and disseminated to other countries. Furthermore, international cooperation creates conditions for new innovations and strengthens aspects such as service design skills among the participants.

More information: Terttu Savela Project Manager Oulu University of Applied Sciences Anne Keränen Project coordinator Oulu Business School, Martti Ahtisaari Institute

I M PAC T OF OULU BUSINESS SCHOOL

In 2019 a new responsibility-related international joint project between Oulu University of Applied Sciences and Oulu Business School was launched. The fPlaza project aims to reduce gender segregation at work both vertically and horizontally in Finland and in the participating partner countries. The fPlaza project received a significant 800,000€ grant from the European Social Fund.

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Marko Ahtisaari: “Our democracy is built on rented land”

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Marko Ahtisaari spoke at the Data economy seminar organised at the University of Oulu on 26 September 2019. The purpose of the seminar was to encourage discussion on the data economy: is it a threat or an opportunity?

“The systems we have created have had some unintended consequences. One of these is the fact that most of our communication now happens on platforms that are advertising-financed.” This is a significant issue according to Ahtisaari.

PHOTO: MIKKO TÖRMÄNEN

“Who decides, what messages are relayed? These platforms make up a significant portion of the advertising operations in Finland, and they are even used for politics. It could be said that our democracy is built on rented land.” More and more data and material are freely available to us. Our repertoire, however, is not expanding.

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Ahtisaari sees the data economy as a great opportunity. He notes, however, that there are some things that should be kept in mind.


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AI is a good servant but a poor master

These platforms can influence our behaviour without us even noticing. Known as a musician and the Artistic Director of the Helsinki Festival, Ahtisaari is wel l aware that machines are already producing art, too. He encourages people to keep an open mind on artificial intelligence. According to Ahtisaari, we should not hold the belief that professions exist that require so much unique human input that they could not be taken over by machines.

business. She spoke at the event from the point of view of marketing research.

This is particularly concerning if we receive news the same way, for example.”

“Digitalisation is not valuable in and of itself, it is only a means to create value. Whether a business can create value to its customers and to truly become involved in their customers lives, that’s the key.”

Wallenius also thinks that the recommendations systems should be made in a way that allows users to find completely new content as well, for example new movies, and that we should embed ethical choices in the algorithms, such as favouring sustainable investment.

The data economy has its purpose: according to Nätti, customers today are a diverse group of people, and that diversity will only increase in the future. VTT’s Vice President of Data-driven solutions Janne Järvinen agrees with Nätti.

“Artificial intelligence is like fire: a good servant but a poor master.”

When the data economy is discussed, the discussion is usually centred around its benefits. Who should benefit from data and the ways it can be used?

This of course brings plenty of challenges for data protection, something that all speakers brought up. Emeritus professor Jyrki Wallenius also expressed concern over the future the machine-decided recommendations on these platforms could lead us into.

The Datatalous seminar was organised jointly by the University of Oulu, the Foundation for Economic Education and the Martti Ahtisaari Institute. The Foundation for Economic Education also celebrated their 100th anniversary at the seminar. After an opening speech from the rector of the University of Oulu, Johanna Vesterinen, the CEO of the Foundation for Economic Education, spoke about the foundation’s 100 years of work to promote a successful future. The foundation supports economic research and education.

“Us humans, right?” asked Satu Nätti, professor in the unit of marketing, management and international

“Our view of the world becomes narrower, if we are only given the kind of information we want to see.

Text: Kati Valjus

Digitalisation is not valuable in and of itself

“Maybe in the future we have data operators coordinating the work and helping to refine data between the user and different platforms.”

I M PAC T OF OULU BUSINESS SCHOOL

“People have a very specific way of expressing themselves in social media. The platforms, designed as addictive and encouraging attention-seeking, have decreased our power of expression”, says Ahtisaari.


Introducing the New Professor of Practice Pentti Pikkarainen

I started my career at the Bank of Finland as a research assistant in the summer

After the Bank of Finland, I worked at the Ministry of Finance as Director General of Financial Markets. In this position I was responsible for the regulation and development of financial markets. I was especially interested in developing corporate financing. I am very familiar with the EU-level decision-making processes going on in Frankfurt and Brussels – after all, I took part in them for around 25 years.

I M PAC T OF OULU BUSINESS SCHOOL

In addition to teaching, I also act as supervisor mainly for master’s theses, but I have also provided comments for doctoral theses and other research. This year, the master’s theses have examined subjects relating to the fields of stock, insurance and gold markets, crowdfunding and the operations of the eurozone. I hold monthly discussions on the progress of their theses and studies with all the student’s whose theses I supervise. I believe that regular face-to-face meetings with students is the best way to support them as they carry out their research.

of 1982, when I was still a student of economics and statistics at the Faculty of Social Sciences of the University of Helsinki. Later, I worked as an economist at the Bank of Finland, as well as head of department in four different departments. I worked in the field of macroeconomics (monetary policies, national economy) and in the operative side of the Bank of Finland (investment operations, operations of monetary policies, payment systems, risk management).

PHOTO: PIRJO JAUKKURI

I started as the Professor of Practice at the Oulu Business School in August 2019. So far, I have been teaching parts of courses in finance, international economics and Finnish economics, which are all subjects I have previously worked with as well.

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I have been lucky in the sense that I have been given the opportunity to work in other universities as well from time to time. I graduated as Ph.D. in economics from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). The subject of my thesis was related to exchange rate systems. At UCLA, I worked as an assistant teacher and taught microeconomics. After my doctoral studies, I worked as a visiting assistant professor at the Department of Economics of the University of Helsinki. At the same time, I was a coordinator in international economics in the Finnish Doctoral Programme in Economics. At the University of Helsinki, I had the joy of working with some very talented students: one became the Prime Minister of Finland and several others became successful researchers, public servants and businesspersons.

At this point in my career, I am honoured and happy to work in the University of Oulu. I strongly believe that my experience in consulting for the financial markets and participation in societal debate support my work at Oulu Business School

Pentti Pikkarainen Professor of Practice Oulu Business School

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The Oulu Business School hosted the 41st annual meeting of the Finnish Economic Association on February 7-8, 2019. The event traditionally gathers all the Finnish economic research organizations under one roof. The conference organized by the Finnish Economic Association and hosted by Oulu Business School had altogether 106 participants from several research organizations. Over the two days, many interesting presentations were seen in the stunning setting of Lapland Hotels Oulu. This time, the stage was given especially to young economists, such as Oulu Business School’s doctoral students in the BCDC Energy project. Their presentations dealt with aspects such as the optimal management of district heat production, the effect of household characteristics on the choice of using electricity company online services, the determinants of the decision to deploy solar power systems, and testing the effects of the transmission charge on the annual electricity consumption in the Finnish economy. Professor Jordi Galí, a Spanish macro-economist from Universitat Pompeu Fabra, concluded the first day of the conference with a plenum presentation. In his speech, he addressed the latest challenges of monetary policy.

I M PAC T OF OULU BUSINESS SCHOOL

I am honoured and happy to work at OBS

The 41st Annual Meeting of the Finnish Economic Association


University of Oulu, Oulu Business School P.O. Box 4600, 90014 Oulu, Finland Tel. +358 294 48 0000 oulubusinessschool@oulu.fi oulu.fi/oulubusinessschool

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Oulu Business School Annual Report 2019  

Annual Report 2019 shows Oulu Business School's key numbers and shares the highlights in education, research and societal impact of the year...

Oulu Business School Annual Report 2019  

Annual Report 2019 shows Oulu Business School's key numbers and shares the highlights in education, research and societal impact of the year...

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