Research News December 2015

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News VA A S A N




Editor: Riikka Kalmi, Science Editor tel. +358 29 449 8231, email Layout: Satu Aaltonen Research News in the Internet: Next newsletter will be published in March.

Contents: Researcher in the Spotlight Research Funding Research Group in Focus New Funding, Grants and Research Projects Our Researchers Travel the World Meet a Colleague Dissertations Recent Publications and Scientific Articles Well Done



Professor Siv BjĂśrklund and team got a large funding for research project on Swedish Immersion.

Assistant professor Olivier Wurtz studies international mobility in its various forms.

4 6 9 10 12 13 14 16 18

6. Marita Niemelä encourages the researchers to apply for EU funding.



“You have to be

passionate about your research” Assistant professor Olivier Wurtz studies international mobility in its various forms. Quiet afternoon – slushy snow is falling from the sky in Palosaari campus. Assistant professor Olivier Wurtz doesn’t seem to mind the weather. He has been experiencing Vaasa winters since 2012. – I first came here for a research visit for one week and then for another week. I really felt well here and enjoyed being with the people from the department, Wurtz tells. Wurtz says he likes the Nordic culture: respect, humility, reliability, work life balance and the equality between men and women. However, the culture was not the main reason for attracting Wurtz to Vaasa, Finland. – Vaasa University has one of the strongest research groups in International mobility in the world, he says.

Expatriation and repatriation International mobility – the field of Wurtz’ research includes both the research on expatriation and for example on international business travelers. – Right now I’m studying international experience. We try to understand how people react and adjust abroad when there is family involved. It is a big research with 2000 answers from expatriates. He is not only looking how the expatriates adjust, but also how the spouses and families adjust to a new situation.



In his next research project he will examine repatriation. There can be a culture shock when a person who has worked abroad comes back home. It can be that the company has experienced many turnovers and organization has evolved. A professional returning back home may find that he has fewer responsibilities than had had abroad. This might cause dissatisfaction and in the worst case – willingness to quit the job. Wurtz was born in Strasbourg, France, but you could call him a true Parisian – he was two years old when he and his parents moved to Paris. He studied business and did his PhD in HEC Paris, which is considered as one the most prominent business schools in Europe. Before his academic career, he also worked some years in business life. He was a marketing manager for Procter & Gamble and later in Germany for L’Oréal. So he has also personal experience of his research subject – international mobility. – I really love to go abroad. You have to be passionate about your research, he says. Also his teaching relates to his research. He teaches cross-cultural management and sustainability and international business ethics.

| Researcher in the Spotlight


Photo: Riikka Kalmi


Research Funding }



Photo: Katja Lรถsรถnen

Research funding in turmoil

– what happens to the research? Research funding is facing heavy pressure in Finland. The government is cutting public research funding of the universities and the research institutes. In many universities the researchers are now looking for the European funding. This is also the case at the University of Vaasa. – Even if the situation in the research funding is now difficult, there is no reason to become desperate. I hope that we would see our own strengths. They could help us in this change, says Marita Niemelä, the Head of Research and Innovation Services the University of Vaasa. According to Niemelä the exceptionally strong societal impact is a very important strength of the University of Vaasa’s research. The other strength is the tight collaboration with companies and public sector organizations. – We have to develop these even more, says Niemelä. The traditional and familiar sources for public research funding are diminishing or disappearing. According to the government program Tekes is losing 138 million euros next year, which is almost 30 percent of its yearly funding. The impact of the Tekes cuts is biggest on the universities and research institutes. The cuts take away 100 million euros from them. The public funding for Strategic Centres for Science, Technology and Innovation (SHOK) will be wound down in stages and also INKA programmes will be ended. The university index

will be frozen and the basic funding of the universities will be contracted. Also the funding of the Finnish Academy will be cut. Professor of Energy Technology Seppo Niemi from the University of Vaasa says it is a shame that the SHOK and INKA programs will be ended. – They were very important for us and the consortia were good.

The future sources of funding – Strategic Research Council (SRC) has over 50 million euros annual budget. They are searching for research, which has societal relevance. This is a good opportunity for our researchers, says Niemelä. SRC is a part of Finnish Academy. The funding is available to research which provides solutions to renewal of Finnish society and ideas for both business and industry and working life. For the next year SRC grants 52 million euros funding for three year projects. SRC has four new programs. The government has for example stated that in every program immigration has to


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Research Funding }

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one optional focus. The funding cannot be applied for alone, but by consortia. – We have good research networks, but they should be further developed, so that we could join large national consortia. We still need to improve our collaboration with partners who utilize our research, says Niemelä.

Multiplying the received EU funding The European Union’s research funding is a very important source of money. Also the Finnish government is encouraging researchers to apply for it. – For example EU’s Horizon 2020 program is immense, almost 80 billion euros until year 2020. In 2007–2013 there were seven research projects funded by EU at the University of Vaasa. The amount should be clearly increased in the future, says Niemelä. Niemelä proposes that the University of Vaasa should aim to multiply the received EU funding. She hopes that the SRC and the EU funding will diminish the gap which is caused by the reduction of Tekes funding.

Networking and positioning The new sources of funding are a challenge to the researchers. The EU Funding is very competitive. – One cannot just walk in to the consortia, but one has to recognize the researchers and the organizations which are researching the same phenomena. In order to do that you have to travel a lot, and not just to attend conferences of your own field. The strength of the University of Vaasa is its collaboration with companies and especially small and medium sized companies (SMEs). – By highlighting this collaboration we can get into the interesting consortia. To be successful in applying for the research funding, the researchers have to position their own research to the world of phenomena which 8


means positioning their research to societal challenges. This is demanded for in both the EU and STN applications. – In that positioning we are not as good as we could be.

Be prepared to work hard According to professor Niemi, applying for the EU research funding takes a lot of time and resources. Especially gathering a consortium by oneself is time consuming. Professor Niemi leads the first project of the University of Vaasa, HERCULES 2, which got a large funding from the EU’s Horizon 2020 program. In this case the application process for the EU funding was faster than normally, because the consortium already existed.

Help with the change The University of Vaasa wants to help its researchers to cope with the change in the research funding. – The University of Vaasa and other organizations in Vaasa region have hired a common EU Affairs Manager Bruno Woeran to promote participation in the EU programs in the field of energy, says Niemelä. The University has also launched an internal coaching program to train and support researchers in acquiring EU funding. The EU training program began in September and it will end with the application rounds for Horizon 2020 in the summer of 2016.

| Research Group in Focus

Finance and Financial Accounting The Finance and Financial Accounting research group focuses on finance and external accounting. – The broadly defined main research areas of the group are financial markets and investments, corporate finance and governance, financial accounting, banking and financial derivatives, explains professor Jussi Nikkinen, who is the head of the group. The group consists of 20 members, including five professors, six assistant professors and ten doctoral students. Of the five professors, four are from the Department of Accounting and Finance and one is from the Department of Mathematics and Statistics. According to Nikkinen, the group has a highly international orientation with the current members representing ten different nationalities.

Strong societal impact Nikkinen says the group has a strong tradition in conduction high-quality scientific research with practical relevance for the broader society. – By its very nature, research in the fields of finance and financial accounting has strong societal impact, for instance in the fields of legislation, public policy, financial services and banking. Nikkinen mentions that the group’s members have collaborated with the European Central Bank, the US Department of the Treasury, the Bank of Finland, Nordea, Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken, OP Financial Group, Icecapital Securities, Eurex, the NASDAQ OMX Stock Exchange, and the Egypt Exchange in various research projects. – Some years ago, the group had a large-scale research project on financial electricity derivatives markets jointly with four electricity companies, he continues.

Emerging markets and banking future strenghts During the past ten years, the group members have published a large number of scientific articles in esteemed refereed journals. Nikkinen tells that several individual researchers have received best paper awards or corresponding recognitions in recent years. The recent an past externally funded research projects include four projects funded by the Academy of Finland and one large-scale project funded by the Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation (Tekes). One assistant professorship is currently funded by the OP Pohjola Bank Research Foundation. Nikkinen says emerging market research and banking research are considered, among the other things, potential future strengths and development areas of the group.

Teaching Finance Professor Jussi Nikkinen reminds that the group members also form the teaching faculty of the Master’s Degree Programme in Finance at the University of Vaasa, which was initiated in the early 1990s and was the very first international Master’s Degree Programme at the University of Vaasa. – The programme received the EFMD’s EPAS accreditation in 2013 and it is now the only EPAS accredited finance programme in Finland, he says. DECEMBER 2015


New Funding and Research Projects >10 000 e }

Immersion research got a substantial funding The Society of Swedish Literature in Finland (SLS) has given 368 000 euros funding for the research project about Swedish immersion. The project is called “Samverkan mellan språklig praxis, flerspråkig identitet och språkideologi” and it is led by professor Siv Björklund from the department of Scandinavian Languages. Other members of the project are research manager Karita Mård-Miettinen and doctoral students Pia Hirvonen, Annika Peltoniemi and Sanna Pakarinen. – We are researching the interplay between language practices, multilingual identity and language ideologies in language immersion, says Siv Björklund.

– In this research, however, identity is considered to be a socio-cultural and dynamic construct, which is formed in individuals and groups during different processes of negotiations both within and among multiple language communities. A starting point of the research project is thus that the immersion programme influences how originally language majority pupils position themselves as individuals and part of groups in different contexts.

Finland, Ireland and Canada

The research questions focus on immersion pupils’, teachers’ and parents’ perceptions of biand multilingualism and of linguistic identities, and how these perceptions are influenced by the language practices within immersion. Furthermore, language immersion is studied in the light of current language policies.

The research will be conducted by using ethnographic methods, such as classroom observations, interviews with pupils, families and teachers, questionnaires and photographing.

Identity related with immersion is an understudied theme

– We have also invited professor emerita Marilyn Martin-Jones from United Kingdom, an expert on ethnographically oriented methods, to serve as a mentor for our project, says Björklund.

According to Björklund the project is part of a new research orientation where features, such as multilingualism and identity, have emerged as globally interesting phenomena.


Björkund says that identity has long been viewed as a static and linear category of possession in individuals.


The researchers will be collaborating with several immersion schools in Finland and also some immersion schools in Ireland and Canada.

The four-year project begins in January and will carry on until the end of 2019.

| New Funding and Research Projects >10 000 e

}} European Regional Development Fund and Regional Council of Central Ostrobothnia have given 300 000 euros to the project called KeStO (Enhancing the strategic management competence in Central Ostrobothnia). Research director Mikko Luoma from the University of Vaasa executes the project together with Kokkola University Consortium of Chydenius during the years 2015–2018. }} Professor Harri Luomala got 285 000 euros for the project Co-creative snacks – pelillisyys välineenä välipalatuotteiden kehitykseen (Co-creative snacks - gamification as a product and service development tool) from Tekes INKA program. }} Reino Virrankoski and the Embedded systems research group has got new funding for the project Nordic Telemedicine Center from EU’s Botnia Atlantica Interreg program and from Regional Council of Ostrobothnia. The budget of the project is 1,5 million euros, of which 22 percent University of Vaasa. }} Professor Ari Salminen got 45 395 euros for the research project Piilokorruption anatomia Suomessa from Kone Foundation. }} M.A. Roman Kushnir got a grant of 28 320 euros from Kone Foundation for his dissertation research Construction of Transcultural Identities in a Selection of Finnish-American Migrant Fiction. }} TkT Liandong Zhu received 32 400 euros from Kone Foundation for his research Continuous Production of Biodiesel and Biogas from Microalgae Cultivated with Livestock Waste Compost. }} University Lecturer Margit Breckle received 10 000 euros from Aktia Foundation for project Yritysviestintä Vaasan seudun / Pohjanmaan ja saksankielisten maiden välillä. }} Professor Nina Pilke got 10 000 euros from Aktia Foundation for project Språkutvecklande ämnesundervisning. }} Professor Harry Lönnroth got 15 000 for project Språkvariation i text from Aktia Foundation. }} The Foundation for Economic Education has awarded grants to at least 20 researchers from the University of Vaasa. The sum in total was 129 500 euros. Grants were awarded for example to following researchers and studies: }} KTM Jenna Andersson: Organisaatioiden tietoturva ja modernisoitunut työ digitalisoituvassa yhteiskunnassa, 12 000 euros. }} TkT Leena Bäck: Innovaatiosillan rakentaminen, hyödyntäminen ja ylläpito, 10 000 euros. }} KTT Hanna Leipämaa-Leskinen (University of Vaasa) ja Elina Närvänen (Tampere University): Kuluttajat ja tuottajat uusien palveluinnovaatioiden kehittäjinä lähiruoan konteksteissa, 12 000 euros. }} Master of Business Administration Sharareh Mansouri Jajaee: A Cross-cultural Study of Relationship between Cultural Values and Advertising Appeals-Application of GLOBE Framework, 20 000 euros. }} D. Sc. Econ and Business Administration Joseph Awali Sebuwufu: A framework for a successful implementation of dynamic capabilities in SMEs: A focus on Finnish SMEs, 10 000 euros. }} KTT Linda Turunen: Tulkintoja luksuksesta - Brändin ylellisyys kuluttajan kokemana, 12 000 euros. Professor Siv Björklund and doctoral students Pia Hirvonen, Sanna Pakarinen and Annika Peltoniemi.




Our Researchers Travel the World }

Honorary Doctorate for Josu Takala A university in Malaysia - Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia (UTHM) has awarded professor of industrial management Josu Takala an Honorary Doctorate degree. Professor Takala got the degree in UTHM’s 15th graduation ceremony. He got the Honorary Doctorate degree (Doctor of Philosophy in Technology Management) for his contributions in education, research and development. He has for example helped to develop the collaboration between the university and the industries. UTHM is a rapidly growing state polytechnic in Malaysia. It has about 40 000 students at the moment and already more than 50 000 alumni. – It has all engineering areas and also a Faculty of Technology Management where my collaboration mainly locates, and a Faculty of Higher Education as well, says Takala. According to Takala, the university is quite international already but developing international operations in all academic areas. Takala started becoming a visiting professor to many universities around Asia over ten years ago. His first visits to UTHM date back to autumn 2010. – The Faculty of Technology Management and Business invited me to evaluate the curricula and faculty strategy and operations. Since then, the relationship has blossomed with continuous active collaboration, he says. Takala sees Malaysia as a lucrative market for Finnish companies and organizations. There could be interesting possibilities for example in the energy sector and in the export of education.



Photo: Tiina Ramsila

| Meet a Colleague

Research in language learning and internationalization Nicole Keng is a new lecturer in English at the Language Centre. She joined the University of Vaasa in August after having worked two years in Coventry University, UK and four years at Xi'an Jiaotong Liverpool University (XJTLU) in China. She is a teacher, but also a researcher. Nicole Keng did her PhD in English language learning at University of York, UK. At the time she was 23 and the youngest PhD Candidate of the university. She also did her MA degree in England, but grew up in Taiwan. – My recent research is about vocabulary learning. I did a study with Finnish students of how they learn vocabulary. I found that Finnish students are shy and learn by reading a lot. They don’t really know how to apply the language. This is the reason why they are not so confident in the real situations where they have to use the language, she explains. She recently gave a presentation about vocabulary acquisition in Higher Education Settings by Chinese, French and Finnish Learners. In this comparative study she evaluated the knowledge of English vocabulary of Greek or Latin origin. According to the results, Finnish students knew better the English words which were not Greek or Latin origin, but still outperformed both French and Chinese speakers on words with Greek or Latin origin. – I have so much teaching that it is difficult to find time for research, but I don’t want to give up. Right now I’m developing a new research project on digital learning through internationalization. How we could do digital learning by creating links with other universities and by developing virtual platforms. Keng seems very happy in her new home town Vaasa. In her free time she likes to explore the little coffee shops – Othello in Palosaari and café Ylikiva at the city centre. She goes to the yoga class and loves knitting with her colleagues. – I was lucky to get an apartment near work. This is the first time in my life I just enjoy being at home, she says.



Dissertations }

Digitizing and standardizing the electrical systems for smart grid Mike Mekkanen's dissertation analyzes and evaluates the performance of the IEC 61850 standard within modern electrical systems. IEC 61850 is a relatively new international standard of communications for substations and smart grid. Utilities have been facing a strong trend during the last years towards new technologies and standard to meet new requirements of higher energy demands at expected shortage of the nonrenewable sources of energy. – Emerging concept of smart grids sets completely new requirements for the energy systems. Distributed production requires distributed automation, which in turn requires advanced communication solutions, says Mekkanen. The new IEC 61850 standard within energy system is promising and provides a great impact of substation installation, operation and maintenance. It also increases reliability, availability and flexibility of the electric energy grid that links power generation with power consumption in a dynamic manner. – In the study I firstly considered the IEC 61850 standard from different aspects, says Mekkanen. He then conducted an explorative study and analysis of the new standard and the legacy power system. Mekkanen did several practical testing experiments for substation automation system (SAS) based on the IEC 61850 standard. Several SAS communication bus topologies upon breaker failure protection function were tested. They showed that ring topology provides the higher reliability and less probability of failure result values than other topologies. Configurations and interoperability testing was done between multi-vendor devises. According to the results, there is a need for vender-natural system configuration tool which would be independent of any commercial manufacturers. On the basis of Mekkanen’s research, a novel reliability and probability of failure estimation method RaFSA which may facilitate the energy systems design was invented. – This RaFSA estimation method is suitable for estimating the reliability and probability of failure for various individual device, functions, subsystems and systems, Mekkanen explains.

20.10. Mekkanen, Mike (Communications and Systems Engineering) On Reliability and Performance Analysis of IEC61850 for Digital SAS Acta Wasensia 336, Computer Science 15



| Dissertations

29.10.2015 Ylimäki, Juho (Management) Managing and Designing Dyadic R&D Collaboration Acta Wasaensia 337, Business Administration 137

6.11.2015 Luokkanen-Rabetino, Karita (Marketing) Eksploitaatio ja eksploraatio tuotemarkkinastrategian sopeuttamisen välineinä. Analyysi neljän eteläpohjalaisen huonekaluvalmistajan selviytymisestä muuttuvassa liiketoimintaympäristössä pitkällä aikavälillä (Exploitation and exploration as tools to adapt product-market strategy. An analysis of four Finnish furniture manufacturers’ survival in a changing business environment in the long term.) Acta Wasaensia 338, Business Administration 138

4.12.2015 Kultalahti, Susanna (Management) It’s so nice to be at work! Adopting different perspectives in understanding Generation Y at work Acta Wasaensia 339, Business Administration 139

PDFs and orders



Recent Publications and Scientific Articles } Several high-quality articles have been published by the researchers of the university. Publications at level 2 and 3 in the Finnish Publication Forum classification (Jufo) are presented.

Level 3 journals/publishers

Buyer-supplier relationships are multidimensional Article: Jukka Vesalainen and Marko Kohtamäki: Toward a typological view of buyersupplier relationships: Challenging the unidimensional relationship continuum, Industrial Marketing Management

The new article of professors Jukka Vesalainen and Marko Kohtamäki deals with interorganizational relationships. The prior literature treats business relationship either as a dichotomy or as a continuum between so called arm’s length relationships and close relationships (partnerships). Vesalainen and Kohtamäki decided to use another approach. – We used multidimensional approach to show that the manifestation of inter-organizational relationships is richer in terms of various types than was presented in previous research, explains Vesalainen. Vesalainen and Kohtamäki derived three distinct dimensions – structural, strategic and social – for the analysis of inter-organizational relationships from the multiple governance theory. They first showed that the prior models of interorganizational relationship types are possible to group according to those three dimensions even though the terminology concerning the dimensions of categorization vary a lot. – We developed a hypothetical three-dimensional theory to typify business relationships and tested the theory by a data consisting of 246 business relationship from the Finnish technology industry, says Vesalainen. Vesalainen and Kohtamäki showed that the hypothetical model can be found from the empirical reality.



Partnerships perform better – We were able to show that the partnerships and other integrated relationships outperform the arm’s length relationships in terms of quality, delivery accuracy, productivity and effective use of capital, Vesalainen reveals. The study contributes to the typological theory of inter-organizational relationships first by uniting various separate views, second by revealing a new rich categorization of business relationships and third by showing the varying performance of different types.

Publication process took two years Vesalainen tells that from the very beginning of the publication process the chief editor of Industrial Marketing Management liked the paper. – It was evaluated by three reviewers from which one was very positive already in the first evaluation round. Two others were more critical especially what comes to the length and clarity of the paper’s storyline. They also expected us to clarify the contribution of the research, he says. The publication process of the article in Industrial Marketing Management took about two years from the first submission to the date of publication.

| Recent Publications and Scientific Articles

Level 2 journals /publishers }} Jorma Larimo, Ahmad Arslan and Shlomo Y. Tarba an article FDI entry strategies and the impacts of economic freedom distance: Evidence from Nordic FDIs in transitional periphery of CIS and SEE in International Business Review. }} Erkki K. Laitinen and Teija Laitinen an article A probablity tree model of audit quality in European Journal of Operational Research. }} Vinit Parida and Daniel Ă–rtqvist an article Interactive Effects of Network Capability, ICT Capability, and Financial Slack on Technology-Based Small Firm Innovation Performance in Journal of Small Business Management. }} Vinit Parida, Wibke Reim and Daniel Ă–rtqvist an article Product-Service Systems (PSS) Business Models and Tactics: A Systematic Literature Review in Journal of Cleaner Production. }} Gun-Viol Vik and Sinikka Hiltunen: Interpreters - experts in careful listening and efficient encoding? Findings of a prose recall test in International Journal of Bilingualism. }} Jorma Larimo and Ahmad Arslan: Greenfield joint ventures versus partial acquisitions: determinants of collaborative entry strategies of Finnish multinational enterprises in Handbook on International Alliance and Network Research by Edward Elgar. }} Jorma Larimo, Niina Nummela and Tuija Mainela a book chapter Introduction: Filling gaps in research on interfirm collaboration - focus on alliances and networks in Handbook on International Alliance and Network Research by Edward Elgar.



Well Done }

}} The University of Vaasa establishes a new professorship (6 years) in smart grids. The field of the professorship is electrical power engineering, especially smart and flexible energy systems. The new professorship is supported by ABB, Vaasan Sähkö Oy, Vaasan Sähköverkko Oy, Wapice Oy and Wärtsilä Finland Oy. The goal is that the new professor will be appointed and start in the position next year. }} The University of Vaasa has awarded the title of docent within the field of marketing (especially in the area of innovative marketing in business to business markets) to KTT Hannu Makkonen. }} The article of Vesa Routamaa, Tiina Brandt and Piia Edinger Entrepreneurs and Ordinary People – Do they Differ? was selected as the Best Paper of the The Third International Conference on Entrepreneurship and Business Management in Bangkok, November 2015.

Tritonia short courses for researchers }} Word, as a researcher’s tool 5th February, 2016 at 09:00–12:00, place: K325 Tritonia Teacher: Sören Granlund Register latest by February 2, 2016. }} Excel as researcher’s tool 19th February, 2016, 09:00–12:00, place: K325 Tritonia Teacher: Sören Granlund Register latest by February 16, 2016. }} Excel workshop, continuation of the morning class for those who want to work with own research material 19th February, 2016, 13:00–15:00, place: K325 Tritonia Teacher: Sören Granlund Register latest by February 16, 2016. }} Register to courses: The courses are free of charge for the personnel at the universities in Vaasa.

Researcher’s Skills A part of the doctoral studies Researcher’s Skills is also open for all researchers in the university. Topics in 28th January and 29th January 2016 are Managing Doctoral Research, Research Funding, Communicating Science and Open Science. Please read more:



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