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Ekonomi och samhälle
Economics and Society
Skrifter utgivna vid Svenska handelshögskolan
Publications of the Hanken School of Economics

Nr 243

Seppo Laukkanen

Making Sense of Ambidexterity
A Process View of the Renewing Effects of Innovation Activities in a Multinational Enterprise

Helsinki 2012
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Making Sense of Ambidexterity: A Process View of the Renewing Effects of Innovation Activities in a Multinational Enterprise

Key words: innovation, ambidexterity, entrepreneurship, strategic renewal, multinational enterprise

© Hanken School of Economics & Seppo Laukkanen, 2012

Seppo Laukkanen
Hanken School of Economics
Department of Management and Organization
P.O.Box 479, 00101 Helsinki, Finland

Hanken School of Economics

ISBN 978-952-232-165-7 (printed)
ISBN 978-952-232-166-4 (PDF)
ISSN-L 0424-7256
ISSN 0424-7256 (printed)
ISSN 2242-699X (PDF)
Edita Prima Ltd, Helsinki 2012

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PREFACE
It takes extraordinary effort and commitment to make a scientific contribution. This project took three years of persistent hard work, interspersed with short periods of total devotion, spent cloistered, focusing on this research project. These periods of total devotion enabled me as a researcher to dive deep into the minds of the innovators and fly high with the theories. Such immersion fostered lateral thinking and productive writing, both necessary to finalize this work. The unconditional support of my entire family was integral in this undertaking.

Hanken has been a great academic home for the doctoral work. The great personalities, the state of the art competences and the rich international networks facilitated an elaborative way of working. The elaborative approach to research has been key to my discoveries. In particular, the vast academic experience and accommodating personality of Martin Lindell was crucial for developing the ability to do research grounded on real business rather than merely theoretical frameworks. The empathetic encouragement and practical advice of Eero Vaara helped me push through the “valley of death” in the research project. Ingmar Björkman’s and Saku Mantere’s guidance on theory studies helped me progress swiftly in building the theoretical foundation of the work. I am extremely grateful for the able support of the Leadership and Organization Department at Hanken. In addition, the help of Petri Rosenlöf, Chris Fogarty and Staffan Dellringer has made the outcome of the research easier to digest. Thank you Staffan, Chris and Pete for your contributions in editing the dissertation. In inductive research, the research object takes on an active role. The discoveries are made together. The findings of this study build on the thoughts and insights of the actual innovators at Nokia. Thanks to the access granted by Heikki Norta, Kai Öistämö and Seppo Aaltonen we were able to study illuminating innovation cases. Pia Erkinheimo’s altruistic effort enabled to get hold on the true innovators in those cases. The open attitude and intellectual participation of the innovators brought novel ideas to the theory development. My heartfelt thanks goes out to Nokia and its innovator communities for the privileged access to their experiences and thoughts. In distilling the insights and thoughts of the interviewees to the theories, I have been blessed with the world’s best scholarly guidance. Thorough and constructive feedback from the examiners Robert Burgelman of Stanford and Yves Doz of INSEAD has profoundly improved the quality of my work. Thank you Yves and Robert for the time and effort that you have put into this dissertation!

This research has been conducted in the entrepreneurial spirit. The first phases were conducted as part of a Tekes-project. As the research advanced, the source of funding shifted to the collaborative projects with ICT Shok and Aalto University. Collaboration with Seija Kulkki of CKIR and Reijo Paajanen of TIVIT has been particularly crucial to this work....
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