Copenhagen Business School
  • Copenhagen, Denmark
Recent publications
This study introduces the evolutionary concept of assortative sociality and explores how it moderates pandemic anxiety effects on attitudes towards tourism and travel decisions. Based on a large-scale online survey (N = 4630) conducted in three European countries, we demonstrate that COVID-19 anxiety triggered assortative sociality, which reflects both xenophobic and ethnocentric traits. This changes perceptions of domestic and international travel attractiveness, and further leads to travel choices prioritizing domestic destinations. At the same time, xenophobic and ethnocentric traits also affected citizen attitudes towards supporting the domestic tourism industry ‒ an industry that accommodates foreigners. In conclusion, the paper discusses the seemingly paradoxical effects of a pandemic threat on domestic versus international tourism.
The licensing of university technologies to private firms has become an important part of the technology transfer mission of many universities. An inherent challenge for the technology licensing of universities is that potential licensees find it difficult to judge the early stage technologies and their ultimate commercial value. We reason that patent litigation against universities can have unintended signaling effects about the commercial value of its technologies and results in increased licensing income for the university. We ground this hypothesis in theory integrating signaling mechanisms from patent enforcement research into theoretical models explaining university technology licensing. Within our logic, the public and costly nature of patent litigation against universities creates strong, credible signals to potential licensees about the technologies of a university even if the signal was not created for that specific purpose. We isolate the signaling mechanism that is central to our theorizing by exploring two moderation factors that reveal additional information to potential licensees, i.e. the licensing track-record of the university and whether the lawsuit involves private firms as co-defendants. We test our theory with a unique dataset of 157 US universities and the 1408 patent infringement cases in which they were involved as defendants over the period 2005–2016. Results show that defending against claims of patent infringement enhances technology licensing revenues, particularly when universities are already adept at licensing technology and when they are co-defendants with private firms.
The learning opportunities from exporting are a core theme of International Business research. Learning by exporting research has primarily discussed the technological learning outcomes associated with exports. We integrate theoretical mechanisms from this literature into a model of learning in the marketing function. We hypothesize that firms that are confronted with novel pricing, packaging, distribution or design strategies on export markets will be able to exploit them productively, as evidence of learning by exporting in marketing. We test our predictions using panel data of Spanish manufacturing firms for 1990–2009 and find suggestive evidence for the positive effect of export-induced marketing expenditures on firm productivity. These learning effects are however lower compared with technological learning via R&D.
This article proposes an empirically derived method, Slow Storytelling, to construct and articulate value propositions, as a contribution to Business Model Innovation. Organizational actors and customers must be clear on what value an enterprise, product or service offers. This is increasingly important for products and services that leverage social, cultural, and environmental values. However, few existing models provide the framework and method to facilitate business articulation of value proposition for stakeholders. Our participatory ethnographic study conducted before and during COVID-19 in craft micro-enterprises in Uzbekistan addresses this gap. We co-created a novel method, ‘Slow Storytelling’, to innovate, enhance and articulate value propositions, by mobilizing and communicating the social, cultural, and environmental values; for example, by explaining the lived and sustainable history of the product. The method consists of eight steps to elicit consumers’ emotional connection with craft producers and trigger attention towards their social and environmental impact. Slow Storytelling can be adopted beyond our craft setting, to support the construction and articulation of value propositions.
Recent technological advances allow artificial intelligence (AI) to perform tasks that require high warmth, such as caring, understanding others’ feelings, and being friendly. However, current consumers may be reluctant to accept AI for such tasks. This research investigates the impact of required warmth to conduct a task on consumer acceptance of AI service and the moderating role of AI-human collaboration. A series of choice-based conjoint experiments and one survey yield two main findings. First, consumers tend to refuse AI for tasks that require high warmth due to the low perceived fit between AI and the task at hand. Second, an AI-human collaboration of AI supporting a human employee increases consumer acceptance of AI service for tasks that require high warmth. This is not the case for AI-human collaboration in which AI performs a task that is supervised by a human employee. Theoretically, this study increases our understanding of how consumer acceptance of AI service varies across tasks and how AI-human collaboration can advance AI acceptance. These findings provide insightful suggestions for managers regarding designing AI service and framing AI-human collaboration.
Current approaches for measuring and assessing contributions of companies and their products to sustainability largely focus on reducing negative impacts. However, becoming “less bad” still means having adverse impacts on the environment. Various authors have therefore called for investigating how positive contributions can be made to further sustainable development. This systematic literature review explores how positive contributions to sustainability have been discussed in the environmental management literature dealing with sustainability performance measurement and assessment. Our review of 328 publications reveals an understanding of positive contributions to sustainability that is a mostly implicit or vague use. Inductive analysis, however, reveals three distinct understandings – an operationalization, a stakeholder and a transformation perspective – each of which is embedded in a different theoretical frame, namely decision, stakeholder and transition theory. These perspectives have so far been discussed separately in the literature. By drawing on theoretical foundations of performance measurement, we propose an integrated understanding of positive contributions to sustainability: A positive sustainability contribution has the goal of bringing about a sustainability transformation, considers the environmental, economic and social context through stakeholder participation, and is operationalized to facilitate decision-making and the implementation of effective sustainability measures. A clear definition is of key importance for both research and practice to both reduce negative and increase positive contributions to sustainable development.
An important part of the criticism raised against the adoption of advanced contract automation relates to the inflexibility of automated contracts. Drawing on rational choice theory, we explain why inflexibility, when seen as a constraint, can ultimately not only enhance welfare but also enable cooperation on algorithmic markets. This illuminates the need to address the inflexibility of contracting algorithms in a nuanced manner, distinguishing between inflexibility as a potentially beneficial constraint on the level of transactions, and inflexibility as a set of systemic risks and changes arising in markets employing inflexible contracting algorithms. Using algorithmic trading in financial markets as an example, we show how the automation of finance has brought about institutional changes in the form of new regulation to hedge against systemic risks from inflexibility. Analyzing the findings through the lens of new institutional economics, we explain how widespread adoption of contract automation can put pressure on institutions to change. We conclude with possible lessons that algorithmic finance can teach to markets deploying algorithmic contracting.
‘Sustainable palm oil’ aims to eliminate deforestation, greenhouse gas emissions, land conflicts and labour abuses from palm oil global value chains while maintaining palm oil production as a vehicle for development in tropical countries. However, smallholder palm oil growers are a small minority of those who are certified as sustainable and persistently face multiple socio-economic challenges. We analysed 100 journal articles that address smallholders, oil palm and issues related to sustainability in order to critically examine the current state of evidence for sustainability upgrading in smallholder palm oil global value chains. We identify a focus on sustainability certification in the academic research agenda that has left key implementation and knowledge gaps on meeting smallholders’ needs outside of a certification framework. An implication of this is that buyers, policy-makers, and consumers do not recognise both the challenges and advantages of small-scale agriculture for sustainable palm oil. We found that certification standards struggle to resolve persistent smallholder challenges, such as low incomes, low yields and insecure land tenure. Certification appears to be a flawed method to conceptualize and measure the sustainability of smallholders. We, therefore, advocate broadening approaches to studying sustainability and smallholder palm oil production, particularly to target issues that are of immediate concern for smallholder farmers as opposed to prioritising productivity. Future research should take inspiration from diverse established fields of research in defining sustainable practices, such as agroecology or agroforestry.
Leadership development programs (LDPs) have proliferated and diversified but still usually share the ambition of involving the participants’ on-the-job experiences. Yet, the dominant view hereof is crude, not acknowledging the variety of ways used to accomplish it. The Scandinavian context is illustrative for reviewing what we term ‘customization devices’ because of its tradition for LDPs with collective reflection, practice orientation, and broad participation. This review curates and synthesizes 31 studies evaluating empirical experiences with customization devices in Scandinavian university-based LDPs from no earlier than 2010. Such devices fall within three key categories, namely theories, cases, and relationships, and have three key effects: distancing from practice, dedicating to the program, and devising future action. Based on our findings, we challenge the dominant view that open enrollment programs cannot adequately mobilize participants’ experiences by theorizing the distinction between open and closed customization. The review further serves as a resource for LDP designers and instructors to carefully choose and mix customization devices that are complementary in their effects.
Advancements in artificial intelligence (AI) technologies are rapidly changing the competitive landscape. In the search for an appropriate strategic response, firms are currently engaging in a large variety of AI projects. However, recent studies suggest that many companies are falling short in creating tangible business value through AI. As the current scientific body of knowledge lacks empirically-grounded research studies for explaining this phenomenon, we conducted an exploratory interview study focusing on 56 applications of machine learning (ML) in 29 different companies. Through an inductive qualitative analysis, we uncover three broad types and five subtypes of ML value creation mechanisms, identify necessary but not sufficient conditions for successfully leveraging them, and observe that organizations, in their efforts to create value, dynamically shift from one ML value creation mechanism to another by reconfiguring their ML applications (i.e., the shifting practice). We synthesize these findings into a process model of ML value creation, which illustrates how organizations engage in (resource) orchestration by shifting between ML value creation mechanisms as their capabilities evolve and business conditions change. Our model provides an alternative explanation for the current high failure rate of ML projects.
Research shows that much of the blame for waste and lost resources can be traced to the design phase. The implementation of Circular Economy (CE) has the potential to reduce waste by encouraging reuse of resources in a closed loop. Given that designers are involved in the design process, this paper investigates whether they are properly equipped to take responsibility for the shift toward CE. A group of professional designers from the field of retail design were therefore interviewed, with a view to discovering and understanding impediments to the implementation of CE; the study presents a snapshot of these designers' knowledge of CE. It identifies categories of drivers and barriers to CE, as seen from the designer's perspective; shows conflicting interests within these categories; describes the interaction of collaborators; and, finally, suggests roles that each of these players might be expected to play in an eventual transition to CE. Findings suggest that while designers understand their responsibility in accomplishing this transition, they lack tools and confidence to engage in the recycling process. Despite being enthusiastic about CE and recognizing the need for change, they do not reckon themselves capable of leading that transition. Free access to the paper before Juli 19th 2022: https://authors.elsevier.com/a/1f9fp_LqUdNKGw
Background As smartphones become more widespread, software applications for occupational health, safety and well-being (OHS&W) at work are increasing. There is sparse knowledge about the available apps and the research evidence of their effects. This study aims to identify available smartphone applications designed to improve OHS&W at workplaces, and examine to what extent the apps are scientifically validated. Methods We searched the Danish App Store and Google Play for free OHS&W apps. Apps were included if they targeted OHS&W and were designed for workplace use. After categorizing the apps, we searched bibliographic databases to identify scientific studies on the ‘intervention apps’. Results Altogether, 57 apps were included in the study; 19 apps were categorized as digital sources of information, 37 apps contained an intervention designed for workplace changes, and one app had too sparse information to be classified. Based on the publicly available information about the 37 intervention apps, only 13 had references to research. The bibliographic database search returned 531 publications, resulting in four relevant studies referring to four apps aimed at ergonomic measures, noise exposure, and well-being, which showed either limited effect or methodological limitations. Conclusion There is no conceptual clarity about what can be categorized as an OHS&W app. Although some of the apps were developed based on scientific research, there is a need to evaluate the apps’ effects in promoting OHS&W. The sparse documentation of evidence should be kept in mind when applying apps to improve OHS&W.
Based on interviews with 49 visual artists, graphic designers and illustrators working on two leading global digital labour platforms, this article examines how creative workers perform relational work as a means of attenuating labour commodification, precarity, and algorithmic normativity. The article argues that creative work on online labour platforms, rather than being entirely controlled by depersonalised, anonymised and algorithm-driven labour market forces, is also infused in relational infrastructures whose upkeep, solidity and durability depends on the emotional efforts undertaken by workers to match economic transactions and their media of exchange to meaningful client relations. By applying a relational work perspective from economic sociology to the study of platform-mediated gig work, the article elucidates the micro-foundations of creative work in the digital gig economy, including how labour inequalities are produced and reproduced within and around micro-level interpersonal interactions.
Sharing a file that contains multimedia data among the different peers of wireless Internet of Things (IoT) networks has several challenges. One of the main challenges is their centralized system, which leads to high‐security risk and low user reachability. One solution could be to simply change the system to a decentralized network by using the blockchain network to store these files. However, it may solve the low user reachability and security problem at the cost of low latency, longer response time, scalability and privacy issues. Therefore, this article uses the advanced blockchain scheme and distributes InterPlanetary File System. We also presented the system framework and its working. Finally, we do the security analysis of our proposed system and found that it has strong potential to solve most of the security challenges that traditional system faces. Moreover, our proposed approach can be applied to any file‐changing wireless IoT network that needs to exchange multimedia data such as healthcare data, IoT data in wearable devices, traffic data in smart cities, etc.
Political communication researchers studying the news media coverage often distinguish between broadsheets and tabloids when sampling relevant news outlets. But recent work has pointed towards a ‘tabloidization’ of news coverage, complicating the empirical distinction between the two. Computational methods for text analysis can help us better understand how distinct the news coverage between these two types of news outlets is. We take the Brexit referendum as a case study illustrating various aspects in which broadsheets and tabloids cover an issue permeated by othering and divisive rhetoric. We focus on Brexit-related news coverage before and after the referendum (N = 32,946) and use word embeddings to analyze the portrayal of different groups of citizens that can generate an in- and outgroup divide. First, we document the presence of media-based othering in the form of overly similar migrant and European Union citizen representations that are, in turn, very dissimilar to the UK citizen representation. Second, we show partial convergence between tabloid and broadsheet newspapers, as differences in the degree and characteristics of media coverage are rather small and specific.
This paper provides a European-level analysis using a large-scale survey of 13 countries to examine the power of relevant economic and socio-demographic characteristics to account for changes in food consumption and purchasing behavior during COVID-19. This was done by focusing on a two-level analysis of subject-related predictors highlighted in many existing country-level studies to test the generality of their significance. The Level 1 predictors relate to the individual households participating in the survey consisting of household composition, education, and location, as well as three types of perceived COVID-19 risks of infection, severity, and anxiety. Level 2 relates to the national level, and especially to the financial situation measured by the mean national Actual Individual Consumption (AIC) per capita in PPP, of the countries, in which the households reside. In terms of changes in food consumption, results show that household composition, education, and the household’s perceived risk of both being infected by COVID-19 and being severely infected are significant predictors, although there are some differences between the two levels. Some possible explanations are as follows: putting food into one’s body in the context of the pandemic is related to a household’s financial situation, its composition, especially the presence or absence of children and older people, and its educational attainment, and through all these aforementioned to the perception of COVID-19 infection and its severity risks. Changes in food purchasing react significantly to the same predictors, but additionally, to all other predictors at both household and AIC levels. The household’s location and perceived COVID-19 anxiety risks are thus also significant. Food purchasing depends much more on factors operating both at the individual household level and the AIC level together; for example, households’ access to food is affected by both national and local lockdown restrictions that vary according to the location of the household.
This paper examines organizational use of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and why private organizations are using multi-stakeholder SDG platforms as a strategic tool for achieving the goals. Whereas the SDGs’ predecessors, the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), were specifically formulated for governmental adoption, the SDGs stand apart in inviting diverse stakeholders, including private industry, to participate in sustainable development. Literature is emerging about how private industry can engage in the SDG framework. We aim to contribute to the sustainability and cross-sector partnership literatures by examining the motivations of organizations that partner into SDG platforms. This research started as an exploratory study to understand how corporations use the SDGs strategically, and we identified platforms as a means of strategic corporate engagement with the SDGs. Our findings are based on semi-structured interviews and documents, and they focus on four Danish SDG platforms: UNLEASH, Hello Science, Fra Filantropi til Forretning (From Philanthropy to Business), and the SDG Accelerator. The findings suggest that speed, impact, and scaling of SDG innovations are features of SDG platforms that motivate cross-sector, boundary-spanning collaboration. We suggest that the larger ambition of the platforms is to shift the value framing from profit outputs to SDG impacts and outcomes, ultimately imagined as a business landscape based on SDG innovation; and we propose a model to reflect the SDG platform process structure.
Background An estimated 8 million people die every year due to tobacco use. The COVID-19 pandemic has increased the health consequences of smoking, which is a leading risk factor for more severe COVID-19 symptoms, hospitalization, and death. The pandemic has also led to reductions in physical activity, increases in stress and declines in mental well-being, all factors commonly associated with triggering higher tobacco use. Methods Using a longitudinal data set of purchasing behavior from 2019–2020 among a national sample of the Danish population (n = 4042), we estimate changes in tobacco use during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our analysis compares tobacco purchases prior to the pandemic to purchases during the pandemic, at the individual level. We also examine effects within subgroups based on smoking behavior in 2019 prior to the pandemic. We estimate effects for smokers and non-smokers and, within smokers, for occasional smokers and regular smokers. Results We find large, sustained decreases in tobacco purchases during COVID-19. We estimate that weekly tobacco purchase rates decline by 24% and average quantities decline by 12% during the period spanning the onset of the pandemic in March 2020 through the end of the year. The declines are driven by regular smokers with little change in behavior among nonsmokers and increases in purchases among occasional smokers. Among regular smokers, purchase rates decline by about 30%, tobacco purchases decline by about 20% and quitting rates increase by about 10 percentage points. Conclusions Our results suggest that the COVID-19 pandemic could lead to sustained reductions in smoking.
Pandemic modelling functions as a means of producing evidence of potential events and as an instrument of intervention that Tim Rhodes and colleagues describe as entangling science into social practices, calculations into materializations, abstracts into effects and models into society. This article seeks to show how a model society evinced through mathematical models produces a model not only for society but also for citizens, showing them how to act in a certain model manner that prevents an anticipated pandemic future. To this end, we analyse political speeches by various Norwegian ministers to elucidate how various model-based COVID-19 responses enact a ‘model citizen’. Theoretically, we combine Rhodes et al.’s arguments with Foucault’s concepts of law, discipline and security, thus showing what a model society might imply for the model citizen. Finally, we conclude that although the model society is largely informed by epidemiological models and liberal biopolitics that typically place responsibility on individual subjects, sovereign state power remains manifestly present in the speeches’ rhetoric.
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Vera Rocha
  • Department of Strategy and Innovation
Max von Zedtwitz
  • Department of International Economics, Government and Business
Ari Kokko
  • Department of International Economics and Management
Andreas Wieland
  • Department of Operations Management
Attila Márton
  • Department of Digitalization
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