Defence of dissertation in the field of industrial engineering and management, Christopher Rowell, M.Sc. (Econ.)
Title of the dissertation is: Signaling and shaping legitimacy: Weaving webs of meaning in time and new markets
Christopher Rowell, M.Sc. (Econ.) will defend the dissertation "Signaling and shaping legitimacy: Weaving webs of meaning in time and new markets" on 16 August 2017 at 12 noon in Aalto University School of Science, lecture hall AS1, Maarintie 8 (former Otaniementie 17), Espoo. This thesis explores how culture shapes the interpretations and actions of people and organizations. It then reveals how managers strategically harness elements of culture to their advantage when communicating with external audiences, particularly in new market settings.
The first two essays explore how managers endeavour to shape outside audience evaluations and gain support for their venture in new market settings. Such contexts are highly novel, and largely devoid of the shared rules, norms and beliefs that are institutionalized in more established settings. Consequently, managers need to create new beliefs, and import cultural material, such as resonant storylines, from other contexts to make their communications to outsiders compelling.
These two essays are qualitative inductive studies that analyze the words and texts of managers in new markets related to electric vehicle technologies. The first study reveals how managers tell stories about their venture and new market to frame themselves as more legitimate than their competitors, while the second study reveals how firms seek to influence regulatory agencies to shape the emerging rules of market competition in their favour.
The third essay is a conceptual paper that illuminates how time is a socially constructed phenomenon. Through a synthesis of existing research on time from several domains, the paper theorizes how institutionalized "temporal structures" shape the ways that companies and individuals organize and strategize.
Together, the dissertation reveals new ways in which how organizations can deploy and shape culture for strategic reasons, as well as to address social challenges.
Dissertation release (pdf)
Opponent: Professor Shahzad Ansari, University of Cambridge, UK
Custos: Associate Professor Robin Gustafsson, Aalto University School of Science, Department of Industrial Engineering and Management
Electronic dissertation: http://urn.fi/URN:ISBN:978-952-60-7533-4