Inside Into Aalto.fi
School of Business publications portal
Aaltodoc publication archive
Aalto University School of Business Master's Theses are now in the Aaltodoc publication archive (Aalto University institutional repository)
School of Business | Department of Management Studies | International Business | 2014
Thesis number: 13731
Value innovations by Finnish SMEs - success stories in global consumer product markets
Author: Starczewski, Toni
Title: Value innovations by Finnish SMEs - success stories in global consumer product markets
Year: 2014  Language: eng
Department: Department of Management Studies
Academic subject: International Business
Index terms: kansainväliset yhtiöt; international companies; pk-yritykset; smes; kasvu; growth; strategia; strategy; innovaatiot; innovations; tuotteet; products; kansainvälinen; international; menestyminen; success
Pages: 105
Key terms: value innovation; global consumer markets; global product markets; SME growth strategy; international growth strategy
Abstract:
Objective of the Research:

This research explored how Finnish SMEs have created value innovative products and rapidly expanded into global consumer markets. The research gap combined the creation process and characteristics of value innovation with their market launch and global expansion. The objective of this study was to find an answer to two research questions: 1. What kind of process and common value innovation characteristics SMEs follow when creating new value innovative products in consumer markets? 2. What factors are considered important when SMEs from small open economies launch value innovations and expand them into global markets?

Methodology:

This research was a qualitative and exploratory multiple-case study with three cases. Literature review and preliminary analytical framework were conducted before empirical research. Unit of analysis was strategic move of a company. Case companies were selected based on predetermined case criteria. Sources included primary and secondary, as well as qualitative and quantitative data. Cross-case analysis of empirical findings was followed by the revised analytical framework.

Findings and conclusions:

It was found out that by seeing the markets differently SMEs can develop new value innovations that share many common characteristics even in different industries. The value innovation creation process developed in this research consisted of four steps: 1) decision to challenge existing ways of doing business, 2) understanding these existing ways, 3) choosing between organizational and visionary value innovation, and 4) rethinking ways of doing business. Common value innovation characteristics were identified regarding customers (creative market research, new customer groups, mass markets), products (new product attributes, consumer-friendly products, total concepts, affordable pricing, international standardization), and business models (unique business model, creative involvement of networks, focus on core processes, innovative production, marketing, and sales channels). Moreover, SMEs are able to expand globally with unique value innovations that do not face direct competition. Important factors considering market launch were involving whole organization, strong managerial support, launching a simple concept, launching in a small scale, high-quality products, and strategic sales channels. Important factors in global expansion were global vision, rapid international expansion, global market expansion, expanding product selection, large countries first, developing brand, and building organization.
Master's theses are stored at Learning Centre in Otaniemi.