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  • 1.
    Eriksson, Emelie
    Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Industrial Economics. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
    Patterns of corporate visual selfrepresentation in accounting narratives2017Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This dissertation deals with firms’ visual and pre-visual self-representations in accounting narratives. Self-representations are those descriptions about the company that firms include in accounting narratives to convey the current standings and their identity. External stakeholders increasingly expect non-numerical information about firms to be disclosed, and accounting narratives are a key medium for firms to account for their activities and maintain legitimacy as social actors. The question of which reporting conventions exist for legitimating selfrepresentations, especially from a visual perspective, remains unexplored. The purpose of this study is therefore to explore the empirical phenomenon of self-representations in accounting narratives in relation to legitimation rhetoric.

    The study is based on three research papers dealing with different patterns of self-representations in accounting-related narratives, including corporate reporting and business model diagrams. The examples are viewed through the theoretical lenses of semiotics and institutional theory, particularly legitimation theory. The study combines visual methods (visual content analysis and visual taxonomy) with other methods (interviews, text analysis) to conceptualize and exemplify what is meant by self-representations in accounting narratives. The study finds that there may be multiple parallel pre-visual self-representations at play to influence representations of the self, that visual self-representations are becoming more common in accounting narratives, and that several rhetorical strategies for legitimation are observable in these representations. By showing how diagrams can serve a legitimating purpose in accounting narratives, it is argued that diagrams should be considered on par with graphs and photographs as visual rhetorical devices in accounting narratives, and that they could be used as key communicative elements in the accounting process.

    Second, based on the longitudinal and comparative examples of self-representations, it is suggested that self-representations increasingly refer to abstract rather than concrete referents. This change is discussed in terms of the increasingly digital and service-based knowledge economy, where material referents give way to “amaterial” values. The contribution of this study is to describe selfrepresentations through several empirical examples, and to thereby increase awareness among practitioners and researchers of how visuals serve as communicative resources with legitimating functions in accounting narratives. Four concepts are proposed as tools for explaining the observed developments, and for improving visual literacy with regard to accounting narratives: inclusive perspective on accounting narratives, amateriality, self-representation, and diagrams.

    List of papers
    1. A visual perspective on value creation: Exploring patterns in business model diagrams
    Open this publication in new window or tab >>A visual perspective on value creation: Exploring patterns in business model diagrams
    2018 (English)In: European Management Journal, ISSN 0263-2373, E-ISSN 1873-5681, Vol. 36, no 4, p. 441-452Article in journal (Refereed) Published
    Abstract [en]

    This study was inspired by the diversity of styles found in the way companies represent their business model visually. Through the visual analysis of how 242 business model diagrams collected from websites and annual reports represent transformation of value, this study identifies a typology of four basic patterns of business model visualization. The typology adds to previous visualization research by proposing two new types of transformational diagram formats, namely transactive and cyclical structures. It is further argued that the typology can be used as a framework for researchers to describe, evaluate and compare the underlying logics of value creation in business model conceptualizations, and for practitioners to generate different business model designs by drawing on the benefits of visualization, such as a more holistic understanding of ideas, better buy-in and improved group communication. (C) 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

    Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
    ELSEVIER SCI LTD, 2018
    Keywords
    Business model; Visual research; Diagrams; Corporate disclosure; Communication
    National Category
    Business Administration
    Identifiers
    urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-151206 (URN)10.1016/j.emj.2017.12.002 (DOI)000442190600002 ()
    Available from: 2018-09-13 Created: 2018-09-13 Last updated: 2018-10-12
    2. Visual trends in the annual report: the case of Ericsson 1947-2016
    Open this publication in new window or tab >>Visual trends in the annual report: the case of Ericsson 1947-2016
    2018 (English)In: Corporate Communications. An International Journal, ISSN 1356-3289, E-ISSN 1758-6046, Vol. 23, no 3, p. 312-325Article in journal (Refereed) Published
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose: Disclosure research has argued that visuals are increasingly used in annual reports as a way to increase readability of the annual report, but comparatively little is known about of diagrams compared to graphs and photographs. The purpose of this paper is to provide a historical account of visuals use in corporate disclosure, with an emphasis on diagrams, to show changes from the 1940s until present-day reporting.

    Design/methodology/approach: Visual research methods were applied to analyze how diagrams, photographs and graphs were used in 69 annual reports of the Swedish telecom company Ericsson.

    Findings: Photographs have been used with increasing frequency since the 1950s. Graph and diagram use has increased significantly since the 1990s while photograph use remained stable, suggesting that graphs and diagrams increasingly complement photographs for visually representing the organization in corporate disclosure. Factors explaining the case company’s development include both internal (performance, individual preferences, shifting from a manufacturing-based strategy to a service-based strategy) and external (legislation, transformation of the telecom industry).

    Originality/value: Visual elements in annual reports are increasingly oriented toward immaterial representations of the organization’s standings and identity and diagrams are increasingly used and contribute to this. This finding motivates further research about diagram use in corporate communication, such as how different diagram types convey accounting messages, and whether diagrams serve as impression management devices. For regulators, it will be important to follow the emerging trend of diagram use, since it is becoming part of reporting practice.

    Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
    Emerald Group Publishing Limited, 2018
    Keywords
    Annual report, Longitudinal, Telecom, Diagrams, Historical study, Visual accounting
    National Category
    Business Administration
    Identifiers
    urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-149264 (URN)10.1108/CCIJ-03-2017-0015 (DOI)
    Available from: 2018-10-12 Created: 2018-10-12 Last updated: 2018-12-12
  • 2.
    Mihailescu, Daniela
    Linköping University, Department of Computer and Information Science, EISLAB - Economic Information Systems. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
    Implementation Methodology in Action: A Study of an Enterprise Systems Implementation Methodology2005Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Enterprise Systems create new opportunities but also new challenges and difficulties for implementers and users. The clear distinction between the development and the implementation of Enterprise Systems Software seems to influence not only the characteristics of methodologies but also how implementers use the Enterprise Systems implementation methodologies.

    The general aim of this thesis is to study an Enterprise Systems implementation methodology, SAP’s AcceleratedSAP implementation methodology. An exploratory case research approach is employed and is initiated with the development of a framework which integrates current views on Method in Action and Information Systems Development with insights from Enterprise Systems research. The theoretically grounded framework outlines the characteristics of the implementation methodology recommended by SAP and used by implementers in Enterprise Systems implementations. The framework is enhanced by an empirical study.

    Findings add a number of insights to the body of knowledge in the Information Systems field and the Enterprise Systems implementation methodology. For example, the Implementation Methodology in

    Action framework developed in this study outlines a set of components which influence the use of an implementation methodology, and implementers’ actions which occur through the use of an implementation methodology. The components have varying characteristics and exert a significant influence on the effectiveness of implementation methodology use, which may explain differences in implementers’ actions and consequently in the outcomes of the Enterprise Systems implementation processes. The notion of implementation methodology in action, as articulated in this study, integrates two complementary views, i.e. a technology view focusing on a formalised aspect and a structural view focusing a situational aspect, emphasising different features of the implementation methodology.

  • 3.
    Sakao, Tomohiko
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Environmental Technology and Management.
    Hallberg, Peter
    Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Machine Design.
    Lindahl, Mattias
    Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Environmental Technology and Management.
    Ölvander, Johan
    Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Machine Design.
    State-of-the-art in Theory of Customised Offering Design2013Report (Other academic)
  • 4.
    Stoltz, Charlotte
    Linköping University, Department of Computer and Information Science, EISLAB - Economic Information Systems. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
    Calling for call centres: a study of call centre locations in a Swedish rural region2004Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The business economy is undergoing structural changes as we are moving towards more information based businesses. Most studies of industrial location have however focused on manufacturing activities and there is a lack in knowledge of the exact determinants for the location of information based and geographically independent activities. Traditional locational theories have to be complemented with factors that consider these types of businesses. A focus on information based and geographically independent organisations, such as call centres, has a potential to fuel research into industrial location.

    The general aim of this thesis is, from a business perspective, to explore and identify a number of factors that are of importance for call centre locations in a specific region. More specifically, the thesis deals with the fact that development and use of information and communication technology, organisational prerequisites in form of changed organisational structures and management of organisations and also more individually related aspects nowadays seem to play an important role for both how business are organised and for where they are located. The thesis is mainly based on a case study of a Swedish rural region that has been successful in its efforts to attract and develop call centre activities.

    First, it is shown that the call centre concept is full of nuance and researchers as well as practitioners use the concept differently. In order to enhance and balance discussions about call centres and also facilitate the process of comparing research findings, ten characteristics that are regarded as useful for discriminating among call centre activities are presented. Second, the importance of distinguishing location choices for information based business from location choices for more traditional service business and manufacturing businesses is an important finding and examples that support this are given. A third finding is that even though call centres are often regarded as geographically independent, the proximity that can be offered with cluster formations seems to be of importance also for this type of businesses. It is however more about horizontal integration and not about vertical integration, which is often present for manufacturing businesses. Finally, call centres seem to offer opportunities for regions and localities that wish to create work opportunities and achieve a positive regional development and this applies especially to rural or peripheral areas. However, in order to be successful there are many interacting factors that have to be considered and dealt with and it is important to notice that it often takes time to build up a positive climate for call centre businesses in a region, i.e. different regional actors can and have to do much more than just call for call centres.

    List of papers
    1. Call centre, a concept full of nuance: on definition of call centres
    Open this publication in new window or tab >>Call centre, a concept full of nuance: on definition of call centres
    2002 (English)In: Proceedings of the 7th International Workshop and Business Conference on Telework: New Work 2002, 2002Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    A number of new organisational forms and concepts, based on remote work, or e-work, have emerged during the last couple of decades. The organisational development has been rapid and there has not been time for consensus on concepts to evolve. Unclear definitions within a field cause confusion, among researchers as well as practitioners. In this paper we will discuss organisational forms generally labelled call centre and, as we will show, this is in itself an ambiguous concept. Within this field, with an increasing number of so-called call centres, we argue that clear definitions or transparent concepts are needed in order to be able to communicate with different actors and to be able to compare different studies.

    The aim of the paper is to propose a number of characteristics that we fmd useful for discriminating among certain organisational solutions, which we in this article refer to as call centres. Our choice of characteristics is based onexperiences from our own previous research (cf. Lindstrom et al., 1997, Moberg et al., 2001a and Moberg et al., 2001b, Petri et al., 2001), several field visits to call centre organisations, dialogues with practitioners and researchers within the field, as well as on literature. We propose the following characteristics: type of business (inbound or outbound call handling); the principal's organisational belonging (i.e. an in-house or outsourced activity); customer type (business or consumer); geographical location of the unit; degree of centralisation or decentralisation; unit size; type of tasks performed; skill requirements; technical utilisation; and munber of communication channels used.

    Keywords
    e-work, Call Centre, Contact Centre, Definition, Classification, Dimensions of Discrimination, Outsourcing, In bound, Outbound
    National Category
    Engineering and Technology
    Identifiers
    urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-61981 (URN)
    Conference
    7th International Workshop and Business Conference on Telework: New Work 2002. Badajoz, Spain, September 3-5.
    Note

    The paper included in the licenciate thesis is a revised version which has been submitted to an academic journal.

    Available from: 2010-11-18 Created: 2010-11-18 Last updated: 2013-11-04
    2. Towards a model for call centre location
    Open this publication in new window or tab >>Towards a model for call centre location
    (English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    A structural transformation is taking place in most industrialised countries as we move from traditional manufacturing businesses to more information andknowledge based businesses. Job creation plays a key role in today's society, and information and communication technology is often regarded as a facilitator, both in creating new jobs and in geographically relocating employment between regions. In tlus development, call centres seem to be of major importance. Call centre is an organisational solution made possible by developments in information and communication technology. Research on industrial location has a long history. It has tended to focus on location of manufacturing industries, and knowledge of determinants for the location of more service and information based organisations is less developed.

    This study is based on empirical findings from a case study of a Swedish region that has achieved outstanding success as an area for call centre localisation. Several factors have contributed to the positive development of that region and the process has been going on for a long period of time. The aim of the paper is to identify which factors play a role in the location, or relocation, of call centre activities to a specific region. Our findings are presented as a model for call centre location based on five general factors: Market Existence and Access, Communications and Organisation Related Considerations, Business Environment and Community Related Factors, Resource Availability and Entrepreneurship. These factors are viewed as puzzle pieces that together comprise a model for call centre location. One principal finding is that it is important to distinguish between choice of location for information and knowledge based businesses and for more traditional service and manufacturing businesses.

    Keywords
    Call Centre, Contact Centre, Location, Regional Development
    National Category
    Engineering and Technology
    Identifiers
    urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-100370 (URN)
    Available from: 2013-11-04 Created: 2013-11-04 Last updated: 2013-11-04
    3. The importance of proximity for geographically dispersed organisations: indications from a call centre cluster in Sweden
    Open this publication in new window or tab >>The importance of proximity for geographically dispersed organisations: indications from a call centre cluster in Sweden
    2003 (English)In: Proceedings of the 17th Nordic Conference on Buysiness Studies, 2003Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Nowadays we can see an increased share of information based businesses, i.e. businesses where the delivered product or service do not constitute a tangible product. A growing organisational solution for information based businesses is call centres (Stoltz and Moberg, 2002; forthcoming). As information based products and services can be transported easily and at a low cost over geographical distances (cf. Litan and Rivlin, 2002), geographical proximity should not be of importance for call centre organisations. Technological advances lead organisations to consider alternative locations for their information processing, sales and service work (Larner, 2002). One general assumption is that spatial proximity internally within an organisation as well as proximity to customers and other business partners should not be of significant importance for call centre businesses. Following this reasoning, call centre business establishments can be located almost anywhere (cf. Wilson, 1995 and Gillespie et al., 2001).

    In practise, a considerable number of regions in Sweden, especially in sparsely populated areas, are active and work to attract call centre businesses. This applies to new business establishments as well as organisations relocating business activities. In this development, certain regions seem to excel themselves as call centre regions. In other words, clusters are emerging for this type of business in form of geographical agglomerations of call centre organisations to specific delimited areas.

    The aim of this paper is to reach an increased understanding for call centre establishments trough reaching an understanding of the importance of clusters and networks, i.e. proximity to other organisations and actors, for this type of business. With this aim in mind, we put questions like: What importance do clusters in terms of geographical concentrations have for businesses that are regarded as mobile and not delimited in space when it comes to choice of location? Is the local or regional dimension of importance when you are acting nationally or even globally? Can these businesses be located anywhere or are there more locally based conditions that are of importance for growth and sustainability of call centre organisations? What importance do clusters and networks have for entrepreneurship and new business establishments for call centres businesses? What similarities and differences can be distinguished comparing clusters of call centre organisations with clusters of more traditional manufacturing organisations?

    Our findings show that the geographical concentration, which a cluster means, of similar business activities seems to be of importance for supporting and encouraging both existing call centres and new establishments. This applies to leaming, knowledge sharing and expansion of the local knowledge base. Cluster formations facilitate access to and development of resources in terms of available training programs, tailored infrastructure, educated personnel and pool of workers. We have also noted positive knowledge spill-over and spin-off effects, where certain organisations are acting as role models for entrepreneurs starting up new business establishments. Finally, we have found evidence for a so-called "call centre spirit" that fosters innovations and sprit of enterprise.

    In the paper, we discuss different types and views of cluster to interpret our findings. Two examples are an evolutionary perspective with different stages, or types, of clusters; locational, market, labour division, innovative, full-fledged industrial district government and techopoles (Dijk, 1999) and Porter's (1998) analysis of clusters with horizontal respectively vertical relations as well as Porter's (1990a and 1990b) diamond of factors for national or regional competitive advantages.

    National Category
    Computer Sciences
    Identifiers
    urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-61987 (URN)
    Conference
    17th Nordic Conference on Business Studies, NFF 2003, Reykavik, August 14-16 2003.
    Available from: 2010-11-18 Created: 2010-11-18 Last updated: 2018-01-12
  • 5.
    Vascós Palacios, Fidel
    Linköping University, Department of Computer and Information Science, EISLAB - Economic Information Systems. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
    On the information exchange between physicians and social insurance officers in the sick leave process: an activity theoretical perspective2005Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    In Sweden, there has been a substantial increase in the number of people on long-term sick leave. This phenomenon has awakened the interest of researchers for understanding its causes. So far, no simple and unambiguous reason explaining this phenomenon has been found. However, previous studies indicate that it may be caused by a combination of different aspects such as the state of the national economy, an ageing labour force in Sweden, and inefficiencies in the information exchange and cooperation among the participants in the sick leave process. This thesis deals with the information exchange between two of these participants, namely physicians from district health care centres and insurance officers from the Social Insurance Office.

    The information exchange between these two parties constitutes a critical aspect in the sick leave process and has been reported in the scientific literature as having problems. Nevertheless, most of earlier studies dealing with the interaction between physicians and officers have been purely descriptive, of quantitative nature and lack a common theoretical basis for analysing it.

    In this thesis, a philosophical theoretical framework, namely Activity Theory (AT), is applied to gain understanding into the interconnection between physicians and insurance officers and the problems of their information exchange. Based on concepts from AT, the elements that form the structure of these players' work actions are identified and used to provide a picture of the interconnection between these parties and to uncover some reasons for the failure in their information exchange. Additionally, an activity theoretical perspective about how to see the participation of these players in the sick leave process is provided.

    The analysis in this thesis shows that physicians and insurance officers form a fragmented division of labour of a common collective activity: the sick leave process. In this process physicians provide the officers with a tool of their work: information for decision-making. Physicians provide this information through the sickness certificate, which sometimes does not carry the information necessary for the officers to do their work. This failure is partly a result of the complexity of the physicians' task to issue sickness certificates. This complexity lies in the characteristics of the elements forming the structure of the physicians' actions of issuing these documents and in contradictions that exist among these elements.

    Additional aspects that affect the information exchange between physicians and officers are that (1) these parties have different perceptions about how to approach their object of work in their joint activity, (2) the lack of resources in district health care centres and local social insurance offices, and (3) the lack of shared artifacts for making the communicative actions between physicians and officers more efficient.

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