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Turku, Finland

Hellstrom M.,Abo Akademi University | Wikstrom R.,PBI Research Institute | Gustafsson M.,PBI Research Institute | Luotola H.,PBI Research Institute
Construction Management and Economics

Like services in general project execution services ought to be marketed and sold based on the value they add rather than the cost they accrue. Project services are typically complex and abstract, and hence their benefits are difficult to directly explicate. The aim is to investigate how contractors and suppliers can overcome this dilemma and exercise value-based selling in terms of the typical services they provide. A design science inspired study was used to create a service configurator addressing the dilemma. At the same time the configurator provided a means for studying the value identification and communication process in six sales projects. It is concluded that contractors and suppliers ought to approach customer value by looking for problems that create uncertainty in the underlying investment and to match them with suitable services. Key in communicating the value of the services is to focus on creating certainty as to the parties’ ability to cope with the uncertainty in the investment with the help of these services. © 2016 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group Source

Gustafsson M.,Abo Akademi University | Ganskau E.,PBI Research Institute
International Journal of Project Management

The paper works towards establishing value for trust in project business, particularly the financial value of trust to project business. Concepts of trust are revisited. Rational explanations of trust are shown wanting, calculations of trust and danger being misrepresentations of how the willingness to trust is formed. The paper argues for the need to establish the interpretative and socially constructed nature of trust, primarily based upon prior experiential and psycho-motive learning in relation to current situational factors. Trust and its relationship to forming expectations and generating confidence are considered. Empirical findings are mobilised to show how trust contributed to value in a financial sense. Value is not an absolute in this context for value is empirically and theoretically shown to relate directly to expectations. Value is defined as an asset and is thus part of social capital for projects and in embedded in firms. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd and IPMA. Source

Tsvetkova A.,University of Turku | Tsvetkova A.,PBI Research Institute | Gustafsson M.,University of Turku | Gustafsson M.,PBI Research Institute
Journal of Cleaner Production

Businesses that are based on industrial ecosystem thinking, such as biofuel businesses, face the need of establishing new business models for the industry to exist and develop. Since industrial ecosystems are complex, nearly decomposable systems, modularity can be used as an approach that can help manage the complexity. In the proposed modularisation approach various businesses act as modules that serve certain functions in the industrial ecosystem. The reason for this is the fact that the development of complex systems from rather stable sub-systems, such as individual businesses, has proved to be reliable and persistent. The article illustrates how the application of such a modular approach affects the business model of a business based on industrial ecosystem thinking. The business model of a biogas producer is discussed as an empirical example of how such a business model also acquires modularity. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. Source

Tsvetkova A.,Abo Akademi University | Tsvetkova A.,PBI Research Institute | Hellstrom M.,Abo Akademi University | Gustafsson M.,Abo Akademi University | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Cleaner Production

Distributed energy systems are key in building a sustainable energy economy. Biofuels are an example of an industry that needs to be based on a system of rather small-scale local production units due to the limited transportation radius of biomass. Moreover, the benefits of biofuels are greater if their production is based on the integration of local production activities and consumption among traditionally separate industries, as implied by the notion of industrial symbiosis. Such an arrangement, however, requires the establishment of industrial ecosystems that are customised to local conditions, which increases costs and uncertainty for the involved stakeholders and the integrating company. In this paper, we discuss replication strategy as a means of transferring not only technical knowledge, but also the business format to new locations, thereby achieving 'economies of repetition'. The case of a biogas-for traffic solution serves as an illustrative example. We analyse the establishment of a 'vanguard' ecosystem and assess the potential of replicating the solution in six other locations. Based on this, we propose a replication framework that builds on functional modularisation, collaboration mechanisms required for cooperating with the relevant stakeholders, and organisational learning. The replication approach is expected to be useful for the companies attempting to build sustainable distributed energy systems based on industrial symbiosis. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. Source

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