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New M.Sc. Theses at DIEM

Again, DIEM students have published interesting Master’s theses on highly relevant and scientifically intriguing topics.

M.Sc. Thesis: E-commerce Personalization and Perceived Intrusiveness: A Natural Experiment on Product Recommendations

Author: Ninni Hietaniemi
Degree program: Industrial Engineering and Management

Supervisor: Risto Rajala
Instructors: Petri Parvinen, Essi Pöyry

Ninni Hietaniemi’s study investigates the emergence of online shopping as a technological disruption in retail consumption. In particular, the study focuses on the effects of personalizing the online shopping experience on consumers’ behaviors in the actual online shopping context. The study aims to improve the current understanding of online personalization, recommender systems and advertisement intrusiveness by empirically investigating the intrusiveness and effectiveness of product recommendations in based on their degree of personalization.

The study sheds new light on the ways customer exposure to online product recommendations affect purchase intentions. The author analyzes an extensive set of product recommendations from different online stores in a natural experiment. The study is implemented systematically and the process is reported transparently.

The study finds that the further the customer is in the purchasing process, the more effective the personalization is. This finding is subject to that the personalization is based on information about the present rather than past browsing session of the customer. Based on the analysis, the author succeeds to discover a number of essential observations that seem to be relevant for business practitioners. Such observations include the privacy concerns of customers, which are manifested as the perceived intrusiveness of product recommendations. Also, the study proposes fruitful avenues for further research on the personalization strategies in online commerce.

M.Sc. Thesis: Value Research: Developing Value Propositions in Industrial Organizations

Author: Lucas Nilsson-Ollandt
Degree program: Industrial Engineering and Management

Supervisor: Risto Rajala
Instructor: Pekka Töytäri

Lucas Nilsson-Ollandt’s study investigates a key phenomenon in organizations pursuing value-based strategies in industrial markets: How to develop value propositions that are perceived valuable by the customers? The study improves the current understanding of the role of value research in the process of crafting value propositions in industrial markets.

To investigate the process of value proposition development in industrial organ-izations, the author conducts a literature review and performs a qualitative em-pirical study in six different organizations. Based on the literature research, the author presents frameworks that support the evaluation of the phenomenon. In addition, the contribution was built on the insights derived from the empirical research. Through an analysis of the previous research and empirical material collected for this study, the researcher illustrates how value research can be used in business and critically evaluates its viability in different contexts. The re-searcher implements the selected approach systematically and reports the pro-cess transparently.

As an outcome, the thesis outlines the process of value proposition development and sets forth a value proposition canvas to delineate factors that improve the current understanding of value proposition development. The author succeeds to discover a number of essential observations that are relevant for business practi-tioners. Also, the study proposes fruitful avenues for further research on the ap-plication of the established frameworks in future research.

M.Sc. Thesis: The role of trust in understanding the effects of blockchain on business models

Author: Jane Seppälä
Degree program: Industrial Management

Supervisor: Risto Rajala
Instructor: Robin Gustafsson

Jane Seppälä’s study investigates how blockchain technology could change business models in the future, and what is the role of trust in this change. The study improves the current understanding of the role of trust in the adoption of blockchain technology in transactions among entities and actors in diverse business ecosystems.

The author conducts a literature review to investigate the factors that affect the adoption of the blockchain technology and performs a qualitative empirical study in two different organizations. Based on the literature research, the author presents frameworks that support the evaluation of the viability of blockchain technology in diverse business cases. Three hypothetical use cases were constructed on the basis of the insights derived from the empirical research. Through an analysis of these use cases, the researcher illustrates how blockchain technology can be used in business and critically evaluates its viability in different business models. The researcher implements the selected approach systematically and reports the process transparently.

As an outcome, the thesis outlines factors that improve the current understanding of blockchain technology and its uses in business models. Moreover, the findings indicate that the possibility of building digital trust among actors plays a key role in viable blockchain-enabled business models. The author succeeds to discover a number of essential observations that are relevant for business practitioners. Also, the study proposes fruitful avenues for further research on the application of blockchains in future business models.

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