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Nokia analysis made it to top publication in organisational and managerial research

Article by Timo Vuori and Quy Huy on the impact of top and middle managers’ emotions on the downward spiral of Nokia has attracted global interest.

The article by Professor of Strategic Management Timo Vuori of Aalto University and Professor of Strategic Management Quy Huy of INSEAD business school, Singapore, Distributed Attention and Shared Emotions in the Innovation Process: How Nokia Lost the Smartphone Battle, was recently published in the Administrative Science Quarterly journal. This is a significant accomplishment: the journal is the most highly valued publication in the field of managerial and organisational research annually publishing just 16 articles that have passed a strict selection process and are often written by researchers in the top universities of the world. The article has gained a lot of publicity not only in Finland but also in international media.

'ASQ emphasises theory development, and this was also the most important criterion for the approval of our article. We are developing a new theory on how shared emotions influence the innovation process. We particularly want to determine how the influence of emotions complements the impact of structures and cognitive limitations on how the thoughts of different groups are joined together ', explains Timo Vuori.

Fear and secrecy

The innovation process requires efficient information flow between, and within, different managerial layers. The research by Timo Vuori and Qyu Huy revealed that an atmosphere of fear got in the way of transfer of information, thus interrupting innovations. The focus of attention on different issues in different groups due to organisational structures and accounts of aggressive behaviour of senior managers caused fear in the middle management towards the upper management. This made them hide unfavourable issues, which in turn hindered taking the necessary corrective steps.

Many Finnish organisations could increase their innovativeness with improved management of emotions.

'Our article is part of a wider line of research for determining the impact of emotions on organizational processes and thus on its performance. Many Finnish organisations could increase their innovativeness with improved management of emotions. This does not necessarily mean being soft, but, instead, creating a collection of emotions supporting the development and implementation of strategy. 

Further information:

Professor Timo Vuori
Tel. +358 50 441 9072
[email protected]

You can read the whole article here (asq.sagepub.com)

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