During their studies, LFC master’s degree programme students participate in a case study research project. The project is carried out in close cooperation with a partner organization, which can be a business or public organisation or an NGO. The partner organizations assign a task or a challenge for the students to solve through research.
While partner organizations gain fresh, research-based insights to their operations, the participating students are able to develop their analytical capabilities, know-how and groupwork skills in multi-disciplinary research teams. They sharpen their skills in solving complex challenges through research.
In addition to classroom teaching, the teams read and analyse journal articles and other materials relevant for their case study, carry out an empirical case study research project and prepare and present a report for the case study organization. In Tampere University, the case study project is organized in collaboration with the master’s programme in responsible business.
Read, below, the public descriptions of the case study projects carried out during the autumn semester 2019.
Public Perceptions of Biofuels: Case Study of Frames of Biofuel Discussion for european parliament liaison office in finland
By Elina Siivari, Ilia Safrutin, Khalil Mozaffari, Esa Käyhkö, Risto Jouttijärvi
Biofuel is a sustainable and renewable energy alternative to petroleum and to other fossil fuels. In traffic, renewable biofuels are considered a reasonable solution to reducing the
negative environmental effects of fossil fuels. In line with the European Union’s climate and energy policy, “Finland is committed to promote the transition to sustainable biofuels in heavy goods vehicles and air transport” (Finnish Government, 2019). Our case study of public perceptions and media framing of biofuels highlights the importance of multiple environmental, economic, and technological considerations focusing on biofuels in the public discussion about climate change and sustainable development. Our research method was frame analysis. We identified the key stakeholder groups in biofuel policy debates in Finland by using power-interest grid and influence diagram mapping. Based on the stakeholder approach, we selected 59 relevant online publications including articles, press releases, statements, editorials, and other releases. Using the colouring method, we found in total 226 observations divided into six frame categories and six stakeholder groups. We selected opposing frames identified in the explorative study by Delshad and Raymond (2013) and adapted the frames for the purpose of our study. The most common frame combinations used by stakeholders was presented as the most frequent correlations. Within all the frames, the environmental friendly aspects of biofuels appeared more as shared than contrary. In particular, the frame of the positive environmental effects of biofuels encompassed multiple objectives in relation to climate change and the UN sustainable development goals. Also the importance of technological advances in resolving the current and future environmental concerns came up in our research findings. For the future research of biofuel advances, our case study indicates the importance of integrity in biofuel policies and the current regulatory frameworks for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Keywords: biofuels, frames, public perceptions, European Union, public policy
Sustainable Purchasing of Protective Gloves: Case study for Tuomi Logistics
By Mariia Kangasmiaki, Oskar Nurmio, Pӓivi Sivula, Esa-Matti Kyllönen, Costanza Firrincieli, Anastasia Pavlova
The social side of sustainable development and its impact on supply chains have so far received less attention than the environmental one. Meanwhile, the social aspect of sustainability covers such important problems as human rights, health and safety, and remuneration (Sancha at el., 2016). Today, when many productions are located in developing countries, sustainable supply chains and responsible procurement is one of the ways to positively influence this problem. Tuomi Logistics purchases protective gloves for hospitals and social institutions located in Pirkanmaa region. Main manufacturers are based in Thailand and Malaysia, which are so-called risk countries. Working conditions in these countries are often poor. The company is holding a tender competition for procurement of protective gloves and aimed at supporting socially responsible producers. To assist them, this case study was conducted. Our core questions were: what are the social issues related to gloves manufacturing, and what sustainable public procurement practices the case organization could use to influence these issues in so-called risk countries. To answer them we gathered data from the company’s contractors via qualitative questionnaires and from reports about social issues in manufacturing of gloves. Using qualitative data analysis as our main method, we revealed that the main social issues are labor abuse, health and safety issues, migrant and remuneration problems. They are complex, interconnected issues and need to be addressed complexly. It should include participation of all parties of supply chain. From the buyer’s side, they can set rules for tenders which prevent purchasing of socially irresponsible products. Such requirements can and should be based on international labor law, own developed code of conduct, as well as independent third-party auditing. Additionally, cooperation with other parties, such as neighboring municipalities, is considered as an effective way. Socially responsible public procurement is important for all parties. On the one hand, it creates pressure, which is so important to make producers implement positive changes and treat employees properly. On the other hand, it improves buyer’s reputation, its employees’ satisfaction and can be financially beneficial.
Keywords: socially responsible public procurement, public purchasing, social issues, labor rights.
The youth view on the European elections marketing in Finland: Case study for the European Parliament Liaison Office in Finland
By Tiia Eerola, Reetta Grönlund, Leni Koskinen, Alba Maria Vazquez Lopez and Leyla Yacine
The youth turnour in the European elections remains low in Finland. This is concerning because young individuals are not only electing representatives when they vote, they are, in fact, contributing to the definition of their future. Therefore, this study explores why the Finnish voting turnout remained low despite increased marketing and communications efforts of the European Parliament Liaison Office. To discover the reasons behind youth voting behavior, an exploratory and explanatory case study design was carried out. It involved conducting an online survey, which was designed based on previous literature findings pertaining youth voting behaviors and their correlation to political marketing. Through qualitative content analysis, including data coding and cross-tabulation, the most influential aspects to the Finnish youth voting behavior were identified, focusing on the marketing aspect. The study suggests that the political marketing for the 2019 European Parliament elections had reached its target group, however, it did not influence their voting behavior. Furthermore, social media was noted as the most influential political marketing channel among the youth, especially if the shared information corresponds with the interests of the youth and is illustrated through intriguing images, videos and text. In order to increase the youth turnout for the next elections, it would be worthwhile to get better familiarized with the matters that the youth care about. Therefore, it is recommended that the partner organization conducts further research to discover what the youth is interested in, which social media channels are used by them and what kind of content is suitable to share in each of the channels in addition to establishing political discussion forums or events for young people.
BENCHMARKING THE BEST PRACTICES IN SOCIAL IMPACT Measurement and VALUATION: Case study for UPM
By Fatema Aney, Stefania Celaj, Sami Kallio, Ilona Koski, Juuso Kääriäinen and Paula Perälä
Measuring and valuating social impact is becoming an increasingly important for companies and they are undertaking more activities to address social problems. It is becoming more and more important for companies in the forest industry as well due to forest industry’s important role in sustainability and significant impact for society. When it comes to the social impacts, companies are facing challenges taking the lead on it. Social impacts are multi-dimensional issues and often the lack of standardization in measurement and valuation practices is causing challenges. Social impact measurement essentially means measuring the long-term social change and what happens along the way to this change whereas valuation means the practices of quantifying and expressing different impacts. The purpose of this case study was to provide an insight of the current best practices in social impact measurement and valuation for UPM. The intention was to help UPM to supplement and develop their current practices in this area and tackle the challenges related to the lack of standardization and comparability of the results in social impact measurement and valuation. To approach this topic, four themes were identified according to the most urgent issues which emerged in an interview with UPM’s representatives as well as in previous literature. These themes present stages which are important for successful social impact measurement and valuation practices. The four themes are: 1) social impact dimensions, 2) social impact indicators, 3) data collection and verification and 4) social impact management. This research was carried out as benchmarking study of best practices from social impact measurement and valuation from benchmarking cases made by other organizations in different industries. The findings of our study were divided under these four themes. Finally, suggestions were made to UPM on how they could supplement and develop their current practices in social impact measurement and valuation and what are the main outputs of our findings from benchmarking cases.
Developing Relations Between the Food Bank and Retailers: Case Study for Tampere Lutheran Parishes Food Bank
By Marina Danoyan, Aaron Donnelly, Eliisa Nissi, Anni Paavilainen, Roosa Purmonen, Emma Saramaki, Charlotte Walker
At present 1.3 billion tons of edible food is wasted per year, all the while people go hungry and suffer from malnutrition. A high proportion of food waste is generated at consumption level as a result of surplus food. An intermediary in this dilemma are food banks whose operations address the hunger plight by collecting and redistributing surplus food in the form of donations from various stakeholders to those who require food aid. The purpose of this case study was to produce knowledge that helps in developing the activities of the Tampere Lutheran Parishes food bank operations in Tampere, Finland. The aim is to enhance collaboration with local retailers. Thus, this study explored the food donation process from retailers to the food bank to discover the challenges that hinder donations as well as the current best practices that exist within the network. To address the lack of understanding about the process, an exploratory single case study approach was adopted which involved conducting three interviews with the food bank and two local retailers. Through conducting this research, five themes were developed that express the most pertinent issues regarding the donation process which include 1) motivational mindset, 2) resources, 3) practices, 4) collaboration, and 5) technology. The findings indicate that while there are many positive aspects within the food donation process, improvements could be made that would benefit all parties involved. This case study makes practical contributions by making four main recommendations for the food bank and the retailers. Those include: 1) creating information packs for donors, 2) sharing information among donors to share best practices, 3) utilizing technological solutions, and 4) hosting an event to improve relations with donors and promote the food bank activities. Overall, the results of this research can be used to make concrete changes in order to improve the existing food donation process between the food bank and its main donors, thus contributing to the efficiency of the food donation chain.