Truly global – three international PhDs from Jönköping International Business School

The research at Jönköping International Business School is truly international in character. In December, PhD candidates from Finland, Pakistan and Rwanda defended their new theses.

PhD Sari Virta celebrated with her colleagues at JIBS after having succesfully defended her thesis. (photo: Barbara Eklöf)

On the 17th of December, Sari Virta defended her doctoral thesis Managing Tensions in Creative Content Development Work: Cases from the Media Industry. External link, opens in new window.

Sari Virta is completing a double-degree PhD between Jönköping International Business School (Business Administration) and University of Tampere in Finland (Media Studies).

She has extensive experience of working in the Finnish media, and her dissertation focuses on the dynamic relationship between current and future business development, where various tensions become management issues in daily creative work. Such tensions can, through good leadership, be transformed into creativity.

Her research shows that organisational tensions pose an especially demanding managerial challenge to large established companies that are facing disruptive change, which radically alters their operational environment. But through successful management, these tensions can enhance creative work in organisations. Sari Virta has studied three major media organizations: a private commercial company, a public service company and a newly formed media cluster (an agglomeration of media activities, that co-locates for mutual advantages).

“Instead of fighting or ignoring organisational tensions, management need to identify, acknowledge and work with these tensions. To support creative work and develop new content, it is not advisable to try to copy ‘best practice’. In this fast-changing industry you are more likely to succeed if you find a way to manage the inherent tensions. To achieve this, one solution is for media organisations to collaborate in order to develop value-creating creative clusters,” concludes Sari Virta.

PhD Khizran Zehra was invited to try on a doctoral hat during the celebrations after her doctoral defense. (photo: Rose-Marie Wickström)

On the 18th of December, Khizran Zehra defended her doctoral thesis Resource Mobilization among Informal Entrepreneurs: A Case of Event Planning Industry of Pakistan External link, opens in new window..

Khizran Zehra’s thesis studies resource mobilization among informal entrepreneurs and is based on 15 cases from the event planning industry in Pakistan.

The study found that resource mobilization among informal entrepreneurs is collaborative rather than competitive.

“This collaborative resource mobilization is a mix of shared knowledge and co-operative networks, along with a strong trend for informal ventures. Trust and reciprocal exchanges among competitors are the most significant in this collaborative resource mobilization. This combination of social and human capital gives synergistic effects that contribute to an overall readiness of informal entrepreneurs to recognise and meet resource needs effectively,” explains Khizran Zehra:

”To study informal entrepreneurship is important, both from an academic and practical perspective. Informal entrepreneurs exist all over the world, in all manner of activities from those engaged in household work to those working in informal markets, small businesses and the self-employed. Scholars have understood that informal entrepreneurship will prevail and spread. Therefore, it is important to include and understand informal entrepreneurs as a unique form of the economic landscape.”

PhD Jean Bosco Shema was presented with a cake by his JIBS colleagues to celebrate the successful defense of his thesis. (photo: Barbara Eklöf)

On the 19th of December, Jean Bosco Shema defended his doctoral thesis The Adoption and External link, opens in new window.Implementation of lnternational Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) in Rwanda: An Integrated Approach. External link, opens in new window.

In his thesis, Jean Bosco investigates how IFRS have been adopted in Rwanda and sub-Saharan African countries. His research suggests that the implementation in Rwanda was affected by the country’s economic context and need for reconstruction, but also by the fact that Rwanda has different accounting traditions. It was also affected by the political context, including the colonial legacy, Rwandas regional politics and the accounting initiatives taken up by the independent African countries,” says Jean Bosco Shama.

“The adoption of IFRS in Rwanda was done after intense preparations. It was closely supported and monitored by the government of Rwanda since it was hoped that the new standards would be a catalyst for the government’s economic development goals. The adoption of IFRS also facilitated by the government of Rwanda’s desire to develop and strengthen the accounting profession.

When comparing accounting quality brought about by IFRS adoption in commercial banks in sub-Saharan Africa, we could not find any improvement of accounting quality in commercial banks using IFRS and those using OHADA (Organisation for the Harmonisation of Business Law in Africa), that is to say those banks using accounting standards in West Africa. This can be primarily attributed to the conditions under which the implementation of IFRS came about and the lack of consistent reforms in relation to the OHADA standards.”