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  • 51.
    Ager, Bengt
    et al.
    Dalarna University, School of Technology and Business Studies, Wood Technology.
    Liss, Jan-Erik
    Dalarna University, School of Technology and Business Studies, Wood Technology.
    Systemstudier Ungskogsbränsle - Projektplan till Nutek1998Report (Other academic)
  • 52.
    Aghanavesi, Somayeh
    Dalarna University, School of Technology and Business Studies, Microdata Analysis.
    Smartphone-based Parkinson’s disease symptom assessment2017Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This thesis consists of four research papers presenting a microdata analysis approach to assess and evaluate the Parkinson’s disease (PD) motor symptoms using smartphone-based systems. PD is a progressive neurological disorder that is characterized by motor symptoms. It is a complex disease that requires continuous monitoring and multidimensional symptom analysis. Both patients’ perception regarding common symptom and their motor function need to be related to the repeated and time-stamped assessment; with this, the full extent of patient’s condition could be revealed. The smartphone enables and facilitates the remote, long-term and repeated assessment of PD symptoms. Two types of collected data from smartphone were used, one during a three year, and another during one-day clinical study. The data were collected from series of tests consisting of tapping and spiral motor tests. During the second time scale data collection, along smartphone-based measurements patients were video recorded while performing standardized motor tasks according to Unified Parkinson’s disease rating scales (UPDRS).

    At first, the objective of this thesis was to elaborate the state of the art, sensor systems, and measures that were used to detect, assess and quantify the four cardinal and dyskinetic motor symptoms. This was done through a review study. The review showed that smartphones as the new generation of sensing devices are preferred since they are considered as part of patients’ daily accessories, they are available and they include high-resolution activity data. Smartphones can capture important measures such as forces, acceleration and radial displacements that are useful for assessing PD motor symptoms.

    Through the obtained insights from the review study, the second objective of this thesis was to investigate whether a combination of tapping and spiral drawing tests could be useful to quantify dexterity in PD. More specifically, the aim was to develop data-driven methods to quantify and characterize dexterity in PD. The results from this study showed that tapping and spiral drawing tests that were collected by smartphone can detect movements reasonably well related to under- and over-medication.

    The thesis continued by developing an Approximate Entropy (ApEn)-based method, which aimed to measure the amount of temporal irregularity during spiral drawing tests. One of the disabilities associated with PD is the impaired ability to accurately time movements. The increase in timing variability among patients when compared to healthy subjects, suggests that the Basal Ganglia (BG) has a role in interval timing. ApEn method was used to measure temporal irregularity score (TIS) which could significantly differentiate the healthy subjects and patients at different stages of the disease. This method was compared to two other methods which were used to measure the overall drawing impairment and shakiness. TIS had better reliability and responsiveness compared to the other methods. However, in contrast to other methods, the mean scores of the ApEn-based method improved significantly during a 3-year clinical study, indicating a possible impact of pathological BG oscillations in temporal control during spiral drawing tasks. In addition, due to the data collection scheme, the study was limited to have no gold standard for validating the TIS. However, the study continued to further investigate the findings using another screen resolution, new dataset, new patient groups, and for shorter term measurements. The new dataset included the clinical assessments of patients while they performed tests according to UPDRS. The results of this study confirmed the findings in the previous study. Further investigation when assessing the correlation of TIS to clinical ratings showed the amount of temporal irregularity present in the spiral drawing cannot be detected during clinical assessment since TIS is an upper limb high frequency-based measure. 

  • 53.
    Aghanavesi, Somayeh
    et al.
    Dalarna University, School of Technology and Business Studies, Microdata Analysis.
    Bergquist, Filip
    Nyholm, Dag
    Senek, Marina
    Memedi, Mevludin
    Motion sensor-based assessment of Parkinson’s disease motor symptoms during leg agility tests: results from levodopa challenge2019In: IEEE journal of biomedical and health informatics, ISSN 2168-2194, E-ISSN 2168-2208Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a degenerative, progressive disorder of the central nervous system that mainly affects motor control. The aim of this study was to develop data-driven methods and test their clinimetric properties to detect and quantify PD motor states using motion sensor data from leg agility tests. Nineteen PD patients were recruited in a levodopa single dose challenge study. PD patients performed leg agility tasks while wearing motion sensors on their lower extremities. Clinical evaluation of video recordings was performed by three movement disorder specialists who used four items from the motor section of the Unified PD Rating Scale (UPDRS), the treatment response scale (TRS) and a dyskinesia score. Using the sensor data, spatiotemporal features were calculated and relevant features were selected by feature selection. Machine learning methods like support vector machines (SVM), decision trees and linear regression, using 10-fold cross validation were trained to predict motor states of the patients. SVM showed the best convergence validity with correlation coefficients of 0.81 to TRS, 0.83 to UPDRS #31 (body bradykinesia and hypokinesia), 0.78 to SUMUPDRS (the sum of the UPDRS items: #26-leg agility, #27-arising from chair and #29-gait), and 0.67 to dyskinesia. Additionally, the SVM-based scores had similar test-retest reliability in relation to clinical ratings. The SVM-based scores were less responsive to treatment effects than the clinical scores, particularly with regards to dyskinesia. In conclusion, the results from this study indicate that using motion sensors during leg agility tests may lead to valid and reliable objective measures of PD motor symptoms.

  • 54.
    Aghanavesi, Somayeh
    et al.
    Dalarna University, School of Technology and Business Studies, Microdata Analysis.
    Bergquist, Filip
    Gothenburg University.
    Nyholm, Dag
    Uppsala University.
    Senek, Marina
    Uppsala University.
    Memedi, Mevludin
    Örebro University.
    Objective assessment of Parkinson’s disease motor symptoms during leg agility test using motion sensors2018Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Title: Objective assessment of Parkinson’s disease motor symptoms during leg agility test using motion sensors

    Objective: To develop and evaluate machine learning methods for assessment of Parkinson’s disease (PD) motor symptoms using leg agility (LA) data collected with motion sensors during a single dose experiment.

    Background: Nineteen advanced PD patients (Gender: 14 males and 5 females, mean age: 71.4, mean years with PD: 9.7, mean years with levodopa: 9.5) were recruited in a single center, open label, single dose clinical trial in Sweden [1].

    Methods: The patients performed up to 15 LA tasks while wearing motions sensors on their foot ankle. They performed tests at pre-defined time points starting from baseline, at the time they received a morning dose (150% of their levodopa equivalent morning dose), and at follow-up time points until the medication wore off. The patients were video recorded while performing the motor tasks. and three movement disorder experts rated the observed motor symptoms using 4 items from the Unified PD Rating Scale (UPDRS) motor section including UPDRS #26 (leg agility), UPDRS #27 (Arising from chair), UPDRS #29 (Gait), UPDRS #31 (Body Bradykinesia and Hypokinesia), and dyskinesia scale. In addition, they rated the overall mobility of the patients using Treatment Response Scale (TRS), ranging from -3 (very off) to 3 (very dyskinetic). Sensors data were processed and their quantitative measures were used to develop machine learning methods, which mapped them to the mean ratings of the three raters. The quality of measurements of the machine learning methods was assessed by convergence validity, test-retest reliability and sensitivity to treatment.

    Results: Results from the 10-fold cross validation showed good convergent validity of the machine learning methods (Support Vector Machines, SVM) with correlation coefficients of 0.81 for TRS, 0.78 for UPDRS #26, 0.69 for UPDRS #27, 0.78 for UPDRS #29, 0.83 for UPDRS #31, and 0.67 for dyskinesia scale (P<0.001). There were good correlations between scores produced by the methods during the first (baseline) and second tests with coefficients ranging from 0.58 to 0.96, indicating good test-retest reliability. The machine learning methods had lower sensitivity than mean clinical ratings (Figure. 1).

    Conclusions: The presented methodology was able to assess motor symptoms in PD well, comparable to movement disorder experts. The leg agility test did not reflect treatment related changes.

  • 55.
    Aghanavesi, Somayeh
    et al.
    Dalarna University, School of Technology and Business Studies, Microdata Analysis.
    Bergquist, Filip
    Nyholm, Dag
    Senek, Marina
    Memedi, Mevludin
    Treatment response index from a multi-modal sensor fusion platform for assessment of motor states in Parkinson's disease2019Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The aim of this paper is to develop and evaluate a multi-sensor data fusion platform for quantifying Parkinson’s disease (PD) motor states. More specifically, the aim is to evaluate the clinimetric properties (validity, reliability, and responsiveness to treatment) of the method, using data from motion sensors during lower- and upper-limb tests.

    Methods: Nineteen PD patients and 22 healthy controls were recruited in a single center study. Subjects performed standardized motor tasks of Unified PD Rating Scale (UPDRS), including leg agility, hand rotation, and walking after wearing motion sensors on ankles and wrists. PD patients received a single levodopa dose before and at follow-up time points after the dose administration. Patients were video recorded and their motor symptoms were rated by three movement disorder experts. Experts rated each and every test occasions based on the six items of UPDRS-III (motor section), the treatment response scale (TRS) and the dyskinesia score. Spatiotemporal features were extracted from the sensor data. Features from lower limbs and upper limbs were fused. Feature selection methods of stepwise regression (SR), Lasso regression and principle component analysis (PCA) were used to select the most important features. Different machine learning methods of linear regression (LR), decision trees, and support vector machines were examined and their clinimetric properties were assessed.

    Results: Treatment response index from multimodal motion sensors (TRIMMS) scores obtained from the most valid method of LR when using data from all tests. Features were selected by SR, and this method resulted in r=0.95 to TRS. The test-retest reliability of TRIMMS was good with intra-class correlation coefficient of 0.82. Responsiveness of the TRIMMS to levodopa treatment was similar to the responsiveness of TRS.

    Conclusions: The results from this study indicate that fusing motion sensors data gathered during standardized motor tasks leads to valid, reliable and sensitive objective measurements of PD motor symptoms. These measurements could be further utilized in studies for individualized optimization of treatments in PD.

  • 56.
    Aghanavesi, Somayeh
    et al.
    Dalarna University, School of Technology and Business Studies, Microdata Analysis.
    Filip, Bergquist
    Gothenburg University.
    Nyholm, Dag
    Uppsala University.
    Senek, Marina
    Uppsala University.
    Memedi, Mevludin
    Örebro University.
    Feasibility of a multi-sensor data fusion method for assessment of Parkinson’s disease motor symptoms2018Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Title: Feasibility of a multi-sensor data fusion method for assessment of Parkinson’s disease motor symptoms

    Objective: To assess the feasibility of measuring Parkinson’s disease (PD) motor symptoms with a multi-sensor data fusion method. More specifically, the aim is to assess validity, reliability and sensitivity to treatment of the methods.

    Background: Data from 19 advanced PD patients (Gender: 14 males and 5 females, mean age: 71.4, mean years with PD: 9.7, mean years with levodopa: 9.5) were collected in a single center, open label, single dose clinical trial in Sweden [1].

    Methods: The patients performed leg agility and 2-5 meter straight walking tests while wearing motion sensors on their limbs. They performed the tests at baseline, at the time they received the morning dose, and at pre-specified time points until the medication wore off. While performing the tests the patients were video recorded. The videos were observed by three movement disorder specialists who rated the symptoms using a treatment response scale (TRS), ranging from -3 (very off) to 3 (very dyskinetic). The sensor data consisted of lower limb data during leg agility, upper limb data during walking, and lower limb data during walking. Time series analysis was performed on the raw sensor data extracted from 17 patients to derive a set of quantitative measures, which were then used during machine learning to be mapped to mean ratings of the three raters on the TRS scale. Combinations of data were tested during the machine learning procedure.

    Results: Using data from both tests, the Support Vector Machines (SVM) could predict the motor states of the patients on the TRS scale with a good agreement in relation to the mean ratings of the three raters (correlation coefficient = 0.92, root mean square error = 0.42, p<0.001). Additionally, there was good test-retest reliability of the SVM scores during baseline and second tests with intraclass-correlation coefficient of 0.84. Sensitivity to treatment for SVM was good (Figure 1), indicating its ability to detect changes in motor symptoms. The upper limb data during walking was more informative than lower limb data during walking since SVMs had higher correlation coefficient to mean ratings.  

    Conclusions: The methodology demonstrates good validity, reliability, and sensitivity to treatment. This indicates that it could be useful for individualized optimization of treatments among PD patients, leading to an improvement in health-related quality of life.

  • 57.
    Aghanavesi, Somayeh
    et al.
    Dalarna University, School of Technology and Business Studies, Microdata Analysis.
    Fleyeh, Hasan
    Dalarna University, School of Technology and Business Studies, Computer Engineering.
    Memedi, Mevludin
    Dougherty, Mark
    Dalarna University, School of Technology and Business Studies, Microdata Analysis.
    Feasibility of using smartphones for quantification of Parkinson’s disease motor states during hand rotation tests2019Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 58.
    Aghanavesi, Somayeh
    et al.
    Dalarna University, School of Technology and Business Studies, Microdata Analysis.
    Memedi, Mevludin
    Dalarna University, School of Technology and Business Studies, Computer Engineering.
    Dougherty, Mark
    Dalarna University, School of Technology and Business Studies, Microdata Analysis.
    Nyholm, Dag
    Westin, Jerker
    Dalarna University, School of Technology and Business Studies, Computer Engineering.
    Verification of a method for measuring Parkinson’s disease related temporal irregularity in spiral drawings2017In: Sensors, ISSN 1424-8220, E-ISSN 1424-8220, Vol. 17, no 10, article id 2341Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Parkinson's disease (PD) is a progressive movement disorder caused by the death of dopamine-producing cells in the midbrain. There is a need for frequent symptom assessment, since the treatment needs to be individualized as the disease progresses. The aim of this paper was to verify and further investigate the clinimetric properties of an entropy-based method for measuring PD-related upper limb temporal irregularities during spiral drawing tasks. More specifically, properties of a temporal irregularity score (TIS) for patients at different stages of PD, and medication time points were investigated. Nineteen PD patients and 22 healthy controls performed repeated spiral drawing tasks on a smartphone. Patients performed the tests before a single levodopa dose and at specific time intervals after the dose was given. Three movement disorder specialists rated videos of the patients based on the unified PD rating scale (UPDRS) and the Dyskinesia scale. Differences in mean TIS between the groups of patients and healthy subjects were assessed. Test-retest reliability of the TIS was measured. The ability of TIS to detect changes from baseline (before medication) to later time points was investigated. Correlations between TIS and clinical rating scores were assessed. The mean TIS was significantly different between healthy subjects and patients in advanced groups (p-value = 0.02). Test-retest reliability of TIS was good with Intra-class Correlation Coefficient of 0.81. When assessing changes in relation to treatment, TIS contained some information to capture changes from Off to On and wearing off effects. However, the correlations between TIS and clinical scores (UPDRS and Dyskinesia) were weak. TIS was able to differentiate spiral drawings drawn by patients in an advanced stage from those drawn by healthy subjects, and TIS had good test-retest reliability. TIS was somewhat responsive to single-dose levodopa treatment. Since TIS is an upper limb high-frequency-based measure, it cannot be detected during clinical assessment.

  • 59.
    Aghanavesi, Somayeh
    et al.
    Dalarna University, School of Technology and Business Studies, Computer Engineering.
    Memedi, Mevludin
    Dalarna University, School of Technology and Business Studies, Computer Engineering.
    Nyholm, Dag
    Senek, Marina
    Medvedev, Alexander
    Askmark, Håkan
    Equilonius, Sten-Magnus
    Bergquist, Filip
    Gonstantinescu, Radu
    Ohlsson, Fredrik
    Spira, Jack
    Sara, Lycke
    Ericsson, Enders
    Quantification of upper limb motor symptoms of Parkinson’s disease using a smartphone2016In: Abstracts of the Twentieth International Congress of Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorders / [ed] Somayeh Aghanavesi, 2016, Vol. 31, p. S640-, article id 1948Conference paper (Other academic)
  • 60.
    Aghanavesi, Somayeh
    et al.
    Dalarna University, School of Technology and Business Studies, Microdata Analysis.
    Nyholm, Dag
    Marina, Senek
    Bergquist, Filip
    Memedi, Mevludin
    Dalarna University, School of Technology and Business Studies, Computer Engineering.
    A smartphone-based system to quantify dexterity in Parkinson's disease patients2017In: Informatics in Medicine Unlocked, ISSN 2352-9148, Vol. 9, p. 11-17Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Objectives: The aim of this paper is to investigate whether a smartphone-based system can be used to quantify dexterity in Parkinson’s disease (PD). More specifically, the aim was to develop data-driven methods to quantify and characterize dexterity in PD. Methods: Nineteen advanced PD patients and 22 healthy controls participated in a clinical trial in Uppsala, Sweden. The subjects were asked to perform tapping and spiral drawing tests using a smartphone. Patients performed the tests before, and at pre-specified time points after they received 150% of their usual levodopa morning dose. Patients were video recorded and their motor symptoms were assessed by three movement disorder specialists using three Unified PD Rating Scale (UPDRS) motor items from part III, the dyskinesia scoring and the treatment response scale (TRS). The raw tapping and spiral data were processed and analyzed with time series analysis techniques to extract 37 spatiotemporal features. For each of the five scales, separate machine learning models were built and tested by using principal components of the features as predictors and mean ratings of the three specialists as target variables. Results: There were weak to moderate correlations between smartphone-based scores and mean ratings of UPDRS item #23 (0.52; finger tapping), UPDRS #25 (0.47; rapid alternating movements of hands), UPDRS #31 (0.57; body bradykinesia and hypokinesia), sum of the three UPDRS items (0.46), dyskinesia (0.64), and TRS (0.59). When assessing the test-retest reliability of the scores it was found that, in general, the clinical scores had better test-retest reliability than the smartphone-based scores. Only the smartphone-based predicted scores on the TRS and dyskinesia scales had good repeatability with intra-class correlation coefficients of 0.51 and 0.84, respectively. Clinician-based scores had higher effect sizes than smartphone-based scores indicating a better responsiveness in detecting changes in relation to treatment interventions. However, the first principal component of the 37 features was able to capture changes throughout the levodopa cycle and had trends similar to the clinical TRS and dyskinesia scales. Smartphone-based scores differed significantly between patients and healthy controls. Conclusions: Quantifying PD motor symptoms via instrumented, dexterity tests employed in a smartphone is feasible and data from such tests can also be used for measuring treatment-related changes in patients.

  • 61.
    Aghanavesi, Somayeh
    et al.
    Dalarna University, School of Technology and Business Studies, Computer Engineering.
    Westin, Jerker
    Dalarna University, School of Technology and Business Studies, Computer Engineering.
    A review of Parkinson’s disease cardinal and dyskinetic motor symptoms assessment methods using sensor systems2016Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper is reviewing objective assessments of Parkinson’s disease(PD) motor symptoms, cardinal, and dyskinesia, using sensor systems. It surveys the manifestation of PD symptoms, sensors that were used for their detection, types of signals (measures) as well as their signal processing (data analysis) methods. A summary of this review’s finding is represented in a table including devices (sensors), measures and methods that were used in each reviewed motor symptom assessment study. In the gathered studies among sensors, accelerometers and touch screen devices are the most widely used to detect PD symptoms and among symptoms, bradykinesia and tremor were found to be mostly evaluated. In general, machine learning methods are potentially promising for this. PD is a complex disease that requires continuous monitoring and multidimensional symptom analysis. Combining existing technologies to develop new sensor platforms may assist in assessing the overall symptom profile more accurately to develop useful tools towards supporting better treatment process.

  • 62.
    Agirman, Nesim
    et al.
    Dalarna University, School of Technology and Business Studies, Construction.
    Ali, Mustafa
    Dalarna University, School of Technology and Business Studies, Construction.
    U-värde av isoleringsmaterial i en kassett: En experimentell jämförelse mellan en fönsterkassett som har isolering och en utan isolering2016Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    Insulation and insulation material is one of the most important components in the construction industry and has a wide range of applications and therefore the demand is huge. Because of the high costs on the market, new and different researches take place every day to find alternative insulation materials. The technology make the opportunities greater to find and use cheaper materials. Therefore, it is not un common to see insulations made of different materials every day.

    The purpose of this study is to investigate two Moniflexcassettes, one with insulation and one without, in a climate chamber, to then compare their u-values.

    The results showed the influence on the insulation, that the u-value was lower on the cartridge with the insulation, and therefore a proof that the insulation can use as an additional insulation. This applied especially for windows and glass portions who have a high u-value, which mean that windows and glass portions do not have to change to newer windows with lower u-values.

    The company Isolight´s current u-value of the cassette with the isolation was not the same as with the tested U-value in Högskolan Dalarnas climate chamber. On the cassette without insulation, there has been no comparison between the tested value and the value of the company because the company does not have a u-value for that.

  • 63. Agndal, Henrik
    et al.
    Elbe, Jörgen
    Dalarna University, School of Technology and Business Studies, Business Administration and Management.
    The internationalization process of small and medium-sized Swedish tourism firms2007In: Scandinavian Journal of Hospitality and Tourism, ISSN 1502-2250, E-ISSN 1502-2269, Vol. 7, no 4, p. 301-327Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper develops eight propositions regarding internationalization processes for small and medium-sized tourism firms (SMTFs). A SMTF is defined here as a company that produces a tourist attraction locally, its product based on local resources. This means that SMTFs rely on customers seeking them on the firms' home market. This has implications for the SMTF's expansion into new markets and, consequently, its internationalization process. In a study based on the propositions, the internationalization processes of ten Swedish SMTFs were investigated. It was found that some SMTFs internationalized slowly; initially displayed a reactive and emergent approach, and entered markets that were culturally and geographically close. Born global SMTFs, however, searched more actively for opportunities, also in more remote markets. Intermediaries were the dominant mode throughout the process for all firms. Over time, most of the SMTFs developed a more strategic and deliberate approach in their selection of counterparts and new markets. The support of a destination management organization was important initially for some of the firms.

  • 64.
    Agyeiwaa Owusu, Jacqueline
    et al.
    Dalarna University, School of Technology and Business Studies, Business Administration and Management.
    Raul Aguirre Gonzalez, Victor
    Dalarna University, School of Technology and Business Studies, Business Administration and Management.
    ENVIRONMENTAL FACTORS WHICH INFLUENCE THE INTERNATIONALIZATION OF SMEs: A Case Study from a Ghanaian SME. 2018Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    Aim:

    The purpose of this research is to develop an in-depth understanding on the environmental factors that influence the internationalization of SMEs in an emerging African market environment.

    Methods:

    The study was conducted by using a qualitative research design. To fulfil the purpose of this research, the researchers adopted the use of a single case study to explain the different aspects of the topic being studied within the emerging market context. The research was supported with primary data obtained directly from the company through interviews and also with secondary data in order to support and compare the results obtained from this research. Results were analyzed using thematic analysis with the use of the NVivo software to represent data collected.

    Results:

    The main findings of this research indicate the internationalization process of financial SMEs in an African country like Ghana is heavily influenced by the socio-cultural factors in their home market environment and the technological factors in their host markets. Again, it was realized that the internal resources of the firm, particularly the competitive advantage, remained highly relevant and influential in the internationalization process on both markets. Furthermore, it was found that the internationalization process was not only influenced by the firm’s resources or the environmental factors but also by the firm’s organizational internal processes, international activities, level of foreign experiences and firm identity.

    Conclusions:

    Environmental factors have both positive and negative influence on the internationalization process of financial SMEs in an emerging economy like Ghana. Some factors have more impact on the home market than on the host market and vice versa. In addition, the internationalization process of financial SMEs in Ghana can mostly be initiated and successful when the firm has a market gap or foothold strong enough to sustain competitive advantage in the long run on both host and home markets. More importantly, this unique edge must be buttressed by ample firm resources.

  • 65.
    Ahamed, Anees
    Dalarna University, School of Technology and Business Studies, Energy Technology.
    Accelerated Aging of First-surface Enhanced Aluminum Solar Reflectors under Damp Heat Conditions2016Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 25 credits / 37,5 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    Solar reflectors are one of the main components of concentrating solar power systems. With new products being developed, durability studies become a necessity for assessing the feasibility of commercial application. In this project, accelerated aging of three types of first-surface enhanced aluminum reflectors and one type of second-surface silvered thick glass mirror under damp heat conditions is studied. The project is conducted at the Plataforma Solar de Almería (PSA), in collaboration with German Aerospace Center (DLR), and Center for Energy, Environment and Technology (CIEMAT), Spain.

     

    The study is centered on analyzing the effect of soiling on degradation of reflectors. In addition to conventional methods, space resolved specular reflectometry is utilized for comparative purpose. Damp heat test conditions are simulated in a climatic test chamber. Test is conducted with reference to International Electrotechnical Commission standard IEC 62108 10.7a: damp heat test guidelines. The reflector samples are artificially soiled with natural and synthetic test sands of varying composition. Reflector performance is assessed based on the reduction in monochromatic specular reflectance.

     

    From the tests, a comparative assessment of the candidate reflectors is obtained. Aluminum samples suffered higher degradation than silvered glass mirrors. Aluminum reflectors with polymer top coat permanently retained soil residue. It is observed that presence of chlorides and organic components caused corrosion on all the types of reflectors tested. Surface roughening is the reason for performance deterioration in most of the cases. By comparing different reflectance measurement methods, the significance of total area of the measurement spot in the measurement procedures could be highlighted. It is suggested that for studies involving artificial soiling, the grain size of sand is to be factored in.

  • 66.
    Ahlepil, Björn
    et al.
    Dalarna University, School of Technology and Business Studies, Information Systems.
    Jääskeleinen, Marcus
    Dalarna University, School of Technology and Business Studies, Information Systems.
    Shop4athletes: E-handelswebbplats och användbarhet2003Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor)Student thesis
    Abstract [sv]

    Medvetenheten har ökat hos svenska folket om att det är viktigt att motionera och att det till viss del krävs funktionell utrustning. Situationen idag för svensk friidrott är att sporten är het med alla internationella framgångar samt att tillgången till träningsmöjligheter är stor. Trots detta är det svårt för friidrottare att hitta ett brett sortiment av friidrottsartiklar, speciellt för de som inte bor nära storstäderna. Vår affärsidé är att starta ett e-handelsföretag som ska sälja ett brett sortiment av friidrottsartiklar över Internet där marknaden är Sverige och på sikt kanske även övriga skandinaviska länder. Även om marknaden ofta är för liten i enskilda svenska städer för ett stort sortiment av friidrottsartiklar tror vi att marknaden ändå är tillräckligt stor sammantaget i Sverige. Projektet har utmynnat i en fullt funktionell e-handelswebbplats som ska kunna ligga till grund för startandet av e-handelsföretaget shop4athletes. Förutom att e-handelswebbplatsen ska vara funktionell har fokus legat på att skapa en unik, stilren och lättnavigerad webbplats som genom design och användbarhet ska kunna attrahera målgruppen.

  • 67.
    Ahlstrand, Roland
    et al.
    Malmö Högskola.
    Rydell, Alexis
    Dalarna University, School of Technology and Business Studies, Occupational science.
    Corporate Social Responsibility in Connection with Business Closures and Downsizing: A Literature Review2017In: Contemporary Management Research, ISSN 1813-5498, Vol. 13, no 1, p. 53-78Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The aim of this paper was to review the research on corporate social responsibility (CSR) in connection with business closures and downsizing to identify gaps in our knowledge. The study consisted of a systematic review of 24 refereed articles. The review identified four themes in the literature on CSR in connection with business closure and downsizing, namely CSR, transition programs and the local community; CSR and business strategy; CSR, power and reputation; and lastly, other articles on CSR in connection with business closures and downsizing. The review revealed a lack of understanding of the reasons, outcomes and methodology of CSR development in connection with business closures and downsizing.

  • 68.
    Ahlström, Sara
    Dalarna University, School of Technology and Business Studies, Business Administration and Management.
    Motion för frisk pension: En kvalitativ fallstudie om implementering av träning på arbetstid2016Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    Aim: The purpose of this study is to investigate the implementation of training during working hours, and to describe the leaders and employees own experiences of success factors and difficulties that exist.

    Method: This essay is designed as a qualitative case study at Kalmar Vatten where semi-structured interviews were conducted. The research study, which is based on the interpretive qualitative approach with a focus on a hermeneutic perspective. The empirical material has been analyzed by an abductive method of analysis.

    Result and conclusion: The study concludes that the implementation of training during working hours is about creating a behavioral change and that management must create these conditions and follow up employees experiences.

    Suggestions for future research: For future research, it may be of interest to examine how exercise affects the employees physical and mental condition to measure productivity and sick leave. It may also be interesting to study additional companies that have introduced training during working hours.

  • 69.
    Ahlström Söderling, Ragnar
    Dalarna University, School of Technology and Business Studies, Business Administration and Management.
    Difficulties in the Start-up Process of Strategic SME Business Networks: Some Observations in the Swedish Wood Manufacturing Industry2001In: SEEANZ Conference, Wellington, New Zealand, 2001Conference paper (Other academic)
  • 70.
    Ahlström Söderling, Ragnar
    Dalarna University, School of Technology and Business Studies, Business Administration and Management.
    Does Benchmarking Support Innovation That Leads To Competitive Advantages?: Some observations in a study of manufacturing companies' use of best practices2003In: The Symposium on the Entreprenurship-Innovation-Marketing Interface, Karlsruhe, Germany, 2003Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 71.
    Ahlström Söderling, Ragnar
    Dalarna University, School of Technology and Business Studies, Business Administration and Management.
    Does Benchmarking Support Innovation that Leads to Competitive advantages?: Some observations in a study of manufacturing companies' use of best practices2005In: The Entreprenership - Innovation - Marketing Interface / [ed] Würt, Reinhold; Gaul, Wolfgang; Jung, Viktor, Künzelsau: Swiridoff Verlag , 2005Chapter in book (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper describe a search for evidence that use of benchmarking is one driving factor supporting innovation and further if it is possible to see some relationship between the use of innovation as a practice and a created competitive advantage. The basis for the analysis is a dataset that was collected in beginning of 2001 through a survey (BPPS) among manufacturing sites with 10 and more employees in the region of Dalarna in Sweden. The Business Practices and Performance Model (BPPS) have been developed from a Practice Based View that is operationalized in a survey instrument. It has been used in three large scale empirical investigations in New Zealand during the 1990s and recently in five regions in Sweden. Traditionally a common view on strategy has been conceptualized as a situational choice of generic strategies (e.g. Porter) assuming a type of contingency based view of the firm. During the last decade and still dominating is the focus on core competencies or distinctive capabilities assuming a resource based view of the firm (RBV). But where do the capabilities come from? It is generally acknowledged in research that these often intangible or tacit capabilities are developed through experiential learning or learning by practicing. This is the basis of a “practice based view of the firm” (PBV), often assumed in quality theories and methodologies, as a variant or specification of RBV. It is in PBV assumed, based on research findings, that there are practices that, in combination and when effectively linked together, can be expected to consistently improve operational performance and thus provide firms who adopt them with an advantage over those that do not. Thus good business practices, and the learning and knowledge creation developed through using them, can be thought of as the base or foundation on which distinctive capabilities and hence competitive advantage is built.

  • 72.
    Ahlström Söderling, Ragnar
    Dalarna University, School of Technology and Business Studies, Business Administration and Management.
    Entrepreneurial Spin-offs: do we understand them?1999In: 44th ICSB World Conference, Naples, Italy, 1999Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper discusses different aspects of entrepreneurial spin-offs in the private sector, a definition as well as a theoretical discussion on the driving forces, the pre spin-off process, key actors in the spin-off process and their roles played in the process. The chosen definition of entrepreneurial spin-offs is: When one or more individual/s is/are leaving an organization (quitting his/her/their employment) with the intention to start a new firm that is based on elements from the firm he/she/they is/are leaving, and where the originating organization (the employer) does neither have a dominant influence in the new firm according to ownership or power. The discussed spin-off pre-process is divided in the following steps: One or more individuals becomes aware of a possible business venture The idea to try to exploit this business venture arises The desire to do it in an own firm arises Investigation of possibilities to start a new firm The decision to start a new firm The actual start of the new firm (the time of the spin-off) The spin-off entrepreneur/s is/are leaving the employment of the originating firm with the intention to run their own business The key actors in the spin-off process that is discussed are: The spin-off entrepreneur/s The management of the originating (incubator) firm The initial customers of the spin-off firm The initial suppliers and other supporters of the spin-off firm. The paper ends with some hypotheses of the differences between genuine, new, start-ups and establishment of new firms through entrepreneurial spin-offs.

  • 73.
    Ahlström Söderling, Ragnar
    Dalarna University, School of Technology and Business Studies, Business Administration and Management.
    Entreprenörskap i destinationsutvecklingen2007In: Utveckla turistdestinationer / [ed] Bohlin, Magnus; Elbe, Jörgen, Uppsala: Uppsala Publishing House , 2007Chapter in book (Other academic)
  • 74.
    Ahlström Söderling, Ragnar
    Dalarna University, School of Technology and Business Studies, Business Administration and Management.
    Factors Limiting Growth in Different Phases of Firm Development: a Systems Theory Approach1998In: 10th Nordic Conference on Small Business Research, Växjö, Sweden, 1998Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper describes some thoughts on local economic development through the focus on existing firms growth potential. It also copes with the need to identify growth limiting factors in these firms in order to enforce growth. Further a number of different firm situations and a number of limiting factors to growth, grouped in categories are described. This presentation is followed by a theoretical discussion of which limiting factors that are to be expected in each of the possible firm situations.

  • 75.
    Ahlström Söderling, Ragnar
    Dalarna University, School of Technology and Business Studies, Business Administration and Management.
    Giving Regional and Local Policy Makers a View of the Regions Firms foundation for Sustainable Competitiveness2006In: Innovations and Entrepreneurship in Functional Regions / [ed] Johansson, Iréne, Trollhättan: University West , 2006, p. 73-99Chapter in book (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The basic assumption in this paper is that policy makers intervene to help regional businesses because they believe they need to correct for market failures. And the sources for these imperfections in the context of regional development might be: • The individual firms do not understand the need to be innovative • The individual firms do not exploit the potential in collaboration and cooperation • Firms do not exploit their full market potential • Firm managers do not choose to grow their business • Etc. This paper deals with the following question: “Can Best Business Practice Studies support regional policy makers with knowledge about imperfections that might need policy interventions?” The basis for this discussion is a regional study in the county of Dalarna in Sweden.

  • 76.
    Ahlström Söderling, Ragnar
    Dalarna University, School of Technology and Business Studies, Business Administration and Management.
    Giving Regional and Local Policy Makers a View of the Regions Firms Foundation for Sustainable Competitiveness: Some Reflections after a Best Business Practice Study in a County of Sweden2005In: 8th Uddevalla Symposium, Udevalla, Sweden, 2005Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper deals with the following question: “Can Best Business Practice Studies support regional policy makers with knowledge about imperfections that might need policy interventions?” The basic assumption behind this question is that policy makers intervene to help regional businesses because they believe they need to correct for market failures. The initial part of this paper discusses a ‘Practice Based View’ (PBV) as an alternative or complement to the ‘Resource Based View’ (RBV). The later part show some imperfections or unbalances that can be unfold through a Best Business Practice Study. The basis for this discussion is a Best Business Practice Study in the county of Dalarna in Sweden.

  • 77.
    Ahlström Söderling, Ragnar
    Dalarna University, School of Technology and Business Studies, Business Administration and Management.
    How to Succeed with the Creation of a Strategic Business Network?: - Some thoughts based on a longitudinal analysis of Business Networks in the Swedish Wood Manufacturing Industry.2002In: 47th ICSB World Conference, San Juan, Puerto Rico, 2002Conference paper (Other academic)
  • 78.
    Ahlström Söderling, Ragnar
    Dalarna University, School of Technology and Business Studies, Business Administration and Management.
    Innovation Entrepreneurship in Manufacturing Firms2005In: 2nd Symposium on the Entrepreneurship-Innovation-Marketing Interface, Karlsruhe, Germany, 2005Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Entrepreneurial activities are often defined as the creation of new organizations (Gartner, 1988) but according to Schumpeter (1934); the entrepreneur is the innovator who implements change within markets through the carrying out of new combinations. These new combinations can take several forms; 1) the introduction of a new good or quality thereof, 2) the introduction of a new method of production, 3) the opening of a new market, 4) the conquest of a new source of supply of new materi-als or parts, 5) the carrying out of the new organization of any industry. Tang and Linghui (2004) make a distinction between two types of entrepreneurship activities. Venture Entrepreneurship (VE), which deals with new venture creation and Innovation Entrepreneurship (IE), which involves innovations within existing enterprises. This paper examines the existence of Innovation Entrepreneurship within existing firms in manufac-turing industries as well as to what degree the innovation are in the area of; • introduction onto the market of any new or significantly improved goods or services • implementation of any new or significantly improved operational processes • implementation of any new or significantly improved organizational / managerial processes • implementation of any new or significantly improved sales or marketing methods which were intended to increase the appeal of goods or services for specific market segments and/or enter new markets The basis for the analysis is a dataset that was collected in beginning of 2005 through a survey (BPPS) among all manufacturing sites with 5 and more employees in one region in Sweden. The Business Practices and Performance Survey (BPPS) used have been developed from a Practice Based View that is adapted to a survey instrument. It has been used in three large scale empirical in-vestigations in New Zealand during the 1990s and in five regions in Sweden during 2001-2003. The number of firms analyzed is 145 based on a response rate of 36.6 percent. The analysis shows that almost half of the firms have introduced new products or services during the two last years and that one third of them have introduced a product or service that was new for the world market.

  • 79.
    Ahlström Söderling, Ragnar
    Dalarna University, School of Technology and Business Studies, Business Administration and Management.
    Innovation Manufacturing in Manufacturing Firms2007In: The Entrepreneurship - Innovation - Marketing Interface / [ed] Würth, Reinhold; Gaul, Reinhold, Künzelsau: Swiridoff Verlag , 2007, Vol. IEP Volume 12aChapter in book (Other academic)
  • 80.
    Ahlström Söderling, Ragnar
    Dalarna University, School of Technology and Business Studies, Business Administration and Management.
    New Firms Emerging from Different Types of Organizations: a Spin-off Classification1998In: 10th Nordic Conference on Small Business Research, Växjö, Sweden, 1998Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper presents thoughts on different aspects to take in consideration when studying the spin-off phenomena and presents a recommendation to classify the originating firm with accordance to; Type, Size, Role played, Attitude, Knowledge and Situation and classify the spin-off firm with accordance to; Relationship of operations, Driving force, Contribution from earlier employment and Number of founders and for the founder/s, Education and personal motives together with other data that is relevant for the specific research project.

  • 81.
    Ahlström Söderling, Ragnar
    Dalarna University, School of Technology and Business Studies, Entrepreneurship and Innovation.
    Nätverk framåt!: Att försöka integrera företagare med utländsk bakgrund i den lokala företagsgemenskapen2010In: Möjligheternas marknad / [ed] Engstrand, Åsa-Karin, Stockholm: Tillväxtverket , 2010, p. 211-229Chapter in book (Other academic)
  • 82.
    Ahlström Söderling, Ragnar
    Dalarna University, School of Technology and Business Studies, Business Administration and Management.
    Regionala företags förutsättningar för internationell konkurrenskraft: utvärdering av en undersökningsmodell2006Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
    Abstract [sv]

    Kan man bedöma om företag med tillväxtpotential även har kompetens att ta tillvara den? Denna fundering ligger till grund för den studie som redovisas i den här avhandlingen. Syftet med studien är i första hand att utvärdera hur en ”Best Business Practice”- modell kan bidra till ökad förståelse, hos myndigheter och andra samhällsaktörer, för vilka befintliga företag i en region som kan ha förutsättningar att vara internationellt konkurrenskraftiga med avseende på de processutövanden och processresultat som föreligger i deras operativa verksamhet. Utvärderingen baseras på en kartläggning av tillverkande arbetsställen i Dalarnas län med minst 10 anställda som genomfördes 2002. Studien i Dalarna bekräftar undersökningsmodellens antagande om en relation mellan gott processutövande och bra processresultat. Analyser visar att företag med höga värden på såväl processutövande som processresultat (de Ledande företagen) har högre sannolikhet för att redovisa en hög och ökande marknadsandel, förbättrad produktivitet, ökande nettokassaflöde, god och förbättrad lönsamhet samt en högre avkastningsgrad än företag med låga värden på dessa parametrar (de Sladdande företagen). Studien indikerar även ett samband mellan tillväxt och processresultat då de flesta företagen med hög tillväxt redovisar höga värden på undersökningsmetodens indexet för processresultat samtidigt som de flesta företagen med negativ tillväxt har låga värden på detta index. De marknadsledande företagen i studien skiljer sig från övriga företag genom att oftare använda sig av benchmarking. I sina benchmarkingprocesser fokuserar de på ett bredare spann av jämförelsemått, jämför sig oftare med företag inom andra branscher såväl som andra länder samt lägger en större fokus på innovations- och verksamhetsmått. De marknadsledande företagen är även mer innovativa, både vad gäller introduktion av nya produkter som av nya processer. Utvärderingen redovisar att undersökningsmetoden har en del tveksamheter men trots det ger möjlighet att skaffa en mängd information och kunskap om näringslivets status i en region. Den visar på vilka företag som har processer på plats för att kunna expandera och vilka som behöver ”se om sitt hus” för att ha möjlighet att fortsätta sin verksamhet. Det räcker dock inte med kunskap. Kunskapen behöver omsättas i handling. En fråga som avhandlingen leder fram till är vilka som kan och vill agera på denna typ av information?

  • 83.
    Ahlström Söderling, Ragnar
    Dalarna University, School of Technology and Business Studies, Business Administration and Management.
    Small Fast Growing Firms Coming Out of Large Organizations: A Spin-off Situation Classification1998In: Conference on Growth and Job Creation in SMEs, Mikkeli, Finland, 1998Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Small fast growing high technology firms in Sweden often origin as spin-offs from large organizations. This paper presents a theoretical discussion about different types of spin-offs, what kind of spin-offs to expect from large organizations ("womb-firms" ) in different phases of evolution. The paper will also discuss what kind of relationship, between the "womb-firm" and the spin-off firm that is to be expected according to the actual type of spin-off and the "womb-firm" situation. The theoretical background is a model of growth in living systems. The paper examines ten different situations of the womb-firm. Every such situation is assumed to generate one or more of four different basic types of spin-offs and every type of spin-off is assumed to lead to the womb-firm adapting to the spin-off firm in one of five different ways. The conclusions are that in future research on spin-offs it will be possible to limit the view to four different womb-firm situations, namely: a) The business activities of the womb-firm are in growth b) The business activities of the womb-firm are mature or new patterns are looked for c) The business activities of the womb-firm are in a situation of degeneration or catastrophe d) The business activities of the womb-firm are oriented towards a new venture

  • 84.
    Ahlström Söderling, Ragnar
    Dalarna University, School of Technology and Business Studies, Business Administration and Management.
    SME Strategic Business Network seen as Learning Organizations: Some hypotheses based on a longitudinal analysis of Business Networks in the Swedish Wood Manufacturing Industry2002In: 12th Nordic Conference on Small Business Research, Kuopio, Finland, 2002Conference paper (Other academic)
  • 85.
    Ahlström Söderling, Ragnar
    Dalarna University, School of Technology and Business Studies, Business Administration and Management.
    SME strategic business networks seen as learning organizations2003In: Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, ISSN 1462-6004, E-ISSN 1758-7840, Vol. 10, no 4, p. 444-454Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 86.
    Ahlström Söderling, Ragnar
    Dalarna University, School of Technology and Business Studies, Business Administration and Management.
    The Dynamics of The Firm: In Search for a General Model1998In: 43rd ICBS World Conference, Singapore, 1998Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper describe a model from system theory that can be used as a base for better understanding of different situations in the firms evolution. This change model is derived from the theory of organic systems and divides the evolution of the system into higher complexity of the system structure in three distinctive phases. These phases are a formative phase, a normative phase and an integrative phase. After a summary of different types of models of the dynamics of the firm the paper makes a theoretical presentation of the model and how this model is adaptable for better understanding of the need for change in strategic orientation, organization form and leadership style over time.

  • 87.
    Ahlström Söderling, Ragnar
    Dalarna University, School of Technology and Business Studies, Business Administration and Management.
    The Use of Practices As a Tool to Create Competitiveness: A study of the relation between the Best Business Practices and the managers experience on how their outcomes contribute to their firms competitiveness2005In: 50th ICSB World Conference, Washington DC, USA, 2005Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The view on strategy is conditioned by the theory of the firm used and its implication concerning value creation and sources of competitive advantage. Traditionally a common view on strategy has been conceptualized as a situational choice of generic strategies (e.g. Porter) assuming a type of contingency based view of the firm. During the last decade and still dominating is the focus on core competencies or distinctive capabilities assuming a resource based view of the firm (RBV). But where do the capabilities come from? It is generally acknowledged in research that these often intangible or tacit capabilities are developed through experiential learning or learning by practicing. This is the basis of a “practice based view of the firm” (PBV), often assumed in quality theories and methodologies, as a variant or specification of RBV. It is in PBV assumed, based on research findings, that there are practices that, in combination and when effectively linked together, can be expected to consistently improve operational performance and thus provide firms who adopt them with an advantage over those that do not. Thus good business practices, and the learning and knowledge creation developed through using them, can be thought of as the base or foundation on which distinctive capabilities and hence competitive advantage is built. The Business Practices and Performance Model (BPPS) has been developed from such a perspective and operationalised in a survey instrument. It has been used in three large scale empirical investigations in New Zealand during the 1990s and recently in five regions in Sweden. This paper reports an analysis on the use of ”Best practices” among manufacturing firms, in the county of Dalarna in Sweden, with ten and more employees. The study focus on the following question: Can use of “best practices” bee seen as a contributing factor in the creation of competitiveness and in that sense contribute to the growth of the firm?

  • 88.
    Ahlström Söderling, Ragnar
    Dalarna University, School of Technology and Business Studies, Business Administration and Management.
    The Use of Practices As Capabilities - A study of the relation between growth and the use of best practices in manufacturing SMEs in a region of Sweden2004In: 49th ICSB World Conference, Johannesburg, South Africa, 2004Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper reports an analysis on the use of Best practices among manufacturing firms, in the county of Dalarna in Sweden, with ten and more employees. The study focus on the following question: Can the use of best practices bee seen as a contributing factor in the creation of competitiveness and in that sense contribute to the growth of the firm? Traditionally a common view on strategy has been conceptualized as a situational choice of generic strategies (e.g. Porter) assuming a type of contingency based view of the firm. During the last decade and still dominating is the focus on core competencies or distinctive capabilities assuming a resource based view of the firm (RBV). But where do the capabilities come from? It is generally acknowledged in research that these often intangible or tacit capabilities are developed through experiential learning or learning by practicing. This is the basis of a practice based view of the firm (PBV), often assumed in quality theories and methodologies, as a variant or specification of RBV. It is in PBV assumed, based on research findings, that there are practices that, in combination and when effectively linked together, can be expected to consistently improve operational performance and thus provide firms who adopt them with an advantage over those that do not. Thus good business practices, and the learning and knowledge creation developed through using them, can be thought of as the base or foundation on which distinctive capabilities and hence competitive advantage is built. Research Methodology The basis for the analysis is a dataset (127 firms) that was collected in the beginning of 2001 through a survey (BPPS) among manufacturing sites with 10 and more employees. The survey was sent to all firms (327) meeting the criteria above and the response rate was 40 %. The Business Practices and Performance Model (BPPS) have been developed from a Practice Based View that is operationalized in a survey instrument. It has been used in three large scale empirical investigations in New Zealand during the 1990s and recently in five regions in Sweden. Possible Conclusions The responses from the participating firm in this regional sample indicate that: - Firms that hold a wide strategically focus seems to be more likely to grow. - The likelihood for growth seems to be plosive correlated with operational outcomes - Operational outcomes are correlated with the use of practices Possible Recommendations A recommendation for the firm management might be: As long as a firm´s products or services are interesting on their market will it be a good idea to hold a broad strategic focus and put energy to implement and maintain practices to ensure good operational outcomes that make it possible to meet the pull from the market in a successful way. A recommendation for policymakers and support organizations might be to support the management of growing firms to implement and maintain practices to ensure good operational outcomes.

  • 89.
    Ahlström Söderling, Ragnar
    et al.
    Dalarna University, School of Technology and Business Studies, Business Administration and Management.
    Ager, Bengt
    Dalarna University, School of Technology and Business Studies, Business Administration and Management.
    Bergqvist, Mathias
    Bengtsson, Patrik
    Local development and co-operation in wood manufacturing: Case studies in Sweden1999In: Proceedings of Symposium on New Opportunities for Forest-Related Rural Development, IUFRO / [ed] Slee, Bill; Hughes, Irene, Aberdeen, Scotland, 1999, p. 231-5Conference paper (Other academic)
  • 90.
    Ahlström Söderling, Ragnar
    et al.
    Dalarna University, School of Technology and Business Studies, Business Administration and Management.
    Bianchi, Carmine
    Bivona, Enzo
    Dyner, Isaac
    Galan, Liliana
    Strocchia, Marisela
    Winch, Graham
    Managing Small Business Growth2007Book (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The Book is thought to be tha foundation for courses in Small business growth management - either for experienced SME Managers or for Master Students. Included is a CD with Interactive Learning Environments for simultion of different growth strategies as werll as powerpoints and ten case studies.

  • 91.
    Ahlström Söderling, Ragnar
    et al.
    Dalarna University, School of Technology and Business Studies, Business Administration and Management.
    Land, Göran
    Dalarna University, School of Technology and Business Studies, Business Administration and Management.
    The Use of Information And Communication Technology As A Tool to Create Capabilities: A study of the relation between use of ICT and the use of Best Business Practices in manufacturing SMEs in a region of Sweden2004In: 13th Nordic Conference on Small Business Research, Tromsö, 2004Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper reports an analysis on the use of ICT among manufacturing firms, in the county of Dalarna in Sweden, with ten and more employees. The study focus on the following question: Can the use of ICT be seen as a contributing factor in the process of the creation of competitiveness? Traditionally a common view on strategy has been conceptualized as a situational choice of generic strategies (e.g. Porter) assuming a type of contingency based view of the firm. During the last decade and still dominating is the focus on core competencies or distinctive capabilities assuming a resource based view of the firm (RBV). But where do the capabilities come from? It is generally acknowledged in research that these often intangible or tacit capabilities are developed through experiential learning or learning by practicing. This is the basis of a “practice based view of the firm” (PBV), often assumed in quality theories and methodologies, as a variant or specification of RBV. It is in PBV assumed, based on research findings, that there are practices that, in combination and when effectively linked together, can be expected to consistently improve operational performance and thus provide firms who adopt them with an advantage over those that do not. Thus good business practices, and the learning and knowledge creation developed through using them, can be thought of as the base or foundation on which distinctive capabilities and hence competitive advantage is built. There is an assumption that the use of ICT will contribute in the creation of this distinctive capabilities. Research Methodology The basis for the analysis is a dataset (127 firms) that was collected in the beginning of 2001 through a survey (BPPS) among manufacturing sites with 10 and more employees. The survey was sent to all firms (327) meeting the criteria above and the response rate was 40 %. The Business Practices and Performance Model (BPPS) have been developed from a Practice Based View that is operationalized in a survey instrument. It has been used in three large scale empirical investigations in New Zealand during the 1990s and recently in five regions in Sweden (The total Swedish dataset is 741 work sites and we might do some comparisons). Possible Conclusions The responses from the participating firm in this regional sample might indicate that: · Firms that are using ICT more seems to be more likely to be or to become market leaders. · The likelihood for high values on operational outcomes seems to be positive correlated with the use of ICT. · Operational outcomes are correlated with the use of practices and the use of practices seems to be influenced by the use of ICT.

  • 92.
    Ahlström Söderling, Ragnar
    et al.
    Dalarna University, School of Technology and Business Studies, Business Administration and Management.
    Lindhult, E
    Sundqvist, J
    Wijkman, P-M
    From Recourses to Practices: A study of the use of best practices in manufacturing companies in Sweden based on a survey from New Zealand2003In: 17th Nordic Conference on Business Studies, Reykjavik, 2003Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 93.
    Ahlström Söderling, Ragnar
    et al.
    Dalarna University, School of Technology and Business Studies, Business Administration and Management.
    McCluskey, Denise R
    Dalarna University, School of Technology and Business Studies, Business Administration and Management.
    Brunåker, Svante
    Lindhult, Erik
    Doing Something Different!: Collaborative Approaches to Entrepreneurship Courses in Management Education2004In: RENT XVIII -Research in Entrepreneurship and Small Business, Copenhagen, 2004Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 94.
    Ahlström Söderling, Ragnar
    et al.
    Dalarna University, School of Technology and Business Studies, Business Administration and Management.
    Wiik, Ewa
    Lessons from a High-tech Spin-off Case: an analysis on a spin-off failure from a multinational organization1998In: 43rd ICBS World Conference, Singapore, 1998Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper make a presentation of a high-tech spin-off firm that failed. The case is compared with some theories about spin-offs and their relationship with their womb-firm (incubator organization). The analysis cover the driving force, the womb-firm situation, the relationship between the womb-firm and the spin-off firm. The analysis is also taking the perspective from a system theory growth model.

  • 95.
    Ahlsén Gahns, Malin
    et al.
    Dalarna University, School of Technology and Business Studies, Human Geography.
    Olsson, Johan
    Dalarna University, School of Technology and Business Studies, Human Geography.
    Current and future shopping conditions in Sälen2011Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    Going from having bought the most essential at the small shops close to home, better communications and an increasingly consumption oriented lifestyle has created a change in shopping behavior and has led to phenomenon such as shopping centres and more. These are constantly being built in Sweden: in the cities, outside the cities and more recently even in small cities -small cities as for one reason or another have access to a larger customer base which can have businesses to flourish economically.

    During the first decade of the 21st century, shopping centres have been established along the Swedish/Norwegian border. Since the Norwegian Krone is much stronger than the Swedish Krona Norwegians save a great deal of money on going to Sweden to shop. During the shopping trips to Sweden, it is mostly alcohol, meat, tobacco and candy that are being bought. However, other products such as clothing, technology, household appliances and more are also being purchased, all to save money on the trip. Together these cross border shoppers spent 11, 6 billion in Sweden during the year of 2010. This gives an average spending of approximately 10 900 SEK per cross border shopper on annual basis.

    Nordby, Töcksfors and Charlottenberg (small cities located in southwestern Sweden) are places characterized by Norwegian cross border shopping. Together, they generate billions every year and this only seems to increase. These places are relatively small in size but have prominent attributes such as proximity to the Norwegian border. Apart from these resorts and shopping centres, there are few or none similar places near the Norwegian border in the rest of Sweden. However, a place which is geographically well located and has a relatively large Norwegian and Swedish customer base is the ski resort of Sälen in west central of Sweden.

    Sälen is a village located near the Norwegian border, although fairly sparsely populated. The destination has annually about one million official guest nights, based on the 414 000 visitors who stay an average of about 4, 5 days.  Per visit, these tourists individually spend an average of 862 SEK on shopping at the destination.

    The expenditure of the mountain tourists together with the Norwegian border shoppers makes it very interesting to explore the opportunities for shopping development in terms of a shopping centre in the region of Sälen.

  • 96.
    Ahmadi Moghadam, Parham
    Dalarna University, School of Technology and Business Studies, Energy Technology.
    Steel Sheet Applications and Integrated Heat Management2016Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    Increasing energy use has caused many environmental problems including global warming. Energy use is growing rapidly in developing countries and surprisingly a remarkable portion of it is associated with consumed energy to keep the temperature comfortable inside the buildings. Therefore, identifying renewable technologies for cooling and heating is essential. This study introduced applications of steel sheets integrated into the buildings to save energy based on existing technologies. In addition, the proposed application was found to have a considerable chance of market success.

    Also, satisfying energy needs for space heating and cooling in a single room by using one of the selected applications in different Köppen climate classes was investigated to estimate which climates have a proper potential for benefiting from the application. This study included three independent parts and the results related to each part have been used in the next part.

    The first part recognizes six different technologies through literature review including Cool Roof, Solar Chimney, Steel Cladding of Building, Night Radiative Cooling, Elastomer Metal Absorber, and Solar Distillation. The second part evaluated the application of different technologies by gathering the experts’ ideas via performing a Delphi method. The results showed that the Solar Chimney has a proper chance for the market.

    The third part simulated both a solar chimney and a solar chimney with evaporation which were connected to a single well insulated room with a considerable thermal mass. The combination was simulated as a system to estimate the possibility of satisfying cooling needs and heating needs in different climate classes. A Trombe-wall was selected as a sample design for the Solar Chimney and was simulated in different climates. The results implied that the solar chimney had the capability of reducing the cooling needs more than 25% in all of the studied locations and 100% in some locations with dry or temperate climate such as Mashhad, Madrid, and Istanbul. It was also observed that the heating needs were satisfied more than 50% in all of the studied locations, even for the continental climate such as Stockholm and 100% in most locations with a dry climate. Therefore, the Solar Chimney reduces energy use, saves environment resources, and it is a cost effective application. Furthermore, it saves the equipment costs in many locations. All the results mentioned above make the solar chimney a very practical and attractive tool for a wide range of climates.

  • 97. Ahman, Birgitta
    et al.
    Svensson, Kristin
    Rönnegård, Lars
    Dalarna University, School of Technology and Business Studies, Statistics.
    High female mortality resulting in herd collapse in free-ranging domesticated reindeer (Rangifer tarandus tarandus) in Sweden2014In: PLoS ONE, ISSN 1932-6203, E-ISSN 1932-6203, Vol. 9, no 10, article id e111509Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Reindeer herding in Sweden is a form of pastoralism practised by the indigenous Sami population. The economy is mainly based on meat production. Herd size is generally regulated by harvest in order not to overuse grazing ranges and keep a productive herd. Nonetheless, herd growth and room for harvest is currently small in many areas. Negative herd growth and low harvest rate were observed in one of two herds in a reindeer herding community in Central Sweden. The herds (A and B) used the same ranges from April until the autumn gathering in October-December, but were separated on different ranges over winter. Analyses of capture-recapture for 723 adult female reindeer over five years (2007-2012) revealed high annual losses (7.1% and 18.4%, for herd A and B respectively). A continuing decline in the total reindeer number in herd B demonstrated an inability to maintain the herd size in spite of a very small harvest. An estimated breakpoint for when herd size cannot be kept stable confirmed that the observed female mortality rate in herd B represented a state of herd collapse. Lower calving success in herd B compared to A indicated differences in winter foraging conditions. However, we found only minor differences in animal body condition between the herds in autumn. We found no evidence that a lower autumn body mass generally increased the risk for a female of dying from one autumn to the next. We conclude that the prime driver of the on-going collapse of herd B is not high animal density or poor body condition. Accidents or disease seem unlikely as major causes of mortality. Predation, primarily by lynx and wolverine, appears to be the most plausible reason for the high female mortality and state of collapse in the studied reindeer herding community.

  • 98. Ahmed, Mobyen
    et al.
    Westin, Jerker
    Dalarna University, School of Technology and Business Studies, Computer Engineering.
    Nyholm, Dag
    Dougherty, Mark
    Dalarna University, School of Technology and Business Studies, Computer Engineering.
    Groth, Torgny
    A fuzzy rule-based decision support system for Duodopa treatment in Parkinson2006In: 23rd annual workshop of the Swedish Artificial Intelligence Society, Umeå, 2006Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    A decision support system (DSS) was implemented based on a fuzzy logic inference system (FIS) to provide assistance in dose alteration of Duodopa infusion in patients with advanced Parkinson’s disease, using data from motor state assessments and dosage. Three-tier architecture with an object oriented approach was used. The DSS has a web enabled graphical user interface that presents alerts indicating non optimal dosage and states, new recommendations, namely typical advice with typical dose and statistical measurements. One data set was used for design and tuning of the FIS and another data set was used for evaluating performance compared with actual given dose. Overall goodness-of-fit for the new patients (design data) was 0.65 and for the ongoing patients (evaluation data) 0.98. User evaluation is now ongoing. The system could work as an assistant to clinical staff for Duodopa treatment in advanced Parkinson’s disease.

  • 99.
    Ahmed, Sadeq Mohamed
    et al.
    Dalarna University, School of Technology and Business Studies, Economics.
    Vaziri, Kamran
    Dalarna University, School of Technology and Business Studies, Economics.
    Price elasticity of demand for cigarettes: The Case of Sweden2014Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    Due to health problems and the negative externalities associated with cigarette consumption, many governments try to discourage cigarette consumption by increasing its price through taxation. However, cigarette, like the other addictive goods, is viewed as that it is not sensitive to demand rules and the market forces. This study analyses the effect of price increase on cigarette consumption. We used Swedish time series data from 1970 to 2010.

    Our results reveal that though cigarette is addictive substance its demand is sensitive to changes in the price. Estimates from this study indicate short-run price-elasticity of -0.29 and the long run price elasticity of -0.47.

  • 100.
    Ahmed, Salim Saif Saeed
    Dalarna University, School of Technology and Business Studies, Microdata Analysis.
    Identify the driving behaviour in a parking lot in terms of distance.2018Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    Parking a vehicle can often lead to frustration, air pollution and congestion due to limited availability of parking spaces. With increasing population density this problem can certainly increase unless addressed. Parking lots occupy large areas of scarce land resource therefore it is necessary to identify the driving behaviour in a parking lot to improve it further. This Paper tries study the driving behaviour in the parking lot and for this endeavours it conducted direct observation in three parking lots and used GPS data that was collected prior to this study by the University of Dalarna.

    To evaluate the driving behaviour in the parking lot direct observation was conducted to obtain overall indices of the parking lot vehicles movement. The parking route taken by the driver was compared with the optimal path to identify the driving behaviour in parking lot in terms of distance. The collected data was evaluated, filtered and analysed to identify the route, the distance and the time the vehicle takes to find a parking space.

    The outcome of the study shows that driving behaviour in the parking lots varies significantly among the parking user where most of the observed vehicles took unnecessary long time to complete their parking. The study shows that 56% of the 430 observed vehicles demonstrated inefficient driving behaviour as they took long driving path rather the than the optimal path. The study trace this behaviour to two factors, first, the absent of parking guidance in the parking lots and the second is the selectivity of the drivers when choosing the parking space.

    The study also shows that the ability of GPS data to identify the driving behaviour in the parking lots varies based on the time interval and the type of the device that is being used. The small the time interval the more accurate the GPS data in detecting the driving behaviour in the parking lots.

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