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  • 51.
    Ager, Bengt
    et al.
    Högskolan Dalarna, Akademin Industri och samhälle, Träteknologi.
    Bergqvist, Mathias
    Bengtsson, Patrik
    Ahlström-Söderling, Ragnar
    Fröding, Anders
    Johansson, Lars
    Samverkan i träförädling: Dokumentation och preliminär analys av ett 30-tal samverkansfall1998Rapport (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
  • 52.
    Ager, Bengt
    et al.
    Högskolan Dalarna, Akademin Industri och samhälle, Träteknologi.
    Liss, Jan-Erik
    Högskolan Dalarna, Akademin Industri och samhälle, Träteknologi.
    Systemstudier Ungskogsbränsle - Projektplan till Nutek1998Rapport (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
  • 53.
    Aghanavesi, Somayeh
    Högskolan Dalarna, Akademin Industri och samhälle, Mikrodataanalys.
    Smartphone-based Parkinson’s disease symptom assessment2017Licentiatavhandling, sammanläggning (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
    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. 

  • 54.
    Aghanavesi, Somayeh
    et al.
    Högskolan Dalarna, Akademin Industri och samhälle, Mikrodataanalys.
    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 challenge2019Ingår i: IEEE journal of biomedical and health informatics, ISSN 2168-2194, E-ISSN 2168-2208Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    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.

  • 55.
    Aghanavesi, Somayeh
    et al.
    Högskolan Dalarna, Akademin Industri och samhälle, Mikrodataanalys.
    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 sensors2018Konferensbidrag (Refereegranskat)
    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.

  • 56.
    Aghanavesi, Somayeh
    et al.
    Högskolan Dalarna, Akademin Industri och samhälle, Mikrodataanalys.
    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 disease2019Manuskript (preprint) (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
    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.

  • 57.
    Aghanavesi, Somayeh
    et al.
    Högskolan Dalarna, Akademin Industri och samhälle, Mikrodataanalys.
    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 symptoms2018Konferensbidrag (Refereegranskat)
    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.

  • 58.
    Aghanavesi, Somayeh
    et al.
    Högskolan Dalarna, Akademin Industri och samhälle, Mikrodataanalys.
    Fleyeh, Hasan
    Högskolan Dalarna, Akademin Industri och samhälle, Datateknik.
    Memedi, Mevludin
    Dougherty, Mark
    Högskolan Dalarna, Akademin Industri och samhälle, Mikrodataanalys.
    Feasibility of using smartphones for quantification of Parkinson’s disease motor states during hand rotation tests2019Konferensbidrag (Refereegranskat)
  • 59.
    Aghanavesi, Somayeh
    et al.
    Högskolan Dalarna, Akademin Industri och samhälle, Mikrodataanalys.
    Memedi, Mevludin
    Högskolan Dalarna, Akademin Industri och samhälle, Datateknik.
    Dougherty, Mark
    Högskolan Dalarna, Akademin Industri och samhälle, Mikrodataanalys.
    Nyholm, Dag
    Westin, Jerker
    Högskolan Dalarna, Akademin Industri och samhälle, Datateknik.
    Verification of a method for measuring Parkinson’s disease related temporal irregularity in spiral drawings2017Ingår i: Sensors, ISSN 1424-8220, E-ISSN 1424-8220, Vol. 17, nr 10, artikel-id 2341Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    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.

  • 60.
    Aghanavesi, Somayeh
    et al.
    Högskolan Dalarna, Akademin Industri och samhälle, Datateknik.
    Memedi, Mevludin
    Högskolan Dalarna, Akademin Industri och samhälle, Datateknik.
    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 smartphone2016Ingår i: Abstracts of the Twentieth International Congress of Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorders / [ed] Somayeh Aghanavesi, 2016, Vol. 31, s. S640-, artikel-id 1948Konferensbidrag (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
  • 61.
    Aghanavesi, Somayeh
    et al.
    Högskolan Dalarna, Akademin Industri och samhälle, Mikrodataanalys.
    Nyholm, Dag
    Marina, Senek
    Bergquist, Filip
    Memedi, Mevludin
    Högskolan Dalarna, Akademin Industri och samhälle, Datateknik.
    A smartphone-based system to quantify dexterity in Parkinson's disease patients2017Ingår i: Informatics in Medicine Unlocked, ISSN 2352-9148, Vol. 9, s. 11-17Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    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.

  • 62.
    Aghanavesi, Somayeh
    et al.
    Högskolan Dalarna, Akademin Industri och samhälle, Datateknik.
    Westin, Jerker
    Högskolan Dalarna, Akademin Industri och samhälle, Datateknik.
    A review of Parkinson’s disease cardinal and dyskinetic motor symptoms assessment methods using sensor systems2016Konferensbidrag (Refereegranskat)
    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.

  • 63.
    Agirman, Nesim
    et al.
    Högskolan Dalarna, Akademin Industri och samhälle, Byggteknik.
    Ali, Mustafa
    Högskolan Dalarna, Akademin Industri och samhälle, Byggteknik.
    U-värde av isoleringsmaterial i en kassett: En experimentell jämförelse mellan en fönsterkassett som har isolering och en utan isolering2016Självständigt arbete på grundnivå (kandidatexamen), 10 poäng / 15 hpStudentuppsats (Examensarbete)
    Abstract [sv]

    Isolering och isoleringsmaterial är en av de viktigaste komponenterna i byggbranschen och har ett brett användningsområde och därför är efterfrågan stor. På grund av höga kostnader på marknaden, utförs nya och olika forskningar varje dag för att ta fram nya, alternativa isoleringsmaterial. Tekniken frambringar möjligheter att hitta och använda billigare material. Det är därför inte ovanligt att se isoleringar gjorda av flera olika material varje dag.

    Syftet med detta examensarbete är att undersöka två Moniflexkassetter, en med isolering och en utan, i en klimatkammare, och för att sedan jämföra deras U- värden.

    Resultatet visade isoleringens påverkan på kassetterna avsevärd. U-värdet blev lägre på den kassetten som hade isolering, vilket var ett bevis på att isoleringen kan användas som tilläggsisolering. Det gäller framförallt i fönster och glaspartier som har ett högt U-värde. Det vill säga att fönster och glaspartier inte behöver bytas ut mot nya fönster med lägre U-värden.

    Företaget Isolights nuvarande U-värde för kassetten med isolering stämde inte överens med det testade U-värdet i Högskola Dalarnas klimatkammare. På kassetten utan isolering har det inte gjorts någon jämförelse mellan det testade värdet och företagets värde eftersom företaget saknar U-värde för detta.

  • 64. Agndal, Henrik
    et al.
    Elbe, Jörgen
    Högskolan Dalarna, Akademin Industri och samhälle, Företagsekonomi.
    The internationalization process of small and medium-sized Swedish tourism firms2007Ingår i: Scandinavian Journal of Hospitality and Tourism, ISSN 1502-2250, E-ISSN 1502-2269, Vol. 7, nr 4, s. 301-327Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    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.

  • 65.
    Agyeiwaa Owusu, Jacqueline
    et al.
    Högskolan Dalarna, Akademin Industri och samhälle, Företagsekonomi.
    Raul Aguirre Gonzalez, Victor
    Högskolan Dalarna, Akademin Industri och samhälle, Företagsekonomi.
    ENVIRONMENTAL FACTORS WHICH INFLUENCE THE INTERNATIONALIZATION OF SMEs: A Case Study from a Ghanaian SME. 2018Självständigt arbete på avancerad nivå (masterexamen), 10 poäng / 15 hpStudentuppsats (Examensarbete)
    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.

  • 66.
    Ahamed, Anees
    Högskolan Dalarna, Akademin Industri och samhälle, Energiteknik.
    Accelerated Aging of First-surface Enhanced Aluminum Solar Reflectors under Damp Heat Conditions2016Självständigt arbete på avancerad nivå (masterexamen), 25 poäng / 37,5 hpStudentuppsats (Examensarbete)
    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.

  • 67.
    Ahlepil, Björn
    et al.
    Högskolan Dalarna, Akademin Industri och samhälle, Informatik.
    Jääskeleinen, Marcus
    Högskolan Dalarna, Akademin Industri och samhälle, Informatik.
    Shop4athletes: E-handelswebbplats och användbarhet2003Självständigt arbete på grundnivå (kandidatexamen)Studentuppsats (Examensarbete)
    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.

  • 68.
    Ahlstrand, Roland
    et al.
    Malmö Högskola.
    Rydell, Alexis
    Högskolan Dalarna, Akademin Industri och samhälle, Arbetsvetenskap.
    Corporate Social Responsibility in Connection with Business Closures and Downsizing: A Literature Review2017Ingår i: Contemporary Management Research, ISSN 1813-5498, Vol. 13, nr 1, s. 53-78Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    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.

  • 69.
    Ahlström, Sara
    Högskolan Dalarna, Akademin Industri och samhälle, Företagsekonomi.
    Motion för frisk pension: En kvalitativ fallstudie om implementering av träning på arbetstid2016Självständigt arbete på grundnivå (kandidatexamen), 10 poäng / 15 hpStudentuppsats (Examensarbete)
    Abstract [sv]

    Syfte: Syftet med denna studie är att undersöka implementering av träning på arbetstid och att beskriva ledarnas och medarbetarnas egna upplevelser av framgångsfaktorer och vilka svårigheter som finns.

    Metod: Denna uppsats är utformad som en kvalitativ fallstudie på Kalmar Vatten där semistrukturerade intervjuer genomförts. Den forskningsmetod som studien utgår ifrån är den tolkande kvalitativa metoden med en inriktning på ett hermeneutiskt perspektiv. Det empiriska material som framkommit har analyserats genom en abduktiv analysmetod.

    Resultat och slutsats: Studiens slutsats är att implementering av träning på arbetstid handlar om att skapa en beteendeförändring och att ledningen måste skapa dessa förutsättningar och följa upp medarbetarnas upplevelser.

    Förslag till fortsatt forskning: För framtida forskning kan det vara av intresse att undersöka hur träning påverkar medarbetarnas fysiska och psykiska tillstånd för att mäta produktiviteten och sjukskrivningar. Det kan även vara intressant att studera ytterligare företag som infört träning på arbetstid.

  • 70.
    Ahlström Söderling, Ragnar
    Högskolan Dalarna, Akademin Industri och samhälle, Företagsekonomi.
    Difficulties in the Start-up Process of Strategic SME Business Networks: Some Observations in the Swedish Wood Manufacturing Industry2001Ingår i: SEEANZ Conference, Wellington, New Zealand, 2001Konferensbidrag (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
  • 71.
    Ahlström Söderling, Ragnar
    Högskolan Dalarna, Akademin Industri och samhälle, Företagsekonomi.
    Does Benchmarking Support Innovation That Leads To Competitive Advantages?: Some observations in a study of manufacturing companies' use of best practices2003Ingår i: The Symposium on the Entreprenurship-Innovation-Marketing Interface, Karlsruhe, Germany, 2003Konferensbidrag (Refereegranskat)
  • 72.
    Ahlström Söderling, Ragnar
    Högskolan Dalarna, Akademin Industri och samhälle, Företagsekonomi.
    Does Benchmarking Support Innovation that Leads to Competitive advantages?: Some observations in a study of manufacturing companies' use of best practices2005Ingår i: The Entreprenership - Innovation - Marketing Interface / [ed] Würt, Reinhold; Gaul, Wolfgang; Jung, Viktor, Künzelsau: Swiridoff Verlag , 2005Kapitel i bok, del av antologi (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
    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.

  • 73.
    Ahlström Söderling, Ragnar
    Högskolan Dalarna, Akademin Industri och samhälle, Företagsekonomi.
    Entrepreneurial Spin-offs: do we understand them?1999Ingår i: 44th ICSB World Conference, Naples, Italy, 1999Konferensbidrag (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
    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.

  • 74.
    Ahlström Söderling, Ragnar
    Högskolan Dalarna, Akademin Industri och samhälle, Företagsekonomi.
    Entreprenörskap i destinationsutvecklingen2007Ingår i: Utveckla turistdestinationer / [ed] Bohlin, Magnus; Elbe, Jörgen, Uppsala: Uppsala Publishing House , 2007Kapitel i bok, del av antologi (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
  • 75.
    Ahlström Söderling, Ragnar
    Högskolan Dalarna, Akademin Industri och samhälle, Företagsekonomi.
    Factors Limiting Growth in Different Phases of Firm Development: a Systems Theory Approach1998Ingår i: 10th Nordic Conference on Small Business Research, Växjö, Sweden, 1998Konferensbidrag (Refereegranskat)
    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.

  • 76.
    Ahlström Söderling, Ragnar
    Högskolan Dalarna, Akademin Industri och samhälle, Företagsekonomi.
    Giving Regional and Local Policy Makers a View of the Regions Firms foundation for Sustainable Competitiveness2006Ingår i: Innovations and Entrepreneurship in Functional Regions / [ed] Johansson, Iréne, Trollhättan: University West , 2006, s. 73-99Kapitel i bok, del av antologi (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
    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.

  • 77.
    Ahlström Söderling, Ragnar
    Högskolan Dalarna, Akademin Industri och samhälle, Företagsekonomi.
    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 Sweden2005Ingår i: 8th Uddevalla Symposium, Udevalla, Sweden, 2005Konferensbidrag (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
    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.

  • 78.
    Ahlström Söderling, Ragnar
    Högskolan Dalarna, Akademin Industri och samhälle, Företagsekonomi.
    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.2002Ingår i: 47th ICSB World Conference, San Juan, Puerto Rico, 2002Konferensbidrag (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
  • 79.
    Ahlström Söderling, Ragnar
    Högskolan Dalarna, Akademin Industri och samhälle, Företagsekonomi.
    Innovation Entrepreneurship in Manufacturing Firms2005Ingår i: 2nd Symposium on the Entrepreneurship-Innovation-Marketing Interface, Karlsruhe, Germany, 2005Konferensbidrag (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
    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.

  • 80.
    Ahlström Söderling, Ragnar
    Högskolan Dalarna, Akademin Industri och samhälle, Företagsekonomi.
    Innovation Manufacturing in Manufacturing Firms2007Ingår i: The Entrepreneurship - Innovation - Marketing Interface / [ed] Würth, Reinhold; Gaul, Reinhold, Künzelsau: Swiridoff Verlag , 2007, Vol. IEP Volume 12aKapitel i bok, del av antologi (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
  • 81.
    Ahlström Söderling, Ragnar
    Högskolan Dalarna, Akademin Industri och samhälle, Företagsekonomi.
    New Firms Emerging from Different Types of Organizations: a Spin-off Classification1998Ingår i: 10th Nordic Conference on Small Business Research, Växjö, Sweden, 1998Konferensbidrag (Refereegranskat)
    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.

  • 82.
    Ahlström Söderling, Ragnar
    Högskolan Dalarna, Akademin Industri och samhälle, Entreprenörskap och innovationsteknik.
    Nätverk framåt!: Att försöka integrera företagare med utländsk bakgrund i den lokala företagsgemenskapen2010Ingår i: Möjligheternas marknad / [ed] Engstrand, Åsa-Karin, Stockholm: Tillväxtverket , 2010, s. 211-229Kapitel i bok, del av antologi (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
  • 83.
    Ahlström Söderling, Ragnar
    Högskolan Dalarna, Akademin Industri och samhälle, Företagsekonomi.
    Regionala företags förutsättningar för internationell konkurrenskraft: utvärdering av en undersökningsmodell2006Doktorsavhandling, monografi (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
    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?

  • 84.
    Ahlström Söderling, Ragnar
    Högskolan Dalarna, Akademin Industri och samhälle, Företagsekonomi.
    Small Fast Growing Firms Coming Out of Large Organizations: A Spin-off Situation Classification1998Ingår i: Conference on Growth and Job Creation in SMEs, Mikkeli, Finland, 1998Konferensbidrag (Refereegranskat)
    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

  • 85.
    Ahlström Söderling, Ragnar
    Högskolan Dalarna, Akademin Industri och samhälle, Företagsekonomi.
    SME Strategic Business Network seen as Learning Organizations: Some hypotheses based on a longitudinal analysis of Business Networks in the Swedish Wood Manufacturing Industry2002Ingår i: 12th Nordic Conference on Small Business Research, Kuopio, Finland, 2002Konferensbidrag (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
  • 86.
    Ahlström Söderling, Ragnar
    Högskolan Dalarna, Akademin Industri och samhälle, Företagsekonomi.
    SME strategic business networks seen as learning organizations2003Ingår i: Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, ISSN 1462-6004, E-ISSN 1758-7840, Vol. 10, nr 4, s. 444-454Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
  • 87.
    Ahlström Söderling, Ragnar
    Högskolan Dalarna, Akademin Industri och samhälle, Företagsekonomi.
    The Dynamics of The Firm: In Search for a General Model1998Ingår i: 43rd ICBS World Conference, Singapore, 1998Konferensbidrag (Refereegranskat)
    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.

  • 88.
    Ahlström Söderling, Ragnar
    Högskolan Dalarna, Akademin Industri och samhälle, Företagsekonomi.
    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 competitiveness2005Ingår i: 50th ICSB World Conference, Washington DC, USA, 2005Konferensbidrag (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
    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?

  • 89.
    Ahlström Söderling, Ragnar
    Högskolan Dalarna, Akademin Industri och samhälle, Företagsekonomi.
    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 Sweden2004Ingår i: 49th ICSB World Conference, Johannesburg, South Africa, 2004Konferensbidrag (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
    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.

  • 90.
    Ahlström Söderling, Ragnar
    et al.
    Högskolan Dalarna, Akademin Industri och samhälle, Företagsekonomi.
    Ager, Bengt
    Högskolan Dalarna, Akademin Industri och samhälle, Företagsekonomi.
    Bergqvist, Mathias
    Bengtsson, Patrik
    Local development and co-operation in wood manufacturing: Case studies in Sweden1999Ingår i: Proceedings of Symposium on New Opportunities for Forest-Related Rural Development, IUFRO / [ed] Slee, Bill; Hughes, Irene, Aberdeen, Scotland, 1999, s. 231-5Konferensbidrag (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
  • 91.
    Ahlström Söderling, Ragnar
    et al.
    Högskolan Dalarna, Akademin Industri och samhälle, Företagsekonomi.
    Bianchi, Carmine
    Bivona, Enzo
    Dyner, Isaac
    Galan, Liliana
    Strocchia, Marisela
    Winch, Graham
    Managing Small Business Growth2007Bok (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
    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.

  • 92.
    Ahlström Söderling, Ragnar
    et al.
    Högskolan Dalarna, Akademin Industri och samhälle, Företagsekonomi.
    Land, Göran
    Högskolan Dalarna, Akademin Industri och samhälle, Företagsekonomi.
    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 Sweden2004Ingår i: 13th Nordic Conference on Small Business Research, Tromsö, 2004Konferensbidrag (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
    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.

  • 93.
    Ahlström Söderling, Ragnar
    et al.
    Högskolan Dalarna, Akademin Industri och samhälle, Företagsekonomi.
    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 Zealand2003Ingår i: 17th Nordic Conference on Business Studies, Reykjavik, 2003Konferensbidrag (Refereegranskat)
  • 94.
    Ahlström Söderling, Ragnar
    et al.
    Högskolan Dalarna, Akademin Industri och samhälle, Företagsekonomi.
    McCluskey, Denise R
    Högskolan Dalarna, Akademin Industri och samhälle, Företagsekonomi.
    Brunåker, Svante
    Lindhult, Erik
    Doing Something Different!: Collaborative Approaches to Entrepreneurship Courses in Management Education2004Ingår i: RENT XVIII -Research in Entrepreneurship and Small Business, Copenhagen, 2004Konferensbidrag (Refereegranskat)
  • 95.
    Ahlström Söderling, Ragnar
    et al.
    Högskolan Dalarna, Akademin Industri och samhälle, Företagsekonomi.
    Wiik, Ewa
    Lessons from a High-tech Spin-off Case: an analysis on a spin-off failure from a multinational organization1998Ingår i: 43rd ICBS World Conference, Singapore, 1998Konferensbidrag (Refereegranskat)
    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.

  • 96.
    Ahlsén Gahns, Malin
    et al.
    Högskolan Dalarna, Akademin Industri och samhälle, Kulturgeografi.
    Olsson, Johan
    Högskolan Dalarna, Akademin Industri och samhälle, Kulturgeografi.
    Current and future shopping conditions in Sälen2011Självständigt arbete på avancerad nivå (magisterexamen), 10 poäng / 15 hpStudentuppsats (Examensarbete)
    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.

  • 97.
    Ahmadi Moghadam, Parham
    Högskolan Dalarna, Akademin Industri och samhälle, Energiteknik.
    Steel Sheet Applications and Integrated Heat Management2016Självständigt arbete på avancerad nivå (magisterexamen), 20 poäng / 30 hpStudentuppsats (Examensarbete)
    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.

  • 98. Ahman, Birgitta
    et al.
    Svensson, Kristin
    Rönnegård, Lars
    Högskolan Dalarna, Akademin Industri och samhälle, Statistik.
    High female mortality resulting in herd collapse in free-ranging domesticated reindeer (Rangifer tarandus tarandus) in Sweden2014Ingår i: PLoS ONE, ISSN 1932-6203, E-ISSN 1932-6203, Vol. 9, nr 10, artikel-id e111509Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    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.

  • 99. Ahmed, Mobyen
    et al.
    Westin, Jerker
    Högskolan Dalarna, Akademin Industri och samhälle, Datateknik.
    Nyholm, Dag
    Dougherty, Mark
    Högskolan Dalarna, Akademin Industri och samhälle, Datateknik.
    Groth, Torgny
    A fuzzy rule-based decision support system for Duodopa treatment in Parkinson2006Ingår i: 23rd annual workshop of the Swedish Artificial Intelligence Society, Umeå, 2006Konferensbidrag (Refereegranskat)
    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.

  • 100.
    Ahmed, Mohamed Kheyr
    Högskolan Dalarna, Akademin Industri och samhälle, Nationalekonomi.
    Taylor rule and monetary policy: Does the Taylor rule describe the monetary policy in Sweden?2019Självständigt arbete på grundnivå (kandidatexamen), 10 poäng / 15 hpStudentuppsats (Examensarbete)
    Abstract [en]

    In 1993, economist JB Taylor (1993) observed that the monetary policy in the USA is described by a simple rule, which today is known as the Taylor rule. Since then, many studies were conducted to determine whether Taylor rule explains the monetary policy of central banks all over the world. This study aims to investigate whether the Taylor rule can describe monetary policy in Sweden as initially specified by Taylor (1993). Monetary policy in Sweden from 1995: Q1 to 2018: Q2 is compared to the monetary policy of the USA during the Greenspan years ( 1987: Q4 to 2006: Q1). An ordinary least squares regression method (OLS) is used to estimate the reaction function of the monetary policy of both Sweden and the USA. The results of this study show that the Taylor rule does no describe Monetary policy in Sweden. In contrast, the results show that the US monetary policy during the Greenspan years can be described by the Taylor rule.

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