Interview with Prof. Jaana Tähtinen
Prof. Jaana Tähtinen
Jaana Tähtinen is currently a Professor of Marketing (tenured) and a head of the discipline at the Pori Unit of Turku School of Economics, University of Turku. Before she started at TSE in 2015, she worked as a Professor of Marketing (tenured) at the Oulu Business School, since 2007. In her earlier career Jaana has worked i.e. for City of Oulu, Nokia Mobile Phones, and an advertising agency. Jaana serves as an associate editor at Scandinavian Journal of Management, a member of the editorial board, and a reviewer at many international journals. She is a co-founder of biennial Nordic Workshop on Relationship Dynamics
Jaana, can you please tell us about your main areas of research?
I am a business-to-business researcher, the only times I have move out of it is when the topic involves emotions, humor or irony. My main area has been business relationship ending and I find it important and fascinating, but also very challenging and sometimes even frustrating.
You have published several studies related to ending exchange relationships with business partners. Why are you interested in this topic? What implications does it have for companies to perform those processes properly?
I guess it has to do with emotions that the topic raises, I mean the emotions of those involved in such endings. Sometimes the ends are the best that can happen, but often strong emotions arise and influence not only during the process but also what happens even much later. It is precisely why companies, or as I would rather express it, the management of the companies would need to pay attention to the potential of ending already when relationships are established. There needs to be a plan and a guide for the processes, as well as their aftermath. Sometimes difficult processes leave individual boundary spanners vulnerable and feeling guilty, which may even trigger them to leave the company.
You presented as guest speaker last year at CBIM2017, can you tell us about your session?
I wanted more to discuss an issue than present a finished study or speech. The theme was Ontology & Epistemology – Unsure or Obvious, as it has interested me ever since the time I wrote my doctoral thesis, well over 15 years ago. And I still feel that it is difficult to master because the philosophy of science as a field is, of course, also developing.
In my speech I posed a question to the audience. We as supervisors do seem to require doctoral students to report the ’chain’ from ontology to data collection methods and sources. But why is it that we as authors, reviewers, and editors seem to be perfectly happy to write, review and publish journal articles that only discuss the methodology and data collection choices and phases of the research process, and not the whole chain? Are we unsure or do we think it is so obvious that we don’t need to report it? I think we had a good discussion on can we choose to use any ontology or even different one in different studies, but of course the big question still remains unanswered. Any readers interested in discussing it, please contact me J.
As you know, the theme of the International Conference is “Sustainable business models: integrating employees, customers and technology”. How relevant it is that employees, customers and technology can be integrated into the marketing strategies of companies? How can it be implemented effectively?
I think that for any company, the integration has become vital. No company, customer or employee can avoid technology, but as the saying goes, technology needs to be used as a tool, to help customers and companies in value creation. I think there is no best solution, but the integration can be done successfully in many ways, depending on the context.
You have participated in several editions of CBIM. What do you like most of this Conference? Is there anything that you find different Conferences?
I like that it is focused on B2B, as there are not that many conferences on the theme. Secondly, it is not a huge one, but still the participants do come from all around the world. You can hear a variety of angles on the B2B and also have a chance to talk more with the authors of the interesting papers in a friendly and relaxed atmosphere.
What message do you have for young researchers on marketing?
I would hope you to be critical and view marketing (and your research on it) not as a tool for companies to make money, but pay attention to the relationship of marketing and society at large; how could marketing help making the world a better place? I put my trust in you!