Award for the best article to Professor Marko Kohtamäki and researchers from Luleå University of Technology

Researchers from the University of Vaasa and the Luleå University of Technology were given the best paper award in the Entrepreneurship & Small Business track at the Association of Marketing Theory and Practice's AMTP conference in the United States.

The team of authors includes Marko Kohtamäki, Professor of Strategy at the University of Vaasa, and visiting researcher Nikolina Koporcic, Associate Professor David Sjödin and Professor Vinit Parida from the Luleå University of Technology.

The awarded article "Fail fast, learn fast: Understanding the process of learning from failure in SMEs" examines the processes and practices of learning from failure in knowledge-intensive SMEs.

– We are honoured to receive the award for an article that we believe makes an important contribution to the debate on SMEs and organisational learning. It is also great to work with such great colleagues. Our Strategic Business Development research programme has a long-standing and deep collaboration with the Department of Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Luleå University of Technology. The unit is led by Professor Vinit Parida, who is also a visiting professor at the University of Vaasa, says Professor Kohtamäki.

The practices of learning from failures in SMEs examined in the article are related to identifying and defining mistakes, building a common understanding of the causes and consequences of mistakes, and the adaptation that takes place in practice. As SMEs tend to have limited resources, their learning from failures is characterised by a lack of development resources and the haphazard nature of their activities and learning.


– Despite the resource constraints SMEs face, our article emphasises the importance of learning for their future performance. Learning is seen as an investment for the future. The processes of learning and development require systematic management, in which, despite the randomness and challenges of everyday activities, activities are developed according to defined goals. 

The AMTP, held in South Carolina from 15-18 March, is an international and interdisciplinary academic marketing conference that focuses on bringing together both academic theory and real world marketing practices.


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