Dissertation: Technology investment can reduce business strategy risk – a new technique helps with the decision-making

Sara Tilabi
Company investments in technology are very important for its success and finding competitive advantage, but excessive investments can be risky. In her doctoral dissertation, Sara Tilabi has developed a new technique for facilitating the decision-making process related to technology and knowledge investment.

Why technology related decisions are important for firms?

Investment in technology supports innovation in firms. At the same time, it is wise to be cautious and not to invest too excessively, because launching new products too frequently prevents firms from gaining a satisfactory return of investment.

Therefore, finding a suitable amount of investment in technology is always a paramount concern for firms.

– Both external factors like technological progress and internal factors, firms’ resources and operations influence such a delicate equation. Understanding and considering both internal and external factors will lead to the best choice of investment in technology, says Sara Tilabi who will defend her doctoral dissertation on Tuesday, June 30 at the University of Vaasa.

Technology-related decision should enhance firms’ competitive position

Tilabi’s dissertation has two main contributions for industries: first, it developed a technique that facilitates the decision-making process related to technology and knowledge investment; this technique considers both external and internal factors in technology investment.

The research considers three types of technology in firms based on different phases of the product life cycle: basic, core, and spearhead. The research applies the sand cone approach to technology development and investment. In order to find the right choice of technology for investment, the research looks for that kind of technology that caused the highest amount of risk and uncertainty in firms' business strategy. By investing in that kind of technology and improving its situation, firms can reduce their business strategy risks ultimately. Therefore, they can gain and sustain a stronger competitive position.

Another contribution of Tilabi’s work is developing a framework that assesses the potential of advanced technologies in high-tech and conventional industries in improving different performance measurements and bringing competitive advantage.

– As we are in the era known variously as “industry 4.0” and digitalization, we are facing advances and changes in technology that have begun to happen faster than at any time in the past. In this regard, a technique that assists in technology choices will prove immensely beneficial to all companies, says Tilabi.

The dissertation consists of four publications. One publication is based on literature review and three publications follow the case study method in building and testing the proposed technique. The chosen case studies are from high-tech and conventional industries across start-ups and multinational firms.

Public defence

The public examination of M.Sc. Sara Tilabi’s doctoral dissertation "How to apply technology, knowledge and operations decision models for strategically sustainable resource allocation?" will be held on Tuesday 30 June 2020 at noon.

The public examination will be organized online:  https://uwasa.zoom.us/j/9427261971?pwd=OUtUdFBtbVRYZDcrTWY2RzMzcXJkZz09 (Password: 016853).

The field of dissertation is Industrial Management. Professor Andrea Gelei (Corvinus University of Budapest) and Professor Jouni Juntunen (University of Oulu) will act as opponents and Professor Josu Takala as a custos.

Doctoral dissertation

Tilabi, Sara (2020) How to apply technology, knowledge and operations decision models for strategically sustainable resource allocation? Acta Wasaensia 445. Väitöskirja. Vaasan yliopisto. Doctoral dissertation. University of Vaasa.

Pdf:  http://urn.fi/URN:ISBN:978-952-476-916-7

Further information

Sara Tilabi, tel. +358 44 948 7216, sara.tilabi (at) uwasa.fi

Sara Tilabi was born in 1984 in Tehran, Iran. She has Bachelor's degree in Industrial Engineering from Iran University of Science and Technology and Master's degree in Economics and Business Administration from the University of Vaasa.

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