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Honorary mention to Master’s thesis of Laurea's Marika Järvinen in FSA Service Thesis of the Year

Master's thesis of Laurea University of Applied Sciences alumna Marika Järvinen has received honorary mention in Finnish Service Alliance's (FSA) Service Thesis of the Year 2019. The aim of her thesis was to develop an internal service concept for enhancing innovation and development activities at Tampere University Hospital.

Author: Laurea Communications

Photo: Virpi Kaartti

Anne Äyväri, supervisor of the thesis and alumna Marika Järvinen, the recipients of the Service Thesis honorary mention 2019

Marika Järvinen's Master’s thesis was awarded honorary mention 25th November 2019 at the Finnish Service Alliance (FSA) seminar at Aalto University in Otaniemi. The purpose of the FSA is to promote Finnish service research and increase its utilisation in companies and public organisations. In the FSA Service Thesis of the Year competition, Master’s theses of universities of applied sciences and universities compete in the same series.

Marika studied in the Service Innovation and Design (SID) Master’s degree programme at Laurea University of Applied Sciences. She started her studies in 2016, when she already knew the topic for her thesis. The idea for the thesis came from concrete experiences at work and a genuine need to do things in a new way.

- There is room for improvement in the innovation and development capacity in many areas of public health organisations. My own experience in public health development at Tampere University Hospital has shown the thinness of the culture of development, the lack of skills in development methods, and the lack of a structure for development work. Often, development work is a detached part of strategic and operational activities, Marika says.

- On the other hand, in my experience the staff does have a strong desire to develop in this area, and there are organisational capabilities to support the staff in development and innovation, Marika continues.

In order for development work to have real impact in the organisation, as many employees as possible must be involved in the development. The service development expertise has to be transferred to the entire organisation.

Marika wanted to address these challenges and opportunities in her thesis in a way that organisations could easily grasp.

As her studies progressed, Marika found the perspective of dynamic capabilities, which became the theoretical basis for her thinking. She wanted to build a pragmatic concept to develop the innovation and development capability of the organisation as a whole.

The best thing about the thesis was having a childlike enthusiasm for the subject

The thesis showed that in order to enhance innovation and development capabilities, the staff needs tools for systematic monitoring of the operating environment, structures for development, as well as capabilities to co-create and to communicate the development. An open, trustworthy organisational culture that supports staff initiatives creates better service solutions for both customers and employees.

The role of the developer, whose main tasks are to identify development needs and concretise development, should be part of the role of every employee. The key role of the supervisor is to enable development. The manager's most important task is to take care of the big picture of development. The role of a leader, who can be anyone of the above mentioned, is to inspire and communicate development as well as to be present and available when support is needed.

Marika says that the best thing about the thesis was having a childlike enthusiasm for the subject.

- I didn't know I could be as excited about a scientific article as a little kid about a new toy. The cooperation with the supervisor of the thesis, which created clear value, was also rewarding. I was also pleased with the feeling that all the pieces came together when I worked on them long enough, Marika rejoices.

- The most challenging part of doing the thesis was time management. Each scheduled step took more time than I had planned. Particularly the theoretical section required deep diving to find the answers I was looking for.

Read Marika's awarded thesis in Theseus.

The 10th anniversary publication of the Service Innovation and Design (SID) degree programme also features an article written by Marika about her thesis.

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