Krista Keränen defended her thesis in Cambridge on 28 January

Laurea University of Applied Sciences' Service Business Research and Development Director Krista Keränen defended her dissertation in Cambridge University on Wednesday 28 January. Ms Keränen's route to her doctoral thesis has been unusual: she was chosen by the internationally top-class university to carry out her dissertation purely on the basis of a Masters Degree from a university of applied sciences.

The title of Krista Keränen's doctoral dissertation is "An exploration of the characteristics of co-creation in the B2B service business”. It deals with the management of service businesses from a co-creation perspective. The dissertation was examined in the Cambridge University Department of Engineering Sciences, and Ms Keränen is a student of Sidney Sussex College.

- Finnish businesses are in great need of skills both in service design management and especially in co-creation. It is still the case that businesses too rarely include customers and other stakeholder groups in development activities, Ms Keränen said.
- In my doctoral dissertation I have researched how stakeholder groups can participate in the development process in such a way that all parties benefit and the business's competitiveness improves.

Ms Keränen's doctoral dissertation and researcher exchange placement in Cambridge are part of the Laurea CoCo Project, in which co-creation tools have been developed for businesses. One product of this developmental work was the CoCo Tool Kit, which received the EU Women Inventors & Innovators Network Innovation Award for 2013. The CoCo Project has been funded by Tekes, Foundation for Economic Education and Tekniikan säätiö (Foundation for Technology).

Krista Keränen, who is originally from Nurmijärvi in Southern Finland, graduated from Laurea with a Bachelor of Business Administration and Hospitality Management. In 2007 she completed her Masters of Hospitality Management through combined training in both Laurea and Haaga-Helia. Having received her education entirely in applied science universities, Ms Keränen is an unusual candidate for a doctoral dissertation. In general, Finnish scientific higher education institutions do not accept applied science university students onto doctoral programs without so-called "bridging studies".

- In my doctoral studies at Cambridge, I managed very well with the skills acquired during my studies in applied science universities, without any need to carry out extra studies before commencing, stated Ms Keränen.
- On the whole, the group work skills and practical approach learnt during my previous studies helped me a lot at many different stages of my doctoral work.

Cambridge University was founded in 1209, and has a current student population of 12,000. Laurea and Cambridge University have carried out cooperative work together now for a number of years. For example, Laurea students have benefited from the teaching of Cambridge University's top experts through participating in the Cambridge VentureCamps for entrepreneurs, which have been taking place at Laurea since 2007.​

Modified 1/29/2015 9:29 AM

​Krista Keränen.