JAMK Centre For Competitiveness

enhanching competitiveness and prosperity

Tag Archives: competitiveness

Webinar on Building Educational Competitiveness

By Murat Akpinar

A webinar on the education system of Finland and its impacts on the country’s competitiveness was delivered by Ari Pokka, President Elect of the International Confederation of Principals, and Harri Keurulainen, Head of Department, Teacher Education College, JAMK on Dec 18, 2013. Finnish education system has proven to be one of the best in the world. In this webinar the reasons behind this success story were discussed.

The recording of the webinar is available athttps://connect.jamk.fi/p38242631/

Key Success Factors in Strategic Development of Clusters

By Murat Akpinar

Clusters have been recognized as a means to improve regional competitiveness and prosperity. It is also a fact that not all cluster initiatives are equally successful. JAMK Centre for Competitiveness arranged a webinar on key success factors in strategic development of clusters on March 26, 2013 jointly with the European Chapter of the Microeconomics of Competitiveness (MOC). The guest speaker of the webinar was Albert Solé from Cluster Development, a consulting firm based in Barcelona. In the webinar Albert Solé explained their innovative approach to strategic cluster segmentation and shared successful cluster mapping examples. Emphasizing the balance between analysis and implementation, he made concrete recommendations for businesses, regional governments, and academia for successful collaboration in the design and implementation of strategic cluster development initiatives to achieve maximum performance results for all cluster members.

The whole webinar is available at https://connect.jamk.fi/p12325311/

For further enquiries about the topic you can contact Albert Solé at albertsole@cluster-development.com

Responsible Competitiveness and CSR Clusters

By Murat Akpinar

As we read in the work of Michael Porter and Mark Kramer (2011), inclusion of corporate social responsibility into the core of strategy has the potential to foster competitiveness through social innovations and shared value creation. JAMK Centre for Competitiveness arranged a webinar on this topic on Jan 30, 2013 jointly with the European Chapter of the Microeconomics of Competitiveness (MOC). The guest speaker of the webinar was Prof. Dr. Pablo Collazzo, Visiting Professor at the WU-Vienna University of Economics. In the webinar Dr. Collazzo opened up the concepts and told about his latest research which studies the effects of responsible competitiveness and CSR clusters by Simon Zadek (2006) in achieving competitiveness. His presentation was followed by a Q&A session.

The whole webinar is available online at https://connect.jamk.fi/p62915171/

For further enquiries about the topic you can contact Prof. Dr. Collazzo at Pablo.Collazzo@wu.ac.at



Finland: a business paradise

By Irina Starovoytova

Finally Finland is officially recognized as a paradise for business. According to the Grant Thornton Global Dynamism Index (Oct., 2012) Finland is second best country in the world for dynamic growing businesses. It is ahead of Sweden, Israel, Austria, Australia, Switzerland, South Korea, Germany and United States. Best of best is one of the Asian Tigers – Singapore.

Criteria for evaluation were chosen on the basis of expert analysis. In business operating environment Finland took the leading position. Science and technology and financing environment were also estimated high, whereas in such indicators as labor and human capital, and economics and growth it was far behind of fast growing Argentina, Uruguay, China and surprisingly (?) the Slovak Republic, even not appearing among the first ten.

Stephen Chipman, chief executive officer of Grant Thornton LLP says about the survey “Rather than provide a measure of an economy’s success during a period of high economic turbulence, this iteration provides a true illustration of the strength of each economy as a place for dynamic businesses to flourish.”

Read more in the official report on Global Dynamism Index 2012 from the below link:


‘Diversity, Inclusion, and Competitiveness’ – webinar

By Riitta Saastamoinen

‘Diversity, Inclusion, and Competitiveness’ –webinar was organized by JAMK Centre for Competitiveness on November 14, 2012. In the webinar, three practiced international Diversity & Inclusion experts, Dr. George Simons, Mr. Elmer Dixon, and Ms. Joy Hawkins, discussed with the JAMK representatives Dr. Murat Akpinar, Mr. Steven Crawford, and Ms. Riitta Saastamoinen, on the reasons and practices for including diversity at work places, and on the role of Diversity & Inclusion work in increasing companies’ competitiveness. As Mr. Dixon and Ms. Hawkins pointed out, good diversity practices make the employees willing and capable of doing their best for the company, which increases productivity and cuts cost, for instance, by reducing job turnover and unnecessary sick leaves. If you missed the webinar, you can watch it online at


or read a summary of the discussion from Diversity webinar summary.

Enhancing competitiveness with Diversity & Inclusion practices

By Riitta Saastamoinen

Mr. Elmer Dixon on board

’Diversity & Inclusion. Working to enhance the competitiveness of Finnish businesses’ was the topic of a two-day JAMK Center for Competitiveness seminar on November 12-13, 2012. Three seasoned international experts of Diversity & Inclusion, Dr. George Simons, Mr. Elmer Dixon and Ms. Joy Hawkins, discussed the need for, benefits of and best practices in diversity management at work places.

Mr. Matti Hirsilä, the Head of the JAMK Global Business Management Department, opened the seminar by pointing out how competitiveness of businesses has in past been mainly approached as cost cutting, but in the future competitiveness enhancing will depend significantly on how the companies can create something new and be innovative. Diversity & Inclusion strategies and practices have a major role in this, as like Mr. Dixon later pointed out, “Diversity and global literacy enhance the quality of problem solving, decision making, and innovation.” If the managers and employees have good cultural competence, the continuously increasing diversity of the customers, markets and workforce becomes an asset.

Diversity, as introduced by Ms. Hawkins, refers to the “unique characteristics or differences that each of us have”, like gender, age, race or ethnic background, personality, educational background or parental status. At work places people also differ due to the factors like job function, work location, or seniority in the company. Inclusion means the active ways to prevent exclusion: understanding diversity as strength, encouraging everybody’s involvement, and providing people with equal access to opportunities and information.

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JAMK Centre for Competitiveness at the Annual Global Conference of the Competitiveness Institute (TCI)

By Murat Akpinar

TCI members in Bilbao

Matti Hirsilä and Murat Akpinar (we) participated at the 15th TCI Annual Global Conference which took place in San Sebastian and Bilbao, Spain during October 16-19, 2012 and was organized perfectly by the Orkestra-Basque Institute of Competitiveness and the Basque Government.

Founded in 1998 and based in Barcelona, Spain, TCI is the leading global network for practitioners, policy makers, researchers and business leaders working towards improving competitiveness in regions and clusters. See www.tci-network.org . The choice of location for this 15th special anniversary was perfect, as Basque Country is one of the pioneering regions in adopting and implementing competitiveness concepts and tools since early 1990s. Our visits in different clusters in the region provided rich insights about the miracle how this region has tripled its GDP per capita from 1970s to 2010s. The region’s GDP per capita (31,314 Euro in year 2010) is 40% higher than average EU figure, and 34% higher than Spain’s figure.

The theme of this year’s conference was “Constructing Place-Based Competitiveness in Times of Global Change”, and we had an excellent cooperation there with Rauli Sorvari from Estele Ltd., and Toni Pienonen and Tiina Saarinen from Business Arena Ltd. in jointly organizing and facilitating four sessions of Track A which had the theme of constructing place-based competitiveness. Our innovative way of facilitation developed by Business Arena Ltd. led to closer interaction between participants of the track, and we hope to continue this interaction through our monthly webinars in order to further network and exchange ideas and best practices from different parts of the world. JAMK Centre for Competitiveness is taking a lead in introducing webinars in the TCI network.

More information about this event is available from TCI webpages at http://www.tci-network.org/news/card/526

Finland ranked as the 3rd competitive economy in the world – how about Central Finland?

By Hanna-Maija Kiviranta


Hanna-Maija Kiviranta

We are doing excellent! Finland moved up one place in World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness report reaching the 3rd position in the list of the top 10 competitive economies in the world.

According to the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report 2012-2013, Finnish economy has had small improvements in a number of areas. Finland occupies the top position both in the health and primary education as well as in the higher education and training thanks to strong focus on education over recent decades. This has provided the workforce with the skills needed to adapt rapidly to a changing environment and has laid the groundwork for high levels of technological adoption and innovation.

We are one of the most innovative countries in Europe, ranking 2nd, behind only Switzerland. Improving our capacity to adopt the latest technologies (ranked 25th) could lead to important synergies that in turn could corroborate Finland’s position as one of the world’s most innovative economies. (Source: The World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report 2012-2013)

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Michael Porter Prize Ceremony in India, live on Sept 28

By Murat Akpinar

There is possibility to follow Michael Porter Prize Ceremony in India on September 28 starting (16.00 Indian Time = 13:30 Finnish Time) live at http://www.youtube.com/arthsastra

The event includes a series of panel discussions on Indian Businesses, and Michael Porter himself will have a video speech starting (18.30 Indian Time = 16.00 Finnish time). The full schedule of the event is available at http://www.porterprize.in/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/Agenda_Porter_Prize.pdf

What can branding offer for high-tech SME companies?

By Murat Akpinar


Heidi Neuvonen

In this month’s webinar by JAMK Centre for Competitiveness the importance of branding was emphasized by specialist Heidi Neuvonen from JAMK who has many years of working experience in brand building and currently finalizing her doctoral thesis about this subject.

At the beginning of the webinar, Heidi Neuvonen elaborated on branding strategy and how its right application contributes to company competitiveness. She then went through challenges of building brands in high-tech companies, and the webinar ended with recommendations for both company managers and administrators of regional development and support organizations for improving branding. To access the branding webinar, click the link below:


The webinar sessions are being recorded and available online at http://blogit.jamk.fi/cfc/ . To access past sessions, click the link in the appropriate webinar description. For further information regarding the content, we encourage you to contact the key speakers after the event. The contact info is provided in the video.

We also welcome your opinions on potential topics to be included in our webinars. For suggestions please make a comment in the blog post or contact Murat Akpinar at murat.akpinar@jamk.fi