Viipuri Lab – Understanding people and organisations
The Viipuri Lab is a research environment to increase our understanding of people and organisations. It aims at enhancing the impact of business and management researchers by providing state-of-the-art tools and software for behavioral and decision-making studies, business analytics, as well as innovation and creativity.
The Viipuri Lab enables conducting studies in a wide range of business and management issues – from innovating through collaboration to assessing customer experience with biometric sensors. It brings together experts from different fields, and offers a platform for collaboration with other LUT units. Together with LUT's prototype and technological labs, we offer a unique and attractive research ecosystem for various stakeholders.
Behavioral and decision making studies
Understanding the human factor
Viipuri Lab's behavioral and decision-making studies area facilitates experimental research on decision-making studies. Our approach builds on using experimental methods to increase our understanding on human cognition and its relationship with economic behavior. The lab offers facilities and tools to conduct experimental research, and also provides training in experimental methods.
Viipuri Lab also offers access to biometric research equipment, which enable tracking people's attention and emotional reactions. Attention is captured with eye-tracking technology in both real and virtual environments. Emotional reactions with biometric sensors, including Electroencephalography (EEG), Galvanic skin reactance (GSR), and Facial expression analysis. All of the above mentioned measurement equipment can be easily managed with iMotions software platform. Potential application areas include research on customer/user experience, emotions in decision-making, and neuromarketing studies.
Turning data into valuable knowlegde
The aim of business analytics is simply to allow the gaining of a deeper knowledge about business phenomena through the analysis of data, in order to facilitate better decision making in organizations. The Viipuri Lab offers state-of-the-art tools for modern, programming-based business analytics. As an example, with the 48 core-computing server, boasting 768GB of RAM, one can easily analyze "big data" such as the worldwide patent database PATSTAT and the high-frequency data from the experimental behavioral decision-making sensor equipment, the two primary sources of data analyzed in the lab currently.
PATSTAT consists of over 500GB of up-to-date patent data, which are among the most widely utilized data in strategic and innovation management, economics, and many other research fields. Present research in the lab focuses on e.g. understanding the drivers behind technology-based mergers and acquisitions through the analysis of the patent portfolios of the involved firms. This is done for example by assessing the radicalness of the acquired firms, as measured through their patents and patent citations, and these relationship with the acquisition prices. Furthermore, the high-frequency behavioral decision-making data that is gathered in the related lab studies can easily exceed the storage and computational requirements of individual researchers' laptops or PCs. The server infrastructure offers thus the backbone of behavioral decision-making studies as well.
The server infrastructure can also be used to analyzing any type of numerical data. To better facilitate business analytics across the lab stakeholders, the server infrastructure and PATSTAT are remote accessible for LBM and IEM staff on their personal computers—one can operate the server just one would operate their own computers, or query PATSTAT and use the patent data in any type of research, thus reducing the "barriers to entry" into business analytics. One can run any type of Windows-compatible analytics software on the server, and in addition, the lab offers some specific analytics software such as AnyLogic related to simulation-based business studies.
Innovations and creativity
Seeking beyond the existing solutions
The Viipuri Lab facilities offer a collection of group support systems for industrial casework and educational means. The aim is to utilize the benefits of the group support systems as viable collaboration tools for supporting managerial planning tasks, innovation and creativity. The Lab applies the best practices acquired from research to use the group support methods, to solve managerial problems and make decisions in complex situations.
A group support system is a collection of applications aimed at facilitating group work and it allows collaboration either on-site or out of different places. The concept aims at bringing systematic procedures and benefits from IT development to support group work in a manageably way. This is done by enhancing the process gains and reducing the process losses occurring in collaboration. In practice this means appointing a meeting leader, creating a clear structure for the meetings and with methods made possible by the utilization of group support software, such as parallel input, the ability to post messages anonymously, or have electronic documentation.
The Viipuri Lab is used for research in the field of group support systems and processes. The Lab introduces the use of software tools in different planning tasks of company's innovation process. These tasks include brainstorming and concept development, strategic planning (e.g. SWOT analysis and scenario planning), and complex selection decisions. The focus of the research is developing processes and tools for industrial management and related decisions and problem solving. The collection of software tools gives a solid foundation to the Lab. By combining these tools, it is possible to increase the quality of the made decisions and the group work. There are software for:
- Electronic brainstorming and voting
- The Analytic Hierarchy Process
- Concept and mind mapping
- Affinity diagrams and decision trees
- Quality Function Deployment
- Cluster analysis.
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