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Page updated 3.5.2024

An exceptional thesis turned into a book for the international market

Based on the thesis by Hannu Ojasalo, the book "Control Tower Business in Logistic Services ─ How to Simulate Strategies and the Business Plan(s)" was published this spring. It is Turku University of Applied Sciences' first thesis that was converted into a book in English and published abroad.

Text and photo: Mari Loikkanen

Keijo Varis, Principal Lecturer at Turku UAS, noticed the potential while he was supervising Hannu Ojasalo's MBA in Business Management degree programme thesis titled "Theoretical example of how to use strategy and business simulation before starting in international markets with the new SAAS solution: Case Control Tower".

The thesis combined global logistics, information technology, accounting, strategy, business plan development and their simulation in an exceptional way.

─ It combined elements that others have not combined before, and I also steered the thesis in that direction. For example, it includes numerical Excel calculations for simulation, not just theory. The project was multidisciplinary and practical, says Keijo Varis.

Based on the thesis, Varis was inspired to work on an English-language book for the international market in cooperation with Ojasalo. Pirjo Ekblom, MBA in Business Management student at Turku UAS, was invited to participate, and she ensured that the language of the book corresponds to English professional vocabulary and is closer in style to academic English.

The topic arose from business and technology

Hannu Ojasalo, Engineer and Master of Science in Computer Science, has studied several master's degrees at Turku UAS alongside his career. One of them is the Master's Degree in Technology Management, which was essentially related to the writing of the book.

He originally derived the topic from his day-to-day work in the world of business and technology. Ojasalo works at Roima Intelligence, a business solutions company, as Sales Director in Finland.

The book simulates the control tower business strategy and business strategy of a global logistics service. The book provides a guideline on how to test your strategy and business plan with Excel when starting a business.

─ The book is suitable as a textbook internationally and also for a wider audience of business professionals. This is not only suitable for academic purposes, but also suitable for practical individuals, Keijo Varis describes.

A clear division of labour

In the process of creating the book, the trio had a clear division of labor. The task was completed remotely with each individual managing their own responsibilities.

The original thesis was written by Hannu Ojasalo. He accepted Ekblom's corrections to the English text. Varis supervised the thesis, got a publisher for the book and wrote a new chapter "Simulations" for it. Varis also acquired a suitable cover image for the book and unified the terminology during the revision phase of the text.

Pirjo Ekblom has lived in England for over 30 years and studied her previous degree in financial economics at the University of London’s Birkbeck College. It came naturally to her to revise and edit the English text.

─ None of us could have prepared the book for publication individually but through collaboration, we achieved success. Now we are international writers, Keijo Varis praises.

Finding a publisher for the book was a separate chapter. Varis successfully secured a commercial academic publisher from Great Britain, Cambridge Scholars, through his previous academic, Indian contacts.

The students' level of competence is high

Varis calls for how important it is to recognise the potential of master's theses. During the past eight years, he has published 12 peer-reviewed articles in international scientific journals together with his students on their theses in English. The publication of the book based on a thesis is now first of its kind.

According to Vesa Taatila, Rector of Turku University of Applied Sciences, the book is a good indication of how high-quality the student material is in the Master's degree programmes at the Turku University of Applied Sciences.

─ There are experienced professionals from different fields studying and developing themselves. At the same time, the book also shows how good our expertise is in thesis supervision, Taatila says.

The MBA in Business Management degree was the most sought-after master's degree programme in Finland in the joint application process for autumn 2023.