Meet IE-Scholar: Arto Ojala

University of Vaasa, Finland

What are your key areas of research?

My research has always been multidisciplinary. It covers international business, entrepreneurship, information systems, and, of course, international entrepreneurship. I like to combine ideas from different disciplines. I think it helps bring new insights to the field of international entrepreneurship. When it comes to the key research context, I mainly focus on new ventures that develop different technologies or software-based services for international markets.

 What direction is your current research taking?

My current research is focusing on several directions. Firstly, I am studying how new ventures develop digital platforms for international markets and the role of digital characteristics in this process. Secondly, one of my interests is how and why digital service providers offshore various value chain activities. The third and my latest research direction is space business and how firms acting within the space business operate in international ecosystems. I am also editing a book titled ‘Space Business: Theory and Practice’ on that topic. I believe that space business will be an interesting topic for International Entrepreneurship scholars in the future, as small and entrepreneurial firms are increasingly involved in the space business, either developing their own space-related services or applying space-based data in their international business activities. These firms see the whole globe and near space as their home market.

What are a few of your personal hobbies or interests?

My hobbies include going to the gym, where I try to visit at least three times per week. I believe it’s beneficial after sitting in the office all day. I also read a lot, including literature that isn’t related to my academic work. This helps me take my mind off work and might contribute to being more creative. Some of my favorite authors are Joel Dicker, Mika Waltari, Yuval Harari, Bill Bryson, Stephen King, to name a few. I also do horse riding, but I’m just a beginner in that.

Where will we see you next?

I will be attending EIBA 2023 in Lisbon, Portugal. In the beginning of 2024, I will be attending the Hawaii International Conference on System Science (HICSS), where I will be hosting a “Global Digital Business” minitrack. I hope to see you at EIBA or HICSS!