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  • 1. Ahola, Marja
    et al.
    Haikala, Raisa
    Zafar, Afnan
    Opiskelemaan pääsy ja työllistyminen haastavat ulkomaiset korkeakouluopiskelijat – muut maat keräävät osaajat2019In: LAMK Pro, ISSN 2489-3765, no 15-novArticle in journal (Other academic)
  • 2. Ahola, Marja
    et al.
    Zafar, Afnan
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Industrial Management, Industrial Design and Mechanical Engineering, Industrial Management. University of Gävle, Center for Logistics and Innovative Production.
    Relationship Between Frugal and Inclusive Innovation and Digital Employment Solutions (DES): A Review2021In: Human Interaction, Emerging Technologies and Future Applications III / [ed] Ahram T., Taiar R., Langlois K., Choplin A. (eds), Switzerland: Springer, Cham , 2021, 3, p. 398-403Chapter in book (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Inclusive and frugal innovations are the key to managing workforce potential of the underdeveloped regions of South Asia (SA). Digital employment solutions (DES) can help to improve the targeted mobility of labour between developed and underdeveloped regions and countries. This research explores the relationship between frugal and inclusive innovations and DES. This review study analyses 16 articles to investigate this relationship. The study found direct and indirect relationships among frugal and inclusive innovations, DES and the employment situation in developed and underdeveloped regions and countries. Frugal innovations and DES may be an appropriate solution to tackle the employment problems in SA but cultural, social and economic barriers can affect the success of the overall process. Researchers and policymakers should, however, carefully evaluate the nature of target regions, the degree of cooperation and evaluation of various related barriers.

  • 3.
    Barreiro-Gen, Maria
    et al.
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Industrial Management, Industrial Design and Mechanical Engineering, Industrial Management. University of Gävle, Center for Logistics and Innovative Production. University of Gävle.
    Lozano, Rodrigo
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Industrial Management, Industrial Design and Mechanical Engineering, Industrial Management. University of Gävle, Center for Logistics and Innovative Production.
    Zafar, Afnan
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Industrial Management, Industrial Design and Mechanical Engineering, Industrial Management. University of Gävle, Center for Logistics and Innovative Production.
    Changes in Sustainability Priorities in Organisations due to the COVID-19 Outbreak: Averting Environmental Rebound Effects on Society2020In: Sustainability, E-ISSN 2071-1050, Vol. 12, no 12, article id 5031Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The COVID-19 outbreak has affected societies and organisations in an unprecedented way. This has resulted in negative impacts to economic and social issues, but it is a “blessing in disguise” for environmental issues. This paper analyses how the outbreak has affected organisations’ sustainability priorities. Prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, such priorities were on the economic dimension followed by the environmental and social dimensions. A survey was sent to 11,657 organisations to analyse such changes, with a 5.60% response rate. The results show that for organisations, the main priority is now on the social dimension, followed by the economic one; however, the environmental dimension has suffered a negative impact in prioritisation, regardless of organisation type, country where they are based, organisation size, or the time they have been working on sustainability. We are currently facing an environmental conundrum, where air quality has improved and pollution has decreased in societies, but organisations are starting to neglect such environmental issues. The COVID-19 outbreak is an opportunity for organisations to better contribute to sustainability by ensuring that the efforts that have been undertaken in the last three decades are not forgotten, and that societies and organisations are better coupled to face such crises and avert rebound effects.

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  • 4.
    Kwegyir-Afful, Ebo
    et al.
    University of Vaasa.
    Lotchi, Kodjovi
    University of Vaasa.
    Zafar, Afnan
    University of Vaasa.
    An axiomatic design approach towards optimizing collaboration amongst SMES2019In: Pienikin iskussa: Näkemyksiä mikro- ja pk-yritysten työhyvinvoinnin kehittämiseen työn muotoilun keinoin / [ed] Minttu Merivirta, Lapin Amki , 2019, p. 71-85Chapter in book (Refereed)
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  • 5. Liu, Yang
    et al.
    Vuoti, Veli-Pekka
    Takala, Josu
    Kreuzer, Andreas
    Yang, Wenshan
    Zafar, Afnan
    University of Vaasa.
    Kronman, Patricia
    Malek, Nurul Aida Binti Abdul
    Mäntylä, Alexander
    Validating performance-based critical actions in a high tech start-up2014In: Management and Production Engineering Review, ISSN 2080-8208, E-ISSN 2082-1344, Vol. 5, p. 47-86Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 6. Lotchi, Kodjovi
    et al.
    Ebo, Kwegyir-Afful
    Zafar, Afnan
    University of Vaasa.
    Sivula, Ari
    Kantola, Jussi
    Intermediary Organization and Collaboration Platform for SMEs2019In: Advances in Human Factors, Business Management and Leadership. AHFE 2019.: Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing, vol 961 / [ed] Kantola J., Nazir S., Springer, 2019, Vol. 961, p. 115-123Chapter in book (Refereed)
  • 7.
    Lotchi, Kodjovi
    et al.
    University of Vaasa.
    Kwegyir-Afful, Ebo
    University of Vaasa.
    Zafar, Afnan
    University of Vaasa.
    Pisku inter-firm e-collaboration platform for SMES2019In: Pienikin iskussa: Näkemyksiä mikro- ja pk-yritysten työhyvinvoinnin kehittämiseen työn muotoilun keinoin / [ed] Minttu Merivirta, Lapin Amki , 2019, p. 87-95Chapter in book (Refereed)
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  • 8.
    Lozano, Rodrigo
    et al.
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Industrial Management, Industrial Design and Mechanical Engineering, Industrial Management. University of Gävle, Center for Logistics and Innovative Production.
    Barreiro-Gen, Maria
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Industrial Management, Industrial Design and Mechanical Engineering, Industrial Management. University of Gävle, Center for Logistics and Innovative Production.
    Zafar, Afnan
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Industrial Management, Industrial Design and Mechanical Engineering, Industrial Management. University of Gävle, Center for Logistics and Innovative Production.
    Collaboration for organizational sustainability limits to growth: Developing a factors, benefits, and challenges framework2021In: Sustainable Development, ISSN 0968-0802, E-ISSN 1099-1719, Vol. 29, no 4, p. 728-737Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Collaboration plays a key role in the contribution of organizations (civil society, corporate, and public sector ones) to sustainability; nonetheless, there has been limited research on collaboration elements, benefits, and challenges. A survey was developed for investigating collaboration for organizational sustainability (through elements, benefits,and challenges), to which 253 full responses were obtained. The survey responses were analyzed using Friedman tests, correlations, and multivariate statistical analyses.The results provide insights into the rankings of the elements, benefits, and challenges. The multivariate statistical analyses show that when organizations increase their collaboration on two element factors (business-oriented and society-oriented), there will be both benefits and challenges. The optimal solution to collaboration for organizational sustainability is where the factors are balanced in such a way that there are sufficient benefits but fewer challenges. If collaboration is unbridled, then the challenges will outweigh the benefits, thus there are limits to the implementation and growth of collaboration. From the analyses, the research proposes the “Organizational sustainability collaboration” framework dependent on the factors, the benefits, and the challenges obtained from collaborating, which can help organizations understand and better collaborate, so that benefits are maximized, and the challenges curtailed

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  • 9.
    Zafar, Afnan
    University of Vaasa.
    Aivovuoto Suomessa - Todellinen uhka vai myytti?2019In: Siirtolaisuus - Migration, ISSN 0355-3779, Vol. 4, p. 15-Article in journal (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
  • 10.
    Zafar, Afnan
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Industrial Management, Industrial Design and Mechanical Engineering, Industrial Management. University of Gävle, Center for Logistics and Innovative Production.
    Covid-19: contact tracing apps and privacy concerns2020In: Foreigner.fi, ISSN 2670-224X, no 01-julArticle in journal (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
    Abstract [en]

    The 1918-20 flu pandemic, also known as the influenza or Spanish flu pandemic and caused by the influenza A virus resulting in 17-50 million estimated deaths, was one of the deadliest pandemics ever. COVID-19 has also spread globally and caused hundreds of thousands of deaths.

    The difference between the 1920 and 2020 pandemics however is huge in many ways. Today, we are more equipped and advanced in terms of medical treatments, development of medicines and usage of technology. The use of technology in diagnosis, testing and tracking has made a big difference and helped to confine this invisible danger.

    The use of different mobile apps and other monitoring devices such as wrist bands, rings, etc. kicked off in full swing during this pandemic.

    The fear of coronavirus has compelled people more than ever to adopt these technologies, providing all the features of tracking and data sharing. At the moment, the burden and stress of the virus have reduced a little in many countries and people are starting to think about data breaches and security concerns.

  • 11. Zafar, Afnan
    Feasibility of Mega Spa Hotel and its cash flow in Routakallio area, Seinäjoki, Finland2014Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
  • 12.
    Zafar, Afnan
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Industrial Management, Industrial Design and Mechanical Engineering, Industrial Management. University of Gävle, Center for Logistics and Innovative Production.
    Human-Artificial Systems Collaboration in Service Innovation and Social Inclusion2021In: Intelligent Human Systems Integration 2021 / [ed] Ahram T., Taiar R., Langlois K., Choplin A. (eds), Switzerland: Springer , 2021, p. 527-532Chapter in book (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Human and Artificial intelligence (AI) collaborations have contributed to improve our daily lives. AI can be used to promote employment, social inclusion and service innovation. To improve social inclusion, the integration of foreign origin workers is crucial for economic growth. In Finland, the MALVA project 'preparing immigrants for working life' aims to develops Human-Artificial services that promote social inclusion and service innovation. One important goal of the project is to create a chatbot for companies and develop mobile guiding practices to enhance employment solutions for foreign origin workers. This work is in progress, the present article reports the initial development stages and literature review related to the collaboration of human and artificial intelligence systems (HAS). The paper contributes to the understanding of the AI-based chatbots and their use in the integration of skilled migrant workers to promote social inclusion and economic growth.

  • 13. Zafar, Afnan
    Is the shortage of talent in Finland real or just a myth?2019In: Foreigner.fi, no 27-sepArticle in journal (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
  • 14. Zafar, Afnan
    LAB: Boosting Startup and SME Ecosystems in the South Karelia and Päijät-Häme Regions2019In: LAMK Pro, ISSN 2489-3765, no 26-sepArticle in journal (Other academic)
  • 15.
    Zafar, Afnan
    University of Vaasa.
    Lukijalta: Miksi lahjakkuus on syytä sitoa Turun seudulle ja Suomeen?2019In: Turun Sanomat, ISSN 0356-133X, no 20-oktArticle in journal (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
  • 16.
    Zafar, Afnan
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Industrial Management, Industrial Design and Mechanical Engineering, Industrial Management. University of Gävle, Center for Logistics and Innovative Production.
    Reasons for outsourcing innovations and its effect on firm performance: Evidence from highly innovative firms from twenty countries2020In: Technium Social Sciences Journal, ISSN 2668-7798, Vol. 13, p. 305-319Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Innovative products have become crucial as firms vie for consumer attention in a saturated market. One important strategy is the use of external innovation providers. This study investigates reasons for outsourcing innovations (OI) and their relationship with firms’ performance. The results should assist firms in ascertaining how the reasons for OI affect firm performance. First, the conceptual framework of reasons for OI and related firm performance was synthesized from the open innovation literature. Then, highly innovative firms from twenty countries were surveyed and analysed using statistical tools. The results provided support for a conceptual framework with a positive relationship between five reasons for OI and firms’ overall performance. An implication for managers is that, if Contract Research Organisation (CRO) country’s environment is the only reason for entering into an OI contract, it might not be a good decision in terms of the respective firms’ overall performance.   

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  • 17.
    Zafar, Afnan
    University of Vaasa.
    Revamping the employability of highly skilled immigrants in Finland2019In: Siirtolaisuus - Migration, ISSN 0355-3779, Vol. 4, p. 20-24Article in journal (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The employability and employment rate of foreign origin people have been actively discussed in Finland. The phenomenon is also related to attracting highly skilled workers to Finland. While many public and private bodies are working on to attract talent from abroad, the existing foreign origin talent within Finland has been largely overlooked. The official data shows that there is not much improvement in the employability of foreign origin skilled workers in the last decade or so. To what degree is there a pool of highly skilled workers with foreign background available on the Finnish labour market, who are not employed to an equal degree with native Finns? The purpose of this article is to examine the officially available information on this issue. The article also explores the role of the gender and last names biases in the recruiting process. Finally, it discusses the Finnish Government plans and measures to tackle the present situation effectively.

  • 18.
    Zafar, Afnan
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Industrial Management, Industrial Design and Mechanical Engineering, Industrial Management. University of Gävle, Center for Logistics and Innovative Production.
    The Openness of Open Innovation in the Product Development Process2021In: Intelligent Human Systems Integration 2021 / [ed] Russo D., Ahram T., Karwowski W., Di Bucchianico G., Taiar R. (eds), Springer, 2021, p. 685-690Chapter in book (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Open innovation has strong roots in both academia and industry and resulted in the adoption of this practice across all departments of companies. This paper discusses different criteria needed to adopt open innovation in the product development process. The research explores open innovation in product development based on company needs, strategic planning and managerial preferences. The conceptual framework of this paper was developed from open innovation and management science-related literature. A total of 60 intensive open innovation dependent companies were surveyed in 20 countries concerning the product development process. Statistical techniques were used to analyse the data. The collected data helped to identify six crucial preferences of companies to adopt open innovation. The results provided validation of the conceptual framework and ranked the priorities based on managers’ opinions. 

  • 19.
    Zafar, Afnan
    University of Vaasa.
    The Outsourcing Innovation Paradox : A Company’s Growth Option or a Risk to R&D Capabilities2019Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
  • 20.
    Zafar, Afnan
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Industrial Management, Industrial Design and Mechanical Engineering, Industrial Management.
    Working from home: the future after the corona pandemic?2020In: Foreigner.fi, no 28-mars, p. 3Article in journal (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
    Abstract [en]

    There were huge differences in people’s lives after both World War I and II in the world. Those world wars affected all circles of life including social lives, people’s behaviour, crisis management, economic measures and polices.

    The post-war era also changed collaborations among countries, with enemies becoming friends and working together becoming the new norm. By the end of 2019, the world had become a global village with nearly all countries coordinating, doing business and connecting to each other in one way or another. However, 2020 has not begun well due to the epidemic of the corona virus in Wuhan (China) that would later become a global pandemic.

  • 21.
    Zafar, Afnan
    University of Vaasa.
    Åbo behöver agera för att begåvningarna ska stanna kvar i staden2019In: Åbo Underrättelser, ISSN 0785-398X, no 09-oktArticle in journal (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
  • 22.
    Zafar, Afnan
    et al.
    University of Vaasa.
    Ahola, Marja
    Merging and Collaboration of Educational Institutes: New dimension of Open Innovation2019In: LAMK Pro, no 09-sepArticle in journal (Other academic)
  • 23.
    Zafar, Afnan
    et al.
    University of Vaasa.
    Ahola, Marja
    The odyssey of obtaining a student visa for Finland2019In: Foreigner.fi, no 15-sepArticle in journal (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
  • 24.
    Zafar, Afnan
    et al.
    University of Vaasa.
    Kantola, Jussi
    Brain Drain in Finland: A Real Threat or a Myth and its Impact on Finland's R&D Capabilities2019In: Scientific Journals of Poznan University of Technology series of Organization and Management, ISSN 0239-9415, no 79, p. 243-256Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 25.
    Zafar, Afnan
    et al.
    University of Vaasa.
    Kantola, Jussi
    Relationship between firm's performance and factors involved in the selection of innovation providers2018In: Advances in Human Factors, Business Management and Society. AHFE 2018: Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing, vol 783 / [ed] Kantola J., Nazir S., Barath T., Springer, 2018, Vol. 783Chapter in book (Refereed)
  • 26.
    Zafar, Afnan
    et al.
    University of Vaasa.
    Kantola, Jussi
    Relationship between firms' performance and reasons for outsourcing innovation2018In: Proceedings of ISPIM Connects Fukuoka: Solving Challenges Through Innovation / [ed] Bitran, I., Conn, S., Huizingh, E., Kokshagina, O., Torkkeli, M. & Tynnhammar, M., 2018Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 27.
    Zafar, Afnan
    et al.
    University of Vaasa.
    Kantola, Jussi
    The Effect of Macro Environmental and Firm-Level Factors on Open Innovations in Product Development and Their Impact on Firms’ Performance2019In: Advances in Human Factors, Business Management and Leadership. AHFE 2019: Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing, vol 961 / [ed] Kantola J., Nazir S., Springer, 2019, Vol. 961, p. 61-71Chapter in book (Refereed)
  • 28.
    Zafar, Afnan
    et al.
    University of Vaasa.
    Kantola, Jussi
    Sivula, Ari
    Kwegyir-Afful, Ebo
    Lotchi, Kodjovi
    Finnish SMEs and the development of the innovative collaboration platform2019In: ISPIM Conference Proceedings, 2019Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 29.
    Zafar, Afnan
    et al.
    University of Vaasa.
    Kwegyir-Afful, Ebo
    University of Vaasa.
    Lotchi, Kodjovi
    University of Vaasa.
    The complexity and fragmentation of work: Towards a collaborative platform2019In: Pienikin iskussa: Näkemyksiä mikro- ja pk-yritysten työhyvinvoinnin kehittämiseen työn muotoilun keinoin / [ed] Minttu Merivirta, Lapin Amki , 2019, p. 25-29Chapter in book (Refereed)
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