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Advantage #1 2016



Eivind Roald and his team will fly the SAS brand New Advantage into the future New Advantage




BI Corporate Department and Aibel AS team up for better project management

New Advantage ”They cannot expect any recipes from me. Organisational lives are simply too colourful for that.” MIHA ŠKERL AVAJ, PROFESSOR AT DEPARTMENT OF LE ADERSHIP AND ORGANISATIONAL BEHAVIOUR AT BI









“Hard work to ensure that BI is of top international standard”. Page 5.

BI visited by Nobel Prize winner and the Prime Minister. Page 7.

Social media: Is it bad for business? Find the answer on page 11.

Latest on Alumni events, Alumni benefits and more on page 48.



The Executive MBA at BI is a truly international programme – where the world literally becomes your campus. You have the option of three tracks; global, energy or maritime offshore. The programme takes you to various corners of the world, in order to learn from the very best in each field. Transform your career with the only ranked* Executive MBA in Norway.

Start up March 2016: *Financial Times 2015


Advantage 1/2016


NEWS 007 The latest news from us.

FRONTLINE 011 Stay updated with our latest research.


AMBASSADORS 021 Meet Martine Aarrestad and four other succesful BI alumni.

INSIGHT 032 BI Corporate Department and Aibel AS teamed together.

BUSINESS PROFILES 036 Mikkel Neple is on the team that will bring SAS into the future.


PROFESSOR 042 Miha Škerlavaj is the new ­professor at the Department of Leadership and Organisational Behaviour.


WORLD REPORT 048 Alumni events and more.



Barbro Kolbjørnsrud

Morten Ståle Nilsen, Mikaela Hincks


Audun Farbrot, Monica Skau Hansen, Audrey Payton, Ida Dahl Haddeland



Sörmlands Grafiska

Per Olsson



Staffan Frid


Johan Sandberg McGuinne PRINTING AND P ­ REPRESS

Rävudden i Stockholm


E-MAIL: ISSN: 1891-2874


Defining a new strategic approach


his year has been a great year for BI Norwegian Business School. We had a record number of applicants and new students this autumn. We have confirmed our position as one of only 70 business schools world wide with triple accreditation. And we hold our ground on the prestigious international business school rankings. I hope you as alumni know that you make up a big part of this success. Our purpose as a business school is to empower people and improve business. We have defined three key concepts in our strategic approach to this purpose.

ness. Use your leadership capabilities to impact your employees, and your insight to impact your company, industry or sector. Secondly, a good leader acts as a catalyst for internationalization. Business and industry emphasize the importance of international competence. You may already have experienced the benefits of intercultural learning as a part of your studies at BI. And thirdly, a good leader creates an arena for interaction. An environment where the organization can share and learn with other professionals, with academia, and with society at large.

INTERNATIONAL The Norwegian business environment is inherently international. Being a small and open economy, Norway is the perfect setting for developing and disseminating knowledge about how to do business in an international context. As a consequence, BI has to operate in an international manner, and all graduates from BI must be able to perform in an international business context.

ENGAGE! We work hard to ensure that BI’s research and teaching is of top international standard. In addition to excellent faculty, we need help from our outstanding students and alumni to realize our vision: building the knowledge economy. I would like to highlight our alumni who engage in the continuous development of BI and express my appreciation to you. Your contributions are of great value to us, and this interaction benefits not only students but alumni as well. Guest lecturing, corporate presentations and guest speaking at ceremonies and events is a great way for you to keep in touch. We are proud of the support from alumni in providing internship opportunities for current students and volunteers engaging in our alumni communities. You contribute to strengthening the quality of our programmes, and to ensure relevance for business and society. Our students value your advice, that you share your knowledge and insight with them. We know that our students look up to you as alumni, as leaders and as professionals. They see themselves in you. I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your engagement. Stay connected.

IMPACT The attractiveness of BI depends on our impact on international research, student learning and practice in the business community and society. Recruiting excellent faculty, attracting the best students and maintaining close relations with business and the public sector will strengthen BI’s brand nationally and internationally. This will increase the value of a degree from BI. INTERACTION BI’s cutting edge for success is our ability to engage in interaction in the international research arena, with students and alumni as well as with the business world and society. The quality of BI’s activities depends on the quality of the interaction between faculty, between faculty and professional staff, between BI and students and between BI and the business community and society. Thus, facilitating interaction has to be the preferred management skill. These are all concepts you, as leaders, may adopt. First, a good leader should aspire to be a force of impact: On innovation, value creation and competitive-

Inge Jan Henjesand PRESIDENT AT BI



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Latest news and developments

BI earns the Triple Crown


I has re-affirmed its quality by earning EQUIS re-accreditation from the European Foundation for Management Development (EFMD) for another five years. The EFMD decided to renew BI’s accreditation on June 10th, after an independent international committee of experts had assessed the school. EQUIS evaluates all the activities and sub-units of the institution, including research, e-learning units, executive education provision and community outreach. EQUIS looks for a balance between high academic quality and the professional relevance provided by close interaction with the corporate world. Institutions must also demonstrate a high degree of internationalisation. “This is a part of our continuous commitment to develop research-based studies of high international quality”, according to BIs President Inge Jan Henjesand. BI also holds AACSB (The Association

BI President Inge Jan Henjesand

to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business) and AMBA (The Association of MBAs) accreditation, the two other leading international accreditations bodies. Less than 1% of all business schools worldwide have achieved this triple accreditation, so called Triple Crown.

The Prime Minister pays a visit

Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg speaks to BI students

The Norwegian Prime Minister, Erna Solberg, visited BI on the 5th of September to talk to students about the future challenges for the Norwegian economy. Prime Minister Solberg addressed ways of dealing with how to restructure the challenges Norway face, including facilitating entrepreneurship and a competitive business environment. Increased focus on education and especially lifelong learning was also well covered in the PM’s speech.



Among the elite

BI celebrates 10 years at BI - Campus Oslo, in Nydalen

BI continues to place well in the Financial Times rankings, as new schools enter and the competition gets tougher every year. BI ranks as number 41 on the Financial Times European Business School Rankings 2015, well placed among the most prestigious European business schools. Earlier results on the FT-rankings this year: • The BI-Fudan MBA programme ranks 48 of the 100 best Executive MBA programmes in the world. • On the same prestigious list, the BI EMBA programme was ranked for the first time at 98. • MSc in Business ranks 73 on the FT global ranking of the 80 best Masters in Management programmes. • Customised internal business programmes ranks 65 of 85 (global ranking). • Executive Short Programmes, in the short-term training programmes category, ranks 62 of 80 (global ranking). “BI has a clear ambition to climb in the FT-rankings. It will enhance our ability to attract top students and faculty, remain an attractive partner for business, industry and leading international educational institutions”, says BIs President Inge Jan Henjesand says.

A spectacular drum show marked the start of the celebration

Strengthening ­ with partnership BI aims to strengthen research, development and distribution of knowledge within the construction and property industry through a partnership of two professorships. “Many of the industry’s challenges are related to management, organisation, innovaAssociate Professor tion and economics, and BI therefore plays a Lena Bygballe central role in the development, says Head of Centre for the Construction Industry at BI”, Lena Bygballe says. The cooperation agreements consist of two endowed professorships: • 5-year professorship within housing development and development economics, given by OBOS, the largest Nordic cooperative building association • 3-year professorship in efficient building processes from a consortium of construction and property development companies, consisting of Statsbygg, Multiconsult, Backegruppe and GK. Both endowed professorships are coordinated by the Centre for the Construction Industry at BI.


BI is featured in three of the four categories that are used to compile this year’s European School Rankings: Executive MBA, Masters in Management and Executive education (customised and open enrollment programmes). The fifth ranking is for business schools with a fulltime MBA programme, which BI does not have.


Nobel laureate visits BI Nobel laureate and Professor Emeritus at Harvard Robert C. Merton gave his thoughts on the global challenge of funding future retirements when he visited BI on 9th September. Merton presented his ideas to a an auditorium packed full of eager Nobel laureate Robert C. Merton students. He presented his main four methods of preparing for a good retirement: 1. Consume less and save more. 2. Work longer before you retire. 3. Take more risk. 4. Improve benefits from available assets such as your home with mortgage.

Scholarship Celebration 2015 This autumn 73 students from 25 different countries were guests of honour at the Scholarships Confirmation Ceremony at Campus Oslo. Among the scholarship awardees is Damiano Maggi from Italy, who received a scholarship from the A. Wilhelmsen Foundation. Other students received scholarships funded by the government through the quota scheme, Presidential Scholarships and MSc Scholarships. BI also offers a scholarship to international BBA students specializing in Shipping. All Scholarships are awarded based on academic achievement.

The President of BI, Inge Jan Henjesand, handed out the Scholarship Confirmation diplomas.

Group picture taken at BI - Campus Oslo at the Scholarship Ceremony

Finance Professor on Oil Fund Expert Committee Richard Priestley, Professor of Finance at BI, has been appointed as a member of the Oil Fund Expert Committee. The expert team will advise the Executive Board of the Central Bank of Norway (Norges Bank) on how Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM) can improve its reporting.

Professor Richard Priestley

Professor of Organizational Psychology, Jan Ketil Arnulf

Prominent career fair The annual BI Career Fair, organized by the Student Union’s Business Committee, was held during four days in September. The event included stimulating lectures and talks with some of Norway’s most prominent personalities from the business community. Almost 100 companies had stands on campus. The event ended with a banquet where students and company representatives mingled over dinner.

New Professors 2015 Jan Ketil Arnulf – Professor of Organizational Psychology Arne Carlsen – Professor of Organizational Behaviour Benny Greys – Professor of Economics Morten Kinander – Professor of Law Samuli Knüpfer – Professor of Finance Fred Selnes – Professor of Marketing Miha Skerlavaj – Professor of Leadership and Organizational Behavior Charlotte Østergaard – Professor of Finance



Now online in Chinese

BI launches Chinese website The Chinese market has generated enormous potential within higher education recruitment. BI has launched a Chinese website to reach out to prospective students throughout the entire country. Information is available both in English and Chinese. Please visit to find out more. In addition, news articles and other updates to prospective students will be published on WeChat, an enormously popular social media app in China.

Communication for leaders 2015 How to engage social media audiences? Five tips for communication due diligence. These are just two of the headlines from the latest issue of Communication for Leaders, a Science Communication Magazine. E-MAGAZINE: PRINTED COPY: Send your address to

International Recognition of BI Annually Deans from the 1,000 best business schools in the world are invited to participate in The Eduniversal Deans' Vote Survey for business schools in 154 countries. When the Deans make their recommendations, BI score high worldwide. President at BI Norwegian Business School, Inge Jan Henjesand is pleased to be among the top 100 schools that receive “5 palmes of excellence", which indicates that BI is "a universal business school with strong global influence." BI sees this survey in combination with other rankings, which together provide a total picture of our international attractiveness. MORE INFO:


Roger Bolton, President of the Arthur W. Page Society

PR and Business: Be Effective at Both BI hosted the annual EUPRERA conference (European Public Relations Education and Research Association) on 2nd October. 150 academics from 20 countries gathered at BI to discuss how PR supports organizations and what communications can learn from the management discipline. Key speaker was Roger Bolton, President of the Arthur W. Page Society. Bolton talked about his key requirements when hiring a person: strong communication skills and an understanding of business.

BI teams with Bloomberg BI students can now become certified Bloomberg terminal users. BI is the first business school in Norway to offer students this opportunity. Finance students will also have Bloomberg terminals integrated within several of their courses. This will give them hands-on experience using the same information and technology relied on by financial professionals worldwide.

Frontline How to listen to customers when times are hard, why CEOs take credit for successful mergers, how to handle customers who complain, how strategy is created while we work and does social media help us work in a smarter way? These are BIs recent research results in the areas of business culture, strategy, management, communication and collaboration.

Words by AUDUN FARBROT Head of Science Communication at BI


Frontline to develop new products and services. The project points the way to a new, broader commitment. “The solution creates future strategies that contribute to a good reputation and longterm value creation,” says senior researcher Katja M. Hydle. Her doctoral project at BI Norwegian Business School examined professional service enterprises that work across international borders. NOT JUST A SEMINAR EXERCISE

Strategy is created while we work


magine the following scenario: We are on the verge of a very serious accident due to a gas leak. If the catastrophe occurs, it could wipe out half of the country. A company is assigned the job of resolving the crisis. Engineers are flown in from many different countries to prevent the accident. Fortunately, their efforts are successful. They not only save the country, they solve the challenge in a way the world has never seen before. This is a great boost to the reputation of the expertise organisation that got the assignment. It is positive for both demand for and sale of new assignments and services. At the same time, the team of engineers has achieved an innovation that can be used


By KATJA MARIA HYDLE PhD Candidate at Department of Strategy and Logistics


REFERENCES: Katja Maria Hydle: Temporal and Spatial Dimensions of Strategizing. Organization Studies. 2015, Vol. 36(5) 643– 663. Katja M. Hydle: Cross Border Practices. Transnational Practices in Professional Service Firms. dPhD Thesis, BI Norwegian Business School, 2015.

Providing services takes place between two or more professional employees, through one-on-one contact. The formal collaboration takes place via sharing work, and interaction takes place via ICT. The existing strategy that has been implemented is realised when professional users use tools, ICT and structures as a way to share work, and they contribute shortterm value creation. This is an appropriate practice when employees are in different locations and have to solve the task at different


Creating strategy is not just some high-flying seminar exercise. It is also created when employees solve challenging tasks on the job.

Simply put, strategy is all about making a plan for what an organisation and its staff have to do to achieve a specific objective. Some may roll their eyes at the mere mention of the word strategy, picturing some sort of soaring, overly ambitious seminar exercise that results in a document which ultimately ends up in someone’s drawer somewhere. Fortunately, things aren’t always that bad. Some organisations do succeed in transferring strategy into practical tools, information and communications technology and structure. This makes it easier to see how the various work tasks can be resolved. Hydle has followed a professional service firm represented in more than 100 countries, over a period of five years. The enterprise provides engineering services, and around 90 different nationalities are represented amongst its staff. The study shows that strategy is not something that is created in a specific sequence where you first develop the strategy, implement the strategy and then change it. Strategy can also be implemented, changed and created – all at the same time. Three ways to put strategy into practice Hydle lists three different ways to put strategy into practice in the same expertise organisation:


Service provision is controlled by a project manager who coordinates all formal and informal activities carried out by professionals in different places and at different times. The project managers shape strategy in real time through task assignment, customer relationship management and project tracking. He or she contributes to both short-term and long-term value creation. This practice is also suitable when the employees are sometimes together in the same place, and sometimes not. 3. CREATE FUTURE STRATEGY – SOCIAL TIME FRAME?

Multiple professional employees meet at the same time and in the same place to solve challenging tasks that demand various professions and disciplines, and informal organisation. The problem-solving is innovative, the solutions create new industry standards and future strategy. It contributes to a good reputation and long-term value creation for the company. This practice is suitable when employees meet physically to solve the problem together.

Social media is bad for business

By LENE ­PETTERSEN Associate Professor in Strategy and PR at Westerdals Oslo School of Arts, Communication and Technology. REFERENCES: Lene Pettersen: Working in Tandem. - A Longitudinal Study of the Interplay of Working Practices and Social Enterprise Platforms in the Multinational Workplace, PhD thesis, BI Norwegian Business School, 2015.

Social media was meant to help us work in a smarter way. So far it has only given us additional work.


number of organizations have adopted different types of social media (social collaboration solutions), such as yammer or jive business software in the workplace. The solutions are especially developed for the workplace, with inspiration from Facebook and other popular social media. Such social media were meant to help free up time that could make us more productive at work. Researcher Lene Pettersen’s doctoral project at BI Norwegian Business School examined whether the expectations of increased productivity and economic growth have turned into reality.


The traditional view of strategy, in which the adopted strategy must be implemented in the organisation, only contributes to shortterm value creation. The kind of strategy that is shaped while expert employees work together to solve demanding tasks, can contribute to creating value for the longer term, according to Hydle. She emphasises that there is no single right answer when it comes to the best strategy practices. It all depends on where and when the tasks are to be solved, and where the employee will be solving the tasks. “Strategy must be understood as a continuous activity, and not just a clearly defined process,” she says, thereby challenging the traditional notion of what strategy is all about. ■


»Strategy can be implemented, changed and created all at the same time.«

SUMMARY : STRATEGY IS CREATED WHILE WE WORK Strategy isn’t simply something that is planned in meetings – and then implemented. It is a continuous activity, created and curated in the thick of the action.

Pettersen has conducted a comprehensive study of an international consulting company, which introduced a social collaboration solution for employees across more than 20 countries in Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. Social media was adopted to make it easier for employees to share knowledge and tips and create contacts and networks across continents no matter where they work on a daily basis. Pettersen followed work practices in the company for three years using field studies, in-depth interviews of staff and key informants, participant observation both inside and outside the interaction solution and analysed of employee networks and user statistics. MORE WORK, NOT LESS

Lene Pettersen finds that instead of freeing up time for more tasks, the use of social interactions on the contrary creates extra work for many of the employees. Rather than supporting the way many of us are work-


Frontline ing, the introduction of social collaboration solutions adds new tasks in addition to new ways of working together. - We write posts, comment and participate in discussions in the social solutions. For many, sharing content formulated in a personalized format to people we might not even know is also a new experience. This can quickly create extra work, Lene Pettersen maintains. The study also shows that employees risk getting more email than before because alerts are sent out every time something happens in the social interaction solution. It also takes longer to find information because the solution does not provide enough opportunities to search for content that was shared previously. MISSING OUT ON INFORMATION

On Facebook we are mainly friends with people we have already met face to face. This is a trend that is also reflected in the use of digital social solutions at the workplace. We prefer to establish networks with colleagues we work with on a daily basis rather than establishing many new relationships. - Naturally, we will not receive content from people who we do not follow on social media. And as a result, we risk missing important information, Pettersen warns. Social media in the workplace can also help to create new divisions in the organization between the active and passive participants. The study also points out that social media in the workplace provides managers and other colleagues with new opportunities to monitor what others are doing. ADVICE TO MANAGERS

Although Lene Pettersen finds that social media in the workplace does not live up to its expectations of increased productivity so far, it is not certain it’s a waste to invest in such tools in the workplace. It comes with certain positive aspects. We can for example see that the distance between offices and departments becomes shorter. Based on the doctoral study she gives seven practical tips to managers who are considering introducing social collaboration solutions at work:


Identify the tasks to be solved and how employees carry out this job.


Provide digital tools that support the work to be done.


»It was adopted to make it easier to share knowledge and create networks.«

Ensure that social solutions help us work smarter, rather than creating more work.


People can have very different tasks and different needs for support from social interaction solutions.


Do not make it a goal to have employees interact for the sake of interaction itself. There must be a good reason to interact, otherwise it is often better not to.


Create physical venues where employees can get to know each other. It creates relationships that can be extended to digital meeting places.



Lower the expectations of what social collaboration solutions will give you. ■


• On the 17th of September 2015 Lene Pettersen defended her doctoral degree on the BI thesis: ”Working in tandem. - A Longitudinal Study of the Interplay of Working Practices and Social Enterprise Platforms in the Multinational Workplace ”. • Pettersen has completed her doctoral work within the PhD specialization ”Strategic Management”. Pettersen’s PhD project is connected to the research-project NETworked POWER, which is led by Sintef and funded by the Norwegian Research Council. • Professor Eric Monteiro at NTNU’s is first opponent. Professor Inger Stensaker at the Norwegian School of Economics (NHH) is second opponent. Associate Professor Debbie Harrison at BI Norwegian Business School is Head of the Assessment Committee. Associate Professor Amir Sasson at BI has been the main supervisor for the candidate. Associate Professor Espen Andersen at BI has been assistant supervisor.

SUMMARY : SOCIAL MEDIA IS BAD FOR BUSINESS Social collaboration solutions, inspired by social media platforms, were meant to make us more productive. But do they work? A new ­doctoral thesis urges managers to lower their expectations.

why we don’t see more cases of shareholders who challenge a company’s employed management. EXPENSIVE ACTIVISM

First of all, a rebel shareholder has to purchase a large enough stake to exercise ownership rights. He (or she) also needs to get good, but not quite cheap, legal advice. If you want to replace board members, you must also expect to fund a “campaign” to get your alternative board candidates elected. While it is the rebel shareholder who must bear all of the costs, other shareholders benefit from the profits should the initiative succeed and produce a welcome financial result. Free-riders, those who reap without sowing, are also a factor in making it less interesting to play an active ownership role. SHEDDING LIGHT ON THE ACTIVISTS

The temptation of rebel shareholders Companies with shares that are easy to buy and sell are more tempting to shareholders who want to actively wield their power as owners.


ome shareholders want to play an active role in the companies they buy into. They can use their power as owners to replace board members as well as challenge the company’s management at the annual general meeting, which is the company’s top decision-making body. Activist investors sense opportunities to implement changes that increase the value of the company they invest in. They want to shake up the companies whose shares they acquire, and behave like rebels to implement their ideas.Nevertheless, it’s not very often we see examples of shareholders who use their voting rights to influence the corporate governance of listed companies. Being an activist investor is costly and is also a major reason

Professor Øyvind Norli, Associate Professor Charlotte Østergaard and Associate Professor Ibolya Schindele, all financial researchers at BI Norwegian Business School, have conducted a study that sheds new light on the modus operandi of rebel shareholders. The researchers have looked at all reported cases – four hundred incidents in total – of shareholder activism in US listed companies from 1994 to 2007. The results of the study have been published in the international scientific journal The Review of Financial Studies. COMPANIES WITH LIQUID SHARES

By ØY VIND NORLI Professor at Department of Finance

REFERENCE: Norli, Øyvind, Charlotte Ostergaard and Ibolya Schindele. Liquidity and Shareholder Activism. Review of Financial Studies. First published online: October 7, 2014.

If it is easy to buy and sell shares in the company (high liquidity), it increases the likelihood of attracting owners who will shake up a company and take an active role in its corporate governance. “In such companies, a shareholder can quietly purchase enough shares in the company,” Norli explains. The BI researchers document that the shareholder activists already have a substantial stake when it becomes public that they have plans to make changes in the company. It is considerably more difficult to quietly buy shares in companies with a low turnover of shares (low liquidity). OVERVALUED COMPANIES

Some businesses can fetch a higher price in the stock market than what the company is really worth. If a rebel shareholder pushes through measures that lifts the company’s real value up toward the stock market price, he will not make a profit.If it is easy


Frontline to unload a company’s shares, an activist shareholder will preferably take that route rather than absorb the costs of attempting to influence the management of the company. Overvalued companies thus become an exception to the general tendency of more shareholder activism in companies in which it is easy to buy and sell shares.

Listen to customers when times are hard


The researchers demonstrate that rebel shareholders trade actively before plans to actively intervene in the management of the company become known. Since we are talking about companies where the shares are readily tradable, they will be able to accumulate a significant stake without appreciably impacting the price of the shares. On average, activist shareholders had purchased a nine per cent stake in the companies when it became known that they were going to use their investor role to influence the governance of the company. On average, they achieved a profit of 8.5 per cent on the capital with which they used to trade shares. ■

By JON BINGEN SANDE Associate Professor at the Department of Marketing

Frequent changes create conflicts in the workplace. But some companies manage to make turbulent times benefit their customers.


hanges and reorganisation are high on the agenda in many organisations. This may for instance include new and more efficient ways of doing things or new ways of organising the work. Changes are rarely popular, even if they turn out to be for the better. Reorganisation often sparks internal conflicts and may embitter communication between various departments in the enterprise.  Managers may have reason to fear that increased tension and more frequent conflicts between company employees will affect the quality of products and services, and result in poorer customer service. However, a higher conflict level will not necessarily harm the company. This is the conclusion of a study conducted among 221 employees in Finnish industrial companies. The study included employees in research and development (R&D) as well as production. Frequent organisational changes can actually make it easier for companies to develop products and services that the customers are more satisfied with, according to Associate Professor Silja Korhonen-Sande of the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU) and Associate Professor Jon Bingen Sande of BI Norwegian Business School. FEW CRITICAL QUESTIONS

First the researchers looked at how efficiently people who work in development and production use information about their customers to create better products and services. This is knowledge they receive regularly from their contacts in the sales and marketing environment. It is not always the case that good collaboration between employees in sales and production ensures that information about


customers is used to develop better products and services. Even if you learn that customers would like something else than what is currently on offer, it is easy to continue making the products in the same way . “In fact, the study shows that companies characterised by good cooperation and few changes are not very good at applying the information they have about their customers. In such stable organisations, exchange of information between people in sales and production often takes on a merely symbolic role,” researches have concluded. “Too few critical questions are raised, asking: what do our customers really want? What can we do to make products that better meet the customers’ requirements and expectations?” INTERFERES WITH AND IMPROVES ­ESTABLISHED WORK METHODS

The study shows an entirely different picture in organisations that go through frequent organisational changes. “When employees in sales and production cooperate well, frequent changes make people who develop and create products apply their knowledge about customers in decision-making,” Korhonen-Sande says. Good collaboration fosters a sense of security and trust. Organisational changes interfere with established work patterns. This is in fact a cocktail that may be good for the customers. “Employees in research and development as well as in production departments become more motivated to ask critical questions and apply the customer information to improve activities in turbulent times,” Sande points out. CONFLICT IS A DOUBLE-EDGED SWORD

competitive advantage. According to researchers, companies that manage to combine organisational changes with good cooperation will become better at listening to the customers’ needs. ADVICE TO MANAGERS

REFERENCE: Korhonen-Sande og Sande: Getting the most out of cross-functional cooperation: Internal structural change as a trigger for customer information use. Industrial Marketing Management 43, 2014. This article was published in the online news service ScienceNordic on March 11, 2015.

However, the positive effect of the changes does not come automatically. The researches recommend that to make the most of the positive effects of changes, companies must invest in establishing a common understanding between departments before the changes are introduced. This may be done through e.g. job rotation, and by recruiting employees with knowledge of technology, not just sales and marketing. “Sales and marketing people who understand objectives, routines, technology and information needs in research and development as well as in production, contribute to better communication and a greater ability to solve any conflicts that may arise.” ■

How to handle complaining customers

By RUTGER VAN OEST Professor at Department of Marketing

Not surprisingly, the study confirms that frequent organisational changes increase the level of conflict between different functions in the organisation. This means that an organisational change is a double-edged sword. Even though changes create more conflicts in the workplace, such conflicts may be turned into a


It’s expensive, but compensating the customer pretty much always pays, increasing the odds that they will continue as customers.


ost businesses prefer to have no complaints. Nevertheless, not all customers are equally satisfied with the goods and services they purchase. Customer complaints occur in almost all industries. In the worst case, such discontent can result in the company losing customers – sometimes forever. “When a customer complains, it is nevertheless not exclusively negative,” says Rutger van Oest, Professor of Marketing at BI and an expert on handling complaints.


When they find themselves in times of trouble … some companies find that they might actually benefit from the turbulence it creates. After all, change might be for the better.

Complaints can actually be viewed as useful feedback to the business and can be used to improve the services they provide.


Frontline Complaints also enable a company to rectify the problem and retain the customer so that they return to shop at a later date. It is consequently better that a customer complains rather than silently taking their business elsewhere. “Businesses should encourage dissatisfied customers to complain. That gives them an opportunity to resolve the problem as a strategic strength,” maintains the BI professor maintains. WHAT DOES THE CUSTOMER DO AFTER COMPLAINING?

Together with Associate Professor George Knox at Tilburg University, van Oest conducted a study of what customers do after they have complained about a service they have purchased. Instead of examining what customers say they are going to do (through questionnaires), they mapped what customers actually do by studying customer complaint statistics and purchasing patterns. Action still speaks louder than words, also in business. The researchers were given access to the customer database of a large e-commerce business in the United States. They followed about 20,000 customers over a period of 2.5 years. The customers made an average of 2.3 purchases. Eight hundred and five customers, equivalent to around four per cent of customers, complained to the company during the period in question. Because some of these customers complained several times, the data includes a total of 922 complaints. The company succeeded in making amends with the customer in most cases, in 884 of the 922 cases. No solution could be found in only four out of 100 complaints (38 cases). The results of the study are published in the international scientific journal Journal of Marketing and in the popular science magazine Magma. COMPENSATION PAYS

If the company pays compensation to the customer in response to the complaint, the customer is far less likely to stop doing business with the company than if it does not. The benefit of a good complaint handling system is almost always greater than the cost, the study shows.

»It is not more profitable to pay compensation for complaints than to avoid trouble.«


A customer is less likely to stop shopping with a company following a complaint if she has dealt with the company many times before. Customers who have purchased several goods and services from a company have built up a level of trust in the company that makes it easier for them to forgive the company if something goes wrong. “The study shows that the positive effect of previously completed purchases lasts for years,” says van Oest. Companies that succeed in getting customers to make ever new purchases are helping to cement their relationship with these customers, even if something should go wrong once. Customers who continue to shop at the company following a complaint, are quick to forgive the company. It’s not certain that they will forget the complaint, but they are genuinely willing to give the company a second chance. Customers who do not quickly forgive the company, are people who in any case have decided to take their business elsewhere. PRIORITISE NEW OR OLD CUSTOMERS?

REFERENCE: Rutger van Oest og George Knox: Håndtering av kundeklager. Magma nr. 4/2015. Knox, George og Rutger van Oest (2014). Customer Complaints and Recovery Effectiveness: A Customer Base Approach. Journal of Marketing, 78 (sep­ tember): 42–57.

SUMMARY : HOW TO HANDLE COMPLAINING COSTUMERS The customer IS always «right»: Complaints are a pain. They can also be viewed as useful feedback. So much so that businesses should encourage dissatisfied customers to vent their frustrations.


“Compensating the complaint is therefore well worth the cost,” argues van Oest. Nevertheless, it is not more profitable to pay compensation for complaints than to avoid problems in the first place. Compensating complaints is expensive. Nor does it produce more loyal customers than problem-free purchases. It is therefore often better to prevent complaint situations than to repair the damage after it has occurred.

New customers are more tenuous compared with customers who have made several purchases. Fresh customers are also more concerned about compensation when they decide whether to stop being a customer or continue shopping at a business. Compensation thus seems to work best with new customers. Nevertheless, it is not certain that it pays to prioritise new customers over established ones when compensation claims are to be paid. “It’s more profitable to compensate established customers if the complaint is not their first, but occurs immediately after an earlier complaint,” says van Oest. Customers who have been with the company for longer are certainly more loyal and indulgent when something goes wrong. But they also feel that they deserve good treatment. Not receiving compensation for a complaint will therefore not be acceptable to

between 2001 and 2004. The material includes both domestic and cross-border mergers. The researchers were keen to find out how managers explain the outcomes of mergers and acquisitions. The results were published in the international science magazine Strategic Management Journal. ”It can be tempting for managers to blame cultural differences when mergers fail. Culture can cover up other, more complex reasons for why a merger failed. It’s a way for managers to reduce their own responsibility for the poor results,” says Junni. The study shows that the tendency to blame poor results on culture is amplified when managers have previous experience with mergers and acquisitions. MANAGERS TAKE CREDIT FOR SUCCESS

CEOs only take credit for fruitful mergers Managers often blame cultural differences when a merger or acquisition fails. When it succeeds, they often take personal credit.


hen companies merge, or a company acquires another company, the goal is naturally increased value. The synergies of the companies that are merging is the magic that will turn two plus two into considerably more than four – to the delight of both managers and shareholders. In practice, mergers and acquisitions have proved to be a high-risk sport. The gains envisaged do not always materialise. Many mergers and acquisitions fail.


Managers have a tendency to blame cultural differences when mergers fail, concludes Associate Professor Paulina Junni at BI Norwegian Business School concludes. Junni and her research fellows studied 92 mergers carried out by Finnish companies

By PAULINA JUNNI Associate Professor at Department of Strategy REFERENCES: Vaara, Eero, Paulina Junni, Riikka M. Sarala, Mats Ehrnrooth and Alexei Koveshnikov. 2014. Attributional tendencies in cultural explanations of M&A performance. Strategic Management Journal. Volume 35, Issue 9, pages 1302–1317, September 2014.

The researchers also asked the business leaders who took part in the survey to assess their role in the implementation of mergers and acquisitions. The study shows that managers are inclined to take personal credit for successful mergers. ”This can lead to the illusion that they have control and also an exaggerated belief in their own abilities,” says the researcher. It should be mentioned that in cases of fatally flawed mergers, managers do tend to ascribe the unsuccessful outcome to their own actions. This can be explained as an impulse to demonstrate towards themselves and others that they retained a measure of control, even if the merger didn’t pan out. ”It may be well worth it to listen carefully to how managers explain their successes and failures,” recommends Junni. Leaders who readily chalk up success to their own excellence, may soon be tempted to take excessive risks at the next crossroad, and thus lead the company into trouble. People should pay greater attention when leaders blame poor outcomes on cultural differences. ”When cultural differences are negatively implicated in this manner, we risk missing out on the potential benefit inherent in using cultural differences to create value,” Junni says. ■

SUMMARY : CEOS ONLY TAKE CREDIT FOR FRUITFUL MERGERS Mergers and acquisitions are a high-risk sport. The temptation, should they fail, is often to blame «cultural differences». A new study suggests that we should pay closer attention to the role of the CEO.



High expectations motivate your staff Many of us do a better job when we are free to decide how to do it. Will you take the risk and set your staff free?


hink how much more fun it is to have the liberty to determine your own workday, rather than have your boss hanging over you. The boss has no need to. He or she is confident you have the necessary skills to get the job done on your own. Many organisations are keen to empower their staff and give them more of a say in how work tasks can best be carried out. Workers will feel greater ownership of their jobs, and that might lead to more motivated staff, because they find their jobs more enjoyable and meaningful. Imagine your boss telling you in detail what to do. You will of course do as asked in the best way possible, but perhaps you would have done a better job if you had been able to make more use of your own expertise. That, in turn, would have led to a better performance. However, there is also a dilemma in giving staff more power. Some employees will find their role becoming unclear. How will they know what they can and cannot decide for themselves? “The key is to create a joint understanding between supervisors and staff of what is expected from a particular employee,” says Associate Professor Sut I Wong Humborstad at BI Norwegian Business School. GOOD FOR THE ORGANISATION

Together with Professor Bård Kuvaas at BI, Humborstad has conducted a study among 33 supervisors and 168 employees to see whether employees’ view of their job was affected by the degree of shared expectations between the supervisor and employee as to how the work should be done. The study shows that employees are more motivated in their work when their expectations are the same as those of the boss. The opposite is true if you have a boss who micromanages your workday. That doesn’t exactly


By SUT I WONG HUMBORSTAD Associate Professor at the Department of Communication and Culture

spur you to dizzying heights of performance. It is good both for the employee and the organisation when an employee has high expectations of independence, provided those expectations are recognised and shared by the boss, according to Humborstad. If an employee has different expectations from the supervisor, the two will make a poor match. Imagine that you have great expectations of working independently. If your supervisor does not share these high expectations of you, he or she could easily be seen as controlling. Not exactly a dream team! And the other way round: If employees do not see the value of independent work, they will not necessarily be motivated by a boss who has high expectations that the employees will make their own decisions on how to perform their job. This results in greater uncertainty as to how the work should be done. The employees will feel they have not received sufficient information on how to do their job. WE EXPECT DIFFERENT THINGS

REFERENCE: Humborstad, S. I. W., og Kuvaas, B. Mutuality in leader-subordinate empowerment expectation: Its impact on role ambiguity and intrinsic motivation. The Leadership Quarterly, 24(2), 2013 363377. doi: 10.1016/j. leaqua.2013.01.003.

“Supervisors must find out what expectations their employees have to independence in their work,” says Humborstad. Employees are not all alike. Some prefer to be told in detail what to do, while others blossom when they are set free to decide how to organise their workday. The study shows that a shared understanding of work autonomy is not sufficient to create more motivated employees. If supervisors and employees agree that employees are not expected to take decisions, the employees will still feel more uncertain of how to carry out the work in question. When supervisors and employees share an expectation of a high degree of independence, the employees feel more self-motivated and less unsure of how to do the work. This is a good basis for better performance. Humborstad believes that the key to a successful organisational change is to manage expectations. “As a leader you must show by your actions that you really want staff who assume greater responsibility in carrying out their tasks. Your reward will be happier staff and better performance for the organisation,” she says. ■

SUMMARY : HIGH EXPECTATIONS MOTIVATE YOUR STAFF An empowered staff, encouraged to take ownership of their own workday, will find their jobs more meaningful. However, there must exist a shared expectation between the supervisor and the employee.


»Studying at BI in Oslo gave me friends for life – friends who are still part of my professional network today.« SIMON K. JÓHANNSSON

Meet Martine, Assad, Sanaz, Ira and Simon. Five Alumni who boosted their career with a degree from BI. Words by A N N A O L AU SS O N


CARING FOR THE YOUNG Martine Aarrestad finds it easy to adapt new technology. A qualitiy that has given her the role as head of NordeaUNG.


traight after her Masters in Leadership and Organisational Psychology, Martine Aarrestad started working at Nordea Bank’s head office in Oslo. Her first position was as Management Partner for the Head of HR. For just over a year, Martine Aarrestad planned and implemented various HR projects. During this time, she participated in the Nordea Graduate Programme, which gave her a deeper understanding of the banking industry and Nordea’s value chain. “Throughout the programme, I was given access to Nordea’s Nordic network. I was also given a mentor. ➢ AGE: 27 After a while, I became part of a proj➢ LIVES: Oslo ect team which worked with House➢ COMPANY: Nordea Bank Norge hold Strategy and Development. Our ASA job was to develop a new customer ➢ TITLE: Leader, NordeaUNG programme, for the student segment. ➢ WORKS WITH: Heads a team One of the tasks was to establish a of 9 financial advisors who creates new ways of serving young private new service model and pilot new adcustomers in Nordea visory models, and a vacant position ➢ EDUCATION: BA of Arts in as team leader came up. I applied Culture and Communication Studies and got it, despite not having any from the University of Oslo and a banking experience.” MSc in Leadership and OrganizaToday, you head a group of nine tional Psychology from BI who are responsible for advising ➢ COURSES AT BI: MSc in LeaderNordea’s private clients, aged 18ship and Organisational Psychology 28. What are you like as a leader? ➢ INSPIRED BY: Christoffer Hærnes’ “My responsibility is to coach and Christian Brosstad’s blog, Monand develop my team. I am good at ocle Magazine, my husband, Susan Cain’s book “The power of introverts setting clear goals. I’m also good at in a world that can’t stop talking” following up projects and quickly ➢ BEST OSLO TIP: Take a bike to providing feedback. As leader, I have one of the small islands in the Oslo developed skills in building relationfjord, and go cross-country skiing in ships across the organisation.” Lillomarka Why did you chose banking? “Banks play an important role in society. By sharing our expertise, we help households, entrepreneurs and companies make well-grounded decisions in order to achieve their plans and ambitions.” How do you use the BI Alumni network? “I read newsletters and attend BI Alumni events, to keep in contact with my former classmates and to stay in tune with recent research within strategy, leadership, innovation, creativity and organizational psychology.



Martine Aarrestad chose to work in the banking sector because of the role of banks in society.

Assad Abbas recommends that when studying at BI, you should be active in the studentunion to develop leadership skills.


PLANNING FOR THE FUTURE Assad Abbas calls himself a “numbers guy”. A Major in Finance from BI in Oslo has taken him to Accenture.


es, Assad Abbas has his dream job, at least for the time being. But in the future, he would like to get into private equity, where his training will be combined with his experiences as a consultant. “My job at Accenture has developed me, both on a personal and professional level. I now have a better understanding of my clients’ business fundamentals, and can easier understand what drives value in businesses. Do you have a plan for your career? “My career has been amazing so far. Even before I had my MSc degree in Business & Economics, I was lucky enough to work as interim CEO at Adecco Norway for a month. This, combined with my academic achievements and other extracurricular activities, has given me a tremendous amount of ex➢ AGE: 25 perience at a young age. Since I started ➢ LIVES: Oslo with management consulting at Ac➢ COMPANY: Accenture centure in August last year, I have been Title: Management Consulting working for clients in industries such as Analyst consumer goods, industrial equipment, ➢ WORKS WITH: Management consulting retail and construction. ➢ EDUCATION: MSc in Business What is the most important thing and Economics, 2014 that you have brought with you from ➢ COURSES AT BI: Major in BI? Finance “There are a many important things ➢ INSPIRED BY: Talented people that I brought with me from BI. First and and challenging work, family, foremost, my education has given me a friends and happy people solid understanding of the fundamentals ➢ BEST THING ABOUT OSLO: of our economy and what drives ecoEverything, except rainy days nomic growth. I have also gotten to know a lot of talented people who I am sure will be tomorrow’s leaders. What is your best advice to those who are considering further education at BI? “Firstly, read about what is happening in our economy and try to relate this to what you’re learning at school. This exercise was valuable to me, as it gave me a deeper understanding and enabled me to grasp the value of the course. Secondly, be an active member of the student union. It’s fun and at the same time helps you develop your leadership skills. 3. Get to know your fellow students! Not only people from your own programme, but also from other programmes. These relationships will make your studies much more enjoyable. They might even help you in future ventures.



Sanaz Shirazi has been succesful in building her own brand by combining her professional experience with a BA in International Marketing.


BUILDING A LABEL Sanaz Shirazi has a solid international background in marketing. She has already built her own fashion label.


aised in Oslo and with roots in Persia, Sanaz Shirazi started working in the media industry and with marketing after completing her studies in England. With clients such as Nike, Levi’s and Sony, and working for Marie Claire, Dagens Næringsliv and Leo Burnett, Sanaz Shirazi has had the opportunity to help big brands with successful marketing. When she added the experience of exporting and importing independent British labels to Scandinavia, she learned how marketing works in the fashion industry. What made you start your own own company? “My sister, who also has a degree from BI, and I wanted to start a label with clothes made from recycled fur or meat industry by-products. ➢ LIVES: Oslo, Los Angeles, A label that had an environmental London and consumer focus, and that was ➢ COMPANY: SSC Sanaz Shirazi eco in terms of not using synthetic collection materials. We were also after a slower ➢ TITLE: Creative Director, process in terms of distribution and Entrepreneur, Designer manufacturing. Our family has a his➢ EDUCATION: BA in Internatory of shearling and sheep fur mantional Marketing ufacturing, distributing to European ➢ COURSES AT BI: International Marketing fashion houses. We were inspired to ➢ INSPIRED BY: Various carry on our family’s heritage, and to cultures, art, literature, motion continue with eco-luxury production. pictures and music,(from Edward Today, we have offices in Oslo, Los Grieg to The Clash Angeles and London, and celebrities ➢ BEST IN OSLO: I work really like Kate Hudson and Kate Moss well in Oslo, there is a calmness wear Sanaz Shirazi.” here, I like being close to the Why did you choose to study nature. I also like the light and the at BI? architecture “Because I knew that in order to do something creative, I also needed to understand the business side of the industry. And marketing is an important subject. To understand consumer behaviors and how to influence others on a greater scale.” In terms of building your own brand, what were the main lessons from BI? “To never give up, to always do your best, to learn from the best and to never think that you are done learning. The education gives you the right confidence to make it in the world.”




COACHING THE INDUSTRY Iryna Stadnyk from Ukraine aimed for a job as a consultant to the pharmaceutical industry in Germany. Why did you want to become a consultant? “The main reason I chose consulting is its unique environment that provides tons of opportunities for personal and professional development. In consulting, you have experienced colleagues around you, who are always ready to support you as well as share their knowledge. You are exposed to the clients’ senior staff, and gain not only extensive industry specific knowledge, but also strong interpersonal skills.” You were the youngest in your class at BI, but you graduated as top of your class. ➢ AGE: 22 “Yes, when I started my mas➢ LIVES: Munich ter program, I was 19 years old, ➢ COMPANY: IMS Consultand the average age in my class, ing Group I believe, was about 25. At first, ➢ TITLE: Analyst I was a little worried if I would ➢ WORKS WITH: Provides be able to keep up with my ”more consultancy services to pharmature” classmates, who probably maceutical companies had some working experience and ➢ EDUCATION: BSc in knew the business much better Finance at Kyiv-Mohyla than I did. However, this also moAcademy, MSc in Business (major in Finance) at BI, and tivated me to work harder and ‘aim MSc in Strategy & Organisaeven higher’.” tion Consultancy at EDHEC What was it with this Master Business School Programme at BI that suited ➢ COURSES AT BI: MSc in you so well? Business (major in Finance) “I think there were two main ➢ INSPIRED BY: Soccer, factors that appealed to me. First of intelligent and successful all it was a super interesting course people, traveling, chocolate content-wise, which was my main ➢ BEST ABOUT LVIV learning motivation. Secondly, I ap­( IRYNA’S HOMETOWN): preciated the independence. I liked Our traditions and my family that the courses were structured so that there were only a few ”touchpoints” (or formal evaluations) – the main one being the final examination. Because of this, I could manage my own time, which I found very useful for my personal development.” Have you found your dream job? “I think we should always have dreams. Of course I love my job, but it would be cool to do something completely different. Being the CEO of a soccer club would be nice.”



Iryna Stadnyk, portrayed in her favorite park in Munich, Englischer Garten.


REPRESENTING NORWAY Simon K. Jóhannsson grew up abroad. Today, he is based in Brussels and employed by the Norwegian government.


fter graduating in Political Economy at BI, it was only natural that 31-year-old Norwegian Simon K. Jóhannsson found his first employment with the U.S. Embassy in Oslo, given his international background. “It was the perfect start for me. A mix of politics and practical economic diplomacy, while getting to know the rituals of international affairs.” Today, Brussels is his hometown. Along with just over 50 other staff, he works as Communications Officer for Norway’s Mission to the EU, the country’s largest diplomatic mission abroad. Norway and the EU are close partners, particularly in trade. “We’re here to advance Norway’s ➢ AGE: 31 interests, but an important role is also ➢ LIVES: Brussels informing Norwegians at home about ➢ COMPANY: Mission of what happens in the EU. Each year Norway to the EU we welcome more than 8,500 visitors ➢ TITLE: Communications to our offices at Norway House, from Officer school classes to politicians and busi➢ WORKS WITH: Press and public affairs ness delegations.” ➢ EDUCATION: BA (Hons) You graduated in Political EconHistory/Literature. Business omy at BI in Oslo. What was the deadministration ciding factor when choosing which ➢ COURSES AT BI: MSc in further education to go for? Po­li­tical Economy, 2008 “I had planned to do an MBA in ➢ INSPIRED BY: Smart, the U.S., but chose to come back to BI humble colleagues. Cycling. for a brand new graduate degree in Current affairs. National Political Economy. Political economy Geographic. YouTube. blends political science and econom➢ MISSES MOST ABOUT ics, and is relevant for understanding OSLO: Those never-ending anything from elections and lobbying summer nights to industrial policies, market regulation and international institutions. My class was the first class to do the programme, and brought together a lot of smart people with a variety of backgrounds, including seasoned politicians and many international students. It felt especially timely, too, studying the limits of free markets as the world was heading into a financial crisis. I think we graduated with a sense of purpose. Studying gave me friends for life – friends who are still part of my professional network today.”

As the Communications Officer at The Norwegian Mission to the EU Simon K. Jóhannsson yearly welcomes more than 8,500 visitors to the office in Brussels annualy.




Jon Lereim at BI’s Corporate Department.

The Helping Department When Norwegian oil service company Aibel AS needed to enhance the skills of its project managers, BI Corporate Department was selected as their partner. ”We were looking for a training provider with a high end content as well as the ability to execute the programme at a fast pace”, says Lars Sommer ­Knudsen, HR Manager at Aibel AS.


Lars Sommer Knudsen from Aibel and Jon Lereim at BI Corporate Department created a tailored training programme for project managers at Aibel.




AIBEL AS Aibel is a leading service company in the oil and gas industry. The company has also established itself within the renewable energy sector. Around 5,000 employees work both on- and offshore. The headquarters are located in Stavanger, and the history of the company goes back to 1882.


Aibel AS is a major oil service contractor providing oil and gas companies with a wide range of services and products, including oil and gas platforms, topside facilities as well as land based process plants. It has also recently established itself within the renewable energy sector. Everything Aibel does is executed in projects, and nearly all of its 4,500 employees are in one way or another involved in one or more projects in their daily work. In 2011, a development programme in project management was initiated by Aibel Academy. Aibel’s executive management recognised the fact that their performance in project management had to be improved in order to maintain the company’s competitive edge. All Lars Sommer Knudsen, HR Manager at Aibel, had to do was to find the right training provider. ”We found three suitable providers in Norway, and one of our requirements was that they could provide a high end content as well as the ability to execute the course at a fast pace.” After the tendering phase, when Aibel listened to potential service providers, specification requirements were adjusted, and the scope of work was drawn up in detail. Choosing BI in the end was primarily based on its repu-

tation as a high level academic service provider to the oil and gas industry, with documented and monitored quality in previous deliveries. “During the last two decades, we have delivered corporate in-house programmes in project management to companies like Statoil, Gassco, Total, Conoco Phillips, IKT, Acergy etc, so Aibel fits right in”, says Jon Lereim, Senior Adviser and Adjunct Professor at BI corporate department. Then began the work of creating a course tailored to the needs of Aibel began. Lars Sommer Knudsen put together a small team of project managers who, together with Jon Lereim, decided the content of the programme. The group came up with the idea of two different programmes for Aibel: Management in Projects Essential and Management in Projects Advanced. During the first year, 240 employees went through the programme. These were project managers, employees reporting to project managers and employees in other leading positions. Lars Sommer Knudsen, how important was it to develop the programme together with BI? “Thorough knowledge of the business segment and industry were critical success factors when it came to designing a programme that was relevant to Aibel’s core business, project management and


execution. The lecturers have to know the industry well and have in-depth knowledge and experience with the kind of challenges that Aibel faces.”

by delivering instructional content, often online, outside of the classroom – plus e-learning feed-back to the students.”

In what way did you make it What has been the result? relevant to Aibel? “The outcome for Aibel is Lars Sommer “In the process of cussignificantly better project Knudsen, HR Manager tomising the course, a BI management performance at Aibel AS. representative with scientific leading to better results, knowledge visited Aibel and higher predictability and was given access to their in-house greater degree of flexibility in the ormanagement systems, processes and ganisation. The outcome for the canprocedures. With this approach, the didates has been a greater degree of theoretical foundation was linked to the professionalism in managerial roles in company’s own operations, with its own projects as well as better insight into terminology and practices.” project management methodology and principles. This has given them more How is the training structured? confidence in performing their roles as “Programme execution is performed managers in the projects – a necessity by extensive use of blended learning. when making good and sound decisions This means that there is a combinaand ultimately for enhancing project tion of short introductory lectures and business results.” followed by group discussions on real and relevant cases. In addition, the Will you continue with the BI participants are given a programme programmes? assignment with a specific topic that “BI and Aibel have signed an amendis presented to the management at the ment with a four year extension to the end of the programme. In Aibel’s MIP existing contract. The oil business being (Management in Projects) Advanced on its knees at the moment has put the programme, there were a total of four programme on hold this year, but the modules, each lasting two days. We MIP’s will be the first thing we go back used the flipped classroom format – to when things start to look better. an instructional strategy and a type These programmes are important to of blended learning that reverses the us – I would like to give full credit to Jon traditional educational arrangement and his team at BI.” ■


BI CORPORATE DEPARTMENT BI Corporate develops programmes and processes enabling businesses to create value by successfully crafting and executing strategies. BI Corporate is led by a Business Development Director and has 12 full-time Business Development Manager’s (BDMs), all senior personnel, supporting BI faculty when addressing and working with corporate clients: nine BDMs in Oslo, two in Stavanger and one in Bergen.

By SIRI EK | Photographs by ALICE PAYNE


Business Profiles

FLY INTO TOMORROW Scandinavian Airlines System – SAS – has been one of Scandinavia’s best known brands for nearly 70 years. After a long period of adversity, the brand has been given new content. The project is led by Eivind Roald and his team. Words by PER OLSSON | Photographs by BOBO OLSSON

As he enters the SAS lounge at Oslo’s Gardermoen airport, the presence of Eivind Roald does not go unnoticed. He lingers for a while at the reception desk, talking to the staff. “We have just started to rebuild our lounges, this is one of the first to be completed.” He walks around, glances into the Gold Lounge, stroking the furniture with his hand, and nodding at a couple of guests. As one of the faces of SAS and with up to 170 flying days per year, he is somewhat of a celebrity here. Seemingly happy, a silent smile spreads across his face. How much do you get involved in the details? “My co-workers would probably say that I get too involved. There are two things that are important to me as a manager. The first is that all team leaders have to agree on the direction in which we are heading. The other is that being average it is not enough. At SAS, we have to do our very best all the time. I am constantly starting new processes in which I give clear mandates, a lot of responsibility. At the same time, I am always checking that we’re on the right track. This can probably be perceived by some as 36 ADVANTAGE

Eivind Roald joined SAS in 2012

Business Profiles

HOW TO RE-BUILD A BRAND According to Eivind Roald:


You must first understand your brand’s strengths and weaknesses

2 3 4

Define your target group Understand the needs of your target group

Develop products and services that are relevant to your target group

5 6

Digitise everything you do

Create brand communications that focus on your target group

EIVIND ROALD Last year Eivind made over 170 flights


➢ AGE: 49 ➢ LIVES: Nesbru, Asker ➢ TITLE: Executive Vice President Chief Commercial Officer ➢ AT BI: Bachelor of Business Administration 1998 ➢ LIKES: Fast cars ➢ BEST FLYING TIP: I’m always well prepared. I sit in an aisle seat and carry well-packed cabin baggage.

MARIANNE ORDERUD ➢ AGE: 35 ➢ LIVES: Kolbotn, outside of Oslo ➢ TITLE: Marketing Manager SAS Norway ➢ AT BI: Bachelor in Science and Marketing 2005 ➢ LIKES: Everything that moves fast!y! ➢ BEST FLYING TIP: Choose a ticket that allows you to use Fast track and the lounge. So that you don’t have to rush and can make your travel easier and more comfortable .

BI and a military background helps Marianne to build winning teams

I’m being too involved in the details, but it also helps me to be close to my main focus – the passenger experience. Now that the lounges have a new design, I am keen for them to look and be perceived in the way we intended. To see the big picture, we have to keep an eye on the details. The devil is in the detail, as they say.” As Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer at SAS, Eivind and his team are responsible for everything included in the SAS journey – the whole customer experience. From pricing and in-flight food to global marketing. When Eivind took on the position just over three years ago, there were 900 people who worked in the department. Today, there are 380. Worldwide. How do you manage to increase the pace and workload despite slimming down your organisation to nearly a third? “A lot of staff creates bureaucracy, and bureaucracy requires even more staff. Now that there are fewer of us, we have to work smarter and have the courage to take decisions, even though they’re not backed up by 100 different analyses. We have neither

»SAS wasn’t part of my plan. I planned to move to Silicon Valley« the time nor the energy to wait, so we just have to go ahead with things. When I joined SAS, it took 18 months to develop a smartphone app. When we eventually added the tablet version, it took eight weeks. We’re now introducing new features to our apps every month.” It was Eivind’s grandmother who planted the sales and marketing seed. As a little boy, he spent his summers at the northern end of Gardermoen’s runway, where his grandmother ran a shop and a café. “Yes, it’s quite odd that today, I’m one of the managers of the largest airline company in Scandinavia. My grandmother was an accomplished businesswoman, and established her business during the Second World War. I learned a lot from her in terms of entrepreneurship.”


Eventually, Eivind chose BI and between 1985 and 1988 he studied for his degree in Business Administation. His was the first batch to achieve Bachelor’s Degrees. After a one year at The Royal Norwegian Air Force, which Eivind joined after completing his BI thesis, he ended up as a consultant with Willy Railo, professor of performance psychology. “I learned an awful lot during my years with Willy Railo. He gave me a fair amount of responsibility, even though I was both young and inexperienced. I was able to work with business magnates like Percy Barnevik. Following in Willy’s footsteps, I took on his motto ’when it comes to it, be the best’, and I learned how to put together a winning team. His thoughts


Business Profiles

on achievements are the basis of my leadership style.” What are you like as a leader? “I give people a lot of responsibility, and I also try to create an environment where they can reflect and learn from.” Why SAS? “SAS wasn’t part of my plan. After seven years as CEO of Hewlett Packard in Norway, I planned to move to Silicon Valley, and continue within the company in a global position. But after much persuasion from CEO of SAS, Rickard Gustavsson, I was convinced. I was keen to get the mandate

to do what I believed in, and I did.” How far have you come? “We’re already offering high quality, and we have a good basic product. But we always have to deliver more. Our customer promise is not only to facilitate travel, we’re also supposed to make our customers’ lives easier.


arianne Orderud is one of the members in Eivind’s organisation. As Marketing Manager for the SAS Norwegian market, she has been a vital team member on

»Our history is clearly part of who we are«


Once a week Mikkel works at the SAS Headquarters in Stockholm


➢ AGE: 33 ➢ LIVES: Nesøya, Asker ➢ TITLE: Partner Manager ➢ AT BI: Bachelor of International Marketing 2005 ➢ LIKES: Travel and fine dining ➢ BEST FLYING TIP: Invest in a good pair of noise cancelling headphones.

the SAS brand journey, launched a few years ago. SAS celebrates 70 years next year. To what extent do you have to be respectful of the company history, when you’re deciding on a marketing strategy? “Our history is clearly part of who we are. There is great pride in working for SAS. I think that we’re good at balancing our heritage with innovation and new ways of thinking. This is evident in our global communication concept, ’We Are Travelers’. The concept is both about us as an airline, and about our customer - we are all true travelers that love flying, Marianne says. About two years ago, SAS decided to focus its product on members of the Scandinavian market who travel more than ten times a year, with the objective to facilitate their travel and simplify their lives. A successful plan. In two years, the preference of the SAS brand has increased by 15 percent. In addition, SAS is profitable again after many turbulent years. “Today, we see that our customers are willing to pay more to travel with us than with our competitors. I’m very proud that our marketing strategy has contributed to this. Marianne has a background as officer in the Norwegian Armed Forces. When she decided to get a carreer outside the military, it was natural to start with an education in marketing and economy at BI. ”I opted for a Bachelor of Science in Marketing at BI in the early noughties, where I learned, among other things, the added value of working in teams and sharing everyones qualities. Today, when I build teams, I pay extra attention to the dynamics that occur when you bring people with different skills, personalities and experiences together.”


ince Eivind Roald joined SAS, the loyalty programme EuroBonus has been moved into his area of responsibility. One of Eivind’s recruits to EuroBonus is Mikkel Neple. “Eivind was the head of

Hewlett Packard in Norway, and I also used to work there, before he brought me to SAS.” EuroBonus is growing to add important value to the program and Mikkel is responsible for new EuroBonus partnerships in the Norwegian market. How difficult is it to build loyalty with customers today? “In EuroBonus, we say that ’loyalty is like a marriage’. Maintaining loyalty requires insight into customer needs, being able to adapt to changing circumstances, offering tailored and personalised service and building a sense of community among our members. SAS is investing in all the necessary tools to be able to deliver on all these criteria in order to deliver a world-class membership loyalty program”, says Mikkel. What qualities do you think are essential for someone in your position? “The job requires that you communicate on many different levels within both SAS, as well as with customers and partners organisations. So you have to be analytical, have business acumen, be able to build long-term profitable relationships and also posess some project management skills.” Mikkel grew up in Thailand, England and Japan. So when it came to choosing his education, he looked for a programme with international content, before finally choosing a Bachelor of International Marketing at BI. “I really wanted the opportunity to live abroad again. And eventually, he studied both in Norway - first two years - and at Fudan University in Shanghai - third year. How is your training from BI noticeable in your daily work? “BI gave me a sturdy foundation and confidence to allow my personal qualities to come through in my job.” Do you have your dream job? “Yes, I can say that I have my dream job at this stage of my career. I enjoy my daily challenges, I get to work with talented people and I do business with decision makers from major Norwegian companies.” ■

Marianne at Oslo Airport where she meets SAS target group

FACTS ABOUT SAS SAS is Scandinavia’s leading airline. In 2013/2014, a total of 28.4 million passengers travelled with SAS to destinations in Europe, the US and Asia. Membership in Star Alliance provides customers with access to a far reaching network. Altogether, Star Alliance offers more than 18,500 daily departures to 1,321 destinations in 193 countries around the world. THE SAS VISION: SAS’ vision is to make life easier for Scandinavia’s ­frequent travellers. With SAS, you become part of a community experiencing easy, joyful and reliable services, delivered in the Scandinavian way.



“I am interested in what makes people go that extra mile at work. And how people relate to others.” This is how 38-year old Miha Škerlavaj, a tall, ­cheerful Slovenian, describes his work. Since March 2015, he works as aProfessor at the Department of Leadership and Organisational Behaviour at BI.

Words by PER OLSSON Photographs by BOBO OLSSON

Interest in leadership gained momentum after Miha as a scout was appointed to be the leader of the older boys.

On the top of BI Campus Oslo, north of city centre, Miha Škerlavaj looks out over his new hometown.

ˇ MIHA SKERLAVAJ’S ­R ECOMMENDATIONS ➢ ONLINE: Mostly LinkedIn and Twitter to stay in touch with people around the globe ➢ MAGAZINES: From popular press: New York Times, Huffington Post, Fast Company, and lots of academic journals (AMJ, LQ, AMR, JOB, …) ➢ BOOKS: Adam Grant (2013): Give and take; Padilla-Walker & Carlo (2014): Prosocial development; Hill et al (2014): Collective genius ➢ TELEVISION: Online streaming channels – Netflix, Viaplay, HBO. We do not watch a lot of TV at home, but when we do, it’s usually the Norwegian family channel NRK Super ➢ OSLO: The forests of Nordmarka and the seaside

How do you like living in Oslo? “My family and I have settled well here. The children have made friends and learned the language quickly, and the whole family is enjoying the nature, which is so present here in Oslo.” And how do you like it at BI? “My daily life at BI is characterised by wonderful relationships with colleagues, a creative environment, autonomy at work, and a strong business connection. The fact that BI is an institution on the rise just gives all of the above an added sweetness.” Tell us about your academic background. How did it all start? “My roots in academia strech back to 2001, when I started my postgraduate studies and work at the University of Ljubljana in Slovenia. As is often the case, it was a fortunate combination of an opportunity, my own motivation to grow personally and professionally, as well as an ability to do so. Before that, I was an active student, involved in various hobbies such as sports and scouting. I also held a couple of positions in local businesses, ranging from advertising to banking.” As a student, what were your motivators? “Ever since my childhood, curiosity and a variety of interests have been strong driving forces for me. The desire to comprehend what goes on in different parts of an organisation initially inspired me to study banking and finance. I then went on to business informatics, and subsequently wrapped it all up with a PhD in organisational behaviour. In fact, quite an unconventional path when I think about it.” When did you realise that you could become a professor? “For a long time, it wasn’t my intention to become an active part of academia. However, it does seem like I had it in me all along. A desire to learn, know, experience and to share with

“ONE OF THE THINGS THAT I LIKE TO SHARE WITH EXECUTIVE STUDENTS OF COMPANY WORKSHOPS IS THAT THEY CANNOT EXPECT ANY RECIPES FROM ME. ORGANISATIONAL LIVES ARE ­SIMPLY TOO COLOURFUL FOR THAT.” others are patterns from my family background. For instance, I was taken on as a boy scout leader of a group of boys older than myself, purely based on the fact that I knew a bit more that they did at the time. By seeing and valuing each and every member of the group, I managed to create good conditions for working together in a new and meaningful way. Very much like how I see the role of a professor.” What other qualities do you think a professor must have? “You have to care about people and the work that you do. Full stop. Everything else follows as a consequence – good publications come from good collaborations, good teaching from good interactions with students, and good citizenship from good relations with colleagues. What really got me involved was the diversity of experiences and skills one gets to develop and use as a professor. Research, teaching, working with business partners, all of it. This is something I discovered during my PhD studies.” Where do you turn to learn new things? “To others, travel, books, academic and popular press, social media, observing and talking to people. I like to follow a piece of advice I was given back home: ‘If you ask you might look stupid once, if you don’t you will be stupid forever.’ “

You are Professor at the Department of Leadership and Organisational Behaviour. Why did you choose this specialisation? “As mentioned, I had a broad interest in organisations. It started with numbers, moved on to computers, and ended up with people. So organisational behaviour makes perfect sense.” Tell us more about your research? “My first main area of research, teaching and consulting is about proactive behaviours at work in its broader sense. For my PhD, I tried to understand learning patterns and structures in organisational networks to identify optimal conduits of learning for knowledge-intensive organisations. In recent years, my colleagues and I have turned a corner and are actually dedicating a lot of attention to trying to understand how and why people hide knowledge from their colleagues when they’re at work, and the impact of this. My second area of interest is relations at work. I have been studying various organisational networks (learning, creativity and innovation), the significance of leader-member exchange in creativity and innovation, prosocial motivation and behaviours, leaders and change agents in their ability to relate to others. There are so many interesting, meaningful and not yet well understood angles of how humans relate to each other at work. That should keep me and my colleagues busy for a long time ahead.”

How would you sum up the characteristics of a good leader? “Exactly the same as those of a good professor. Both caring and demanding, involving and empowering when needed, with strong situational awareness. They need the ability to find a good “fit” between employees and task – organisation. And to see how they can contribute. Leaders also need to be good team players and willing to take personal initiative. Please don’t get me wrong, I am not advocating for any superman, just an orchestrator and facilitator. Confident enough to be aware of their shortcomings, and knowledgeable enough to know when it is time to ask for help. It is really uplifting to see recent research moving away from shocking findings about percentages of pathological conditions among leaders, and acknowledging that it is human to ask for help. Leaders looking for advice can actually increase others’ perception of their competence by directing tough questions to the right people.” Our lives are becoming more and more technology-centred. Are we forgetting the human touch? “I recently had the pleasure of reading a provoking article about the future of work. Actually it was called ‘The end of work?’ In short, its idea was that technology is assuming more and more of human work, and that some professions will become extinct. This is especially the case for routine work with little creative input. Nothing new about that, is there? In fact, the very same technology is opening up whole new fields where there is a real need for human creativity. What is obviously

changing is the format and nature of work.” Give us an example? “Think of 3D printers. When this technology matures, there will be no need for mass production. Production can be insourced again, or even brought back to the craftsman instead of using factories. That is a radical change and there are a lot of opportunities for people with good ideas. However, routine and lowskilled jobs will be lost.” Which sectors are best at creativity and innovation? “All and none. I don’t believe in words like creative industries or high-tech sectors. What is that? Is an advertising company (X) that translates and adjusts commercials from its headquarters (Y) still part of a creative industry? Is 150-year old glass producing company, which makes glass for cold or hot liquids and sells it for 8 times the price of ordinary glass, not innovative? In fact, I like to involve my students in a variety of cases from different industries to show how broadly applicable the concepts of creativity and innovation are.” Is there a simple recipe to achieve creativity? “One of the things that I like to share with the executive students of the company workshops is that they cannot expect any recipes from me. Organisational lives are simply too colourful for that. The very same applies to creativity. It is novel, it is potentially useful, and it is contextual. What is novel in one place could be old news in another, what is useful to one person might


be completely useless to another. Having said this, there are practices that stimulate divergent thinking. What research and organisational experience have convincingly shown us it that creativity should be linked to the bottom line or general purpose of the organisation. Otherwise, this could easily lead to (near) destruction. Think of LEGO and the challenges they had in 2003.” Where do you find your inspiration? “However cheesy it might sound, for me a source of inspiration is to have an impact on other people’s lives. One can hardly match the feeling when people, with whom you interacted years ago, approach you with detailed memories about how this changed their careers or even their lives. And often, I am completely unaware until it happens. It simply gives me the shivers – it is a source of inspiration and responsibility at the same time.” How do you get people to listen to you? “I jump on the table and start shouting. Just kidding. In the classroom, I simply get up on the podium, remain silent and wait for attention. This works very well initially. After that, it is the message that matters – it has to be relevant to the audience, it has to matter, there has to be an element of discovery and surprise. Over the years I’ve learnt that an inductive approach works very well for most of my audiences. Start with an experience (a case, simulation or scenario), follow with reflections and connect to the most recent research. It usually works, especially when I add a touch of my own personality, occasionally humorous and at times serious.” What about your work gets you out of bed on a rainy, cold and dark Monday morning? “A deep realisation that there is a great chance of experiencing something meaningful and new at work, and that I will be surrounded by all those motivated students and supportive colleagues.” ■

MORE FACTS ABOUT ˇ MIHA SKERLAVAJ ➢ AGE: 38 years. ➢ FAMILY: Wife and two kids, 7 and 4 years old.

Miha likes to follow a piece of advice he was given back home: ‘If you ask you might look stupid once, if you don’t you will be stupid forever.’

➢ LIVES: Kjelsås. ➢ WORKS AS: Professor at the Department of Leadership and Organisational Behaviour. He is also an Adjunct Associate Professor of Management at the University of Ljubljana, the Faculty of Economics (FELU) in Slovenia. His Ph.D. is from FELU. ➢ PUBLISHED: Accepted for publication in journals such as Academy of Management Journal, Leadership Quarterly, European Management Review, Journal of Information Technology, Leadership, Journal of International Management, Journal of Management & Organisation, International Journal of Production Economics, Expert Systems with Applications, etc. and covered in popular press such as The New York Times. ➢ GREAT REWARDS: Rewarded with several national and international honours and awards (including two time Academy of Management best Conference Proceedings, Top Three achievements of Slovenian Science, CEEMAN Champions Research Award 2013, All time SSRN Top 10 within the category Innovation and Organisational behaviour, Award for Top 10 most cited journal articles in IJPE 2007-2010, FELU research awards in 2009 and 2011, etc.). ➢ REVIEWER AND EXPERT: Reviewer for Human Resource Management, Management Learning, Leadership, International Journal of Production Economics, Omega, Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, Asia Pacific Management Review, Economic and Business Review and Academy of Management Annual Meetings. He is also an expert to several accreditation bodies for quality in higher education. ➢ TEACHES IN: At BI, Miha Škerlavaj teaches PhD, MBA, executive, and master of science programs. He is involved in research collaboration projects with international organisations and is also hired to hold talks for practitioners on ODC, OB and innovation management-related topics, such as prosocial motivation, job crafting, creativity and innovation management, time management, and change management.

➢ RESEARCH AREAS: Proactive and prosocial organisational behaviours (e.g. creativity, innovation, intra-organisational networks, work engagement, job crafting, cultural intelligence...). Organisational development and change (e.g. change management, knowledge management and hiding, organisational learning, organi-

sational culture, time management...). Creativity and innovation management (e.g. implementing creative ideas, non-technological innovations, business model innovations, service innovations).

➢ FOR EVEN MORE INFO: Visit: www. miha­ and @SkerlavajMiha


WORLD REPORT News from the world of BI Alumni

LOST TRACK OF YOUR FORMER CLASSMATES? offers a variety of methods for keeping in touch and at the same time find new contacts.

KNOWLEDGE AND NUTRITION Alumni in Bergen are invited to participate in breakfast seminars that are meant to inspire and benefit leaders, and others who are interested in leadership. In addition, these seminars provide excellent opportunities for networking with others from a broad range of businesses and industries. Topics this autumn have been: • Personal Conflicts; a health problem – How to prevent serious conflicts and develop a positive working environment. • Can leadership be learned? Who of us are born a good leaders? Why don’t more people want to become leaders? • “Be yourself!”- About “authentic leadership”: Can you do anything to become more authentic? • Dangerous passion at work - Passion for work is often good, but not always. Breakfast seminars at Campus Bergen take place about once a month. BI – Campus Bergen

A perfect start

Students, meet our alumni! In August, notable members of the alumni community gave inspiring speeches to new Bachelor and MSc students at the matriculation ceremonies held on Campus Oslo and Trondheim. More than 5000 new Bachelor and Master Students started their studies at BI this autumn. To officially welcome them matriculation ceremonies were held on BI - Campus Oslo, Trondheim, Bergen and Stavanger. Our alumni gave useful advice on how to get the most out of student life, how to meet challenges and how to prepare for their future careers. We would like to express our thanks to: KRISTIN H. HOLTH, Global Head of Shipping, Offshore and Logistics, DnB Bank AS (Siviløkonom 1984) GUNNAR BJØRKAVÅG, CEO, NHST Media Group (Siviløkonom 1985) EIVIND ROALD, Executive Vice President & Chief Commercial Officer, SAS (Bachelor of Business Administration 1988) JEANETT BERGAN, Head of Responsible Investments at KLP (Bachelor of Business Administration 2007, Master of Management 2013) YVONNE FOSSER, Director of HR, culture and development at Innovation Norway (Master of Management programmes) TROND-MORTEN LINDBERG, Managing partner at BDO AS (Master of Professional Accountancy 2003) MIRA KIHLE, Project Manager at Beyond Communication AS (Bachelor of Marketing 2013)

We appreciate your willingness to come back to BI to inspire the next generation of business leaders.

HAVE YOU RECENTLY MOVED? Changed your job, or completed another degree? Update your ­profile and stay connected through



Espen Andersen in action

Technology development, start-up opportunities, government budget constraints and examples of innovation processes were themes at an alumni networking event on the 7th of October. Per Valebrokk, Editor-in-chief and CEO at E24 and BI Professor Espen Andersen discussed the framework conditions for innovation with the state budget, technology development and start-up opportunities. They were followed by former students, from the Executive Master of Management programme in Strategic Business Development and Innovation. Kari Romøren and Ellen Aas presented on their project “Help, we are being affected by disruptive innovation!”, on innovation in the media industry. Tor Bjoland and Marit Næss spoke about their project “Tryg App”. The evening was rounded off with a social gathering at BI Kroa, were networking and quizzes took place. Alumni networking events with a focus on innovation take place in Oslo 3-4 times per year.

WANT FREE ACCESS TO ACADEMIC JOURNALS? Alumni membership gives you free access to top academic journals – in all subject areas. You can also read trade- and business magazines. Download from

Morten Thorkildsen, Reijlers Norway

BACK WHERE IT ALL BEGAN This autumn notable alumni have come back to BI to speak to graduating classes:

Bachelor graduations on 23rd and 24th September ERIK THONER, Aftersales Director at Bertel O. Steen AS (Siviløkonom 1997) MONICA YGRE, Brand Manager - Freia Smallbites at Mondelez Norge AS (Bachelor of Market Communication 2008 and MSc in Strategic Marketing Management 2012)

Executive MBA / Executive Master of Management in Energy on 25th September MORTEN THORKILDSEN, Managing Director at Rejlers Norway (MBA 1994)

Executive Master of Management on 13th November Professor Constance Helfat

CHRISTINE KORME, Director of Digitization and Renewal Abelia (Master of Management 2008)

Master of Science Graduations on 10th December NILS OLA BARK, CEO at Isobar Norge AS (Exceutive MBA 2010) GUNN WÆRSTED, Executive Vice President Head of Wealth Management Country Senior Executive in Norway Member of Group Executive Management (Siviløkonom 1979)

A BETTER STRATEGY BI Alumni in cooperation with the Department of Strategy hosted a Breakfast Meeting on the 16th of September with Professor Helfat, from Tuck School of Business. Professor Helfat held an inspiring talk, where she discussed the role of managers as leaders of strategic change in organizations. She defined “Dynamic Managerial Capabilities”, as the capacity of managers to create, extend, and modify the ways in which a firm makes its living. Enabling managers to sense new opportunities, threats, and seize new opportunities through strategic investment and resource deployment.

Thanks to all of you! You have shared your own experiences and given BI graduates valuable advice before they enter a new stage in their lives. Happiest day ever!


WORLD REPORT ALUMNI ASSIST AT RECRUITMENT FAIR IN BUCHAREST Sylvia Dusa and Marius Blajut of the alumni community in Bucharest assisted the recruitment team from BI, when BI attended the annual Romanian International University Fair in October. BI has attracted excellent students from Romania for years and our alumni are an invaluable resource that give prospective students a firsthand account of studying at BI. BI Alumni Romania, which is one of the most active international alumni communities, again hosted an informal networking event for alumni and BI colleagues during the same weekend. Those attending received copies of Professor Jan Ketil Arnulf’s book “What is Leader-

MEMBER DISCOUNT BI Alumni get 20% member dis­count on all Executive Short Programmes. Your colleagues can achieve the same advantage:

Succesful alumni gathering

HOW TO SUCCEED IN SHANGHAI On September 11th, BI’s Alumni Networking Event brought together alumni, students and representatives from the local business community in Shanghai. Also attending were the new cohort of BI Bachelor of International Marketing students who will spend one year at the University of Fudan completing their degree. Keynote speaker Christian Thomassen, a former BI student, talked about the importance of culture and on what it takes to succeed in China.


ship” in Romanian. Marius Blajut, an alumni and former MSc Leadership and Organisational Psychology student, had translated the book.

Romanian alumni ­ambassadors

CRACKING THE CODE IN TRONDHEIM Canadian rocket scientist and intercultural communication specialist Julien S. Bourrelle, entertained and enlightened alumni in Trondheim, with his lecture “Cracking the Norwegian Code”. Julien discussed verbal and nonverbal communication and, how Norwegian values and social norms affects interpersonal interaction. He also gave alumni good Julien S. Bourrelle advice on how we can learn to understand and communicate more effectively in a multicultural environment. Alumni networking events in Trondheim take place 2-3 times per year.

MEET LIKE-MINDED ALUMNI Meet like-minded alumni via 14 professional interest groups in Oslo: • HR & Management • Marketing • Strategy • PR & Communication • Finance • Energy • Shipping & Offshore

• Political Economy • Supply Chain Management • Innovation & Entrepreneurship • Culture & Management • Retail & Management • Board Work • Economics


This is the BI Alumni Department Meet Barbro, Ida, Monica, Audrey and Mette. The team of BI Alumni D ­ epartment.

1. BARBRO ­KOLBJORNSRUD TITLE: Head of Alumni Relations. RESPONSIBILITIES: Head of Department. WORKED AT BI: Since 2001. EDUCATION: Bachelor in Marketing,

Internationalization and Strategy 1996 (BI), Master of Management 2009 (BI). MOST FUN WITH THE JOB: Connecting with alumni, Strategy and Development. FAVORITE PLACE AT BI IN OSLO: In a creative meetings with dedicated and visionary colleagues. LOVES OUTSIDE JOB: My three kids, friends and family, travelling, and my scout group. THE BEST CROSS-COUNTRY TRAILS IN OSLO: Lillomarka, just a 10 minutes’ walk

from my house.

2. MONICA SKAU HANSEN TITLE: Alumni Relations Manager. RESPONSIBILITIES: Communication and

networking events. WORKED AT BI: Since 2001. EDUCATION: Bachelor in Social Sciences

(BI), Bachelor of Marketing and MA in Southeast Asian Studies (BI). MOST FUN WITH THE JOB: Meeting people, and working with communication. FAVOURITE PLACE AT BI: Our fantastic library! LOVES OUTSIDE JOB: Going to the waterfront, watch movies and travel. THE BEST SHOPPING IN OSLO: Grünerløkka for independent shops and Hegdehaugsveien for brand stores.

3. IDA DAHL HADDELAND TITLE: Alumni Relations Manager. RESPONSIBILITIES: Organizing Network-

ing Events and Management of Alumni Volunteers. WORKED AT BI: Since 2014. EDUCATION: Bachelor in sociology and psychology (BI), Master in organizational psychology (BI). MOST FUN WITH THE JOB: Build new


relations and see the engagement of alumni at Networking Events. FAVOURITE PLACE AT BI IN OSLO: Our staff canteen on the 7th floor with a wonderful view of Oslo. LOVES OUTSIDE JOB: Running along Akerselva and going to cinema with friends. THE BEST NIGHTLIFE IN GRÜNERLØKKA:

The Nightclub “Blå” or the Concert place “Parkteateret”.


4. AUDREY PATON TITLE: International Alumni Relations Manager. RESPONSIBILITIES: Responsible for the development of our International Alumni Network and MBA Alumni Community. WORKED AT BI: For 12 years. EDUCATION: Bachelor and Master, Strathclyde Business School, Strathclyde University, Scotland. MOST FUN WITH THE JOB: Showcasing our excellent alumni internationally. FAVOURITE PLACE AT BI IN OSLO: Starbucks. LOVES OUTSIDE JOB: Spend time with three active children playing football, bandy and basketball. Being outdoors regardless of the weather! BEST “AFTERNOON TEA” IN OSLO: Hotel Bristol!


5. METTE WINGER EIDE TITLE: Alumni Relations Manager. RESPONSIBILITIES: Responsible for developing the alumni network nationally and in France. WORKED AT BI: Since 2012. EDUCATION: . Bachelor in Marketing (BI). FAVOURITE PLACE AT BI IN OSLO: BI entrance area during Immatriculation weeks. LOVES TO OUTSIDE JOB: Spending time with my family and friends, skiing in the winter and spending time in my second home Paris. BEST COFFE IN OSLO: Kaffebrenneriet at Storo!



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Executive Short Programmes Spring 2016 • Strategy in Action, 8. – 10. februar

• Strategisk prosjektledelse, 20. – 22. april

• Forhandlingskompetanse for ledere, 18. – 19. februar

• Leading Global Business 25th – 27th April (In English)

• Relations at work, 1st – 3rd March (in English) • Human Resource Management, 8. – 10. mars • Lede og implementere strategisk endring, 14. – 16. mars • Lederutvikling i organisasjonen, 30. mars – 1. april • Økonomiforståelse for ledere, 4. – 6. april • Forretningsforståelse for teknologer, 13. – 15. april

• Verdiskapende forhandlinger og avtaleutforming, 10. – 12. mai • Lean for økt lønnsomhet, 24. – 26. mai • Digitalisering som verktøy for vekst og innovasjon, 31. mai – 3. juni • Ny som leder, 7. – 9. juni

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Profile for BI Norwegian Business School

Advantage – BI Alumni Magazine nr. 1 2016  

Advantage – BI Alumni Magazine nr. 1 2016