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Advantage S E H VA S O M S K J E R I L Ø P E T AV Å R E T


#1 2018


Dag Kittlaus, the creator of Siri, is back with his next invention




75 years S E H VA S O M S K J E R I L Ø P E T AV Å R E T





»We are now being inspired by the machines that we created, and getting ready to collaborate with them using their principles.« ØYSTE IN D. FJE LDSTAD, PRO F E S S O R, D EPAR TMENT O F S TR ATEGY AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP AT BI





300 000 alumni so far. Page 5.

Salaries for BI graduates are up. Page 7.

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Four tips on how to provide effective feedback. Page 20.

25 years of great partnership. Page 32.

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Are you ready to transform your career in an international setting – from Oslo to top schools in Berkeley, Paris, Madrid and Singapore?


This programme will give you an integrated view of all business areas in different cultures and prepare you to take on more challenging leadership positions. We focus on international management, strategy and macroeconomics. You will learn about European regulations and South America, and the business link between the continents. You will also be exposed to Asian business culture, with a focus on China and India.

” Digital organizations excel at rapid-fire development of products and services adapted to user needs. Our course in Design Thinking for Digital Development provides hands-on training and tools for succeeding in fast-moving digital innovation.” Vegard Kolbjørnsrud Assistant Professor


NEW TRACK This programme will enable you to set the digital agenda and provide you with the tools needed for any leader facing digital transforming in an organisation. Digitisation is occurring at an accelerating pace; Successful leaders need to synchronise their organisations to the digital clock speed. The disruption of many industries are putting pressure on organisations to develop new capabilities and transform their cultures. The Digital specialisation will help you to develop as a ‘digital leader’, and we can promise you a steep learning curve!


Advantage 1/ 2 018


NEWS 007 The latest news from BI. BI 75 YEARS 011 Join the celebration! FRONTLINE 019 Stay updated with BI’s latest research. AMBASSADORS 029 Meet alumnus Elisabeth Dullum. INSIGHT 040 25 years of partnership.


BUSINESS PROFILES 044 Alumnus Dag Kittlaus created Siri. PROFESSOR 050 Øystein D. Fjeldstad is ready to collaborate with machines.


WORLD REPORT 056 Yes, we are networking. RE AD US ONLINE !




Barbro Kolbjørnsrud

Morten Ståle Nilsen Mikaela Hincks Tone Steen Sandberg Henrik Oliver Aasebøe Stølen



Audun Farbrot Audrey Paton

Hilde Spæren




E-MAIL: ISSN: 1891-2874

Forssa Print



Staffan Frid




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International ambitions – HOME AND ABROAD


ver since Norwegians first took to the sea, our philosophy has been to travel far, to return home and to share the stories of our experience. This is still the prevailing idea of internationalization in Norwegian higher education: to send students and faculty abroad on exchange, and have them return back home. Today internationalization takes place just outside our doors and inside our organizations. The Norwegian business environment is inherently international. In many ways Norway is the perfect setting for developing and disseminating knowledge about how to do business in an international context. Both Norway and Norwegian institutions of higher education need better strategies for facing this scenario. This is why internationalization is one of BI’s strategic pillars. We continue to send students on exchange, and provide double degree opportunities with recognized educational institutions abroad. In addition, it is equally important to have talented international students and faculty in our classrooms here in Norway. This will enrich the learning environment for our students, and will benefit Norwegian business and industry in the future. In attempting to attract talented young people to BI and to Norway, we compete not only with excellent schools, but also with progressive international recruitment strategies implemented by other countries at a national level. We believe that lack of government focus on attracting students and faculty to Norway is causing Norwegian

higher educational institutions to fall behind on both quality and relevance. Norway should strengthen their strategy for recruitment of international students and faculty. This will contribute to strengthening our learning environments and the quality of Norwegian education. BI has chosen to operate in an international arena. All graduates from BI must be able to perform in an international business context – and we work towards this goal every day. Our graduates are attractive in the Norwegian labor market, one in three Master of Science students and faculty members have an international background and our alumni have impressive careers all over the world. BI’s Graduate Job Market Survey for 2017 shows that close to 8 % of all full-time students graduated in 2016 have found work with international companies outside Norway. You make the case: education has no borders. In 2018, we will celebrate our 75th anniversary as a business school where the focus will be on celebrating you – our alumni. I look forward to the many opportunities 2018 will bring to for us to interact and engage. Make sure to keep in touch!

Inge Jan Henjesand PRESIDENT



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Career progression 8 of 10 students report getting a promotion after completing their degree.


Are you ready to take the next step in your career? Executive Master of Management is a flexible master`s degree that provides the tools you need to be at the forefront of strategic management. We offer three programmes in English: • Analytics for Strategic Management • Green Growth as a Competitive Advantage • International Management For information about programmes taught in Norwegian:






BI students are in demand


I’s Graduate Job Market Survey for 2018 shows that 77% of our Masters students secured employment before graduating. Three months after submitting their final thesis, 87.7% were employed, compared with 84.7% in 2016. This is the highest figure since 2012. The survey also shows that most of the Masters students from BI work within the auditing

and consulting field, followed by banking, finance and insurance. 64% of the international graduates began working in Norway upon completing their degree. Average starting salaries were NOK 437 000 for Bachelor graduates (up 5.6%) and 514 000 for Master graduates (up 5.1), including bonuses.

Employment rate and salaries for BI graduates are up.

Give your degree a digital edge Digitalisation is occurring at an accelerating pace and there is a need for technologically aware and adept leaders. To meet these future challenges and opportunities, BI has launched a new digital track for the Executive MBA programme. The track, which started in March, will enable leaders to set the digital agenda and create the context for the digitalisation of every relevant aspect of their organisations. BI’s Executive MBA also give students the opportunity to specialise in global management, energy issues, and the ocean industries. The 18 month part-time programme has modules in Oslo, Stavanger, Berkeley, Singapore, Potsdam and Paris. BI helps leaders to set a digital agenda.


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Njård Folnes.

Team Eagle Consulting from Wharton School won the competition

International case competition Teams from nine different countries met at campus Oslo in February to compete in BI’s International Case Competition. Teams solved a business case provided by Orkla, the leading supplier of branded consumer goods in the Nordic region. The students' challenge was to provide innovative and thoughtful strategies for how the supply chain could be streamlined.

Paul Ehling, Harald Benestad Anderssen and Njål Foldnes are new professors at BI. BI now has 123 professors, 26 of whom are female. Njål Foldnes, from the Department of Economics, focuses much of his research on the passive role of students. Lecturing in subjects such as mathematics, he has experimented with “flipped classroom”, giving students tailor-made videos to watch while spending instruction time to practice, apply and reflect on the new material discussed in the videos.


Kunal Shah and Mithila Mehta.

WOMEN’S DAY In honour of Women’s Day, BI organised a case competition titled "How to get more women into top management positions." Students from the Master of Science programmes were invited to compete, and three winning groups presented their solutions at a seminar at campus Oslo on 8th March. The winning team was Mithila Mehta and Kunal Shah, both from India, who outlined a framework consisting of six recommendations.

Business may not be everything, but “everything is business”. Or in Norwegian “Alt er økonomi”, which is the name of BI's new national marketing campaign. Many limit the concept of economics to just being about numbers, accounting and money, but it's about so much more. No matter whether you are working with people, social welfare, finance, management, innovation or marketing, you need to understand economics. The campaign, which can be seen on TV and in social media, has led to more visits to BI's campaign page than ever before. Comedian Yousef Hadaoui and the environmentalist Nina Jensen are among the celebrities fronting the campaign.

Comedian Yousef Hadaoui and ...

... environmentalist Nina Jensen.


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New Campus in Stavanger In 2019 BI-campus Stavanger will move to Byfjordparken, a waterfront area in Stavanger, two kilometers from the city center. A state-of-the-art learning environment will await 700 students, building on BI's ambition to facilitate new and future-oriented learning methods. - "BI has ambitions to contribute to sustainable societal development, both through the content of education we offer and through the choices we make. BI's new campus will offer the best learning facilities and frameworks for our students in the future," says Marius Eriksen, Executive Vice President, Full-time Programmes. BI has signed a fifteen-year lease with GMC Eiendom. The campus will be built to meet the highest environmental standards and will be certified by Breeam NOR Excellent.

UFDA, the Choir Boys of BI

MILLION-DOLLAR FUNDING FOR BI RESEARCH PROJECT The research project Future Ways of Working in the Digital Economy, led by BI Professor Christian Fieseler has been granted 19.5 million NOK from FRIPRO Toppforsk, over the next four to five years. Toppforsk provides shared funding, whereby the research institutions finance half of the amount applied for, whilst the other half is covered by The Research Council of Norway. – "As Norway transitions into the digitalised BI Professor economy we are delighted to now have the funding Christian Fieseler. in place to realise our long term research agenda into how future ways of working can be inclusive, sustainable and beneficial for all members of society," says Fieseler.

300 0 00 Approximate number of alumni from BI.

98 Student population at BI currently repre­ sents 98 different nationalities.


Number of scholarships awarded to talented MSc students in 2017. Recipients came from 25 different countries.


20% Increase in BI-­students on Exchange in 2017, from 2016.

404 Number of permanent faculty. 30% have an international background.

Number of exams organised, of which half were digital.


PhD students at BI autumn 2017.


BI Campus in Stavanger is built for 700 students.

The Eurostudent VI survey conducted by Statistics Norway (SSB) shows that NMBU (Norwegian University of Life Science), NHH and BI have the highest scores in Norway for teaching quality. 75% of BI students say they are satisfied or very satisfied with the teaching quality. The results also show that 65% of the students in Norway are satisfied or very satisfied with the teaching quality at their educational institution. Corresponding figures for the other Nordic countries are: Denmark (74), Sweden (70), Iceland (71) and Finland (76).


20 998 Total number of students at campus Oslo, Bergen, Stavanger and Trondheim.


Place on the Financial Times European Business School Rankings 2017. BI is number one in Norway and third in the Nordics.


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Strengthening relations between BI, business and alumni


I's newly established Alumni Advisory Board aims to strengthen the interaction with BI and foster stronger engagement between alumni, students and the school. 22 experienced executives and young alumni in senior positions serve as volunteers in the Alumni Advisory Board, which is led by Maalfrid Brath, Managing Director, Manpower Group Norway (Siviløkonom, 1989).

The board will support, advise and develop BI's alumni engagement strategy. Our alumni community represent a rich resource of experience for our students, as well as in programme development. The Board’s diverse experience and competence from the business community and background from BI will benefit our students and their learning experience by enhancing a comprehensive alumni engagement programme.

BI's newly established Alumni Advisory Board.

Norges Bank Watch

Prize winner Vegard Hoghaug Larsen.

Every year the Centre for Monetary Economics (CME), at The Department of Economics at BI, appoints an independent group of experts to evaluate monetary policy in Norway for the annual Norges Bank Watch report. This report was presented at BI – campus Oslo on 27th February. This year, BI Professor Tommy Sveen and Jeanette Strøm Fjære from DNB Markets gave an evaluation of monetary policy in Norway and Norges Bank’s communication in 2017. The report, which is partly funded by the Ministry of Finance concludes that Norges Bank has become clearer in its communication on judgmental assessments through 2017. Jon Nicolaisen, Deputy Governor at Norges Bank, was present to comment upon the report.

PhD student wins prestigious award Vegard Høghaug Larsen, BI’s Department of Economics, won Norges Bank’s prize for best macroeconomic paper with his “Drivers of the Business Cycle: Oil, News and Uncertainty”. He uses oil prices for the U.S economy, while news and uncertainty are studied in a Norwegian context.


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For 75 years, thousands of students and alumni, hundreds of professors and eight principals have taken BI to the top of the business school league.



1 9 4 3 - 2 0 1 8

1943 The BI Norwegian 1946 Launches its first 1947 BI graduates Business School is estabdaytime study programme establish the Norwegian

1954 Students at BI are 1964 Invests in full-time approved as borrowers in lecturers, and hires its

lished as a limited company on 1 st June by Finn Øien and his partner Jens Rosef.

the State Educational Loan Fund.

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that lasts two years: Office management I and II.

Business Organisation Association.

first five directors of studies.

2018-04-13 10:44

1943 – 2018



In 1943, during the Nazi occupation of Norway, physicist Finn Øien was inspired by the field of business administration. He started teaching evening classes with one teacher and 43 students. Words by TO N E S T E E N SA N D B E RG


inn Øien earned a degree in theoretical physics from the University of Oslo in 1936, but became interested in business administration after he started working for the family business during World War II. In the early years, BI was as much a consulting firm as a school. However, Finn Øien realised there was a need for knowledge of modern business administration.

THE FIRST COMPUTER The first course in business administration ran over three months, with a twohour class once a week. A year later, the course expanded to one year of evening classes, and in 1946, a two-year daytime programme was established. The typical BI student in the 1940s and 1950s was a male who worked in or near Oslo during the daytime, attending classes in the evening. Many had also taken the university qualifying examination or had a background from commercial high schools. Women were a rare sight.


Starts using electronic data processing at a time when there is only a few computers in all of Norway.


The daytime programme is expanded from two to three years.

As the number of students continued to grow during the 1960s, and the daytime degree was expanded to three years, BI had a lively student community. BI made considerable investments in a language laboratory and a computer was acquired in 1967. This IBM computer was one of the first computers in Norway. In 1968, BI went from being a privately owned limited company to a non-profit foundation and Parliament allocated public funding, covering 75% of BI’s operating expenses. Support from the government gave BI a new financial foundation, but also meant that BI had to accept being controlled and governed by the State. Norwegian King Olav visting campus in Sandvika in 1988.

STUDENT NUMBERS UP Gerson Komissar laid the foundation for BI’s further development. He became president in 1975, and gradually transformed the entrepreneurial BI into an institution with legitimacy in society at large. He also introduced social science subjects and expanded cooperation with public authorities. The huge increase in students in the 1960s declined somewhat in the early 1970s, with the introduction of public regional colleges and anticapitalistic trends through the EC referendum. However, towards the end of the 1970s, numbers were up again and advanced programmes in business administration were sought after. BI’s major breakthrough came with the decade of the economists in the 1980s. When Jørgen Randers became BI’s first elected president in 1981, he initiated an academic programme and the first four professors were hired in 1983. BI finally received recognition as a business school, and went from being a college in Oslo with independent partner schools around the country, to an institution with regional campuses. In 1986, BI received more than

1969 Receives government sup1971 Started an international 1973 The Bergen Line Race becollaboration with the University of port for its daytime programmes. tween NHH and BI was established. BI was registered as a member of the international student organisation for economics students – AIESEC.

Wisconsin – Madison.

1972 Became a member of EFMD (European Foundation of Management Development)

1974 Entered into a partnership with Oslo Accounting School through the establishment of a joint foundation.


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BI’s first computer in 1967 and the first campus at Ivar Aasens Vei in Oslo.

12 000 applications. The expansion required more space, and in 1988, BI moved to its new campus in Sandvika, just outside Oslo. In 1989, Peter Lorange became BI’s President. He was particularly concerned with internationalising BI and also stood for an expansive strategy. During the early 90s BI merged with 5 smaller business schools; Norges Markedshøyskole, Oslo Handelshøyskole, Norsk institutt for ledelse og administrasjon, Oslo Markedshøyskole and Bankakademiet. This strengthened BI’s position within the education system and allowed BI to focus on competing against more quality-conscious friends, such as NHH in Bergen.

FINAL APPROVAL When Leif Frode Onarheim was elected president in 1993, one of his main tasks was to build confidence and trust with Parliament and the Ministry of Education. When BI was told that other institutions had been granted the right to teach Master of Management programmes while BI had to stop, Onarheim offered to drive the minister in charge to one of his meetings. Fourteen days later, there was a new Royal Decree

1975 The cooperation with each local school was

Finn Øien – physicist and father of BI.

in which BI received its final approval. BI was awarded the European Quality approval EQUIS in 1999. To address competition in an in­creasingly global market, more programmes were taught in English. BI also established operations at Fudan University in Shanghai, China in 1995, and in 2000, the ISM International School of Management in Lithuania was founded. Back home, BI merged with Norges Varehandelshøyskole and the Norwegian Shipping Academy in 2000, and with Forsikringsakademiet in 2002. In the late 1990s, BI’s main campus was still located in Sandvika, while BI also had two campuses in Oslo. Torger Reve, who was then president, undertook the challenge of co-locating BI, and Nydalen was finally chosen. The new campus, which has won awards for its architecture, was opened in 2005.

21 000 STUDENTS In 2006, Tom Colbjørnsen was elected President. His vision was to lead the institution to become one of the foremost business schools in Europe, and the

Øien becomes the chair of the BI foundation’s board.

formalised through the establishment of FSBS.

1979 BI grows and moves into a modern

1977 Gerson Kommisar is elected President of BI. Finn

building at Nadderud in Bærum. Finn Øien resigns as board chairman.

1981 Jørgen Randers is elected BI’s new President – the first President to come from outside BI’s system.

1983 BI’s first four professors are hired following

Financial Times rankings became a key yardstick for BI’s international standing. In order to succeed in this goal, the number of campuses outside Oslo were reduced. The laborious effort to build BI’s international status was rewarded in 2014 when BI was granted accreditation by the US Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). With the EQUIS accreditation from 1999, and AMBA -Association for MBAs accreditation in 2013, BI finally revived its standing as a Triple Crown school. Less than 1% of business schools worldwide have achieved triple crown accreditation, In this 75th anniversary year, we can look back on more than 300 000 alumni who have graduated with a degree from BI. The student body numbers are approximately 21 000, divided between Oslo, Bergen, Stavanger and Trondheim. In addition, each year, more than 100 graduates from the BI Fudan MBA programme in Shanghai, and every fifth student and every third faculty member has an international background. ■

academic assessments with external commission members.

1984 BI terminated the agreement with Drammen Bedriftsøkonomiske Høyskole and instead established

a local department.


Decides to establish its own national network of colleges. The ten partner schools are either shut down or incorporated into BI’s network.


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Student organisations have played and still play an important role in BI’s 75-year history. Today they are more professional than ever.


edriftsøkonomisk Studentersamfunn was founded on the 21st February 1964 with lively social activities. But the path leading up to this had been long. Already back in 1947, Finn Øien encouraged students to establish their own student organisation modelled on the student welfare organisation in Trondheim. It took students a while to get organised, but looking at today’s organisations you can certainly say they have received the message loud and clear. The students have made their organisations part of the DNA of BI, says Jens Petter Tøndel, the former Executive Vice President of Full-Time Programmes.

He began working at BI in 1985, at the Nadderud campus, and has since been involved with the all the student organisations, and BI Studentsamfunn (BIS) in particular. As the current strategic advisor for the President, he remains very much interested and involved in the student societies. The original objective was to give students the opportunity to develop real life skills through their own enterprise; acquiring administrative experience, establishing connections, selling their ideas, plans and measures, and familiarising themselves with the broader cultural and political issues in society. Company visits and meetings, and securing a good student environment was also on the agenda. Today, the student organisations’ relationship with the business world is something to admire, according to Tøndel. “The contact SBIO Student Union at BI and BIS have with the business world through projects like careers days, and case competitions, as well

Bergensbaneløpet, a relay race between BI and NHH. BI has won the race nine times.

1985 BI is awarded the Master of Business and Economics titlel.


The programmes at BI’s regional colleges are expanded, and one can now

take the two-year graduate programme and add on a three-year business administration graduate programme.


BI’s new campus in Sandvika is complete.

1989 Peter Lorange is elected President. 1990 BI’s first master programme starts: Master of Business Administration and Master of Science.

as through different societies and academic associations, contribute to and strengthen the work BI is doing in these areas,” he says. STARTED IN A BASEMENT As many other successful endeavours, the original initiative came from humble beginnings and curiously, it all began underground. The first student organisation had its own basement headquarters at Vindern in Oslo, and many social events took place here. The Kjellerutvalget, Blæstutvalget, Kontaktutvalget, Fagutvalget and Kulturutvalget were some of the activities that were established during the initial years. In 1967, the investment club Bedriftsøkonomisk Invest was founded focusing on professional development, such as academic lectures. In 1967, the investment club Bedriftsøkonomisk Invest was founded focusing on professional development, such as academic lectures. Even more societies and organisations were formed as BI established new regional campuses and merged with other schools in the 1980s and 1990s. Bedriftsøkonomisk Studentsamfunn (BS) became the student organisation for the students in Sandvika, while BIS was formed in 1987 in order to look after the

1991 Enters into partnership agreements with around 20 major Norwegian companies.

1992 Enters into partnerships with medium-sized,

internationally-oriented companies. BI merges with Norges Markedshøyskole, NILA and Oslo Handelshøyskole. BI also takes over Oslo Markedsføringshøyskole. The Gjærum Commission submitted a


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Networking specialists at Inspire at BI Campus in Oslo.

interests of the students from other campuses. Later, the Studentforeningen ved BI i Oslo (BISON) was established, and Markedsøkonomisk Studentsamfunn (MØSS) and Varehandelens Studentsamfunn (VASS) became BI student organisations as a result of mergers. The different societies defended their disciplines, but also cooperated with each other in many areas. After the construction of campus Oslo in Nydalen in 2005, societies like BS, BISON, MØSS and VASS joined forces to become SBIO. BIS opted to remain outside of the merger, and still represents the student at BI’s regional schools. Together, the two organisations conrecommendation for State financing of the Master of Business and Economics at BI.

1993 Leif Frode Onarheim is elected President.

sist of societies, academic associations, athletic clubs and other initiatives. For Jens Petter Tøndel, two other areas of the student organisations’ contributions deserve special recognition: their work in decision making bodies, and their commitment to creating a solid foundation and healthy student environment on all four campuses. With their student representatives in the Board of Trustees and Programme committees the students contribute not only to BI’s strategic decisions, but also towards developing the study programmes. Furthermore, their effort to create the best possible student environment through introduction weeks, social activities, ath-

1994 The Banking Academy was merged into BI.

Research and Church Affairs in 1995. Nordic Centre opens in China.

1995 The Master of 1997 Torger Reve is Management programme elected President. was officially approved by the Ministry of Education,

1998 BI is awarded the

letic activities and societies, to name but a few, is invaluable. Judging by this assessment, one might certainly be inclined to believe that Finn Øien’s original plan has come to fruition. ■ BI-Revyen is an annual happening.

right to confer its own doctoral degree. BI’s board decides that all units should use the name BI Norwegian Business School.

1999 EQUIS accreditation from the European

Foundation for Management Development.

2000 BI and the Norwegian Shipping Academy

Elisabeth’s role models is merges. BI merges with her her parents who taught Norges to work Varehandelsethic. Another role høyskole (NVH). model is Pippi Longstocking.


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LIFE-LONG FRIENDSHIP 60 years after graduation, seven BI veterans can proudly look back on a life where BI and their classmates have always been present.

2001 BI’s Public Management school is established.

2002 BI decides to relocate all activities in the Oslo region to new premises in

Nydalen. The first female professor at BI is Bente R. Løwendahl. BI merges with Forsikringsakademiet (Insurance Academy).

2003 BI celebrates 60


2004 Reaccreditation by EQUIS.

School in Oslo (SBIO) is established.


2005 BI moves into its new campus in Nydalen,

Tom Colbjørnsen is elected President.

Oslo. Student association at BI Norwegian Business

BI educates China's Olympic Committee. BI’s


founder, Finn Øien, passed away 22 March.


BI is accredited as a scientific university and offers double degree.

2009 BI is investing more


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he same year that the Soviet Union launched Sputnik 1 into space, the third class of Business administration graduates received their degree from BI. In November 2017, they came back to celebrate their 60-year reunion. Much has taken place since BI was founded as an evening school in 1943. From its modest beginnings, BI has gone on to produce alumni numbering in the hundreds of thousands. Recently BI had the honour of gathering some of the students who graduated from the two-year part-time business administration programme in 1957. A group of proud alumni who all had Finn Øien, BI’s founder, as both President and teacher. Jan G. Langfeldt, gave a speech during lunch on behalf of these BI veterans. He took the opportunity to emphasise BI’s insistence on maintaining business relevance, along with high academic standards, both then and now. “Under school conditions that would be considered unacceptable by current standards, we were served knowledge and training that we felt matched the very best of what other institutions with higher formal status could offer their students. This also gave us an attitude of reckless determination – we fully intended to prove this in practical life as well.” He continued with his observations on BI’s development and its impact on students and researchers, both past and future. “This development has also been significant for older graduates like us – the prestige of our diploma has grown in line with the school’s advancing reputation.” Fellow student Per Wolff followed up, reminiscing about his best memories from those years and the camaraderie that developed among them. “We worked together closely and we often gathered at the University library. And afterwards, we had lots of good conversations in the corridor.” Many of the original 37 fellow students have stayed in touch since their school years. The 25-year anniversary in 1977 was commemorated with the attendance of Finn Øien. Wolff and Langfeldt have also taken part in several other alumni events in recent years. When asked what kind of topic they would like to know more about at their reunion, they suggested a lecture on intelligent machines, and on BI today. They had plenty of questions and are a striking example of the importance of staying curious, life-long learning, and preserving a network from their study years. ■

From left: Svein Bækkevold, Per Wolff, Øyvind Palme Kårbø, BI President Inge Jan Henjesand, Per Sinding, Odd Claussen, Jan G. Langfeldt and Ove Nybø.

internationally with EMBA programmes in shipping, offshore and finance. Opens Norway's first principal school.

2010 The EQUIS accreditation from the European

Foundation for Management Development (EFMD) is renewed. BI Norwegian Business School is Norway's largest provider of online education at university level.

2011 BI is given a new English name (BI Norwegian Business School) BI moves into its new campus in Bergen.

2012 BI and Statoil start


research collaboration. BI BI becomes the and Berkeley start research best Norwegian school in collaboration. BI Norwethe annual Financial Times gian Business School offers European Business School for the first time internship Elisabeth’s Rankings.role models is both at bachelor and her parents who taught her master's level.

to work ethic. Another role model is Pippi Longstocking.


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Nearly 300,000 people have graduated with a degree from BI, and 2018 is also a celebration of our alumni. Every week throughout this year, we will present an alumnus with an exciting story to tell. Read their stories and become inspired! or

JOIN US IN CELEBRATING! Celebrations take place in Oslo, Bergen, Stavanger and Trondheim, and in major cities in Europe, North-America and Asia. Keep your contact information up-to-date to receive in­vi­tations to anniversary events. • #BIalumni • #BI75

FOLLOW BI ON SOCIAL MEDIA! Don’t forget to hashtag BI during 2018 with #BI75

RECONNECT AND RECAPTURE Does your class wish to meet again? Do you want to come back to reconnect and recapture? BI Alumni is happy to give you advice on planning your reunion. Contact us at for more information.

2014 Inge Jan Henjesand is elected President.

As the first in Norway, Kari Birkeland completes a PhD in auditing-law at Bl.


2016 Professor Emeritus and former President at

BI offers the QTEM Masters Network in collaboration with ten international business schools.

BI, Jørgen Randers, is appointed as an honor-

ary-professor at Fudan. A total of 32% of top leaders in Norway’s 200 largest companies has studied at BI. BI establishes an International Advisory Board.


The construction of our New campus in Trondheim begins. Kick off for “BI Start Up”. BI launches more courses in digitalisation. BI initiates collaboration with Tsinghua University in Beijing.

2018 Celebrating 75 years! Full story:


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Frontline Can managers who draw pictures of their networks make better strategic decisions? Keep on reading to find out how a process of visualising networks can help managers better understand the complexity that affects their business relationships.

Words by AUDUN FARBROT Head of Science Communication at BI


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Frontline them on a daily basis. This happens in the form of praise and recognition when they have performed well, or that they receive the necessary guidance to develop further when it is required. Sadly, not everyone is as fortunate with their employers. There are leaders who clearly let you know when something is not working. If they say nothing at all, everything is okay. In other words, many employees feel that they receive little or no praise and recognition for good performance. On the other hand, they receive criticism and disapproving comments whenever something is wrong. “I’LL LET YOU KNOW IF THERE’S ANYTHING ELSE”

Leader speak that pays off


eaders must have the ability to communicate with their employees so that they experience a commitment to their tasks, as well as a sense of pride and affiliation to the organisation they work for. This is something not everyone is equally skilled at. I regularly meet former students who have entered the workforce. Some say their employer and colleagues acknowledge


ANDERS DYSVIK Professor Department of Leadership and Organizational Behaviour

The motives behind feeling that a job is engaging, meaningful and interesting, are actually the same motives that create positive development patterns in children and youth, school results, as well as improvements in effort and performance over time by athletes. • The most basic psychological need of employees is the need for autonomy, taking independent decisions within clearly defined parameters and making judgements based on their own experience on how tasks are most effectively completed. Feedback that encourages initiative and independence can solidify the sense of autonomy. • The second need employees have is the desire to experience mastery and feeling competent when they perform their current task, but also daring to explore new and improved ways of performing


Leaders are often better at criticising their employees rather than giving them praise and recognition. Here are four tips on how you can provide effective feedback.

As a leader, how good are you at providing feedback when tasks are performed well? And how often are you as an employee told that you are doing a good job? A leader’s workday is often characterised by a tsunami of tasks that are expected to be completed swiftly. The time that should have been spent on leadership, ends up being spent in meetings, on reports and other pressing issues. The communication with employees is reduced to the practice of “I’ll let you know if there’s anything else”. Do leaders choose the same communication strategy when talking with their children or spouse? Probably not. Thus, there is no reason to continue doing the same at work.


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their jobs. Feedback that is concrete in regards to what is done well and suggestions relating to things that can be improved in the future can solidify the mastery experience and the future belief in mastering tasks. • The third need is linked to social belonging through good relationships with their immediate superiors and other colleagues. This need is considered an important foundation, and almost a prerequisite, for any feedback being absorbed and accepted by the recipient. Research shows that employees can react negatively to praise from their leader in cases where they themselves view the quality of the relation as bad or absent. FOUR TIPS FOR LEADERS

Research on leadership shows that the relationship between a leader and their employee can never become too good – at least by professional standards. Luckily, leaders can do something in order to become better at giving feedback. Here are four practical and research-based tips: • The content of any feedback should be tailored to the individual’s level of mastery and progression. Your co-workers have different qualities and prerequisites for solving their tasks. • In terms of timing, you should give feedback as close as possible to the event in question and be as specific as you can be, so that the employee does not forget what has transpired and is still able to relate to the situation. • Try to find meeting points with your employees on regular basis, as part of your work routine. Research shows that feedback should be given so that it is perceived as frequent and constructive. • First and foremost, you should always seek out and acknowledge the strengths of your employees. This will obviously not prevent you from commenting on behaviour that can be improved. It is easier to succeed with such corrections if the employees are also told that they are actually doing well. ■

Can we solve the film conundrum?

TERJE GAUSTAD Adjunct Associate Professor Department of Communication and Culture

REFERENCE: Gaustad, Terje; Theie, Marcus Gjems; Eidsvold-Tøien, Irina; Torp, Øyvind; Gran, Anne-Britt; Espelien, Anne. 2018. Utredning av pengestrømmene i verdikjeden for norske filmer og serier. Oslo: Menon Economics and BI Centre for Creative Industries. The study was carried out on behalf of the Ministry of Cultural Affairs.

SUMMARY : LEADER SPEAK THAT PAYS OFF With the right kind of feedback, leaders can get their employees to perform better. The relationship between a leader and their employee can never become too good.

It has become much more expensive to make films and television series. At the same time, we are paying less to see them. How do we solve this conundrum?


he digitalisation of our film and television consumption has made it cheaper for us to see increasingly more, and more expensive, films and television series at home. This has made cinemas a more important source of income for producers. And producers earn the most money by limiting our access to their films and series. Adjunct Associate Professor Terje Gaustad from BI Norwegian Business School, together with researchers at BI’s Centre for Creative Industries, Menon Economics and Professor Ole-Andreas Rognstad at the University of Oslo, have followed the cash flows for films and series all the way from those who make the films at one end, to the audience at the other end. Gaustad is an industry expert on film and series production at the Department of Communication and Culture at BI. In the study, the researchers have identified challenges and possibilities in the wake of this digitalisation, for both the industry and the authorities who support and regulate it. Terje Gaustad points out three of the most important challenges: 1. It is cheaper to watch, but more expensive to produce films, 2. Streaming services make cinemas more important and 3. Producers earn the most by limiting access to films and series. 1) CHEAPER TO WATCH, MORE EXPENSIVE TO PRODUCE FILMS

For each film and series we watched in 2016, we paid on average just over half (57%) of what we did in 2010, according to the study. This is partly due to the fact that


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Frontline much of the consumption has moved from pay-per-view platforms such as DVD/Blu-ray and digital rental services, where you pay for each film or series you rent, to pay-per-month, or subscription services, where you gain unlimited access to a catalogue during the period that you pay for. At the same time, production costs have increased. In 2016, the average cost of producing a Norwegian drama series was twice as much as in 2010. For Norwegian feature films, the cost increase was 35% during the same period. The combination of declining payments from viewers and growth in production costs is a reason for pause, when the changes going both ways are so significant, according to Gaustad. Reduced distribution costs and increased economies of scale are among the reasons why the industry is able to survive at all with this development. For example, Netflix can divide its film and series costs among 110 million subscribers worldwide. Some of the players have made strategic investments where they accept short-term losses to build up market shares that they can exploit in the long-term. “Still, the development with lower prices and higher costs put increased pressure on the profitability of the entire industry,” says the BI researcher.

»At the same time, production costs have increased. In 2016, the average cost of producing a Norwegian drama series was twice as much as in 2010. For Norwegian feature films, the cost increase was 35% during the same period.«

cinema market,” says Terje Gaustad. It also entails that the Norwegian film industry has become more vulnerable to the development in the cinema market. At the same time, the Norwegian Culture Barometer from Statistics Norway shows that younger people, who make up the core cinema audience, are seeing fewer Movies in the cinema than before. So, far more frequent visits from older groups have made up for the decline in cinema visits among younger audiences. If there is a reduction in cinema visits, like many other countries have experienced, this could have major consequences for the financial situation of Norwegian film producers.


Paradoxically, the rapid development in the at-home video market has made cinemas more important for film producers. In a period characterised by dwindling user payments in the Home-video market, the cinemas have been able to increase their prices, well above the general price increase, without any resulting decline in visits. “Thus, cinemas have become an even more important cash cow for Norwegian film producers, who now earn about twothirds of their market revenues from the


REFERENCE: Link to the report: https:// forskning/centre-for-creative-industries/ publications/utredningav-pengestrommene-iverdikjeden-for-norskefilmer-og-serier.pdf

SUMMARY : CAN WE SOLVE THE FILM CONUNDRUM? We pay half as much for rental films as we did in 2010. At the same time, production costs for movies have increased over the same period. Therefore, the revenue from movies shown in cinemas is more important than ever.

The Ministry of Cultural Affairs is concerned with ensuring both future earnings and financing of Norwegian films and television series, and making sure that audiences have good access to Norwegian content. “It then becomes a dilemma that the producers earn the most by limiting access to the films and series that they make,” says the film researcher. A TV channel or streaming service pays more for a series or a film if they can have it exclusively, and can thus use it to differentiate their service from that of their competitors. However, such exclusive licences make it more difficult (and more expensive) for the audience to find and see everything they want to see. In facing this dilemma, the politicians may be forced to prioritise better earnings for Norwegian films and series over availability – or the opposite. ■


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to understand their picture of the network. A network picture is a description or visualisation of which players are important to the company and how relationships with these players correlate. PICTURES OF NETWORKS

Network pictures are both personal (the individual manager’s understanding) and collective (the management group’s or company’s understanding). Network pictures are a new research field and we still know very little about the correlation between network pictures and managers’ decisions. We therefore conducted a study from 2011 to 2014, where we followed a management group in the marketing department of a major Norwegian industrial corporation. We started by asking the participants to make network pictures for their company, and then to use these network pictures to look for opportunities for further development of their most important relationships. Through subsequent group and individual interviews, we uncovered what types of insight the participants gained and which strategic decisions they made. We examined three issues.

Visualise for better decisions Managers who draw pictures of their networks, are able to make better strategic decisions.


ompanies need to develop good relationships with customers, suppliers and other partners in order to create value. Relationships also function as a bridgehead in relation to other players, and the company is thus operating in a network of relationships where it has to navigate as best it can. Important decisions are related to cooperating with and influencing others in the network. One way of understanding how managers make decisions in networks, is

MORTEN HØIE ABRAHAMSEN Associate Professor Department of Marketing


We asked the managers to visualise their network and look for opportunities for further development of existing and new relationships. This resulted in the managers having a better overview and a systematic description of the complexity that a network often represents. Through looking at their surroundings with new eyes, the participants saw new possibilities for value creation. The managers also gained a better collective understanding of the company’s strategic alternatives by discussing and challenging eachothers’ network pictures. 2) HOW DO MANAGERS DESCRIBE AND ­E XPLAIN THEIR NETWORK PICTURES?

LARS HUEMER Professor Department of Strategy and Entrepreneurship

We found that development of network pictures yields increased insight through three distinct phases: • In the first phase, the managers try to understand the company’s closest and most important relationships. The per-


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Frontline sonal contacts and unique organisational factors are e.g. are mapped here. • In the second phase, the managers try to complete their network picture by describing affiliated relationships and expressing a more complex picture. Here, the relationships are described in multiple dimensions and different layers, such as the degree of resources that the companies create and share, and important activities that the companies carry out together. • In the final phase, the network pictures are actively changed and completed through internal dialogue and in meetings with customers and suppliers. 3) HOW DO MANAGERS TURN ­N ETWORK PICTURES INTO STRATEGIC DECISIONS?

How do terrorists affect our trust in eachother?

BENNY GEYS Professor Department of Economics

The new network pictures have resulted in several decisions. The company has, among other things, reorganised its sales department to have a more long-term approach vis-à-vis customers. The company has also created new meeting places where the sellers are in a closer dialogue with more and new contacts at different levels of the customer’s organisation. Closer customer dialogue has led to the development of new products that are better adapted to the customers’ needs. We have also found that the company has cooperated with existing customers to find new customers. Our findings show that the process of visualising network pictures is a good tool for helping managers understand the complexity that affects their business relationships. Increased overview provides a better basis for making prioritisations and decisions. ■

REFERENCE: Abrahamsen, M. H., Henneberg, S. Huemer, L. and Naude, P (2016) “Network picturing: An action research study of strategizing in business networks”, Industrial Marketing Management, vol. 59, pgs. 107 – 119.

Swedes trusted eachother more after the the 2010 terror attack in Stockholm. But the newfound trust did not last long. After two weeks, the level returned to normal, according to a new study.


rust plays a crucial role in all well-functioning societies. If I know how you will behave. I am more prepared to cooperate with you. Much of our society is based on us having a reasonably high level of trust in each other. Trust is an important factor for economic growth, well-functioning institutions and maintenance of the welfare state. But how will the trust in society be affected by constant new terrorism incidents? DOES TERRORISM AFFECT TRUST?

REFERENCE: Geys, B., & Qari, S. (2017): Will you still trust me tomorrow? The causal effect of terrorism on social trust. Public Choice forthcoming.

SUMMARY : VISUALISE FOR BETTER DECISIONS Companies that map their business network can make decisions and make priorities that lead to better business and longer relationships.

In recent years, terrorism has become a more commonplace phenomenon. Terror attacks trigger anxiety in people and increase the fear that terrorism may occur again. Fear can make us less trusting of eachother and anxiety can make us more guarded when we meet other people. But we also see that terrorism brings people together to express their grief, compassion and solidarity. We saw this after the terror attack in New York on 11th September 2001. We also saw it after the attack on Norway on 22nd July 2011 and we saw it after the bombing of the airport in Brussels on 22nd March 2016. Such united fronts after terrorism could possibly contribute to reinforcement or confirmation of existing bonds and relationships. THE BOMB ATTACK IN STOCKHOLM

Professor Benny Geys at BI Norwegian


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Business School, together with Professor Salmai Qari at the Berlin School of Economics and Law, have conducted a study to see whether the bomb attack in Stockholm in 2010 affected the Swedish people’s trust in each other. ARTICLE OF THE TERROR ATTACK STUDY IS NOW PUBLISHED

Two explosive charges were triggered ten minutes apart in a central downtown area on 11th December 2010 in Stockholm. The attack, which was carried out by a suicide bomber, was investigated as a terrorist attack, one of the first to take place in Scandinavia. Geys and Qari gained access to data from the Swedish opinion poll “Society, Opinion, Media”, which asks questions about the concern for terrorism and levels of trust. The researchers compared the degree of trust among Swedes directly before and after the tragic event. The results are now being presented in a research article in the periodical Public Choice. TEMPORARY INCREASE IN TRUST FOR STOCKHOLM CITIZENS

“The study shows that people’s trust in each other increased immediately after the attack,” says Geys. The researchers presume that the effect of people coming together to express solidarity and compassion after the terror attack outweighs the increased fear and anxiety that the terrorism creates. At least in the short term. The increased trust that the Swedes had in each other turned out to be a brief phenomenon. Less than two weeks after the attack, trust returned to the level measured before the terror event. “The findings are still important when we know how vital trust is in society,” says the BI Professor. Geys emphasises that we need to know more about how terrorism affects trust in the longer term and about the effect of such events being more frequent. ■

Share knowledge with the Chinese

JAN TERJE KARLSEN Professor Department of Leadership and Organizational Behaviour


Professor Department of Leadership and Organizational Behaviour

SUMMARY : HOW DO TERRORISTS AFFECT OUR TRUST? A study shows that the effect of people coming together to express solidarity and compassion after a terror attack outweighs the increased fear and anxiety that the terrorism creates in the short term.

If you want to succeed in China, it is better to share knowledge than trying to protect it, according to a study.


hina is an attractive market for companies that want to invest and expand. Many Western companies have established, or want to establish, commercial ties with China. In such commercial relations, the Chinese partners will want to obtain knowledge about Western business practices and technology. This can be challenging for innovative Western companies that see knowledge as their competitive advantage. They will tend to primarily want to protect their knowledge, and prevent the Chinese from copying new products and processes. Share or protect knowledge? Over the past few years, U.S. and European companies have been forced to


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Frontline give up patents in order to gain access to the Chinese market. Companies must decide which knowledge they want to share and what they want to protect when they enter into partnerships with Chinese companies. Through sharing knowledge with their Chinese partner, Western companies will gain easier and faster access to new Chinese customers. At the same time, the company’s long-term existence in the Chinese market may be threatened, as their Chinese partner can copy this knowledge and technology, thus becoming a new competitor. If the Western company chooses to protect its knowledge and communicate as little as possible with its Chinese partner, this could on the other hand lead to a low level of trust and minimal transfer of knowledge from the Chinese, which will complicate the establishment process in the Chinese market. WHAT IS THE BEST STRATEGY?

We have developed a simulation model to determine which type of knowledge sharing is most beneficial in the long term. The model contains different scenarios for knowledge sharing based on experience and data from a company in the maritime industry that has established itself in the Chinese market. When the company chooses to protect knowledge, we see less imitation by the Chinese partner. At the same time, the Western company receives less inspiration in return. Thus, the effect of knowledge sharing has multiple dimensions. When the Western company protects its knowledge, it receives less feedback from the Chinese regarding what the Chinese market really wants in the form of new technology and products. Knowledge protection will therefore also lead to a reduced pace of innovation in the Western company, which will in turn make this company less attractive to Chinese customers or partners in the long term. Wise to share – in the long run Short term, the protection strategy appears to have a positive effect, with better market shares than expected. In the long run, this protection strategy will backfire.

REFERENCES: Van Oorschot, K., Solli-Sæther, H., & Karlsen, J.T.: «The knowledge protection paradox: Imitation and innovation through knowledge sharing in global supply chains». Accepted for publication in International Journal of Technology Management.

Imitation will occur; no matter how much the company tries to protect itself. If the company also loses its innovative power, it is in real trouble. Market shares collapse, and it will be very difficult to reverse such a trend. If the company does not protect knowledge, imitation by the Chinese increases. However, at the same time, there will be a rise in innovation in the Western company. Over time, this results in the best overall development for the Western company. It is better to share knowledge and technology than to hide it – also when dealing with the Chinese. ■

Why don’t women become top executives?

SAMULI KNÜPFER Professor Department of Finance

REFERENCES: Keloharju, Matti, Knüpfer, Samuli and Tåg, Joacim: What Prevents Female Executives from Reaching the Top? (September 1, 2017). IFN Working Paper No. 1111; Harvard Business School Research Paper Series No. 16-092.

SUMMARY : SHARE KNOWLEDGE WITHE THE CHINESE Should you protect your knowledge or share? A new model shows that companies wanting to do long-term business with China should share their knowledge.

Women are generally better qualified to become top executives than men. However, it is less likely that they make it to the top. Children are the reason why, according to a new study.


early half of the employees in the 500 major US companies that are part of Standard & Poor’s 500 index, are women. However, women occupy only about one-fourth of the executive and middle management positions in these companies. Women are few and far between in the upper echelons of these organisations. Only one out of 20 top executives in the 500 major US companies are women. The situation in Norwegian companies is not much better. Only seven out of 100 public limited companies have a female top executive. “What prevents female leaders from reaching the top?” is a question that Samuli Knüpfer wanted to answer. He is a Profes-


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see so few female top executives? “No, they are not, on the contrary actually,” says Knüpfer. The study shows that women largely score better than men for education, experience and career choices that lead to the top. For example, the women more often choose education aimed at a management career and have longer relevant work experience than the men. “If qualifications had led to management positions, women would be dominating the top executive positions and not the other way around,” says the BI Professor. However, it is mostly men that fill the top management positions in businesses. The study shows that a female manager is less than half as likely to become a top executive in a major company than her male colleague. And it is even less likely that she will be among the 10% of managers with the highest earnings. The difference is due to gender, and not differences in education, experience and career choices. CHILDREN ARE TO BLAME

sor at the Department of Finance at the BI Norwegian Business School. 24 000 MANAGERS OVER 20 YEARS

Along with his fellow researchers, Knüpfer has conducted a study among 24 000 managers in public and private companies in Sweden. The researchers have gained access to high-quality and extensive information which makes it possible to follow the careers of all of these managers through more than 20 years; from 1990 to 2011. “In Sweden we have gained access to unique and detailed data on education, experience, career, wages and much more. Like Norway and the other Nordic countries, Sweden is a vanguard nation when it comes to gender equality. This makes Sweden a good country to study,” says Knüpfer. WOMEN ARE BETTER QUALIFIED

Are men better qualified than women to become top executives and is that why we

»At the beginning of their careers, male and female managers have almost equal salaries.«

At the beginning of their careers, male and female managers have almost equal salaries. In their mid-20s, the salaries of male managers increase faster than womens’ salaries. The wage differences increase around age 30 and persist after this. And it is the children that are to blame, according to Knüpfer. The wage differences between men and women occur after female managers have their first child. Women who have children experience poorer career development in the first five years after giving birth, compared with both male colleagues and female managers that do not have children. During this period, they work fewer hours on average than their male colleagues and are more frequently away from work. “It is worth noting that the wage differences that occur in connection with childbirth have a permanent effect. The women continue earning less than their male colleagues,” says Samuli Knüpfer. ■

SUMMARY : WHY DON’T WOMEN BECOME TOP EXECUTIVES? At the beginning of the career, men and women keep pace. But after women have given birth to children, they do not have the same career as men shows a study done with 24,000 managers in Sweden.


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Toxic collaboration ruins good projects There are four destructive ways to cooperate. Luckily, there is a cure.


he building and construction industry must address and solve increasingly complex problems. By combining different expertise and backgrounds, it is possible to make two plus two become way more than four. In order to achieve this, various stakeholders along the value chain have no choice but to come together, establish shared goals and work together to define the problems and find solutions. As a result, interaction, or cooperation, has become the most repeated mantra in the building and construction industry. The research is in line with common sense. Cooperation, interdisciplinary leadership and good communication can contribute to increased values when demanding projects are to be completed, concludes Sebastiano Lombardo, Adjunct Associate Professor at BI Norwegian Business School. Together with colleagues from the Univeristy of Cagliary (Italy), Lombardo has completed a study of around 40 projects within the construction and industrial production industry, in order to identify the causes for failed collaborations (or “value co-destruction practices” as researchers call them). “The results of interaction-based projects depend mostly on how the parties handle the resources they bring into the collaboration,” Lombardo argues. Lombardo’s research has identified four signs of toxic collaboration: 1. Denying access to resources is the most common destructive practice encountered by the researchers. Typical findings include partners who withhold information concerning budget, costs or risks. They do not provide each other with already proposed solutions. They keep relevant business relationships hidden, obstruct advisors from providing their insights and avoid acknowledging the good reputation of others. 2. Misuse of resources is a result when an unnecessary amount of time is spent participating in poorly planned and executed

SEBASTIANO LOMBARDO Adjunct Associate Professor Department of Strategy and Entrepreneurship

REFERENCES: Lombardo S. and Cabiddu F.: What’s in it for me? Capital, value and co-creation practices. Industrial Marketing Management, 61, (2017). Frau M., Lombardo S. and Cabiddu F.: Value Co-destruction: a practice-based approach. Submitted to the Journal of Service Research for evaluation.

meetings. Information is misused to delay or boycott decision processes. Researchers found examples of unnecessary use of specialist expertise, an unwillingness to follow advice from specialists when it is required of them, misuse of collaborator’s budgets and resources, as well as a misuse of trustbased relationships. 3. Insufficient resource integration occurs with poor planning of how the resources should be used. Decision-makers are included too late in the solution development phase. Suppliers who deliver products for the final solution are not permitted to contribute to the development of solutions and specialists are not included in due time, because their field of expertise is erroneously considered as being of less importance. 4. Incorrect use of resources occurs when collaborators either include decision-makers too early or too late. They allocate too little or too much budget funds. They recruit co-workers who refuse to cooperate with each other. Finally, they connect non-complementary competency profiles together. But ther is a cure and Lombardo highlights four indicators of successful interaction-based projects: 1. There has to be a genuine desire to create values together among all parties. 2. Pitfalls should be recognised early, so that people can be conscious of them and their own practice. 3. Dissolving destructive practices demands endurance. Destructive practice must be courageously acknowledged whenever it arises, and actively used as a springboard for learning. 4. Common courtesy is not sufficient when it comes to avoiding destructive practices and co-creation of value. The most proficient ones use a great deal of energy on this. “Interaction is more important than ever,” the BI researcher emphasises. According to him, more knowledge about the causes of toxic collaboration could help collaboration partners to recognise when they risk to co-destroy value and take action to change their practice before it is too late. That dramatically increases the chance of successful collaborations. ■

SUMMARY : TOXIC COLLABORATION RUINS PROJECTS The building and construction industry demands knowledge and experience from different specialists, organisations and stakeholders. To not ruin good projects they have to interact and cooperate.


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»You must have a strong and clear purpose. The journey is fraught with ups and downs and knowing why you are doing what you are doing is critical.«

DARSHANA RAJARAM Co-Founder Papagoya Kindergarten in Bangalore

Meet Elisabeth, Silje, Atul, Darshana and Cherry. Five alumni making an impact worldwide. Words by M I K A E L A H I N C K S

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PASSIONATE PRINCIPAL Elizabeth Dullum graduated as a teacher in the early 1990s. Today she is the principal of Apalløkka School in Oslo. You work as a principal of a secondary school. When did you embark on your choosen career? – I trained as a teacher in the early 1990’s and have been in the education system ever since, progressing through various positions. You have been known for turning Apaløkka around. What is the secret behind this success? – I’m surrounded by a good team and having worked as a teacher, I know what makes a good principal. I think my success is based on creating enthusiasm, motivation and learning. The student’s learning should always be in focus. What is the biggest challenge in teaching today? – Everything we do is about increasing pupils’ knowledge, both academically and socially. We have to work closely with our pupils, and we have to be able to motivate our staff. One of the biggest challenges is ensuring that we offer ➢ AGE: 46 quality in all aspects. If changes are neces➢ LIVES: Oslo sary, we have to make them. My motto is ➢ COMPANY: Apalløkka Skole that you have to have a keen eye and a ➢ TITLE: Principal warm heart. ➢ PROGRAMME AT BI: What do you think needs to be Executive Master of Manageimproved within the Norwegian ment with specialisation in education system? School Management, 2015 – I would say that a lot of positive ➢ ENJOYS OUTSIDE OF changes have been made. The Norwegian WORK: Running, skiing, hiking, school system focuses on critical thinking, reading and spending time with cooperating, creativity and communicamy family tion. Will we achieve this? I hope so. One ➢ FAVOURITE PART OF OSLO: The view from Grefsenkollen problem we face is addressing the issue of pupils leaving school with insufficient knowledge. Our curriculums have changed to increase students’ motivation. We have a big responsibility here – our students must feel that they have support at school. Why did you choose this management programme at BI? – BI offered the specialisation I was after, and I knew they are renowned for their leadership and organisation courses. They also cooperate with the Department of Education in Oslo. What is your relationship with BI today? – I still see people from there. Two of my employees have studied at BI and brought back information on new research. I’m involved in BI Alumni and I hope to continue to do so.


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Elisabeth’s role models are her parents who taught her to work ethically. Another role model is Pippi Longstocking.

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Working for a startup, wearing many hats and juggling all kinds of developing projects suits Atul well.

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NEW THINKING BRAND BUILDER Atul Midha, Chief Commercial Officer at the startup Perfitly, believes that his Scandinavian approach has benefitted his career. You started out at Saks Fifth Avenue, and then had an impressive career at Giorgio Armani becoming their CEO in India. What made it happen? – I always wanted an unconventional career path. I had a need to be different, which hopefully meant more marketable. I am really grateful for all the unique opportunities I have experienced, including having worked on three different continents, leading to where I am today. A global mindset is important when working with brands that have consumers all over the world. Who has been the most important person in your career? – Needless to say, I have been fortunate and honoured to have worked with one of the greatest designers of the last century, Mr. Giorgio Armani. He is a true genius. It has definitely shaped who I have become, both personally and professionally. Today you are CCO at Perfitly, a startup ➢ AGE: 41 that wants to add an extra dimension LIVES IN: New York City to online shopping. How did it all COMPANY: Perfitly start? JOB TITLE: Chief Commercial – One of our founders reacted when a Officer family member bought 10 pairs of shoes, ➢ PROGRAMME AT BI: Master of only to return 9 of them. After some Business and Economics/ Siviløkonom, 1999 research, we found that this was a massive ➢ ENJOYS OUT OF OFFICE: problem with online shopping. We created Travel. Give med a nice beach an online AR/VR platform to solve this. anywhere. And sports, I love How would you describe yourself as a basketball. leader? ➢ FAVORITE RESTAURANT IN – The Scandinavian approach has NYC: Right now, Peter Luger in worked for me. Be humble, be transparent, Brooklyn. But it’s NY, it changes be supportive, be a team player. Is there frequently any other way in 2018? What advice would you give to someone who dreams about a career in the fashion industry? – I understood the value of networking late in my career. I cannot stress how important this has become today. A good network will help you progress and grow. What personal qualities have helped you in your business life? – Being positive, solution-oriented, managing time – all the things that BI taught us. In what ways has your degree been important for your career? – BI was a great experience. It turned me into a professional. I started my first job at Saks Fifth Avenue, two months after graduating. I definitely think that BI got me ready for the real world.



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PROMOTING FUTURE STARS Silje Sjulstad worked with fashion. One day she decided that music was more interesting and applied for an internship. What excites you about being an International Label Manager? – The opportunity to work with many different things at the same time. Being a label manager involves marketing, PR, budgeting and decision making. I get to hear amazing music, meet people from all over the world and travel. How would you describe your job? – I’m responsible for various labels under the Universal Music umbrella in Norway. My job is basically to get artists noticed, to get their music streamed and to build their brand over time. Tasks include day to day updates with LA and the UK, long term marketing strategies, promotional strategies, generating attention for releases as well as spotting promising talents. What is your best advice to someone who wants a career in the music industry? – Start early, volunteer and make contacts. I would recommend everyone to get an internship, it’s worth the hard work in the end! Can you reveal any major trends in the music industry? – I think we will see more urban music in the charts. And that female artists will ➢ AGE: 28 lead a new direction in R&B. ➢ LIVES: In Oslo Spotify gave the music industry a ➢ COMPANY: Universal Music boost. What are the future ➢ JOB TITLE: International challenges? Label Manager – I can’t speak for the entire industry. ➢ PROGRAMME AT BI: However, I think that for the Nordic Bachelor of Creative Industries countries, it will be more difficult to beManagement, 2013 come a new artists now when the rest of ➢ ENJOYS OUTSIDE OF WORK: Travel, friends, family the world has caught up with streaming. ➢ FAVORITE PART OF OSLO: I think we will have to compete increasSt. Hanshaugen neighborhood ingly with computer-made playlists such as Discover Weekly. We will also see more Machine Learning than before. Why did you choose to study creative industries at BI? – I wanted to see how things worked behind the scenes. I’ve always been interested in culture, and I wondered how it all came together. Who pulls the strings to get a bestseller, both in literature and music? How does the money flow? I studied literature before I came to BI, but I wanted more knowledge of management and finance. So Creative Industries Management at BI suited me perfectly. In what way do your colleagues notice that you have studied at BI? – Probably when planning new releases, finding marketing strategies and setting budgets.

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Silje believes efficiency and flexibility are two vital skills in her job.

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KINDERGARTEN FOUNDER Darshana Rajaram had a good career at DHL. But she quit and started Papagoya, and a new career as an entrepreneur. Why did you decide to found a Scandinavian kindergarten in Bangalore? – The story goes back almost 15 years. I observed how Norwegian couples were able to maintain a work-life balance even after they entered parenthood. I realised that for career driven Indian parents, particularly mothers, this would be a valuable service. What finally made you quit a secure job?? – To find a business opportunity that I felt so passionately about. I have the opportunity to transform the lives of millions. We’ve been called brave and crazy, but also visionary and inspiring. A friend once told me, “In India, an entrepreneur’s life is being everything from chairwoman to doorman”. I have played all those roles. And the biggest lesson from working with children? –That life can be uncomplicated. What qualities do you need to be an entrepreneur? ➢ AGE: 37 – Rapid decision-making and problem ➢ LIVES: Bangalore, India solving, managing and implementing change, ➢ COMPANY: Papagoya leadership skills, financial planning, strategic ➢ JOB TITLE: Co-Founder thinking. The list could go on, and essentially ➢ PROGRAMME AT BI: covers everything I learned at BI. I use my Executive MBA in Energy skills from BI to turn Papagoya into a resilient Management, 2012 movement. From an implementation stand➢ ENJOYS OUTSIDE OF point I see three key areas: human capital deWORK:  Scuba diving, velopment, service consistency and creativity. intrepid travel and yoga You started your career at DHL. What have ➢ BEST ABOUT MY you brought from there? HOME TOWN:  My family – The importance of documentation. But most of all, I believe that DHL taught me to look at the bigger picture. It is so easy to get bogged down by the daily realities of entrepreneurship in India. What advice do you give to someone who wants to start their own business? – You must have a strong reason and a clear purpose. The journey is fraught with ups and downs and knowing why you are doing what you are doing is critical. Are you in touch with BI today? – I’ve visited BI every year since I graduated. An EMBA classmate, a BI employee and dear friend of mine has been instrumental in encouraging the whole Kindergarten in India. I really value the BI Alumni network. We are one big global family.


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Darshana believes in saying yes more than no, so every child is encouraged to explore, and stay curious.

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Cherry Yan wanted to develop her management skills. She chose the BI-Fudan MBA programme because of its good reputation.

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COMBINING CULTURES Cherry Yan started her career in retail 15 years ago, working with mail order. Today she leads furniture company Flokk in China. You are Vice President of Flock in China, a Scandinavian company. What would you say is the biggest difference between Scandinavian and Chinese company culture? – Flokk is less hierarchical, with mutual respect between colleagues. The tradition in Chinese culture is to respect the elder or senior, it is impossible to say no to a supervisor. In Scandinavian cultures, everyone has the right to speak out. And how would you describe yourself as a leader? – I see myself as a democratic leader. I encourage my team members to be involved in the decision-making process. This way, we can learn from each other and find brilliant solutions. As a colleauge I am trustworthy and enjoy being around my colleagues. What is the biggest challenge in representing a foreign company in China? – Finding a path to acknowledge different cultures, respect them, and let them co-exist. ➢ AGE: 40 You have been in the retail industry for LIVES IN: Shanghai, China many years. How has retail developed? COMPANY: Flokk – It is a dynamic market, and we have to JOB TITLE: VP China keep up with industry trends. For instance, 15 ➢ PROGRAMME AT BI: years ago I worked for a mail order company. BI-Fudan MBA It was a huge success at that time, but now programme, 2009 it seems strange to place an order over the ➢ ENJOYS OUT OF phone. Online shopping has developed ­O FFICE: Family time, tremendously and has changed Chinese reading and travelling customers’ shopping habits. ➢ FAVORITE SPOT IN SHANGHAI: Former What personal skills are vital in your French Concession area position as Vice President? – Efficient communication, so that staff feel motivated and so that the head office in Oslo knows what’s going on 10,000 kilometres away in China. Any milestones in your career? – Studying at BI and Fudan was a big milestone in my career. I believe the experiences I got from the BI-Fudan MBA programme have been a huge advantage when working with Scandinavian companies. Another milestone is when I joined Flokk, first as Retail manager and later as Vice President China. How do you incorporate your MBA skills in your present career? – I use the methodology and theories we were taught. Both directly and indirectly. They have become a big part of the tool box that I draw from every day, at work, but also in other aspects of life.



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Dag Morten Dalen

Åse Gornitzka

Partner meet-up At Partnerforum, BI, the University of Oslo and Norwegian governmental agencies have met for 25 years to share insights and ideas for the public sector.


Partnerforum gives a broader foundation for creating new policies.


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PARTNERS Agency for Public Management of eGovernment (DIFI) BI Norwegian Business School Ministry of Children and Equality Ministry of Climate and ­Environment Ministry of Culture Ministry of Education and ­Research Ministry of Finance Ministry of Foreign Affairs Ministry of Health and Care Services Ministry of Justice and Public Security Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs Ministry of Local Government and Modernisation Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries Norwegian Directorate for Children, Youth and Family Affairs Office of the Auditor General Oslo University Hospital The Norwegian Government Agency for Financial Management (DFØ) The Norwegian Labour and ­Welfare Administration (NAV) The Norwegian Public Roads ­Administration The Norwegian State Educational Loan Fund The Research Council of Norway University Of Oslo

Over the past 25 years, researchers, professors and bureaucrats have met to share knowledge and insights on current affairs through Partnerforum, a joint cooperation between BI Norwegian Business School, the University of Oslo and Norwegian governmental agencies. Through more than 20 seminars annually, the forum has become a popular arena for new insight amongst its members. Still, one of Partnerforum’s main purposes remains to pave the way for and improve interaction between academia and public administration. Activities cover a broad range of sectors where representatives from amongst the ministry of finance, justice, or health can come together with researchers to discuss key topics. “Partnerforum has succeeded in bringing together two of the most prominent academic institutions in Norway to have a rich set of activities that acts as a meeting place between governmental agencies and academia,” says Dag Morten Dalen, Provost and Professor at BI Norwegian Business School and member of Partnerforum’s steering group. Together with Professor Åse Gornitzka, who holds the same position as Dalen at the University of Oslo (UIO) and three top executives from the governmental partners, he gives advice to the Partnerforum Secretariat on activities and priorities. Huge synergy effects The importance of Partnerforum’s activities was recognised in a white paper from 2008, where the Norwegian Parliament acknowledged the Forum for its knowledge sharing efforts between academia and governmental partners, a solid motivation boost for its members. Equally important, the cooperation has committed BI and UIO to share information of ongoing or recently finished research. Many of Partnerforum’s seminars are directly linked to policy proposals like last year’s conference concerning the Norwegian government’s white paper on long term perspectives on the Norwegian economy. “There are huge synergy effects from this. Through these meeting points, research from BI and UIO is disseminated to those centrally placed in public agencies, in order to give these partners a broader foundation for creating new policies,“ Dalen says. According to Gornitzka, Partnerforum and the idea it em-


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»The meeting place is useful for researchers as well as for practitioners. Why? Because we encounter and grapple with the same questions and challenges.«

bodies ‘ticks off all the right boxes’ when it comes to the UIO’s engagement with society, as it couples knowledge at the research frontier with the world of practice. – It is the locus where researchers interact with public administration and work life. Through critical and vibrant discussions, we reach new insights even at the early hours of the breakfast seminars! she says eagerly and continues: – The meeting place is useful for researchers as well as for practitioners. Why? Because we encounter and grapple with the same questions and challenges. She believes this is one of the main reasons behind Partnerforum’s success over the years and what makes the forum dynamic. – Researchers and bureaucrats may not always phrase the questions in the same way or have identical perspectives on these issues. The history of Partnerforum demonstrates how such interactions are mutually beneficial. The alleged great divide between research and practice is, as least in the case of Partnerforum, overstated, she says. 12 seminars during 25-year jubilee Going forward, both provosts believes that Partnerforum is a format for the future if it stays true to its core mission and approach. Instead of setting a specific member growth target for the coming years, the forum will focus on ensuring and strengthen the quality of ongoing activities. Some themes for upcoming events this spring range from how to improve the cooperation between public and private sector to better deal with grand challenges, to questions addressing whether the liberal world order is on the verge of collapsing. -Efficiency and public sector management are recurring themes because it is directly linked to much of our research, Dalen says. In total, Partnerforum expects to host 12 seminars open to the partners in 2018, included a special 25-year jubilee event not yet planned in details. – The partners of Partnerforum have managed to identify key topics that engage its members precisely because this is all about exchange of ideas and insights, Gornitzka adds. The forum is funded by a yearly fee from each partner that gives all employees free access to all events. ■

THEMES Climate & Environment Communication Democracy Diversity & Equality Economy Efficiency Ethics Freedom of expression Human Resources ICT Innovation International issues Law Management Public Governance Research & Development Security Services Transport Welfare & Health


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Business Profiles


years ago or so, Dag Kittlaus – the son of a Norwegian mother, Liv, and a Chicagoan father – was serving beer at Lekter’n, the famously expensive outdoor pub and restaurant at Aker Brygge in Oslo, trying to figure out what he was going to do with his life. He was living with his aunt and uncle in Norway. The young man had taken a year off from college, and was mulling over whether he should pursue a career in hotel management or not. When he went back to the States, he decided not to. He applied for business school instead. BI, to be precise, in the country he had come to love. “It was the hardest academic year I’ve ever had,“ he says. “But it was great.” He stayed on for several years, working for Telenor and eventually becoming the first head

WHAT’S HE BUILDING NOW? The creator of Apple’s personal ­assistant, Siri, is at it again. BI alumnus and entrepreneur Dag Kittlaus expects his new ­platform-neutral AI assistant Viv, which launches later this year, to be on a billion devices within the next few years. WORDS BY MORTEN STÅLE NILSEN PHOTOGR APHS BY THOMAS ENGSTRÖM


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Dag has had a long career in the telecom industry, including companies such as Telenor and Motorola.


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Business Profiles

Dag created Siri together with Adam Cheyer and Tom Gruber.

»Considering the lead we had when we launched it, they should be way ahead.«


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of the now defunct subsidiary company Djuice. The real story starts later, in 2007, when Kittlaus and two colleagues, Adam Cheyer and Tom Gruber, had a brilliant idea. “Interestingly, a lot of the inspiration for Siri came from the frustrations of trying to build good mobile services with all the limitations I had back when I was working at Telenor and Motorola,” he says. “It turned out that Stanford, where I worked as an entrepreneur in residence, had some technology that they didn’t know what to do with. It was related to artificial intelligence and the ability to talk to machines and have them understand you. I put two and two together and said: wouldn’t it be great if you could just talk to your phone instead of all the typing and tapping on those small screens. You could use the phone as a kind of remote control for your life.” Kittlaus, Cheyer and Gruber sold Siri to Apple for a reported $200 million in 2010. Kittlaus left Apple the following year, and he’s not altogether happy about what has happened – or rather, not happened – to his ‘killer app’ since then. “I’m not happy with where it is today. Considering the lead we had when we launched it, they should be way ahead by now. They’ve done some things right. It’s faster, the speech recognition is better … But overall I’m a little disappointed that they haven’t maintained their lead.” After leaving Apple, Kittlaus planned on lay-

ing low and finishing a novel. It was not to be. “My retirement lasted about, oh, two months. You just get new ideas, you know? Any real entrepreneur can’t sit still for very long.” THE DIFFERENCE IS THE OPENNESS. “My colleagues and I decided that Siri was really only chapter one of a bigger, longer story. We asked ourselves what would it take to make the assistant as important as the browser was to the Internet and apps were to the mobile phone. Our conclusion was that we needed to open it up to other developers, almost like Wikipedia. Let it have thousands and thousands of capabilities, instead of a few dozen. That was what Viv was built to do.” The main difference between Siri and Viv is the openness to third-party developers. “Viv allows developers, individuals, services, companies or anyone else to build any kind of AI technology they want, and then insert it into a giant, global brain in the sky. You don’t need to be an AI expert to do this – it’s built so that any developer that knows how to use basic technologies, stuff you would use to make a website, now have the ability to build very powerful artificial intelligence applications. Using Viv is almost like talking directly to the Internet, and you can use any device you like. That’s the world we see coming, and that’s what we’re building.”

After leaving ­Apple Dag planned finishing a novel. After two month he started a new company.


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Business Profiles

Samsung bought Viv Labs for a reported $215 million last year. But Viv isn’t the only kid on this particular block. “Google, Amazon – they’re all trying to do the same thing. Companies are putting billions of dollars into it. Everyone seems to agree on where we’re headed. Now it’s a race to build ecosystems that work.” What, from a technological viewpoint, has been the biggest hurdles? “Scaling it up and having it work seamlessly with all kinds of providers and services – that’s been the biggest challenge. I think a lot of other developers have issues, simply because they haven’t put enough time and effort into it yet. But at Viv we’ve been working on this challenge for over five years now. We’ve got a head start. We expect Viv to be on over a billion devices in a few years time.” REIMAGINING THE INTERNET Does Kittlaus ponder the ethical responsibilities and philosophical implications of unleashing a revolutionary AI technology like Viv? “Yes. But I don’t look at Viv as some kind of future threat. It’s a network, sort of like a new Internet, consisting of services that already exist. It’s a reimagining of the Internet. Artificial intelligence and conversational interfaces will simply make the Internet more easy to use. I don’t perceive Viv as becoming so smart that it’ll threaten mankind [laughs]. But I’m sure that, at some point down the road, questions like that will become a real concern for other AI innovations.” Kittlaus remains an optimist. “It’s absolutely clear that technology has been the driver that in improving the standard of living all over the world during the last several decades. Any measure of progress will tell you that. Reduction of poverty, improvements in healthcare, increased life span – every one of those indexes are at an all-time high right now. The world is a better place to live now than it ever has been in the history of man, and it’s primarily because of technology. I do recognise the perils and dangers of a few of the more advanced things that are happening in AI. Things

are moving very rapidly. But I’m definitely a technology optimist.” ‘MELKESJOKOLADE’ FOR EVERYONE Asked about what his beloved Norway could do to foster technological innovation, Kittlaus gets excited to the point of light agitation: “I think Norway has a unique opportunity to make a real dent in the future of the world. Norway basically won the lottery. Now how are you going to put those winnings to good use?” He held a speech for Norwegian business and government leaders a few years back. It was called If I Was the King. “The first thing I’d do would be to send everyone in the world a bar of Freia milk chocolate. And yes, I did the math – you can afford it,” he laughs. But the gist of his message to Norway, was this: “You guys are sitting on so many resources and are doing so little with it. You could help create the future! You could take a quarter of your yearly earnings and make the big bets that no one else can afford to make. I’m talking about things like materials science and nanotechnology. Norway could cure cancer! You could create the greatest long-term technology centers in the world, and at the same time build Norway’s next economy. And it wouldn’t affect the Norwegian culture of setting off for the cabin at four o’clock on Friday either. Nobody has to sacrifice anything!” Kittlaus promises he’ll be back in Norway to talk some more in the near future. The entrepreneur survived a brush with death in 2016 – a tumor on his pancreas, the same type of cancer that killed Steve Jobs – and is eager to spend his time on this earth wisely. “I should be dead, basically. My chance of survival was about 1.5%. But it looks like I dodged a bullet. I’m in great health now, stronger than I’ve ever been in my life. I get screened every four months. It looks really good.” When is your book published? “Well, it’s delayed – I got busy with starting another company! It’s still on my to-do list. I actively make notes. It’s sort of a ‘Siri gone wild’ story. I’ve mentioned it in a few articles and I’ve already gotten two movie offers.” ■

»Things are moving very rapidly. But I’m definitely a technology optimist.« 48 ADVANTAGE

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In 2016, Dag was diagnosed with cancer on his pancreas. The same type of cancer that killed Steve Jobs. Luckily, the tumor was detected in time.

DAG KITTLUAS ➢ AGE: 50 ➢ LIVES: Chicago ➢ TITLE: Vice President at Samsung and Cofounder of Viv and Siri. ➢ PROGRAM BI: MBA in Strategy and Marketing 1994


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Technology is changing the rules of value creation Professor Øystein D. Fjeldstad is trying to understand what is happening. And he’s excited about what he’s seeing.


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Already in 1988 Øystein D. Fjeldstad became Associate Professor at BI.

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ystein D. Fjeldstad, professor at the Department for Strategy and Entrepreneurship at BI, has been thinking about the future for a long time. Lately, the world of business has caught up with him. “The speed at which technology is making us re-think the way we do things, is staggering,” he says. “Consider that the Internet, the way we know it, didn’t arrive until the late 1980s – or rather in the mid-90s for most people. Google and Facebook came along in the first half of the 2000s. The iPhone landed in 2007. 10 years later, the smartphone is the major element in an incredible amount of interactions and transactions – social and commercial. This is only the beginning.” Our thinking about how to organise human endeavors is changing fast, Fjeldstad believes. Traditional managers may become redundant as the hierarchy gives way to collaborative models of working and interacting. Humans and digital agents will work alongside each other, learning from each other as they go along. When did you start to think seriously about a paradigm shift in

organisational design? “I met with professor Charles Snow at a strategy conference in San Diego. We started to talk about the kinds of activities that facilitate networks: the value network model. He told me that he was involved with a collaborative community, initiated by several large technology companies, like IBM and Intel. It was called Now this was obviously an organisation of some sort. But it was clearly different from what we usually think about when we use the term «organisation». It was organised for sure, but it didn’t fit with the ideas we had about what a designed organization looked like. When Charles B. Stabell and myself wrote a paper on different models for value creation in 1998, one of the models we pinpointed were companies that facilitated their customers’ networks. I had been working extensively with the idea of facilitation networks as a model, but not as a means of organising.” And then came the Internet? “After 2000, we saw an explosion of companies that fit this category. Organisations that were designed with a component that facilitated cooperation and interaction between members. Like, which by this point was made up of over 300 companies. We started to think that the broader phenomenon here was the revitalisation of the field of organizational design itself. Things had basically stood still for 30 years. We had moved beyond the simple hierarchical structures and gotten to the matrix structure, wherein different resources are applied across multiple organisational dimensions, such as product areas or countries. But after that, not

much had happened with respect to the organising principles.” But now something was happening. “My colleagues and I started a discussion based on what we learned from the project. We wanted to find potential generalisations: Are there any design principles here that are recognisable? This is where my early academic background came in. My doctorate is in information systems. I was well versed in the object-oriented programming paradigm, which was developed at The University of Oslo by Ole-Johan Dahl and Kristen Nygaard in the latter half of the 1960s. I’d been programming extensively in Smalltalk and C++, and it hit me that what we were seeing was describable according to that architectural paradigm.“ Can you elaborate? “When I started programming, as a systems developer for Arthur Andersen & Co., now Accenture, the system architectures were almost all hierarchical. Then there came a shift. Today, almost all programming is object-oriented. I had a moment of realisation: maybe what we’re seeing now, in organisational design, are these principles – applied to the organisation of people. There was another realisation as well: These object-oriented principles have a lot in common with the principles behind the architecture of the Internet. With the Internet, and all the networking services built upon it, we get organisational designs that not only use the Internet, but also borrow its principles. With this in mind we started working on our paper about

»These object oriented principles have a lot in common with the principles behind the architecture of the Internet.«


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When Øystein attended primary school, he had his own keys to the library.

architectural collaboration, which was published in 2012.” What are the weaknesses of hierarchical organization? “General Carl von Clausewitz probably said it best: ‘the challenges of warfare is the fog of battle and the friction of command’. The disadvantage is that problems must rise up to the top in order to be dealt with. There’s a lot of fog on the way up, and a lot of friction on the way down. That’s one of the weaknesses. Another is that short cycles of sensing and act-

ing become difficult. The hierarchy is great at tackling extensive complexity. But when it comes to agility, it leaves a lot to be desired.” Change becomes cumbersome? “Yes. That’s another major reason why the object-oriented paradigm won out in digital systems. If you want to change the design in systems organised by hierarchical relations, you must explicitly reorganise it. In other words: If the world outside keeps changing fast, you won’t have time for anything but constant reor-

ganising. The hierarchy lacks built-in adjustment mechanisms.” Where can we observe the paradigm shift in action today? “In businesses like Google, where a lot of projects are initiated on the ‘ground floor’, so to speak, and where employees can choose whether they’d like to spend their time on a project. Also in large global technology companies like Accenture, where there’s a premium placed on being able to effectively mobilise resources for new projects. An area where these ideas have been formally put into practice


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»I worked with people who transformed a goverment bureaucracy into one of the world’s largets global mobile operators.«

is modern defense, in what we call network-centric operations. That has happened during the last 18 years, a time of great turbulence. Modern military operations require agility. There is a need to sense, interpret, and act upon situations, quickly.” Can we deduce from this that future organizations and workplaces will be more meritocratic? “Well, yes. Authority and influence will, to a greater extent, be based on actual merit and actual competence. They will to a lesser extent be pre-defined by someone who has been put in a position to lead the structure.” Sounds kind of like Wikipedia. “Yes. Wikipedia is a good example of this kind of architecture.” Are you excited about these changes? “Absolutely. What we as researchers try to do, is not to design what is going to happen, but to understand what is happening. But if what we do has practical consequences – if someone picks up on it, or if a tendency we have described gathers force – that’s a great perk, I think. Hierarchy will not disappear entirely. Providing people with the necessary authority to allocate and use resources may still require formal hierarchical relationships. I expect that hierarchy will be used primarily for control rather than coordination.” Tell us a little about yourself. “I lived the first 10 years of my life at a primary school at Nesbru in Asker, where my father was the custodian. I did well in school, but I don’t know if I was especially ‘nerdy’.

I had my own key to the library, but I also played ice hockey. I was severely bored during the first two years of my education at the Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration. I considered quitting to try to get an education in engineering instead. Then I took some courses in data processing, which was the nearest to engineering that someone who studied business and economics could get. That was fun. I like creating things. It led to my first job as a programmer and systems developer at Arthur Andersen & Co., in the management information consulting division. That was 1981. I was given a leave of absence to do my Master of Science in management information systems and my PhD in business administration at the University of Arizona. Following that, I returned to Arthur Andersen, which by that time had become Anderson Consulting. I arrived at BI in 1988.” To do what? “Information technology was a hot topic when I got here. While at the University of Arizona I was part of a team that had developed the world’s first commercial, large-scale collaborative software system. We were working with IBM, AT&T and the US Army. This was a system with which we could organise digital brainstorming, stakeholder analysis and a host of other strategic processes with large numbers of participants. When I came to BI in 1988, I brought the software with me as the first installation outside the US. I also taught decision support and a course in object-oriented design and programming. BI eventually decided that this was outside the sphere of topics appropriate

for a business school, and I had to find something else to do! So, I accidentally ended up in the field of strategy. I guess it’s no big surprise that my prior experience led me to working on value creation, in many ways an engineering approach to strategy.“ And then you become involved with Telenor? “Yes. In 1992, shortly after arriving at BI, I was fortunate to become involved in the reorganisation of Televerket into Telenor. I held the Telenor Professorship of International Strategy and Management from 2001-2017. This relationship was very important to my research. It provided resources for the research and it gave me the chance to observe a rapidly developing network business up close. I also got to work with a lot of very talented people, who transformed a domestic government bureaucracy into one of the world’s largest global mobile operators. What they did was a major accomplishment.” You’re interested in artificial intelligence? “My thesis at the University of Arizona had the title ‘On the reapportionment on cognitive responsibilities in information systems’. I couldn’t just go out and buy the technology, I had to build my own inference engine in order to programme it. I built a frame and rule-based system to handle the interaction between man and machine. It was, in some respects, a digital agent.” Quite a lot has happened since then. “The ability to process data, to predict and to recognise patterns


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has increased enormously. Large amounts of data are now available to semi-autonomous digital agents that become actors in these new organisations, alongside humans. What we call ‘cobots’: collaborative robots. The concept of digital shared situational awareness is key here. It’s easier to share awareness of a situation with a robot, than to instruct the robot, starting from scratch. A digital shared awareness is also key to large-scale human selforganisation.” Developments in AI seem to be happening pretty fast. “Yes, because computers can be used to improve their own performance. ‘Bootstrapping’ is one of the oldest principles in computer science: You get to one level, and then you use what you have to build new, higher levels. Each time you do this, the pace of change will increase. A benefit of network-based organisational models is that when you mobilise more knowledge, from a broader range of sources, the knowledge development and accumulation accelerates.” Man imitates machine? “We are now being inspired by the machines that we created, and getting ready to collaborate with them using their principles, so to speak.” Finally: We usually ask professors how they feel about their research/teaching ratio. “I love teaching. At the end of the day, teaching is the reason I do what I do. There’s nothing that excites me more than the feeling that someone in class gets what I’m talking about, that I’m able to convey knowledge that the students find meaningful and inspire them in some way. I’m excited when they do a good paper. I’m even more excited when they get good jobs and do well in their careers. On the other hand: If I didn’t do research – if I didn’t immerse myself in the stream of new knowledge right at the heart of the subject – why should the students listen to me?” ■

At the University of Arizona, Øystein built a system that handled the inter­ action between man and machine.

MORE ABOUT ØYSTEIN FJELDSTAD ➢ LIVES: Oslo ➢ WORKS AS: Professor at the Department of Strategy and Entrepreneurship ➢ ACADEMIC DEGREE: 1987, P.h.D University of Arizona, USA ➢ WORK EXPERIENCE: 2007-PRESENT: Chair Professor, BI Norwegian Business School 2005-2006 Executive Director, BI Norwegian Business School 2005-2005 Professor, BI Norwegian Business School

1988-2004 Associate

Professor, BI Norwegian Business School ➢ AUTHOR: Strategi, Øysten Fjeldstad and Randi Lunnan, Fagbokforlaget, 2014 ➢ RESEARCH REPORTS: Competition with local network externalities, Centre for Economic Policy Research, 2010 Shaping Up Shipping: business models from an old industry with implications for modern globalization, BI Norwegian Business School, 2008

Verdiskaping og internasjonal konkurransedyktighet i norsk IKT-sektor, BI Norwegian Business School, 2000 Value Creation and Strategic Positioning in Petroleum Exploration: Assessing the Revelance of the Value Shop Model, BI Norwegian Business School, 1998 The Strategic Link Between Competition and Competences, BI Norwegian Business School, 1998


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WORLD REPORT News from the world of BI Alumni

Guest speaker Håkon Bruaset Kjøl holds an EMBA from BI.

Telecom Industry in Asia

Popular telecom reception in Singapore.

Tor Haugnes, one of BI’s most popular lecturers, held a guest lecture on entrepreneurship and business. .

Håkon Bruaset Kjøl, Senior Vice President at Telenor Group, shared his experiences from 17 years in the Asian telecom sector, including countries such as Thailand, Myanmar and Pakistan, at the annual BI Norwegian Business School reception in Singapore, in November. Alumni, BI’s EMBA and BI-Fudan MBA students attending a module at Nanyang University, BI students on exchange and guests from the business community had an inspiring evening.



Lederskolen (the Leadership Academy) in Stavanger is a collaboration between BI and Stavanger Chamber of Commerce. It is the region’s largest interdisciplinary meeting place for managers and others who want to get the latest from practitioners and research. It is also a great opportunity to network with around 250 participants from business and industry. Join us for 6-8 events annually.

Belgium • China • Denmark France • Germany • Iceland Netherlands • Norway • Romania Russia • Singapore • Spain Sweden • Switzerland • Ukraine United Kingdom • United States Vietnam

Join international alumni ­communities at


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GREAT VIEWS AND NETWORKING This year’s annual BI reception in Berkeley took place at the University Club, overlooking Haas Business School at the University of California. Alumni and BI Executive MBA students took the opportunity to enjoy the stunning views, while connecting with interesting professionals in the network. Jo Sletbak, Consul General at the Royal Norwegian Consulate General in San Francisco, and Gro Dyrnes Regional Director Americas, Innovation Norway San Francisco & Silicon Valley were among the speakers.

Californian selfie moment. New contacts were made at BI reception in Berkeley. Since 2012, this annual event has brought together over 700 alumni, BI MBA students and collaborators.

RESEARCH FOR BREAKFAST Attend our regular breakfast meetings at campus Oslo and Bergen, and get instant and relevant updates from BI faculty: LEDERENS VERKTØYKASSE (Leaders toolbox) which takes place at campus Oslo, provides a meeting place for inspiration and insight into new research from some of BI’s top faculty. These seminars are relevant both for managers and others with an interest in the different topics that are presented. MARKETING RESEARCH FOR BREAKFAST is a meeting place for researchers and practitioners in marketing at campus Oslo. BI’s marketing experts present their latest research results on relevant business topics. You get the opportunity to discuss how these results influence your company and business practice. KUNNSKAPSFROKOST is a series of monthly breakfast seminars at campus Bergen 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. Join networking groups on to receive invitations.

Professor Nyborg in conversation with engaged alumni

THE ROLE OF CENTRAL BANKS Alumni in Zurich typically work in banking and finance, thus Finance Professor Kjell G. Nyborg had a captive audience when he gave an update on the role of central banks at their autumn alumni event. The event was hosted by our Swiss alumni volunteers Matthias Furrer, Nicole Burri and Robert Schuchna, who have been actively engaging alumni in Zurich since 2012, after having met at BI during their Exchange semester.


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WORLD REPORT BI STARTUP & MEETUP What can alumni learn from young entrepreneurs? Alumni interested in innovation and entrepreneurship teamed up with BI faculty and representatives from student startups in January. Student startups pitched their ideas to the audience, then enjoyed a mingle session to share experiences and inspiration. The event took place at BI Startup – campus Oslo. Creative students from BI Startup pitched their ideas on stage.

SYNC YOUR PROFILE WITH LINKEDIN Log on to and synchronize your existing LinkedIn account with your BI Alumni profile.

GLOBAL ALUMNI IN BERLIN Alumni in Berlin enjoyed an informal networking dinner in October 2017. Some had previously attended BI Alumni events in other cities, including London, Copenhagen, Dublin and Oslo. It was great to see you again! Stay informed of events in Hamburg, Frankfurt and Berlin by updating you contact information, and join the networking group for Germany.

Anne-Lise meeting with fellow alumnus Angie Yi Zhang (MSc 2012)


Class of 1996 at the MBA Alumni Annual Dinner 2017

Anne-Lise Johnsen Robb, Bachelor of Marketing 2008, took the time to share her inspiring story and career advice with alumni and BI students at the latest student/alumni event in London. Anne-Lise went from being a temporary marketing assistant to land her dream job with Arsenal FC, where her role as a Youth Marketing Specialist landed her the UK’s Young Marketing Leader of the year 2016 award. Early 2018 brings a move to Chelsea FC, and a new position as Senior Manager - Youth Marketing. Congratulations!


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BI campuses turned into Westeros for one day.

LEADERSHIP LESSONS FROM GAME OF THRONES Antonio Ricco and Vito Morgese (Exchange 2015)

ITALIAN ­CONNECTIONS The fourth networking event in Milan brought together alumni and BI students on exchange, who had a great evening with old friends and new connections. Members of BI’s recruitment and alumni team hosted this event. We are grateful for getting this opportunity to engage with our most enthusiastic supporters, and share the latest news from BI.

Game of Thrones fans and other alumni who wanted an evening out of the ordinary, showed up for an exciting trip to Westeros at the first BI Alumni Q, a new meeting place at campus Oslo. According to lecturer Trond Kjærstad there is more to be learned from Game of Thrones than simply how to crush all who oppose you. Spirits were high and both academic discussions and stories from student days were shared over good food and drinks during the social networking part. Alumni in Stavanger and Bergen were presented the same leadership lessons this spring.

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

JOINING FORCES AND ­STRENGTHENING TIES BI, the Norwegian-­Ukrai­nian Chamber of Commerce (NUCC) and the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Kiev co-hosted a joint reception and awards ceremony, on 28th February. Alumni, potential students, NUCC members, and representatives from our partner school National University Kiev-Mohyla Academy attended with the purpose of building new connections and strengthening Norwegian – Ukrainian relations. BI presented the prestigious BI Presidential Scholarship to five top Ukrainian applicants who will enroll into BI’s Master progammes in 2018. The reception took place at the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Kiev.

Monica Voda (MSc 2007) provides advice to new members of the alumni community in Bucharest including Carmen Vasilica Dima (MSc 2017).


Scholarship recipients with H. E. Ambassador Ole T. Horpestad and BI staff.

The November alumni dinner in Bucharest attracted a record numbers of alumni, spanning ten years of graduates. Guests represented graduating classes from 2007 up to the graduating class of 2017.


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”This programme has provided me with professional development and relevant tools in preparing our police students to handle conflicts and complex threat scenarios.” Inge Meløy Police Superintended, Norwegian Police University College Oslo



This master degree places emphasis on increasing the knowledge, expertise and skill level within security issues for management employees in different sections of society. The security challenges faced both globally and by individual nations can no longer be resolved by a single specific measure carried out by a single player independent of all others. It will require employees with honed expertise and an ability to analyse and evaluate complex situations.

Profile for BI Norwegian Business School

Advantage 1 2018  

Advantage 1 2018