Board of Trustees Report 2017

Research and academic activity

Having disciplines that are ranked among the best in Europe is important for strengthening BI’s international reputation, academic influence and the long-term recruitment of faculty.

Recruitment of academic staff has been a key priority throughout 2017. In the recruitment, BI has prioritised research staff and publishing researchers through active recruitment of people with an international background. In this context, it can be noted that the Department of Finance is BI’s highest ranked research environment in a Nordic and European context based on the “UTD top 100 Business School Research Rankings”.

The recruitment strategy has considerable financial consequences for BI. In order to join in the competition with other European schools for international talents, BI has been forced to offer far higher salaries and other financial compensation than before. Researchers have been granted an exemption from the teaching obligation and other responsibilities to free up time for research. At the same time, BI must ensure teaching capacity for a large number of courses which cover a broad range of subjects, which entails considerably increased teaching costs. Overall, this results in reduced leeway for other academic activity, and sets considerable requirements for management and development of internal academic resources.

BI Research Assessment – BIRA

An external peer review of the research and academic environments at BI shall be carried out every five years. The largest peer review will take place in 2017/2018. An external committee has been established to review self-evaluation reports from the departments, a bibliometric report on publications and citations from the last five years, a report from the research administrative department and other relevant material. The committee was appointed during the autumn of 2017 and the first visit will take place in March 2018.

The purpose of BI Research Assessment is to give guidelines for the goal in BI’s strategy of becoming a leading business school in Europe through

  • evaluating current and previous research activities at BI
  • the management’s prioritisation of resources
  • cultivating an environment that promotes excellent research


BI and the University of St. Gallen cooperated on a series of courses within method. The courses were carried out under the brand GSERM at BI in January 2017. GSERM is an advanced two-week integrated programme in method for PhD candidates, postdoctoral candidates and faculty, and that is taught by recognised international lecturers. GSERM offers an attractive course-based learning atmosphere within different aspects of empirical research.

Externally-funded research

In 2017, the value of BI’s externally-funded research projects totalled NOK 31.1 million. It is important for BI to increase the percentage of externally-funded research and to promote how BI’s research can contribute to solving relevant challenges in our society and in businesses. The authorities have also expressed the expectation that Norwegian education institutions shall increase the income from contribution and assignment-funded activities (BOA). BI has had a substantially increased focus on this throughout 2017, without this having yielded the desired results in the short term. New incentive schemes have therefore been developed in connection with research applications and a new model for recording costs for projects. Increased activity is expected in 2018.

A selection of major research projects

The application Future Ways of Working in the Digital Economy received the prestigious Toppforsk grant under the Research Council of Norway’s FRIPRO programme. The project is headed by Professor Christian Fieseler. The main goal of the project is to deliver insight and recommendations in relation to the following question: ‘How can individuals find their place in the future digital economy?’.

BI’s application Spatial Inference on Oil and Economic Development under the FRIHUMSAM Forskerprosjekt, also a part of FRIPRO, was approved. Associate Professor Jørgen J. Andersen is the project leader. The goal is to learn more about how oil production and massive revenues affect social and economic development internally and across local areas and regions using new, unique oil data.

In 2017, BI coordinated its first Horizon 2020 project. “Ps2Share: Participation, Privacy and Power in the Sharing Economy” discusses questions concerning participation, privacy and power in the sharing economy. The project is headed by Christian Fieseler and has a total of 6 partners.

These are just some examples of research projects at BI. Read more about research under each department (link).

Publications and publication points

BI faculty published a record number of 256 scientific journal articles in 2017. Our output this year included the highest number ever of articles in ABS 4 journals (27), which accounts for 10% of the total journal article output. We have also seen a record-high number of articles in journals classified as quality-level 2 in the Norwegian system (62), fully 24% of our articles.

Alongside these journal articles, BI’s researchers have also published 58 articles or chapters in scientific anthologies and 13 scientific monographs. The total number of publications (327) is slightly down from 2016, a year with a large number of anthology articles and book chapters.

A record 160 publications involved some form of international collaboration. This has resulted in BI accumulating a total of 419 points in the Norwegian financing system, compared to 437 points in 2016.

Awards and distinctions for academic achievements

The purpose of distinctions and awards at BI is to recognise our employees’ achievements through an annual event at BI’s annual meeting and a celebration where both honour and a money prize are awarded. The awards stimulate hard work, support strategic efforts and offer recognition and inspiration to the award winners and academic environments. The teaching award recognises excellent teaching that motivates and enables the students to achieve top academic performance, and Morten William Knudsen was elected by the students to receive this award.

Hilde C. Bjørnland received the award for social impact and research communication for her social involvement and willingness and ability to communicate her research. The award stimulates BI’s academic staff to communicate scientific results, work methods and attitudes to users and to the general public.

Endowed professorship

At the end of the year, BI had three endowed professorships:

  • Professor Ragnhild Kvålshaugen, financed by the BAE industry (Buildings, Construction and Property).
  • Professor Per Ingvar Olsen, endowed professorship financed by Tine and Nortura
  • Professor Torger Reve, Skibsreder Tom Wilhelmsens stiftelse’s professorship.

BI’s doctoral programme

Two important indicators of the quality of BI’s academic environment are to what extent our doctoral programmes are attractive to high-quality applicants, and to which extent the candidates are offered good jobs after completing the degree. In 2017, BI saw strong growth in the number of applicants to the doctoral programme. Good examples of candidates who secured jobs at recognised institutions include:

  • Georgiev, Nikolay, HEC Paris
  • Larsen, Vegard Høghaug, Norges Bank
  • Lu, Zongwei, Shandong University, China
  • Nordvik, Frode Martin, Norges Bank
  • Wang, Xiaobei, Cardiff Business School

Disputations 2017

14 candidates defended their thesis in BI’s doctoral programme in 2017:

  • Mirha Suangic - Aspirations and Daring Confrontations: Investigating the Relationship between Employees’ Aspirational Role-Identities and Problem-Oriented Voice (Series of dissertation 14/2017)
  • Beniamino Callegari - Joseph Alois Shumpeter: A heterodox theoretical interpretation (Series of dissertation 13/2017)
  • Sepideh Khayati Zahiri - Essays on Predictive Ability of Macroeconomic Variables and Commodity Prices (Series of dissertation 12/2017)
  • Tonje Hungnes - Reorganizing healthcare services: Sensemaking and organizing innovation (Series of dissertation 11/2017)
  • Eileen Fugelsnes - From backstage to consensus: A study of the Norwegian pension reform process (Series of Dissertation 10/2017)
  • Knut-Eric Neset Joslin - Experimental Markets with Frictions (Series of dissertation 9/2017)
  • Sumaya AlBalooshi - Switching between Resources: Psychosocial Resources as Moderators of the Impact of Powerlessness on Cognition and Behavior (Series of Dissertations 8/2017)
  • Zongwei Lu - Three essays on auction theory and contest theory (Series of Dissertations 7/2017)
  • Frode Martin Nordvik - Oil Extraction and The Macroeconomy (Series of Dissertations 6/2017)
  • Elizabeth Solberg - Adapting to Changing Job Demands: A Broadcast Approach to Understanding Self-Regulated Adaptive Performance and Cultivating It in Situated Work Settings (Series of Dissertations 5/2017)
  • Natalia Bodrug - Essays on economic choices and cultural values (Series of Dissertations 4/2017)
  • Vegard Høghaug Larsen - Drivers of the business cycle: Oil, news and uncertainty (Series of Dissertations 3/2017)
  • Nikolay Georgiev - Use of Word Categories with Psychological Relevance Predicts Prominence in Online Social Networks (Series of Dissertations 2/2017)
  • Sigmund Valaker - Breakdown of Team Cognition and Team Performance: Examining the influence of media and overconfidence on mutual understanding, shared situation awareness and contextualization (Series of Dissertations 1/2017)