Annual Report 2020

Research and Academic Activities

BI has a strategic goal of creating a world-class academic environment with a substantial impact on international research through publishing in recognized journals. Our research shall form the basis for our students’ learning and have an impact on business practices and practices in public administration.

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One of BI’s goals is to have several disciplines ranked among the best in Europe. This is important in order to strengthen our international reputation, our academic impact and, and the recruitment of faculty. Lately, BI has given priority to recruiting more scientific staff through tenure tracks in order to increase our capacity for excellent research and teaching. High priority has also been given to increasing the share of scientific staff with an international background, who both have a great research potential and are able to demonstrate strong results.

In 2020 BI has continued its work on further developing our eight research centres, the BI Research Centres, which all represent spearheads in research. These centres shall provide high-quality research, publish in journals that we consider to be the most prestigious in their disciplines, and attract a steady and high degree of externally funded research activity, and maintain a high capacity for research. The centres shall have both a national and an international focus in cooperation with academic partners, business and society.

In the past year we have also focused further on research quality through recruiting, publishing in top journals (ABS4*), externally funded research, administrative infrastructure and incentive schemes relate to research. Moreover, BI wants to make a survey of how our research impacts the world around us. In 2020 we have, among other things, regularly updated a survey on BI’s web pages concerning our faculty’s contributions related to the handling of the Covid-19 pandemic and made a survey of BI’s research related the UN Sustainability Development Goals in the report Sustainability Research at BI Norwegian Business School.

Our academic activity is organized through nine departments (read more at bi.edu/research). A list of all registered research projects of which BI is either the institutional owner or participating partner is available at the national research database Cristin.

New department

In the course of 2020 BI established a new department, the Department of Data Science and Analysis, which is an academic environment that will work on applied and theoretical data science and statistics. At the same time, BI has entered into an agreement on research collaboration with Simula Research Laboratory in order to strengthen the expertise on data science through research collaboration. In connection with this, BI and Simula have also established the new research centre Simula@BI.

In general, the cooperation with other excellent research environments will be strengthened in the time to come, and particularly in this field. It will add further quality and dept to the research portfolio and strengthen our capacity for programme development and teaching. In the longer term, BI will consider establishing a special degree in data science.

Externally funded research

In the past year the value of BI’s externally funded research totalled a little less than NOK 31 million as compared to NOK.37,2 million in 2019. The decline was expected as a consequence of the corona pandemic, which delayed of many research activities. In 2020, however, BI has had considerable activities related to, and an increased focus on, applications for externally funded research, particularly related to the research programmes of the Research Council of Norway.

The number of applications have been at the same high level as in the year before, and for a larger share of the applications BI has acted as project owner (63 % as against 50 % in 2019). It is important for BI to show how our research may contribute to solving relevant challenges in society and business, and the interest in participating in a greater scope of central and prestigious research projects, nationally and internationally, has increased. In connection with Covid-19 and the extraordinary announcement of research projects by the Research Council of Norway, BI succeeded in procuring two major projects: COVID-19 Supply Chain Research Group – MIA Task Force, and Media Innovation Through the Corona Crisis (MICC) – how news media can build and implement innovation ability.

In December BI obtained another two major research projects with a total value of NOK 24 million, the co-risk project MACROCAMP: The Corona-crisis, structural change, and macroeconomic policy, and the Fripro project The dynamics of political selection. Both projects involve cooperation with national and international academic networks. BI has also invested in administrative infrastructure by strengthening the administrative unit for research (FA) both through increased resources and competence. FA is BI’s central administration for research support. It has the following three main fields of responsibility: externally funded research support, research data management and BI’s doctoral degree programme.

Publications and publication points

BI considers the preliminary results related to our faculty’s scientific output in 2019 as good. Our goal has been to increase both international scientific publications and the number of articles in top-ranked scientific journals.

In 2020, too, the share of publication points for articles published in scientific journals is increasing. The share of publication points for publications in quality level 2 journals also shows a satisfactory development. The number of top publications (ABS4* and ABS4) remains at about the same high level as in 2019. The share of scientific output resulting from international cooperation remains at the same level as in the previous year.

All publication figures for 2020 are preliminary figures (February). The final figures will be published in April.

Awards and distinctions for academic achievements

At BI’s annual meeting in February, we recognize our employees’ achievements through the award of both prizes and money awards. The awards stimulate hard work, support strategic efforts and offer recognition and inspiration to the award winners and their academic environments.

Professor Bård Kuvaas was awarded the prize for Research Dissemination and Societal Impact. As one of Norway’s leading experts on leadership, he has also become a central disseminator of knowledge to the people through both traditional and social media.

Associate Professor Ragnvald Sannes was given the award for Pedagogical Innovation for his work on the development of technologies and tools to increase and strengthen the students’ learning in and outside the classroom.

Professor Johan From and Team Education, who are responsible for BI’s master’s programme in education management, were awarded the Connected prize for the way for more than two decades they have contributed to great change and innovation in the kindergarten sector and in teacher training.

Professor Eivind Eriksen was named winner of the prestigious Best Teacher award by the student organization BISO. Among other things the jury said that «Eivind is a teacher who makes the students look forward to class».

Honorary doctors

Honorary doctors BI had 15 honorary doctors in 2019. This is a recognition given to persons whose work in life has been of great importance. Read more about our honorary doctors at bi.edu/research/honorary-doctorates.

Executive in Residence

In 2019 BI appointed its first Executive in Residence, an arrangement to connect persons with relevant experience from working life more closely with academic environments and students at BI. In 2020 the following persons are included:

  • Berit Svendsen, Head of Vipps Internasjonal - Department of Strategy and Entrepreneurship
  • Jostein Tvedt, Chief Strategic Officer of Danske Bank - Department of Strategy and Entrepreneurship
  • Tor Remlov, former Opera Director and Theatre manager - Department of Leadership and Organizational Behaviour (from 2021)
  • Sindre Støer, head of Norwegian Securities Dealers Association - Department of Law and Governance (from 2021)

Endowed chairs

BI receives financial support from companies and other donors through the financing of endowed chairs. I 2020 the endowed chair financed by Skipsreder Tom Wilhelmsens Stiftelse started. This endowed chair is held by Professor Randi Lunnan.

In addition to this, BI has two other endowed chairs: Professor Ragnhild Kvålshaugen, financed by the Norwegian BAE industry (Bygg-, Anlegg og Eiendomsnæringen) and Professor Per Ingvar Olsen, financed by Tine and Nortura.

BI’s doctoral programme

BI’s doctoral programme shall be driving a force for the development of our faculty. Continuous efforts are being made to increase the throughput in the doctoral programme. There has also been an increased focus on admission quality and follow-up of doctoral students during the programme over the last few years. Like the year before, a total of seven disputations took place in 2020. The lower number of disputations the last two years is due to natural fluctuations.

We assume that the quality of the PhD programme is reflected in the quality of the institutions at which the candidates secure jobs. A good example of this is Flladina Zilja, who in 2020 was recruited to Copenhagen Business School.

Disputations on BI’s doctoral programme in 2020

  • Rasmus Bøgh Holmen - Productivity and Mobility (Series of dissertations 7/2020)
  • Arne Fredrik Lyshol - Essays in labor and housing search (Series of dissertations 6/2020)
  • Irena Kustec - Three essays on family firms (Series of dissertations 5/2020)
  • Kateryna Maltseva - Digital Self-Tracking: Psychological and Behavioural Implications (Series of dissertations 4/2020)
  • Flladina Zilja - The role of CEOs in International Strategies (Series of dissertations 3/2020)
  • Vedrana Jez - Managerial attenton and cognitive flexibility in strategic decision makin (series of dissertations 2/2020)
  • Link Tak Douglas Chung - Three essays on Retail Trading (Series of dissertations 1/2020)

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