Faculty Profile

Øyvind Kvalnes

Associate Professor - Department of Leadership and Organizational Behaviour

Biography

The philosopher Øyvind Kvalnes is an associate professor at the Department of Leadership and Organizational Management, BI Norwegian School of Management. He is an experienced facilitator, lecturer and researcher. In 1998 he defended his PHD-thesis entitled “Living with Moral Luck”. For ten years he was the CEO of Humanistisk Akademi in Oslo, a small unit of philosophical consultants. He has written three books on practical philosophy in the workplace. His main interests outside academia is family, football and music.
Research areas
Human flourishing and fallibility, ethics, communication, personal integrity, organizational identity, self-determination and autonomy, wisdom in leadership

Publications

Kvalnes, Øyvind & Nordal, Salvor (2018)

Normalization of questionable behavior: An ethical root of the financial crisis in Iceland

Journal of Business Ethics, s. 1- 15. Doi: 10.1007/s10551-018-3803-8

In this paper, we explore the 2008 financial crisis in Iceland through the lens of Donaldson’s concept of normalization of questionable behavior. We study the report published by the Special Investigation Commission, an investigation initiated by the Icelandic Parliament near the end of 2008. The report provides a detailed and systematic account of the processes leading up to the crisis. Our aim is to determine the extent to which the behaviors of professionals in the Icelandic Financial sector can be explained as a gradual fading of moral concerns to the point that they perceived the sale of high-risk Products to unassuming customers for their own short-term benefit to be morally unproblematic. In doing so, we consider both character and circumstance explanations of moral misbehavior. We expand on Donaldson’s initial description of normalization of questionable behavior by applying the concept of moral neutralization, which is defined by criminologists Sykes and Matza as the process of convincing oneself that an option that initially conflicted with one’s own moral beliefs is actually morally acceptable. We find indications that individuals in the Icelandic financial sector did engage in moral neutralization in their attempts to frame their own actions in an acceptable light. In our study, we identify one way of neutralizing away moral dissonance not captured in the original theoretical framework. Icelandic bankers justified their behavior by claiming that they did not break any relevant rules or regulations when they engaged in what were later labeled questionable activities. Our name for this kind of justification is claim of having breached no rule.

Kvalnes, Øyvind (2017)

Ethics in projects

Sankaran, Shankar; Müller, Ralf & Drouin, Nathalie (red.). Cambridge Handbook of Organizational Project Management

Kvalnes, Øyvind (2017)

Fallibility at work: Rethinking excellence and error in organizations

Palgrave Macmillan.

This book addresses how organizations can deal with human fallibility in order to create space for excellence at work. Some mistakes in work settings put lives at risk, while others create openings for innovative breakthroughs. In order to deal constructively with fallibility, an organization needs a communication climate where it is normal to voice opinions, admit mistakes, and ask for help in critical situations. The book builds on interviews with practitioners in healthcare, aviation, IT, public governance, and industry. It connects narratives from these fields with theories from organizational psychology and philosophy, as well as from positive organizational scholarship. In the final chapter, an overall ethics of fallibility at work is outlined. Fallibility at Work contributes to research in multiple academic disciplines, but also reaches out to practitioners who are interested in the connections between error and excellence in organizations.

Müller, Ralf; Turner, Rodney J., Andersen, Erling S., Shao, Jingting & Kvalnes, Øyvind (2017)

Governance and Ethics in Temporary Organizations: The Mediating Role of Corporate Governance

Project Management Journal, 47(6), s. 7- 23. - Fulltekst i vitenarkiv

Kvalnes, Øyvind (2016)

Living with the unknown unknown: Uncertainty in projects

Project Management Journal, 47(3), s. 101- 108.

Müller, Ralf & Kvalnes, Øyvind (2016)

Project governance and project ethics

Müller, Ralf (red.). Governance and Governmentality for Projects: Enablers, Practices and Consequences

Kvalnes, Øyvind (2015)

Profesjon og interesse: Om moralsk nøytralisering blant tannleger

Den norske tannlegeforenings tidende, 125(5), s. 426- 432.

Kvalnes, Øyvind (2015)

Moral Reasoning at Work: Rethinking Ethics in Organizations

Palgrave Pivot.

Kvalnes, Øyvind (2014)

Leadership and moral neutralisation

Leadership, 10(4), s. 456- 470. Doi: 10.1177/1742715013504426

Kvalnes, Øyvind (2014)

Honesty in projects

International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, 7(4), s. 590- 600. Doi: 10.1108/IJMPB-07-2013-0027 - Fulltekst i vitenarkiv

Müller, Ralf; Turner, Rodney, Andersen, Erling S., Shao, Jingting & Kvalnes, Øyvind (2014)

Ethics, Trust, and Governance in Temporary Organziations

Project Management Journal, 45(4), s. 39- 54. Doi: 10.1002/pmj.21432

Alm, Kristian; Andersen, Erling S. & Kvalnes, Øyvind (2013)

Tillit i prosjekter

Magma - Tidsskrift for økonomi og ledelse, 16(3), s. 26- 33.

Müller, Ralf; Andersen, Erling S., Kvalnes, Øyvind, Shao, Jingting, Sankaran, Shankar, Turner, Rodney, Biesenthal, Christopher, Walker, Derek H.T. & Gudergan, Siegfried (2013)

The Interrelationship of Governance,Trust, and Ethics in Temporary Organizations

Project Management Journal, 44(4), s. 26- 44. Doi: 10.1002/pmj.21350 - Fulltekst i vitenarkiv

Kvalnes, Øyvind & Øverenget, Einar (2012)

Ethical Navigation in Leadership Training

Etikk i praksis, 6(1), s. 58- 71.

Kvalnes, Øyvind (2012)

Blurred Promises: Ethical Consequences of Fine Print Policies in Insurance

Journal of Business Ethics, 103(1), s. 77- 86. Doi: 10.1007/s10551-012-1224-7

Kvalnes, Øyvind (2012)

Beyond the Despairing Self: Kierkegaard and Human Fallibility at Work

International Journal of the Humanities, 9(4), s. 53- 60.

Kvalnes, Øyvind (2010)

Feilbarlige ledere

Magma - Tidsskrift for økonomi og ledelse, 13(6), s. 35- 41.

Kvalnes, Øyvind & Hemmestad, Liv B (2010)

Loophole ethics in sports

Etikk i praksis, 4(1), s. 57- 67.

Ethical challenges in sports occur when the practitioners are caught between the will to win and the overall task of staying within the realm of acceptable values and virtues. One way to prepare for these challenges is to formulate comprehensive and specific rules of acceptable conduct. In this paper we will draw attention to one serious problem with such a rule-based approach. It may inadvertently encourage what we will call loophole ethics, an attitude where every action that is not explicitly defined as wrong, will be seen as a viable option. Detailed codes of conduct leave little room for personal judgement, and instead promote a loophole mentality. We argue that loophole ethics can be avoided by operating with only a limited set of general principles, thus leaving more space for personal judgement and wisdom.

Kvalnes, Øyvind; Ulvenes, Pål, Holmboe, Morten & Munkebye, Rune (2017)

Har me plikt til å hjelpe?

NRK P2, Ekko [Radio]

Har me plikt til å hjelpe? Hamnar du i ein situasjon der du kan redde ein annan person frå å ei ulykke eller anna naud, er det ikkje alltid opplagt kva som er best å gjere.

Kvalnes, Øyvind (2013)

Lederen ved din side

Dagens næringsliv [Kronikk]

Kvalnes, Øyvind (2013)

Kvalitet i arbeid

Dagens næringsliv [Kronikk]

Kvalnes, Øyvind (2013)

Helter og ledere

Dagens næringsliv [Kronikk]

Kvalnes, Øyvind (2013)

Feil lederskap

Dagens næringsliv [Kronikk]

Kvalnes, Øyvind (2013)

Dult eller dytt

Dagens næringsliv [Kronikk]

Kvalnes, Øyvind (2013)

De usynlige

Dagens næringsliv [Kronikk]

Kvalnes, Øyvind (2013)

Når terskelen senkes

Dagens næringsliv [Kronikk]

Kvalnes, Øyvind (2013)

Typisk meg

Dagens næringsliv [Kronikk]

Kvalnes, Øyvind (2013)

Blanke ark

Dagens næringsliv [Kronikk]

Kvalnes, Øyvind (2013)

Etikk og egenintesse

Dagens næringsliv [Kronikk]

Kvalnes, Øyvind (2011)

Å lykkes i maktspill

Dagens næringsliv [Kronikk]

Kvalnes, Øyvind (2011)

Utfordreren

Dagens næringsliv [Kronikk]

Kvalnes, Øyvind (2011)

Sinte sjefer

Dagens næringsliv [Kronikk]

Kvalnes, Øyvind (2011)

Vinnerskurken

Dagens næringsliv [Kronikk]

Kvalnes, Øyvind (2011)

Bomullsledelse

Dagens næringsliv [Kronikk]

Kvalnes, Øyvind (2011)

Teknologiblinde ledere

Dagens næringsliv [Kronikk]

Kvalnes, Øyvind (2011)

Når mening skapes

Dagens næringsliv [Kronikk]

Kvalnes, Øyvind (2011)

Stoisk lederskap

Dagens næringsliv [Kronikk]

Kvalnes, Øyvind (2011)

Bekreftelsesfellen

Dagens næringsliv [Kronikk]

Kvalnes, Øyvind (2011)

Ledere lyver best

Dagens næringsliv [Kronikk]

Kvalnes, Øyvind (2011)

Bomullslandet Norge

Aftenposten (morgenutg. : trykt utg.) [Kronikk]

Kvalnes, Øyvind & Carlsen, Arne (1)

Godt jobba!

Dagens næringsliv [Kronikk]

Kvalnes, Øyvind (1)

Flink med hendene

Dagsavisen [Kronikk]

Carlsen, Arne; Dysvik, Anders, Škerlavaj, Miha & Kvalnes, Øyvind (2018)

Growing Givers at Work: A Systems Approach to Prosocial Agency

[Academic lecture]. Academy of Management Meeting 2018.

Kvalnes, Øyvind (2017)

Ethics of change in waste management: A Norwegian case

[Academic lecture]. European Business Ethics Network Annual Conference.

Kvalnes, Øyvind (2016)

What is Your Story? Exploring Fallibility at Work

[Academic lecture]. The Art of Management and Organization Conference.

Kvalnes, Øyvind & Brinkmann, Johannes (2016)

Role-play in a Norwegian Business Ethics Education Setting

[Academic lecture]. EBEN Annual Research Conference.

Kvalnes, Øyvind & Nordal, Salvör (2016)

Moral Neutralization in the Icelandic Financial Crisis

[Academic lecture]. EBEN Annual Research Conference.

Müller, Ralf; Turner, J. R., Andersen, Erling S., Shao, Jingting & Kvalnes, Øyvind (2015)

Governance and ethics in temporary organizations: how corporate governance influences the temporary organization

[Academic lecture]. IRNOP Conference (International Research Network for Organizing by Projects).

Kvalnes, Øyvind & Carlsen, Arne (2015)

"What's a good life for you here?": Leadership as moral inquiry

[Academic lecture]. International Leadership Association's 17th Annual Global Conference.

Carlsen, Arne & Kvalnes, Øyvind (2015)

Lightness of radical change: On the positive transformation of a nursing home

[Academic lecture]. Academy of Management Annual Meeting.

Kvalnes, Øyvind (2014)

Etikk for lærere

[Textbook]. Universitetsforlaget.

Müller, Ralf; Turner, Rodney J., Andersen, Erling S., Shao, Jingting & Kvalnes, Øyvind (2014)

Governance, trust and ethics in temporary organizations: how corporate governance influences the temporary organization

[Academic lecture]. EGOS Colloquium.

Kvalnes, Øyvind (2013)

Nykommeren

[Popular scientific article]. Kapital

Kvalnes, Øyvind (2013)

Trenger du hjelp?

[Popular scientific article]. Kapital

Kvalnes, Øyvind (2013)

Moral Neutralization in the Icelandic Financial Crisis

[Academic lecture]. Nordic Academy of Management.

Müller, Ralf; Turner, Rodney J., Andersen, Erling S., Shao, Jingting & Kvalnes, Øyvind (2013)

Ethics, Trust and Governance in Temporary Organizations: Building trust through the governance paradigm

[Academic lecture]. IRNOP XI Conference (International Research Network for Organizing by Projects).

Kvalnes, Øyvind; Andersen, Erling S. & Müller, Ralf (2012)

På sporet av tillit i prosjektledelse

[Popular scientific article]. BI Leadership Magazine, 2011/2012

Kvalnes, Øyvind (2012)

Smøring eller smålighet?

[Popular scientific article]. Kapital

Kvalnes, Øyvind (2012)

Entreprenørens dilemma

[Popular scientific article]. Kapital

Kvalnes, Øyvind (2012)

Authentic Leadership and Moral Neutralization

[Academic lecture]. EBEN Annual Conference.

Kvalnes, Øyvind (2012)

Word! On Seeing and Saying in Organizations

[Academic lecture]. Art of Management and Organization Conference.

Kvalnes, Øyvind (2012)

Habilitet

[Popular scientific book]. Kommuneforlaget.

Müller, Ralf; Andersen, Erling S., Kvalnes, Øyvind, Shao, Jingting, Shankar, Sankaran, Turner, Rodney J., Biesenthal, Chris, Walker, Derek H.T. & Gudergan, Siegfried (2012)

The Interrelationship between Governance, Trust and Ethics in Temporary Organizations

[Academic lecture]. PMI Research & Education Conference.

Kvalnes, Øyvind (2012)

Aktive og passive feil

[Popular scientific article]. Praktisk økonomi og finans, 28(2), s. 15- 20.

Kvalnes, Øyvind & Veronica, Morino (2012)

Pliktløp mot korrupsjon

[Popular scientific article]. Lov og rett: Norsk juridisk tidsskrift, 51(6), s. 351- 358.

Kvalnes, Øyvind (2012)

Etikk og samfunnsansvar

[Textbook]. Universitetsforlaget.

Kvalnes, Øyvind; Brandtzæg, Petter Bae, Gillund, Lars, Krokan, Arne, Meling, Alf Tore & Wessel-Aas, Jon (2011)

Sosiale medier i all offentlighet

[Popular scientific book]. Kommuneforlaget AS.

Kvalnes, Øyvind (2011)

Det feilbarlige menneske

[Popular scientific article]. Kapital

Kvalnes, Øyvind & Iyer, Nigel Krishna (2011)

Skal vi danse? Om korrupsjon og moralsk ansvar

[Popular scientific article]. Praktisk økonomi og finans, s. 35- 42.

Kvalnes, Øyvind (2011)

Leadership and Honesty in Reference Situations

[Academic lecture]. International Studying Leadership Conference.

Kvalnes, Øyvind (2011)

Beyond the Despairing Self: Kierkegaard and Human Fallibility at Work

[Academic lecture]. International Conference on New Directions in the Humanities.

Kvalnes, Øyvind (2010)

Loophole Ethics in Accounting

[Academic lecture]. EBEN 2010: Which Values for Which Organisations.

Kvalnes, Øyvind (2010)

Authority gets challenged now: Instruction and Involvement in Soccer Coaching

[Academic lecture]. EURAM 2010: Back to the future.

Øverenget, Einar & Kvalnes, Øyvind (2005)

Det økonomiske mennesket

[Popular scientific article]. Praktisk økonomi og finans, s. 97- 102.

Fortellingen om det økonomiske mennesket har dominert undervisningen ved ledelses- og forretningsskoler verden over de siste tiårene. Den fremstiller mennesket som dypest sett egoistisk, en overlevelsesmaskin. Dette er et menneskesyn som skaper mistenksomhet i organisasjoner, og gir grobunn for nye moralske overtramp i næringslivet

Øverenget, Einar & Kvalnes, Øyvind (2004)

Vi ønsker å fremstå som ærlige». Verdier i et omdømmesamfunn

[Popular scientific article]. Praktisk økonomi og finans, 21(1)

Å være eller å fremstå, det er spørsmålet i dag. Vi lever i et omdømmesamfunn hvor ordet «fremstå» har erstattet ordet «være», og hvor frykten for å være blir mer og mer utbredt. Individer og virksomheter understreker til stadighet at de ønsker å fremstå som det ene og det andre, og det skjer oftest som en bekreftelse på at de tar verdier, moral og fellesskap på alvor. Om en bedrift fremhever at den ønsker å fremstå som seriøs og etterrettelig, så røper imidlertid ordvalget noe annet. Det er mulig det er en uskyldig talemåte, en populær fremstillingsform. Men kanskje gjemmer det seg noe langt mindre uskyldig i et slikt omdømmespråk: Det har ikke så mye å si hvem du er, bare du fremstår som noe bestemt.

Academic Degrees
Year Academic Department Degree
1998 University of Oslo Ph.D.
1992 University of Oslo Master Cand. Philol.
Work Experience
Year Employer Job Title
2009 - Present BI Norwegian Business School Associate Professor
2000 - 2009 Humanistisk Akademi CEO
1994 - 1998 Norges Forskningsråd PhD Candidate
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