On Thursday, 5 December 2013, Bjørn T. Bakken defended his PhD thesis at the BI Norwegian Business School with a dissertation on the use of intuition and analysis in decision-making. He became the 100th candidate to earn a doctorate at BI after the school launched its own PhD programme in 1998.
"One hundred PhDs combined with our own 15-year-old doctoral studies programme is a sign that BI has come of age. Learning is a prerequisite for developing a quality doctoral programme that stands up internationally," says Gabriel R. G. Benito, dean of the PhD programme at BI Norwegian Business School.
In 1992/1993, BI started a doctoral studies programme in collaboration with the University of Oslo (UiO) and Copenhagen Business School (CBS) in Denmark. Under this system, degrees were awarded by the collaborating institutions. Nearly 15 years ago, on 26 February 1998, the King in Council decided to grant BI the right to award doctoral degrees on its own.
In 2000, the very first candidate, Per Ingvar Olsen, defended his PhD at BI with a dissertation dealing with the liberalisation of the Norwegian electricity market.
"As a large, research-based international business school, it is essential that BI has its own doctoral programme," maintains Benito. He emphasises that the doctoral projects present not only development of the individual's academic competence but also provide valuable research that is relevant to business and public administration.
The doctoral programme at BI has six different specialisations: finance, innovation and entrepreneurship, leadership and organisation, marketing, economics and strategic management.
The majority of those who earn a PhD from BI find employment at Norwegian universities and university colleges.
"We have many inspiring examples of candidates who also receive job offers from prestigious universities and colleges abroad. We also see that many of the candidates take on key positions in business and public administration," said Benito. He underlines that BI is keen to collaborate with business and public administration on doctoral projects with relevance for private and public sector activities (Industrial PhD).
Nearly 100 PhD students are enrolled in BI's doctoral programme. "We have a goal of 12 to 15 disputations each year going forward. We aim to ensure a high academic level. Expanding the programme is not one of our goals," says Benito.