BI PhD candidate wins world-renowned science award

12 January 2015

Karl Joachim Breunig has been awarded the coveted Gunnar Hedlund award for his doctoral dissertation, which studied optimal models for business organizational structures.

Seen by many as the most prestigious scientific award for doctoral dissertations on topics within international business, the prize is awarded by the Stockholm School of Economics in collaboration with the European International Business Academy in Brussels.

Breunig was awarded the prize for his innovative study of the best organizational practices in businesses for optimal use of core competencies and dynamic development. He was one of three finalists who presented their work to the jury at the EIBA conference in December 2014.

-    This award hangs high and it was a great honour just to be nominated. I am incredibly grateful for the recognition, said Karl Joachim via email from the USA where he is currently visiting Stanford University for research.

The prize is awarded to the candidate who the jury believes has the greatest potential to influence the future development of international business. Both theoretical and empirical contributions can be submitted and the jury emphasizes creativity and originality in their assessment. In addition to international recognition, the award comes with 10,000 Euros and a commemorative coin. Read the announcement from the jury here.

- To reach the top of this competition is a fantastic achievement. Gunnar Hedlund's prize is the best you can achieve with a doctoral dissertation in international business. Karl Joachim is incredibly talented and has already achieved a lot with his research, said Ragnhild Kvålshaugen ,who was Breunig's supervisor for the doctoral dissertation.

BI at the top for a second round

Only BI students, along with Wharton University of Pennsylvania, have won this award twice. In 2006, Jon Erland Lervik won the award for his doctorate, studying the introduction of a new management tool in Norwegian Hydro.

Karl Joachim was one of the finalists for the annual ISPIM Innovation Management Dissertation Award, an award for candidates who write dissertations on innovation management. The annual ISPIM Innovation Management Dissertation Award is given to the student completing the best PhD within innovation management each calendar.

About the dissertation

Breunig's thesis is titled "Realizing reticulation: a comparative study of capability dynamics in two international professional service firms over 10 years". The results showed that good systems to develop and share knowledge in the organization alone were not enough. It is equally important to facilitate the get-together of employees in social networks.

Breunig is now employed at Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences.

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