BI Awards 2020

10 February 2020

Professor Bård Kuvaas, Senior Lecturer Ragnvald Sannes, Professor Johan From and Team Education, Professor Eivind Eriksen and Student Coordinator Niraja Upadhyaya were among the winners of this year’s BI Awards and received well-deserved recognition for their excellent achievements.

The BI awards are intending to stimulate efforts, support strategic initiatives and inspire the winners themselves, and all employees at BI to continue their great work and contribute to a positive and respectful working environment.

BI Award for Research Dissemination and Societal impact

According to the jury, Bård Kuvaas deserves this year’s award for his role as one of Norway’s foremost experts on leadership, due to his strong presence in both traditional news media and social media, where he regularly disseminates his own and others’ research in an excellent way and actively contributes to debates.

BI Awards - Bård KuvaasOne example of his impact on society and business is the ongoing discussion around trust-based leadership as opposed to measurement-based management, which looks to become a key topic in political debates leading up to the parliamentary elections next year. Another example is discussions around bonuses and performance incentives. The fact that he is known for being somewhat controversial gives his arguments an edge and creates great engagement amongst his audience.

This is what Kuvås himself had to say about winning the award:

«I am of course honoured to have received this award. At the same time, I acknowledge that many of my colleagues deserve this award at least as much as I do. I have always thought that the research we do should not only be relevant for fellow researchers across the globe, but also be disseminated for a wider audience. Accordingly, I think that both rigor and relevance are important. Rigor to be published in good journals and relevance to impact practice in a way that make organisations sustainable for workers».

BI Award for Pedagogical Innovation

Ragnvald Sannes received the award for Pedagogical Innovation for his persistent experimentation with, and development of technologies that might improve student-learning opportunities. He was the first faculty member to set up web-based course pages and to interact with students by email, and spearheaded the use of webinars, tested technology, which later has become the standard at BI, long before the organisation started doing this in any systematic manner.

He has also created a model for process based Executive Master of Management courses, in which students receive coaching in ‘real-world’ projects delivering real business value. He has developed several courses ‒ and now a bachelor programme ‒ aiming at teaching students not only about technology, but helping them to implement it in a business context. This increases the relevance and makes the students eminently employable.

Sannes started at BI 25 years ago and has been a patient and persistent faculty representative on expert committees and projects associated with pedagogical innovation.

«It is really great to be acknowledged in this way. Many of the innovations I have done and the things I have tried out have been done “under the radar” of the organisation. That may be more difficult now, but I intend to continue innovate anyway. We can always do better!»

The BI Connected Award

The BI Connected Award was given to Johan From and Team Education, a group who has been pivotal in the ongoing transformation of the kindergarten sector in Norway over the past two decades. A sector delivering an enormous value to society and affecting people everywhere. The team is responsible for managerial education of over 6000 leaders and aspiring leaders in this sector, whereas about 4000 now have a degree in leadership from BI. In Norway, this sector employs about 14 000 managers, meaning that almost one out of two leaders in the sector has a connection to BI.

BI Awards - Ratib Lekhal on behalf of Johan FromThe team is an excellent example of active use of alumni. 18 BI alumni have a part-time employment at BI to ensure that BI is connected to, and understands the sector’s demands. Those alumni willingly act as full-time goodwill ambassadors for the school. Team Education consists of 16 full-time BI employees including professionals and faculty members across the departments of Leadership, Law and Governance and Communication. Collaboration also extends to the departments of Strategy and Entrepreneurship, Accounting and Auditing, and Marketing, making it a truly multi-disciplinary program.

The team’s main goal is to improve the learning outcome of every child in Norway. After their win, Centre Head Johan From, researchers Ida Katrine Birkeland and Ratib Lekhal (who accepted the award on Johan From's behalf) from BI’s Centre for Innovation in Education (CIEd), and team leader Education Giert von der Lippe from BI Corporate, delivered the following message:

«We are very thankful to receive this award, both as a recognition and inspiration for further work. Practice-based research and our close proximity to the school and kindergarten sector ensures our research and programme development is highly relevant», they said, before adding:

«Working together with the sector, we share a mutual goal to make schools and kindergartens even better and more educational places to be. This has been the premise of our research, teaching and the programmes we have developed. The market response has been very strong and positive».

Best Teacher Award

BI Awards - Eivind EriksenThe student organization BISO, represented by Ingrid Monsen and Susie Phan, decided to give Professor Eivind Eriksen the Best Teacher Award in 2020. This is what the two had to say about this year’s winner:  

«Eivind is a lecturer who makes the students want to attend class, but if something gets in the way, we always know that the notes are available on itslearning or on our favourite webpage: dr-eriksen.no».  

«No questions are too stupid and he is always available when you need him. If we send him an email Saturday night at midnight, you will most likely get an answer right away. He makes the curriculum understandable and takes the time we need to go through hard topics».

«He is a lecturer who has made his mark among the students both on bachelor level and master level, and is a lecturer students talk about even after the course is finished»

Professor Eriksen had the following comments on receiving the award:

«It is an honour to receive the BI Best Teacher Award, and I especially appreciate that the nomination for this prize comes from the students. It is inspiring to work with so many talented and hardworking young people, and to witness the progress they make during their time at BI».

«I believe in teaching through lectures, as well as problem sessions where the students get an opportunity to engage directly with the lecturer. This is how I have organised my teaching, and for me, the prize is a confirmation that the students themselves find this approach valuable».

Colleague of the Year Award

Niraja Upadhyaya is BI’s Colleague of the Year!

BI's strategy sets high goals for professional and commercial development towards an international, digital and sustainable future. One of our core values is 'collegiality', meaning all employees are responsible for creating an inclusive workplace where curiosity is valued and the interests of others are appreciated.

BI Awards - Niraja UpadhyayaThe selection process is considered with BI’s core values in mind, and the winner is recognised as someone generating positive interaction, innovation and respect. This year’s winner represents all those things.

Niraja is very ambitious on behalf of her team and BI as a whole. Her colleagues describe her as hard-working, smart and one of the most collegial employees they have ever known. Always with a smile and always going the extra mile. She performs above and beyond expected tasks. Niraja is always thinking of ways to improve not only our level of service, but also our products and business overall. She is known for generating a positive interaction with students and colleagues at BI.

After her win, Niraja heaped praise on the people around her.  

«It is an honour to be awarded and recognised. However, I cannot be a colleague of the year without mentioning all my colleagues who I work with on a daily basis and that help create this environment where I can thrive. So a big thank you to all my managers (especially those in C3), my fantastic MSc administration team and to all those who have been a part of my journey at BI so far. And to the jury for their kind consideration and appreciation. I look forward to growing and achieving more together».

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