Nordic Centre for Internet and Society

Celebrating New Professors

On 10 November, BI concluded its 80th-anniversary year by organising a Research Day. As part of the program, Christoph Lutz and Suzanne van Gils gave an inaugural speech to celebrate their promotions to Professor.

Throughout 2023, BI Norwegian Business School has been celebrating its 80th anniversary. To conclude the anniversary year, BI organised a Research Day on 10 November, showcasing some of its achievements as a research institution, honouring the research conducted at BI, and not the least recognising the researchers at the institution. As part of the day, the Nordic Centre for Internet and Society members Christoph Lutz and Suzanne van Gils were invited to give an inaugural address for their promotions to Professor. 

There were six parallel sessions after the Day´s lunch, where professors from different departments held 20-minute presentations about their research. Both Suzanne and Christoph presented as members of the Department of Communication and Culture at BI. In addition to the talks held by Suzanne and Christoph, Dean Research and Dean PhD Professor Luk Warlop introduced the speakers and welcomed the audience to the session and the speeches. 

Luk Warlop

“Is Privacy Becoming an Endangered Species?”

Christoph Lutz’ promotion to professor was approved by BI’s Senate in March 2023, allowing him to carry the professor title from August 2022 on, when he submitted his application. Throughout his career, Christoph has conducted research on the digital society, including topics such as social media, digital inequalities, privacy, artificial intelligence, and social robots. These were also some of the themes he focused on in his presentation, which was titled “Is Privacy Becoming an Endangered Species? Investigating Privacy Cynicism and Agency Dynamics in the Platform Society”. 

In the first part, Christoph discussed his work on privacy cynicism, with an overview of this research throughout the last decade. In collaboration with Professor Christian Pieter Hoffmann from the University of Leipzig and Assistant Professor Giulia Ranzini from the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Christoph published a series of impactful qualitative, quantitative and conceptual contributions that have advanced the understanding of privacy from a user-centred but richly contextualised perspective.

In the second part, Christoph focused on privacy in the context of emerging technologies such as social robots, algorithmic profiling and artificial intelligence. After a short overview of some of his articles in this area, Christoph presented a well-received paper in the Information Society about privacy and smart speakers, co-authored with Dr. Gemma Newlands from the Oxford Internet Institute. 

Christoph Lutz

“Keeping it Civil"

Suzanne was promoted to full professor in June 2023. Her research interests focus on areas such as (im)moral behaviour in organizations, identity processes, and leader-employee interactions.

Some of her recent projects focus on leadership communication and ethical behaviour in digital teams. The talk Suzanne held on BI´s Research Day was titled “Keeping it Civil: Understanding the Ethical Dynamics and Consequences of Offline and Online Communication”.

Suzanne van Gils

Suzanne summarized her work on ethical behaviour and incivility by illustrating them in a series of quotes. Starting from her work on leadership and ethics with her former PhD supervisors, Suzanne covered the central topics of identification, moral identity, and the research she conducted with her PhD students on pay for performance and corruption. She highlighted the importance of meaning and mindfulness to moderate daily expressions of incivil behaviour, researched with former colleagues at Maastricht University.

Turning to an outlook for the future, Suzanne discussed the need for complex and ethical research methods, to understand incivil behaviour and complex moral decisions in offline and online contexts.


Congratulations to both Suzanne and Christoph on becoming full Professors!