New professor with special responsibilities has many irons in the fire

Lars Frederiksen has been appointed Professor with special responsibilities and researcher within the fields of innovation strategy, innovation management and entrepreneurship.

2012.04.13 | Marianne Gammelgaard

Lars Frederiksen from the Department of Business Administration has been appointed Professor with special responsibilities (MSO) as of 1 January 2012. During the next five years, he is to develop and function as head of the research field ‘innovation management and strategy’.

Together with his colleagues in the Innovation Management Group (IMG), Lars Frederiksen will conduct research within four fields: New organisational structures in connection with innovation, open innovation in small and medium-sized companies, user innovation and communities and entrepreneurship. The overall field of research is innovation management and strategy.

- It is a broad field of work, which, in addition to traditional management theory, involves financial, organisational and sociological theories as well as aspects of psychology, says Lars Frederiksen.

Entrepreneurship and innovation in service companies
One of the new fields of research is entrepreneurship, in which Lars Frederiksen, based on a number of his own papers, identifies how employment strategy is significant for companies’ survival and growth. In addition, he examines how peoples’ previous connection to the industry and professional experience affect the likelihood that these people will start a business and whether or not it will survive over time.

Lars Frederiksen is also interested in innovation in project-based, professional service companies. His analyses include how knowledge creation and sharing is supported through social networking. This can for instance be done by establishing projects, in which people from different industries and different educational backgrounds participate.

According to Lars Frederiksen, the participants could include architects, management consultants, engineers, economists, anthropologists etc. The question is how organisations can select various project teams in such a way that generates new, useful knowledge.

Innovation management on the agenda
IMG’s ambition is to create a good, international reputation, but also to create a public debate about what good innovation management and strategy is and can be. The group is also aiming to have its work published in international journals about organisational theory and innovation.

IMG is also responsible for a two-year Master’s degree programme in Innovation Management. The teaching employs a financial and organisational angle, and many of the group’s own research results are used in the teaching.

- We teach our students to think strategically and actively with regard to innovation mechanisms and opportunities through the combination of ideas, people, organisation, transactions and rights, says Lars Frederiksen and continues:

- In order to keep the vocational focus sharp, we are also looking to actively involve practicians from various companies in the teaching.

Platform between companies and research
Lars Frederiksen is also responsible for the series of seminars entitled Practitioners in Innovation, which creates a platform between the business world and researchers. Large as well as small and medium-sized companies participate and try to find inspiration on how to work with innovation from a strategic perspective. According to Lars Frederiksen, such an initiative is pivotal for a research field such as innovation.

- We would like to know which forces and barriers companies in the real world have experienced with regards to innovation. Judging by the growing number of participants (approximately 100 participants at every seminar), the initiative has been a success, says Lars Frederiksen.

On 13 April, Jens Gundersen, CEO at Unisense FertiliTech, will give his presentation entitled “Innovation in UniSense FertiliTech: Low-tech practices in a high-tech industry” as part of the series of seminars.

Lars Frederiksen started at the Department of Business Administration in 2010 as a Visiting Research Fellow. He was previously affiliated with the Imperial College in London and Copenhagen Business School.

For further information

Lars Frederiksen, Professor with special responsibilities (MSO)
Aarhus University, Business and Social Sciences
Department of Business Administration
Tel: (+45) 87 16 51 82