Tribute to Kurt Pedersen

Associate professor Kurt Pedersen sadly died on June 11, 2013. Kurt Pedersen was very active as a researcher and teacher almost right up to the very end. He was an enthusiastic employee and will be missed.

2013.06.20 | Julia Rolsted Stacey

Associate professor Kurt Pedersen from the Department of Business Administration sadly lost the fight to cancer early Tuesday morning on June 11, 2013.

"It is very sad that Kurt Pedersen has died," comments head of department Karen Brunsø and adds:

"Kurt Pedersen was a very enjoyable person and tremendously dedicated to his work. He will be greatly missed by – not only by colleagues and collaboration partners but also by his students".

A strong economist with a great interest in management

Kurt Pedersen headed two departments – first the Department of Economics at the former Aarhus School of Business during the period 1978-1981 and second the Department of International Business from 1998 to 2005.

Research wise, Kurt Pedersen covered a wide range of fields within particularly economics and international business. Also, business history and the history of economic ideas and marketing were among his fields of interest.

One of his last research projects dealt with case stories from industry, where Kurt Pedersen in collaboration with a historian described the histories of a number of companies. Another final research project was on how mergers and acquisitions restructured the international brewery industry. Moreover, Kurt Pedersen co-authored a number of textbooks.

"Kurt Pedersen was an economist through and through but he also had a large interest in management," says Erik Kloppenborg Madsen from the Department of Business Administration and adds:

"We had a well-functioning collaboration and wrote a number of publications together. As a researcher Kurt Pedersen was very productive and efficient. Quickly he put together a draft and we could go from there".

A very committed teacher

Kurt Pedersen’s teaching was very much appreciated by his students.

"He was devoted to teaching and you could simply feel his commitment in the classes. He really cared", says Jeppe Sand Laursen, who is currently enrolled in the master programme in finance and international business, and adds:

"Kurt Pedersen was an excellent teacher".

Also, Jeppe Sand Laursen praises Kurt Pedersen as supervisor. Kurt Pedersen had considerable knowledge about most subjects and could see things from different theoretical angles but also from a practitioner’s point of view".

Jeppe Sand Laursen explains that Kurt Pedersen enjoyed the interaction with his students a great deal.

"During class, Kurt Pedersen was a lot of fun and a very good disseminator. He even persuaded us to sing during class. I have never tried that before at the university," concludes Jeppe Sand Laursen.

Spread joy

One of Kurt Pedersen’s characteristics was to spread joy.

"He whistled down the hall and cared for his colleagues. He wanted to know how we were doing," explains Merete Elmann from the department.

"When Kurt Pedersen was in the room, everyone knew he was there," she says.

The Whisky-Drinking and Debating Society

Years back Kurt Pedersen was one of the founders of a whisky-drinking and debating society at Aarhus School of Business. Here a group of researchers met on a regular basis to debate a specific subject. Kurt Pedersen personally selected and bought high quality whisky. The fine whisky was meant to promote high quality presentations and interesting discussions.

"Kurt Pedersen read a great amount of books and was indeed a music lover. He listened especially to classical music. Also, it took many years before Kurt Pedersen got himself a phone and he never went from radio to television," says Erik Strøjer Madsen from the Department of Economics and Business and continues:

"As a person, Kurt Pedersen was warm and pleasant. He talked directly to people and therefore came in contact with many. He had a great sense of humor and could come up with quick and fun remarks".

"Kurt Pedersen was an icebreaker with self-irony. He was fun to work with, an efficient colleague and good to travel with. We communicated well," concludes Erik Kloppenborg Madsen.

Lived in Brabrand

Privately Kurt Pedersen was married to Margrethe Petersen. They lived together in Brabrand. Margrethe Petersen works at the Department of Business Communication.

The funeral took place on June 15, 2013 in the church of Brabrand.