Call for Essays: Measuring Sustainability and CSR

The measurement and reporting of sustainability and CSR-related indicators is only growing in importance. Yet, as a few scholars have pointed out recently there are important issues with such measurements. We are commencing work on a book on this important topic. The book will be published in 2022 by Springer, as part of the Ethical Economy book series. The book’s tentative title is “Measuring Sustainability and CSR: From reporting to decision-making”, and would situate the book as an interdisciplinary collection of informed essays about the topic. Rather than full-blown academic papers, we are open to more conceptual, reflective, or even normative short essays that will help the reader understand the issues and challenges at hand, and maybe even point towards possible solutions. Here is the call for proposals:

Balancing Incremental and Radical Business Model Innovation

My former student Meri Sahramaa (today a project manager at Capgemini) conducted a study two years ago that I supervised on innovation labs in the banking sector. Her work won her our master thesis of the year award, and with a little help from my old friend Marcel Bogers we turned it into an academic article that has just been published in Journal of Business Research – a journal I always wanted to publish in. We report that labs are constrained in their exploration of new business models by the need to satisfy top and core business managers. They do this among others by balancing incremental and radical innovation. Small incremental innovation provides the freedom for larger more radical innovation. Read about it here.

Business Models and Cognition

We recently published the anthology “Business Models and Cognition” (Emerald), a collection of papers by great colleagues examining how theories of cognition can inform business model research. Our paper “Exploring the Connections Between Business Models and Cognition: A Commentary”, co-authored with Marcel Bogers and Robert Galavan, provides an overview of the exciting developments in this area.

Long Term Competitive Dynamics in Denmark

Again and again I hear managers saying that the world has become such a dynamic place that it is useless to spend time on strategic planning, since plans can be scrapped again before they can even be implemented. Some scholars have called this state of affairs “hypercompetition” – a situation in which competition becomes increasingly dynamic and firms cannot build long term competitive advantages.

With my PhD student Annesofie Lindskov and colleague Johannes K. Dreyer we tested this hypothesis for firms listed on the Danish stock exchange and over a period of almost 40 years. Our conclusion: there is little evidence of any hypercompetition. My interpretation: as a manager you can still do strategy work. You can still plan. You can still build competitive advantages. The full article can be downloaded here.

Measuring Perceived Trends

In an article just published in MethodsX, my PhD student Kathrine Egfjord and I propose a simple Delphi-inspired methodology for eliciting and measuring perceptions of industry change. The method is designed to provide a qualitative comparison of the perceptions of different groups of individuals. We used it to compare the perceptions of two different groups of managers, subjected to different information environments in their daily jobs. Not surprisingly we found that they perceive different trends.

Business Models and Cognition

At the end of 2020 our new edited book “Business Models and Cognition” will be available online and in print. In this book we explore, together with group of top business model scholars, how cognition theories can benefit business model studies. In our introductory paper, “Exploring the Connections Between Business Models and Cognition: A Commentary”, I present my reflections together with Robert Galavan and Marcel Bogers.

Exploring Marketing Challenges and Advertiser-Agency Relationships

My former PhD fellow Henrik Jensen and I have just published an article in the newly established Nordic Journal of Media Management (Aalborg University Press), based on his PhD thesis, in which we explore contemporary marketing challenges from the perspective of Danish advertisers, and how these advertisers use different types of agencies. We conclude (among others) that larger advertisers use multiple different types of agencies to solve marketing problems, but prefer to retain control (i.e. avoiding the one-stop-shop model).

Moving teaching online during the Corona epidemic

Universities and other higher education institutions are closing down across the world due to the Corona epidemic, and many instructors are being asked to move their teaching online. As most will have no experience with this I have written a short paper outlining some recommendations based on my own experience of leading online programmes and teaching online courses. Feel free to share.

Do you see what I see?

Together with one of my PhD students, Kathrine Egfjord, I just published a paper in Technological Forecasting and Social Change, entitled “Do you see what I see? How differing perceptions of the environment can hinder radical business model innovation“. In this paper we “suggest that differences in strategic issue identification and interpretation can help to explain the cognitive barriers that emerge when incumbent firms try to engage with radical business model innovation. We propose and test a Delphi-based method to elicit and examine differences in the perception of industry trends, comparing innovators, core business employees, and external experts, in the context of a leading Nordic insurance firm. We find considerable disagreement between members of the innovation department and the core business, in this firm. We suggest this helps explain why internal innovators find it challenging to “sell” radically new business models to the core business. More generally, we contribute to the growing literature on business model innovation in incumbent firms.” The full paper can be downloaded here.