Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Inauguration of a Professor -- The Swedes Do It with Style

Typically, in the US, when we think of an "inauguration" we have in mind the inauguration of the President.

In Sweden (and I suspect in other European countries, as well), an inauguration also takes place in academia to recognize a new Full Professor.

Since, for the past year, I have been a Visiting Professor at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden, as part of my sabbatical (this is actually my 4th trip back in the past 12 months), I am learning more and more about the academic culture in this great country.

Today, I had the distinct pleasure of attending  a lecture of the Professor who was being inaugurated.

The official invitation is below.
The lecture focused on the challenges of interorganizational value creation and discussed recent research in retail and buyer-supplier relationships. Issues of trust, transparency, and the importance of problem domains were emphasized. I was excited to hear quality and supply chains noted. Different relationships offer different potential to create value together.

Many words of wisdom were stated including: that trust is a building process but distrust can be caused by a single action.

Given how challenging it is for an organization (including a School of Business) to have its individuals incentivized and rewarded in a way that also moves the organization forward, interorganizational challenges and issues of control and management are even more complex.

In terms of intraorganizational performance,  Professor Agndal emphasized the importance of feeling that you belong, inclusiveness, and creating an atmosphere of support (even more important than monetary rewards).

 Afterwards, we were invited to a delicious lunch in celebration of our new Professor!

 I congratulate Professor Henrik Agndal on his new appointment and on a great event today!