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SSE is establishing a new professorship in educational organization and leadership

The Stockholm School of Economics is establishing a new professorship in organization and leadership of schools and in education. The new professorship is made possible by a donation from The Hans and Barbara Bergstrom Foundation and will be held by Professor Karl Wennberg. The donation amounts to SEK 60 million over a ten-year period and is presented on Barbara Bergström’s 75th birthday on 9 April.

The mission of The Hans and Barbara Bergstrom Foundation is to support projects for enlightenment, education, and research based in Sweden. The foundation is, for example, the principal financier of the remodeling of the Student Union building at Karolinska Institutet, has enabled Research!Sweden to foster favorable conditions for Sweden to maintain a leading position in medical research and innovation, and finances the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences’ annual “scientific journalism” award. The establishment of the Barbara Bergström Professorship in Educational Leadership and Excellence at the Stockholm School of Economics, facilitates a systematic accumulation of knowledge and expertise regarding leadership and organization in education. This will be the first donation-based professorship to bear the name of a woman.

Research in public organization is well in line with the Stockholm School of Economics’ basic mission to strengthen Swedish competitiveness through research and science-based education.

“A strong educational tradition is a cornerstone of Swedish democracy and one of the most important factors in securing the country’s competitiveness for the future. Accordingly, conducting qualified research into how schools function, are led and practically organized is a highly important task for a university such as the Stockholm School of Economics. We are extremely grateful for the donation and are very happy that Barbara Bergström’s 75th birthday is being celebrated with this tremendous investment in science and research,” says Lars Strannegård, President of the Stockholm School of Economics.

Karl Wennberg has been appointed as the holder of the Barbara Bergström Professorship and will also be the scientific leader of a new research center that will conduct independent research on school management and success factors for schools. Studies by the new research center will focus on how schools function in reality and will generate knowledge about what schools do, how they are managed and what promotes a culture for excellence.

Karl Wennberg currently holds a professorship at Linköping University and is now returning to the Department of Management and Organization at the Stockholm School of Economics, where he has previously been employed. Wennberg is one of the leading European scholars in entrepreneurship and organization theory, with a broad interest in the social sciences. Among other things, he is a member of the Young Academy of Sweden and a board member of Scancor at the Universities of Stanford and Harvard. Wennberg is also active in the public debate and has extensive experience as a lecturer in Sweden and abroad for non-profit organizations, authorities, and companies.

“The donation by The Hans and Barbara Bergstrom Foundation enables a long sought-after broadening of the Stockholm School of Economics’ research profile, in an area of importance to society which I am personally passionate about,” says Karl Wennberg, holder of the Barbara Bergström Professorship.

“We find it highly meaningful to contribute to an area of educational research that has been rather neglected in Sweden and which internationally goes under the name of ‘School Effectiveness Research’,” says Hans Bergström representing The Hans and Barbara Bergstrom Foundation.

“The approach builds on the assumption that schools in themselves, properly managed and with strong convictions, can make a major difference. Schools are not simply victims of external circumstances. With the Stockholm School of Economics, a leading institution, as its home, we believe it will be possible to build a strong center for research and education, adding a crucial school-based perspective. Barbara and I are enthusiastic that a prominent, productive and innovative researcher of Karl Wennberg’s caliber will be the first holder of the Barbara Bergström Professorship.”

For more information, please contact:

Lars Strannegård, President, Stockholm School of Economics, lars.strannegard@hhs.se,
+46 8 736 90 12

Karl Wennberg, Holder of the Barbara Bergström Professorship, karl.wennberg@hhs.se,
+46 70 510 53 66

Hans Bergström, Trustee for The Hans and Barbara Bergstrom Foundation, bergstrom_hans@hotmail.com