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A Long and Proud History

What was originally known as book keeping and analysis of financial statements has from day no. 1 constituted a core subject at the Stockholm School of Economics.

In due course, costing, opportunity costs and discounted cash flow techniques also became a central theme in Business administration. A thorough education in what we nowadays incorporate in accounting was thus viewed as fundamental for establishing business minded thinking.

The role model for the first and foremost Swedish business school was the German Handelshochschulen and in 1909, Ernst Walb was brought from Königsberg and allowed to teach the subject matter in German. In 1915, Oskar Sillén was appointed professor and stayed in office until 1951. In fact, Sillén was the only professor in Business administration, or commercial techniques as it was known in those days, until the mid 1930´s and therefore left his mark on much of the Schools development.

In 1934, a second professorship was appointed and from now on Sillén focused on accounting and auditing. Gerhard Törnqvist, the second professor, chaired the development in cost analysis and pricing, a role that was later subsumed by Paulson Frenckner, who also pioneered in the field of business economics. Sven-Erik Johansson, the first Ph.D. supervised by Paulson Frenckner, was in 1961 appointed the chair in accounting that had Sillén as its first tenant.

The period from 1980 and onwards has been one of expansion and differentiation at the school. One of the first new chairs was in internal applications of accounting. Through the 1980´s and 90´s, a number of professors with a long-standing service at the School have been active at the department. Lars Östman, Peter Jennergren, Lars A. Samuelsson and Kenth Skogsvik, have all held tenure.

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