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Business conference with focus on interdisciplinarity

On Friday 2 June, 300 alumni, partners and employees took part in the very first Aarhus BSS Business Conference. The topic was management in the new world, and the programme included presentations from researchers across Aarhus BSS as well as corporate leaders. Thus, the conference emphasised the interdisciplinary nature of the school as well as the interplay between theory and practice.

2017.07.03 | Sinne B. Jakobsen

300 participants took part in Aarhus BSS' first business conference on 2 June. Photo: AU Foto.

Many of the Aarhus BSS’s academic disciplines were in play when the school held its very first business conference on Friday 2 June under the heading “Management in the new world”. The target group was primarily alumni, the business community and the school’s partners, but also employees and a few students had found their way to the conference. The 300 participants could choose between eight different sections with presentations from researchers across Aarhus BSS as well as a number of corporate leaders. This gave the participants an insight into not only the latest management research across the school, but also into management from a more practical perspective. And that was indeed the aim of the conference, explains Head of the Department Jacob Kjær Eskildsen, who has also been one of the main drivers behind the event:

“With the business conference, we wanted to give the world around us an idea of the many academic disciplines that interact at Aarhus BSS. We also wanted to show how our research contributes in public as well as private companies. We invited the business community to take part in the conference as this demonstrates the close relationship between theory and practice. The conference has shown that we can work together – both internally across our academic fields and with the world around us. This has been an incredible experience.”

Great interest in the business community

Professor Lotte Bøgh Andersen from the Department of Political Science was one of the 12 researchers from Aarhus BSS who presented their work at the conference. Her presentation focused on how management can contribute to increasing the employee’s motivation and the organisation’s performance. After the presentation, the audience - who represented both the public and private sector - engaged in a constructive discussion and exchange of experience:

“In terms of management and motivation, organisations are in some ways rather similar as employees are motivated by some of the same mechanisms - regardless of whether they’re employed in the public or private sector,” Lotte Bøgh Andersen explains.”To me, Aarhus BSS can use the business conference not only to show how we cooperate across departments, but also how we combine knowledge about public and private companies for the benefit of both types of organisations.” 

Aarhus BSS has never before hosted a business conference of this magnitude, but this was only the first of many. According to Jacob Kjær Eskildsen, the conference will from now on be a recurring annual event:

“Naturally, we will now evaluate the conference and see if there are things we should adjust or do differently next year,” he says.”But I’m very happy with the how event panned out, and I can safely say that we’ll repeat the success next year. The many satisfied participants also shows that the business community is very interested in these kinds of events, and this is naturally something that we should make the most of.”


See presentations and pictures from the conference

Aarhus BSS