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The Aarhus BSS Research Award 2016

The 2016 Aarhus BSS Research Award goes to Anders Ryom Villadsen in recognition of his outstanding contribution to research. He has published several scientific papers in highly ranked journals, attracted external funding and developed an impressive network of international research relations. Each year, the Aarhus BSS Research Award is presented to a junior researcher who has demonstrated exceptional creativity and productivity in his or her research.

2016.08.19 | Julia Rolsted Stacey

Anders Ryom Villadsen: A creative cosmopolitan, who has now been awarded the Aarhus BSS Research Award 2016. Photo: AU Foto.

What is your area of research?

In my research I primarily focus on public organisation and management as well as on the relationship between companies and the state.

Your research is both inventive and creative. Can you tell us in what way?

I have applied several types of data which are not normally applied in my field of research.

For example, I have explored what networks mayors are part of. In the study, we were able to uncover which mayors met professionally on different boards and other professional fora. Another example is that, together with researchers from the Department of Political Science, I used the 2007 municipal reform as a kind of experiment.  We used the reform as a basis for several different studies. In another project, I contributed to collecting data from managers and board members in China and explored their personal relations to the state. One of the conclusions from the study is that personal relations contribute to improving company performance. Right now I am finalising a project on discrimination in public and private workplaces. Here, I am applying an approach which has before been used in Denmark.

What will the future bring? What is your next career goal?

I want to continue conducting exciting research and diving into the topics which I find the most interesting. For example, I would like to further explore the concept of employee diversity and discrimination and conduct more studies. I would like to contribute with more publications within the topic of employee diversity in both private and public companies and link this to discrimination. I would also like to extend my international network and go on more stays abroad.

You are good at navigating internationally. What can others learn from you?

I have stayed at foreign universities for both long and short periods of time. I have visited China on a regular basis - once or twice a year. Here, I have partly worked with colleagues and partly taught classes. My stays in China have given me the opportunity to get to know the country, and I have familiarised myself with how to conduct research in China. In addition, I have worked in the US on several occasions. All of my stays abroad have been extremely useful and have taught me a lot. They have inspired me in my research. The stays have been driven by my interest in learning, and I have prioritised the opportunity to spend time abroad.

What is the best advice you can give to young researchers?

My research has contained a mixture of focus and width. This has allowed me to be constantly involved in exciting projects and to be able to alternate between the projects. I have been good at submitting my work to journals when I felt that it was ready. The manuscripts might not always have been perfect down to the last detail, but they have been ready for the review process.

About Anders Ryom Villadsen

Today, Anders Ryom Villadsen is professor at the Department of Management at Aarhus BSS. He is married to Nadia, who is a teacher. They have four children.

Educational background:

2010: PhD, Aarhus University

2007: MSc in Economics and Management, Aarhus University

2004: BSc in Political Science, Aarhus University


2016: Professor, the Department of Management, Aarhus BSS

2012: Associate Professor, the Department of Management, Aarhus BSS

2010: Assistant Professor, the Department of Economics and Business Economics, Aarhus BSS

Selection criteria for being considered for the Aarhus BSS Research Award

Each head of department can recommend up to two of their junior researchers.

The Aarhus BSS Research Award comes with a one-off bonus of DKK 50,000, which the recipient is expected to spend on continuously strengthening his or her research. For example by spending time at another internationally recognised research institution.

The award is presented to a junior researcher, who is employed as either a PhD student, postdoc, assistant professor or associate professor, and who is approximately 35 years old.

See the complete list of this year’s award winners.

Aarhus BSS