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Professor of Business Administration specialising in corporate governance, with emphasis on entrepreneurial firms. Appointed in 2016.
Jonas Gabrielsson conducts research on corporate governance in entrepreneurial firms, which include new and growing ventures. The focus is on how ownership and control influence strategy and business development. He also conducts research on academic entrepreneurship – how publicly funded research is commercialised and disseminated through incubators and other types of innovation support.
“It’s about entrepreneurial academics and how this can be linked to the dissemination of research, that is, its actual diffusion. I’m interested in different ways of commercialising and utilising research and the interaction between various intermediaries in the innovation support system”, says Jonas Gabrielsson.
In several of his projects, he has studied the interaction between research and broader society.
“Research is important so that we as scholars can contribute to society. It’s a tool that keeps us up-to-date, informed about what is happening, and sharp in our minds. Research is in this respect not an end in itself but a means. One of the main mechanisms for utilising our research is actually the students we meet, we challenge their ways of thinking and give them opportunities to learn new things.”
In Lund, Jonas Gabrielsson worked at the interdisciplinary research centre Circle (Centre for Innovation, Research and Competence in the Learning Economy).
“It created distinctness in my own discipline, because I had the opportunity to work with people from different scholarly disciplines. Working in multidisciplinary environments is very rewarding”, he says.
Jonas Gabrielsson recently published an article in the field of sustainable development – an area he finds particularly important. The project focused on the commercialisation of water innovations and included collaborations with people from disciplines that he had previously never worked with – a challenge that he really enjoyed.
“It was really fun, and led to concrete and tangible results. I enjoy working with projects where I learn new things while at the same time getting somewhere with my research.”
Jonas Gabrielsson is driven by challenges, and today his biggest challenge is to create a stable base for his research in Halmstad. After his years in Lund, he now needs to build a new foundation, for example in terms of research funding. However, finding interfaces with adjoining areas of research, both internally and externally, is equally important.
“My research should not to be a closed system – it crosses disciplinary boundaries and has links to other research conducted at the university. It’s also fun to work with people who are not like me”, he says.
Jonas Gabrielsson started his academic career by studying freestanding courses in informatics at Halmstad University after an upper-secondary education in economics – a subject he later returned to when he began studying business administration at the same university. He obtained a Bachelor’s degree in strategic marketing, but also studied a bachelor specialisation in financial control. He devoted his Master’s studies to strategy and change management.
“I was just a regular student on the Bachelor’s programme, but studying came fairly easy to me. It wasn’t until the Master’s programme that I became interested in research. I came to understand the strengths and weaknesses of different theories and discovered that there were people around me who both inspired and challenged my way of thinking.”
Jonas Gabrielsson long believed that theory and practice were two separate things, but during his Master’s studies, he realised that theory is very practical and that practice is the basis of theory – an insight that told him that there is something to research.
“What inspires me is meeting all these people who challenge my beliefs and make me think further. If I’ve learned anything, it is that you have to constantly sharpen your mind, and this is done by challenging yourself”, he says.
Jonas Gabrielsson feels humble with respect to his new role as professor, not least the obligations that come with the title.
“Being a professor means taking responsibility for the quality of both research and education. Over the next ten years, I want to devote myself to developing my subject within the research environment that I am part of – with regard to both education and research. Taking on this responsibility is something that motivates me greatly.”
Jonas Gabrielsson was born in 1975 in Varberg, where he also grew up. After studying business administration at Halmstad University, he was encouraged to apply for a PhD programme in Lund, where he obtained a doctorate in 2003 with his thesis “Boards and Governance in SMEs: An Inquiry to Boards’ Contribution to Firm Performance”. He then started working at the BI Norwegian Business School in Oslo. In 2005, he returned to Lund University as a postdoc, and was appointed senior lecturer in 2007. In 2011, he started working at Halmstad University, where he now works full-time since 2016. Jonas Gabrielsson was appointed Professor in 2016.