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HELLO THERE! Martin Wallin – new dean at Jönköping International Business School

Maria
 Gustafsson
DELA
Professor Martin Wallin is the new Dean at Jönköping International Business School.
Martin Wallin. Photo: Kristianne Marøy.

Today, he is a professor in innovation management at Chalmers University of Technology and affiliated with one of the world’s best universities, ETH Zurich. He values excellent research, a good working environment and genuine Småland cheesecake. In August 2024, Martin Wallin will join Jönköping International Business School (JIBS) as Dean and Academic Director.

Congratulations on your appointment! Was it an easy decision to accept the offer?

– Thank you, yes it feels really good! As an innovation researcher, it will be fun to manage a business school with a strong focus on innovation and entrepreneurship. And the international nature of Jibs attracts me – 40 percent of the teachers and researchers are from other countries, which makes the school unique in Sweden.

– In a group with many different perspectives and experiences, there is incredible power if you can come together. I can see that this is already the case at Jibs, and is something I will build upon.

According to Esbri’s survey, Jönköping University is in second place in the list of universities that have delivered the most dissertations in innovation and entrepreneurship research over the past four years. How will you defend that top spot?

– Jibs has a reputation outside Sweden and is known internationally for its high quality research. But that reputation must be nurtured at all times. For me it is important to invest in excellent research. So instead of focusing on quantity, we should focus on really good research. Having said that, we obviously want to keep the top spot going forward (laughs).

Some argue that the academic world is very competitive, and that this can contribute to a harsh climate with little tolerance for failure. How do you see it?

– Good question. As I said, it is important for me to focus on excellence. But one thing I have learnt from ETH Zurich is that excellence does not exclude a good working environment. Researchers should also be allowed to fail, it is essential to build teams that support each other.

– As a leader, I can encourage a culture where the most important thing is that we succeed in what really matters. Not always finishing on time or winning great prizes. That culture already seems to exist at Jibs and is something I want to strengthen and develop even more.

Given the geopolitical tensions around us and the rapid development of artificial intelligence, what do you predict is the next big thing for innovation and entrepreneurship research?

– Everything related to data and access to data is becoming increasingly important. Because you can’t build a service business without good access to data. Today, a few companies hold key resources, making it difficult to run a business. A lot is happening in this area.

Besides working, what are you most looking forward to about spending more time in Jönköping?

– I look forward to finding a really good supplier of genuine Småland cheesecake.

Contact martin.wallin@chalmers.se

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