Multi-million grant goes to CBS management research

Is it possible to better the management of companies by means of an app that whispers wise words to the manager through the phone in the pocket? The Danish Industry Foundation has granted approximately DKK 13 million to three projects which should improve the performance of the Danish manager.


Can a course app help develop busy managers? What dilemmas and paradoxes challenge managers today? Which leadership characteristics contribute to company growth in high risk decisions?

These questions will keep three new projects busy for the next four years. The projects are the results of the Danish Industry Foundation's focus on management in the Danish corporate sector and they have received a total grant of DKK 13.76 million from the foundation.

App will guide managers to better decisions
Practicing languages through apps like Duolingo and Babbel has become all the rage. Now, managers can probably look forward to an app which functions as a mentor guiding them through their daily challenges.

In one of the research projects, entitled "iLead", focus is to study whether help from an app can provide busy managers of small and medium-sized companies with more flexibility to improve their qualifications.

The app will send short messages to the managers with info that facilitates decision-making. The app thereby motivates managers to reflect on the decisions they make, Professor at CBS and research project leader Niels Westergård-Nielsen explains.

"We cannot solve the managers' problems - the best solutions are made by the managers themselves in their context. However, we can give them the necessary tools to improve their ability to reflect on their own practice", he says.

The first task is to identify new management-related challenges in an increasingly digital and globalised world. With these challenges as the starting point, the next step for the research team is to develop the app course, which will be tested on the managers. The team therefore also consists of two IT researchers from CBS’ Department of Digitalization.

"Managers in small companies rarely have time to attend further education or participate in conferences. And they may not have the digital tools to gain an overview when the organisation grows. We hope that our research will equip managers to enhance their qualifications. And potentially, we will increase the phenomenon of app courses in management", Niels Westergård-Nielsen says.

The ambition is for 400 managers to participate in the iLEAD project. The                                                    results will be ready within the next four years. The project is an interdisciplinary cooperation with a psychologist from the University of Copenhagen and a management professor from Aarhus University.

An overview of the three projects which have received funding:

Project name: Management-GPS in a new era: From comfort zone to competitive forces.
Grant recipient: Signe Vikkelsø and Henrik Holt Larsen, Department of Organization
Awarded amount: DKK 2.21 million
Based on existing literature and research, a white paper is produced to present relevant knowledge on management dilemmas. Afterwards, specific management/development projects will be carried out in ten Danish companies. In the third phase of the project, a book will be written to put the company findings into perspective and compile these into a practical guide useful for other companies.
Contact Signe Vikkelsø or Henrik Holt Larsen

Project name: New management principles – the double-edged sword of risk.
Grant recipient: Thomas Plenborg and Jeppe Christoffersen, Department of Accounting and Auditing
Awarded amount: DKK 4.50 million
The purpose of the project is to strengthen the companies' ability to predict when high-risk decisions should be taken. The project researches managerial characteristics and competences in approximately 30 small and mid-size companies and whether these contribute to high-risk decisions resulting in growth rather than bankruptcy.
Contact Thomas Plenborg or Jeppe Christoffersen 

Project name: iLead
Grant recipient: Niels Westergård-Nielsen
Awarded amount: DKK 7.05 million
The project focuses on developing knowledge about how new types of challenges within management practice are solved by future leaders and experiments with the effects of new types of digital courses to support management. Contact Niels Westergård-Nielsen



The projects are established as a result of the Danish Industry Foundation’s call for management research in the end of 2016.

On 29 August 2017, the Danish Industry Foundation presents a total of seven new management projects at an event at Langelinie Pavillonen in Copenhagen. The event is primarily directed at managers in the Danish corporate sector.

For more information, please contact:
Journalist at CBS
Matilde Hørmand-Pallesen mail: mobile phone: 4185 2205


The page was last edited by: Communications // 09/02/2020