Novo Nordisk Foundation Professor of Enterprise Foundations

The Novo Nordisk Foundation Professor of Enterprise Foundations is a permanent professorship supported by CBS and a 5-year grant by the Novo Nordisk Foundation.

Endowed Professorship in Enterprise Foundation Governance

Enterprise foundations are foundations that own companies. Foundation ownership is particularly common in Denmark, whose largest companies – Novo Nordisk, A. P. Møller Maersk, Carlsberg, Danfoss, Grundfos, William Demant, Rambøll, COWI and many more – are owned in this way. The model is less common outside Denmark, but some of the world’s largest and most successful companies –  Ikea, Bosch, Rolex,  Tata or the Swedish Wallenberg Sphere – are also foundation-owned.

Compared conventional family- or investor-owned companies, enterprise foundations are characterized by long time horizons, philanthropic goals and the absence of personal profit motives. Foundation-owned companies tend to be more stable and financially conservative. They invest more in R&D, and they treat their employees better.

The Novo Nordisk endowed professorship is intended to provide a knowledge base for the successful governance of enterprise foundations. What are their unique strengths and weaknesses? Which challenges to they face? How can the challenges be address to create value for business and society?

Facts about the Endowed Chair in Enterprise Foundation Governance

The donation covers funding for the Chair, an associate professorship, a PhD and a postdoctoral position at CBS as well as support for research activities. The donation will be running until 2024 at which point the area is intended to be an integrated part of CBS with a number of tenured positions.

The professorship is held by Steen Thomsen, Center for Corporate Governance at CBS, who has launched the research project “Long-term Ownership and Value Creation in Enterprise Foundations”.

Publications, seminars and other activities will be published at the home page which is currently under construction.


The page was last edited by: Dean's Office, Research // 11/04/2020