Interview with JIBS’ new dean

Having been the dean of JIBS for nearly two months, he’s had time to find his feet, and now Jerker Moodysson looks forward to making the most of the potential he sees in the school and its faculty.

During his time at Lund University, as a researcher within innovation and regional economics, Jerker Moodysson had his eye on JIBS.

“Coming here has confirmed the image I had of JIBS. The international profile, the research, that the education is in good order. But I was happy to discover that JIBS also has a very good work atmosphere. Those who work here seem to like their job and their duties.”

Compared with Lund University, Jerker Moodysson appreciates working in an organization with a high degree of specialization, he says, and in that he includes both JIBS and JU. The goal is not to excel at everything, but instead knowing what you are good at and use your strengths. He finds JIBS’ focus areas and guiding principles a good starting point for the next few years.

“To grow is not a goal in itself, but it’s a prerequisite if we want to maintain the quality we have now. And if we are to grow, we need to do it on external funding, both in terms of research and international fee-paying students. We cannot expect to get more money from the government.”

This of course involves becoming better at seeking external funding. Jerker Moodysson wants to create a culture where all faculty has a good balance between teaching and research, and where everyone feels engaged in finding research grants. He also wants to strengthen the knowledge and the ability to seek external funding.

Research Communication is also an area that is becoming increasingly important, not only to reach out to the public, but also to be able to show financiers what the research will lead to in concrete terms. To be able to write about one’s research in layman’s terms is another area that needs to be strengthened, both among the researchers and with the help of external support. In this and in other areas, teamwork is important.

“I'm not the type that travels the world and throws business cards at people, even if that is of course also necessary sometimes. More than anything, I work from the inside. At JIBS, there are people who are really good at communicating with the public, others who are dedicated to excellence in their field and yet others who are very talented teachers. My job is to unify the team, and utilize the potential of all faculty.”

Performance depends on how you feel, says Jerker Moodysson. Fear of failure can never be a driving force, instead it’s all about creating incentives and confidence.

“You do not achieve performance by putting pressure on people, but by having faculty who feel they have some control and that they are safe. I've always worked a lot on intuition and what I think is common sense. It's important to be honest with oneself and others, not trying to be something you are not.”

Something he would like to make better use of is JIBS’ opportunity to make an impact on society, since the school has an advantage over the older universities, where everything is much slower.

“I see lots of opportunities at JIBS for cooperation with the business community, because we are more agile. I think there is an untapped potential to really make an impact both locally, nationally and globally. That was one of the things that attracted me the most to coming here.”