The venerable British newspaper Times, writing about business gurus, called him a “star of the future”. In Scandinavia, he is known as an academic enfant terrible. His name is Alf Rehn, he has a chair of management and organization, a professorship of innovation and entrepreneurship, and an odd outlook on life. In addition to this he is active as a columnist, an author, and a sought-after speaker. As a thought-leader and a trickster he has challenged and amused people in a plethora of fields and in a number of countries.
Overall, professor Alf Rehn is one of the most interesting new voices in business thought today. A well-regarded academic, he combines rigorous analysis with a creative and often surprising outlook on life, bringing in things like popular culture and philosophical theory into his analyses of modern business and contemporary economy.
Alf’s approach to management and business is highly creative and often turns taken-for-granted notions on their head. Rather than presenting the same buzzword everyone else does, he challenges our thinking by arguing for things like taking frivolity seriously, that innovation has become boring, that brands are uninteresting and that real business wisdom can be found in comic books. At times provocative and always engaging, he represents a fresh new way of thinking about business.
Currently, Alf holds a chair of management and organization at Åbo Akademi University in Finland, a professorship of innovation and entrepreneurship at the Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden, and is recognized as one of Europe’s top young management scholars. He received a chair of management at the age of 31, and is still one of the youngest full professors in Scandinavia.
His research focuses on novel ways to understand management, organization and economy, and has been published in leading academic journals such as Creativity and Innovation Management, Group and Organization Management, Management and Organizational History and Entrepreneurship and Regional Development. Alf has contributed to works such as the Routledge Companion to Creativity and the Sage International Encyclopedia of Organization Studies. He is on the editorial board of several top management journals and edits a book series at a prominent Scandinavian publisher.