Institute for Innovation Management

The Institute for Innovation Management hosts researchers from different disciplines and companies from all industries concerned with challenges and opportunities in conjunction with innovation.

To us, the concept of innovation is interpreted in the broadest possible sense: it means introducing something novel in established structures to be better prepared for the future. In a business context it can mean strategic change, entrepreneurship, technological changes, R&D, the successful introduction of a new product, and other things connected to change.

At the Institute for Innovation Management, we want to become leaders in understanding and managing these challenges to successfully manage an innovative future in society and business. At the Institute for Innovation Management, researchers from a range of disciplines and managers from firms in different industries come together to learn more about what is happening in society and how to organise and invest to explore opportunities and mitigate risk in this context.

We run joint research projects, we organise events and interactions between firms, researchers and students, and we offer tailormade executive education programs – all with the ambition to improve the way we manage innovation and the advancement of society.

What we’re interested in

The things we’re occupied with are the typical current concerns of industry and business when it comes to innovation and entrepreneurship. Today, they typically include such matters as:

  • From startup to growth: we work with firms of all sizes. At the Sten K Johnson Centre for Entrepreneurship we do research on a range of issues that small firms and startups are concerned with, such as growth, funding and ownership, investment, external relations, and rapid product development.
  • Strategic thinking for innovation: what models can we use to grasp future scenarios and processes in society and in our markets to be able to act before our competitors do?
  • Strategic response: being able to swiftly set new business ideas and build up capabilities when opportunities arise is a central matter for most firms. Investment decisions is a key factor in this situation.
  • Business model innovation: irrespective of whether you’re seeking to mitigate risk or aiming for first-mover advantages, you most likely need to consider changing all components of your business model. How can we do that in a coordinated manner?
  • Organising for innovation: innovative companies typically also need to manage structure, cost and efficiency, even if we sometimes forget these things. But balancing an innovative environment is easier said than done and that’s where agility and being able to respond swiftly while keeping things under control becomes important. 
  • Sustainable growth: in a world where the demand for sustainable alternatives is increasing, how can we rethink our own business models when it comes to tech shifts, changes to customer preferences and strategic change?
  • Digitalisation and the customers of the future: new generations of consumers use new technologies when they learn about and decide to buy, and for traditional firms this constitutes a potentially disrupting challenge as traditional and proven channels need be contested and replaced.
  • Technology transition: how do we understand how technological developments will impact our industry, and what we can do to benefit from it or even drive development?
  • Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning: in most industries these technological advancements are already household concepts that cannot be ignored anymore. How can we adjust to take advantage of these advancements? What can we learn from other firms and industries?
  • Immigrant and refugee entrepreneurship is a growing focus area for our research, not least as institutional forces in society drive the will and capacity of immigrants to become entrepreneurs. We investigate best practices and interesting cases where entrepreneurs resolve social issues.
  • Social entrepreneurship: we have several projects connected with the role of entrepreneurship in resolving pressing social needs in society such as inclusion and resource and service access as well as hands on issues like means of payment.

These are but a few examples of the questions we work with in different ways and formats with our partners.

How we do it

We work with three groups of activities that mirror the three tasks of contemporary university missions. We invite external stakeholders and involve all kinds of personnel internally, to provide an interactive context for addressing the needs and challenges of society.

  • Joint research with a clinical approach. We run all kinds of research projects with industry partners: shorter projects involving students and degree projects as well as four-year programs involving senior researchers and PhD students. We run projects with scientific ambitions that help partners but also take on commissioned research on pressing questions for partner firms.
  • Commissioned education and life long learning. We run a range of courses and programs in both physical and online formats on topics such as the Business Model Innovation, Design and Renewal of Business Models, Market & Competitive Intelligence, Strategic Analysis & Management, Corporate Governance, Corporate Intrapreneurship, Innovation Management for Sustainable Industrial Development, and more. We offer both open and tailormade courses.
  • We share knowledge to innovate. To get things done we need to meet, and at IIM we bring in the right people from academia, industries and organisations for interaction and exchange in the form of conferences, meetings, discussions, workshops, seminars, research presentations and more.

What are your challenges?

Get in touch!

We’re anxious to hear about your strategic challenges in relation to innovation and renewal. We’re constantly looking to get in touch with innovative firms, big and small, that deal with contemporary challenges and opportunities in creative ways. See contact details on this page.


Gustav Hägg and Jasna Pocek receive best paper award

Published: 2021-11-22
At this year´s RENT XXXV conference two of our researchers, Gustav Hägg and Jasna Pocek, from the Sten K Johnson Center for Entrepreneurship at Lund University, together with their coauthor Agnieszka Kurczewska from University of Łódz, Faculty of Economics and Sociology, Poland, have been granted the International Small Business Journal’s (ISBJ) Best Paper Award on challenging the traditional wisdom in entrepreneurship.

Learn more on the Sten K Johnson Center for Entrepreneurship’s website

New report: ”The Future of the Dairy Industry”

27 August 2021: This white paper reports the findings of an three-year research project, conducted by researchers at the Institute of Innovation Management at Lund University’s School of Economics and Management.

It should be of interest to anyone concerned with the long-range development of the dairy industry in the coming decade – from farm to retail distribution – and with the economic, technical and social forces that are coming to bear on it.

Find the working paper in the Lund University Research Portal

Access the full working paper (PDF 7,4 MB)

Workshop series: Strategic change work in an exciting time for entrepreneurship

In the spring 2022 we will offer you and your company to get the skills needed to drive successful strategic change work in one of the most exciting eras for entrepreneurship in modern times. The series is conducted in Swedish.

Apply by 20th January.

Read more here (


Thomas Kalling
Phone: +46 46 222 46 38
Room: Alfa 5,6 rum B437

Thomas Kalling

Lottie Norrsén
Business and industry coordinator
Phone: +46 46 222 68 21, +46 70 424 83 21
Room: Alfa1:1065

Lottie Norrsén
Last published: 2021-12-22