Research focus

While the AIROD group members represent different research foci, what unites their efforts is their focus on organisational development and strategy implementation.

In that sense, their different disciplines jointly provide a strong research-based foundation of practical relevance to any private or public enterprise involved in organisational development and strategic implementation initiatives. The main disciplines currently represented within the group include (but is not limited to): 


Strategy formulation is foundational to any business. Strategy formulation is the first step in organisational development initiatives, and strategy implementation is to execute the strategy and make it happen.

The strategy research conducted in the AIROD group revolves around strategy formulation in Danish enterprises, with a particular focus on benchmarking of Danish enterprises' strategy work. The key words are strategy formulation, implementation and strategy-as-practice. 


Once a strategy has been set and the organisational design established, marketing becomes central for promoting the organisation's resources.

The particular focus of AIROD's marketing research is the cultural dimension of doing business. The purpose of our marketing research is to draw attention to the cultural factors in business research in order to expand and deepen our understanding of doing business in a globalised world.

Culture plays an important part for research, not just for the way customers and consumers behave, but also for the questions raised, the issues addressed and the methods used in research. Analysing markets and organisations requires a rich understanding of cultural factors such as identity formation, rituals and symbols, and the impact culture has on marketing communication.     

Organisational Design

Organisational design is a branch of organisation theory that deals with a) how organisations, seen as structures that usefully aggregate the efforts of individuals, work and b) how to make them work better.  

In that respect, organisational design provides the foundation for strategy implementation by uniting the efforts of organisational members towards the joint pursuit of a common organisational goal.

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)

Cutting-edge innovation and competitive advantage can result from weaving social and environmental considerations into business strategy from the beginning.

AIROD's research on CSR focuses on how to incorporate CSR's impact on organisational decision-making and behaviour through organisational development activities.

Examples of current research projects of the group

Strategy work in Danish private and public companies

Jens Holmgren, Ole Uhrskov Friis and Jacob Kjær Eskildsen 

We are analysing the results from a survey with 3,500 respondents from more than 1,700 private and public companies that we conducted in 2015. The survey asked top managers, middle managers and employees about their perception of the strategy work conducted in their company. 

Middle managers' approach to strategic management in the public sector

Jens Holmgreen and Ole Uhrskov Friis

Through focus group interviews, we investigate how middle managers cope with strategic management, especially how they balance their lack of influence on the strategy content with the implementation of the strategy.

Technology developments in robotics

Jean-Paul Peronard

This study looks at recent technology developments in robotics which pose rich market opportunities. While the potential benefits of applying robots are extensive, the research into robot research agendas is limited. By examining the valorisation of robots, we develop a framework for understanding the drivers for international robotic development that can be used to understand controversies surrounding the cultural acceptance and implementation of technology in general and robotics in particular.

Collaborative communities

Dorthe Døjbak Håkonsson, Charles Snow, Børge Obel and Lars Bach

In this project, we aim to better understand how collaborative communities obtain coordination without traditional hierarchical coordination mechanisms.

The last decade has seen the emergence of a new organisational form called collaborative communities (Snow, Håkonsson, Obel, 2016; Fjeldstadt et al., 2012). Collaborative communities have emerged as a result of the global economy’s demands for continuous innovation of both products and services. Collaborative communities are defined by a high degree of reconfigurability (Galbraith, 2010). Following the principles of requisite variety (Ashby, 1956), collaborative communities achieve high complexity. Unlike previous organisational forms, however, this complexity is not achieved through increased hierarchical complexity, but by way of actors dynamically forming collaborative relationships. This means that self-organisation rather than managerial fiat (Willamson, 1975) defines these organisational forms’ operating core. While the literature contains a number of explanations, there is a need for a theoretical specification of the underlying mechanisms that enable these communities to work.

Collaborative communities are new in organisational science, but biology holds a number of insights on, for instance, how ants and spiders achieve collaboration through self-organisation. Building on the combined insights of biologists and organisational scientists, as well as our combined expertise in simulation studies, we aim to provide new insights into the organising principles of collaborative communities with relevance to both fields.

Self-interest vs. cooperation in distributed teams: The influence of media richness

Dorthe Døjbak Håkonsson, Panos Mitkidis, Jacob Kjær Eskildsen, Børge Obel and Rich Burton 

Self-interest vs. cooperation is a fundamental dilemma in animal behaviour as well as in human and organisational behaviour.

In organisations, getting people to cooperate despite or in conjunction with their self-interest is fundamental to the achievement of a common goal.

While both organisational designs and social interactions have been found to further cooperation in organisations, some of the literatures have received contradictory support, just as very little research, if any, has examined their joint effects in distributed organisations, where communication is usually achieved via different communication media.

This project examines these issues in a laboratory study that monitors participants’ tendency to cooperate under different conditions. 

Circular economy. Innovative business models in the wake of new institutional demands and changing consumer trends

Tina Magaard, Annabeth Aagaard and Peter Lindgren

This is not currently a research project but a conference that will be held in November 2016, launching the initiation of a new research project focused on circular economy.

In connection with the launch of its new Circular Economy Package, the EU commission announced the following: Our planet and our economy cannot survive if we continue with the 'take, make, use and throw away' approach. We need to retain precious resources and fully exploit all the economic value within them. The circular economy is about reducing waste and protecting the environment, but it is also about a profound transformation of the way our entire economy works.

Building on this call, the aim of the conference is to enhance the knowledge base needed in order to realise the changes on the ground. Specific attention will be paid to the interfaces between the different stakeholders in the economic system in order to identify obstacles that hinder and triggers that enable the development of a circular economy.