Mikael Søndergaard

Staff portrait: Mikael Søndergaard

Mikael Søndergaard is associate professor at the Department

How long have you been employed at the Department of Economics and Business?
I have been with this department for 11 years, more precisely since January 2003.

What is your background?
Before I came to Aarhus University, I was at Odense University/University of Southern Denmark for more than 10 years where I further developed a background in international business and organization studies. Ever since, I have maintained an interest in the international dimensions of business organizations.

My PhD is from Aarhus School of Business in the early 1990s.

My way to a PhD was not a straight line as I did several uneven stops on the way. I was a research fellow at the European University Institute in Florence. Before then I concluded a Cand. Scient. Pol. degree from Aarhus University and a Master’s Degree from University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Before that I spent the first year of preparing for access to Ecole Normale Supérieure in a high school called Lycee Pilote de Sèvres. Here I got an indebt knowledge of French civilization, history and language which was a great asset when I interviewed French bankers for my PhD project.

What are your main areas of research?
The international and the comparative perspectives of empirical dimensions have stayed with me since my PhD work. I have continued a lot of the research themes that grew out of my PhD project. Most of these themes have behavioural and empirical components. I have also continued an interest in methods. 

What research projects are you working on at the moment?
At the moment I am finishing a project as a focused issue editor for Management International Review (MIR) with Professor Mark F. Peterson where a collection of contributions challenge one of the conventional units of analysis of international business research.

With Professor Marilyn L. Taylor, University of Missouri, I am also finishing a book project for Sage Publication called Adventures in Case Study Research: A Guide for Business and Management Students.

With Professor Niels Noorderhaven and Professor emeritus Ole Ø. Madsen, I am working on a project with the working title Stakeholder Context Complexity and Cross-Border M&As. Lessons from Air France – KLM and MD Foods – Arla.

Furthermore, I work on some book chapters and invited reviews. And I have a still number of projects in the pipeline

What are you involved in teaching-wise at the moment?
I am involved with four different courses.

First, Internationalisation of the Firm at the FIB programme. Second, I also teach International Management. It is a master level course with focus on the business skills related to organizational performance of internationalized firms. Third, I teach a course on international business of multinational enterprises called Transnational Management. Using the perspective of “Transnational Solutions” the course deals with the interrelationships between organizational capabilities and global business environments. Fourth, as organizer and contributor I am involved with a week-long PhD Course that started in 2005 and was nicknamed the Aarhus Master Class in Global and Cross Cultural Management Research. The master class travelled to the University of Maastricht and lately to Istanbul where it was held as part of the PhD summer school at Koç University. In 2014 we plan the 9th workshop to be held at the University of Maastricht.

Are you planning to take part in any conferences or the like abroad in the near future?
Hopefully I will be able to go to the annual meeting of the Academy of Management this year. I have put a proposal to organize a Professional Development Workshop on case research based theory development and have submitted a paper. 

Are you expecting any visiting researchers from abroad in the near future (or have you had any visitors from abroad recently)?
Given the economic situation at the Department in 2014 I have decided to go Dutch regarding my visitors in two ways.

First, Professor Niels Noorderhaven from Tilburg University spent some time in late January developing a paper with me. Noorderhaven will come twice or more for short visits in 2014.

Another Dutch visitor is Professor Huub Ruel who will be working with me on a project on business diplomacy - a research field that I and others started more than 15 years ago. Professor Sjoerd Beugelsdijk from University of Groningen also plans to pay us a visit as well as professor Güenter Stahl from University of Vienna/INSEAD.

Second, all of my visitors will go Dutch on the expenses of these visits as the Department’s budget will not be affected. 

Are you cooperating with researchers from other departments at AU at the moment?
I have been working with Professor Jørn Flohr Nielsen on a project of remote control of Danish subsidiaries aboard. 

What do you do when you are not at work?
I have fun “playing” with food and tastes when I am not at work. I love to cook and spend time exploring ways of cooking.

Lately, I have been trying to learn slow cooking techniques at low temperatures. For instance, I put the food into plastic bags “sous vide” and place them in warm water. The vegetables are tasty and juicy and so are the breasts of pheasants that until now always have been too dry.

Supplementary question from Preben Bo Mortensen: Which unusual pieces of kitchen equipment would you recommend more people should get (you may limit the list to 10 items:-))
My favourite kitchen tool is a very small knife with a 5 cm long firm steal component that ends in a sharp point. It is specially designed to cut herbs and bought at E. Dehillerin during a family visit to Paris.  

To end Preben Bo’s request for a list of my kitchen machinery, it all began with a coffee gainer and a coffee roaster. 

Please give us your suggestion for the next department staff member to be presented:
Betina Sørensen

What specific supplementary question would you like him or her to answer?
She said that she was not at home enough to care of Mr. Pipsen (the budgie that Betina rescued). What keeps her busy in her spare time?



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