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Professor Lidija Polutnik in front of trees
Professor Lidija Polutnik
Photo: Handelshögskolan

GU Executive Education welcomes Professor Lidija Polutnik as new board member


Lidija Polutnik, Professor of Economics at Babson College in Boston, USA, has recently been elected as a new board member of GU Executive Education AB.

Lidija Polutnik has been engaged for many years in GU Executive Education's in-company custom programmes, as well as in the Executive MBA programme at the School of Business, Economics and Law at the University of Gothenburg. Lidija is passionate about strengthening relations between academia and business, and she appreciates the contacts with Swedish business leaders and research colleagues.

Collaborating since 2010

Lidija Polutnik grew up in Slovenia and moved to the USA for her Master’s and PhD studies. Her collaboration with the School of Business, Economics and Law at the University of Gothenburg began already in 2010. A research paper investigating the relationship between the costs and customers' value and the consequences on the firm's financial results, co-written by Lidija Polutnik, attracted interest of researchers and practitioners. This led to a request from the School of Business, Economics and Law for Lidija to develop an in-company custom programme in Shanghai for a multinational, Swedish industrial company. Lidija Polutnik accepted and then participated as part of the lecturing faculty of that programme for several years.

“I immediately appreciated the Swedish business leaders. They were serious, always well prepared, asked questions and challenged me as a lecturer in a way that created a terrific learning dynamic," remembers Lidija Polutnik.

The program in Shanghai led to research opportunities and collaborations with faculty at the School of Business, Economics and Law in Gothenburg. Between 2014 and 2020 Lidija Polutnik held a visiting professor position within the framework of the School's Visiting Professor programme. The collaboration with GU Executive Education continues. Lidija Polutnik holds the open two-day programme Strategy and Tactics of Pricing, is responsible for the Marketing module in the Executive MBA programme and lectures on several in-company custom programmes.

Using theory in non-profit assignments

Lidija Polutnik's main research areas are pricing, revenue optimisation and competitive dynamics in markets. Her more recent research and company advisory work has focused on how firms can create additional revenue streams by using new technologies and by shifting customer preferences toward use and sharing as opposed to ownership economy. The growth and measurement of success in subscriptions in consumer product and automotive companies has been of particular interest.

Lidija Polutnik also works with non-profit organizations on the professionalization of their services with an emphasis on their revenue models and financial sustainability.

For example, she has led a team and overseen the development of a costing system for Careshare India, a charity that helps street children in India. She was also a principal investigator of the Davis Educational Foundation grant in Boston for the project investigating higher private education business models and their financial capacity and sustainability. "My goal is to support the non-profit leaders with skillsets and tools for excellence in decision-making," she says.

Appreciates the environment and the opportunities

Lidija Polutnik’s interest in how scientific findings can be spread and applied led her to do research in higher education and contributed to her decision to accept the pro bono assignment as a board member of GU Executive Education. Lidija explains,

“GU Executive Education strengthens academia’s opportunities to build relationships and reach out with knowledge to the business community and society in general. I am very grateful for my long-term collaboration with the School of Business, Economics and Law, and I appreciate the friendly and welcoming environment that is not self-evident in all places. People here are interested and curious. In addition, the School has uniquely good contacts and collaborations with the business community. For me, Gothenburg has been a place for learning and personal development. The assignment on the board is stimulating and a way for me to give back.”

About GU Executive Education

GU Executive Education at the School of Business, Economics and Law at the University of Gothenburg develops leaders and key employees primarily in international companies through high-level executive education programmes. University lecturers from around the world are engaged in these programmes.