forward-leaning operating table
The partnership between Getinge and the School of Business, Economics and Law will deliver qualified research and support Getinge in their innovation and sustainability work.
Photo: Getinge

Initiates strategic research partnership with Getinge


In an innovative, strategic partnership, researchers from the School of Business, Economics and Law will work together with key people at Getinge on issues related to innovation and sustainability. The researchers get a chance to contribute with societal relevant and applicable knowledge, and Getinge becomes part of the research front. An important part of the collaboration is two doctoral positions.

“I am very excited about the program and the structured collaboration that the School of Business, Economics and Law has developed together with Getinge. It has a high ambition and intends to contribute to an in-depth understanding of sustainable business development. The program is an innovative way of organising research collaboration with organisations outside the academy, which ensures both high societal relevance and fundamental academic values. Thus, it also constitutes a model for the future,” says Per Cramér, Dean of the School.

Many companies want to base their work on research, but Getinge has dared to take it a step further and opened up for a long-term and large-scale collaboration, which will deliver qualified research and support Getinge in their innovation and sustainability work.

“This partnership is an example of the extended scope of our sustainability, innovation and customer centricity and our dedication for driving Getinge to the forefront within these research areas. Ultimately, the knowledge and experience we gain can help us save more lives together with our customers,” says Magnus Lundbäck, Executive Vice President Human Resources & Sustainability.

Innovation improves healthcare

The ongoing pandemic has made it abundantly clear that quality and efficiency in health care and life sciences is of utmost importance for society, and that research, innovation and technological progress help meet the challenges of the future. At the same time, the sustainability effects of new technologies and business models must be taken into account. Getinge is a multinational player in the midst of this development.

The pervasive, ongoing development within technology and knowledge in society is particularly visible in the field of medical technology. Among the driving forces are strong expectations of improved treatment methods and efficient use of resources within health care.

“In order for these expectations to be realized, new ways of organising work and developing knowledge are required, both within and between organisations. In the collaboration with Getinge, we get the opportunity to study how this happens, while we can contribute with experiences from other projects and industries. Our role is not to present ready-made solutions, but to contribute with experience and reflection in Getinge's efforts to shape new ways of working with innovation and knowledge development,” says Kajsa Lindberg, professor of management and responsible for the project in managing innovation.

Sustainability in business strategy

Everyone agrees that large companies must integrate environmental and social issues into their core business, but it is easier said than done to run a profitable and sustainable company. The challenge is to move sustainability into the business strategy, where it in the end becomes difficult to tell the sustainability work apart from the general business strategy. There is not much empirically based research that in detail studies what happens when a company actually tries to integrate sustainability into the business strategy. Therefore, the sustainability part of the project explores this integration journey at Getinge.

“It is important to study strategy in real time. In retrospect, conflicts are erased, details disappear and decisions appear to be more planned than they were in practice. Thanks to Getinge being transparent, the doctoral project will give us a chance to follow Getinge's development for four years, which provides fantastic opportunities for interesting studies,” says Niklas Egels Zandén, professor of business administration, responsible for the part of the project focusing on strategic sustainability.

Two doctoral studentships

A large and important part of the collaboration is the two doctoral studentships. One project will study managing innovation and the other strategic sustainability.

  • The project of managing innovation will focus on how Getinge can improve processes and organization of people with different expertise across the business to better enable innovation of new products and solutions. This includes mobilising knowledge and coordinating activities and responsibilities across the boundaries of units and groups within the company. It also requires close collaboration with suppliers and other partners as well as customers (e.g. doctors, nurses, hospital technicians). For example, onsite support and continuously fine-tuning and adjustments of technologies may lead to new insights and product development. Furthermore, Getinge sees opportunities within the areas of digitalization, connectivity and AI to improve health care practices.
  • The project of integration of sustainability into strategy will focus on the firm’s attempt to move sustainability concerns into the firm’s core of operations. Getinge has recently communicated their ambition to be C02 neutral by 2025 therefore placing this at the forefront of business strategy and operations. Key aspects include how to integrate sustainability into product development and offerings to customers. For example, designing products that allow hospitals to emit less greenhouse gases when using the equipment, adding connectivity and shifting from products to services.

Last day to apply for the doctoral studentships is 1 March 2021. More information can be found here.