“I focus on those in the shadow of the entrepreneurs”
The third newborn professor from INDEK, Kristina Nyström, put the spotlight on people and companies that normally are overshadowed by charismatic entrepreneurs and startups.
Kristina Nyström , describe your research and how it can make a difference in the future?
My research is about what entrepreneurs do for the labor market. The entrepreneur and the start-up process always get all the attention. But I’m interested in the companies that are shut down and those who work in the shadow of the entrepreneur, such as the employees. Who takes a job in a start-up company when you know that most of these companies won’t exist within five years? My research shows, among other things, the importance of new companies for people who have a weaker position in the labor market, such as young people and immigrants. I also do research on recruitment from a regional perspective. Billions are currently being invested in green energy in Norrland. Is it possible to recruit the right skills for these investments?
How and when did your interest in the research area start? What inspired you?
I was always interested in finance. I used my first savings to buy a calculator. My research career began at the Jönköping International Business School in 1999. There I helped in a research project that studied the importance of business dynamics in economics. We would produce facts about new and closed down companies in different sectors and regions. Then I discovered how little we knew about the companies that were closed down. An important insight was that many companies close their operations even though they do not "fail" or go bankrupt. The entrepreneur has simply found a more attractive job. Another insight was how significant the regional differences are when it comes to corporate dynamics. I wanted to dig deeper into that. I learned how inspiring the research process was, from the initial idea and formulation of a research question to the day you for the first time empirically test if the hypotheses hold. I was happily unaware of how much work that remains until your research has resulted in a publication and how many new questions arise along the way.
How would you describe yourself as a person at work?
I hope that I’m perceived as a researcher with great respect for other disciplines and research methods. I think I’m good at giving constructive feedback on research. People probably see me as quite structured and efficient. Unfortunately, I am both a bad winner and a bad loser, but I think I have managed to hide that quite well at work so far.
What will be the most significant difference with the new title?
I hope that it means that I will be able to take on more exciting research assignments and that I will be able to contribute even more to KTH's future development.
Interviewer: Anna Gullers