Björn Kjellander earned his PhD in American Studies from University of Sussex, England, Spring 2006, on his dissertation entitled Building American Entrepreneurs: Male Commercial Selves and the Road to Success in the US 1873-1914, which received national attention in media. His thesis investigated the origins of the American entrepreneur, what popularly has been called the self-made man. It traced the building of the self-made man as a commercial ideal self, leading to the narratives of US entrepreneurship and the road to success.
Björn's research interests involve inter-disciplinary analyses of business in a wider sense, embracing economic, social and political aspects, with a focus on American business. Björn is particularly interested in the forming of family dynasties, corporate and family ownership and the handing over process of companies between generations, particularly in the American and British economies. His approach covers disciplines such as economic history, history of ideas, as well as comparative literature studies.
Björn is, among other things, involved in the following two research projects:
First, the project titled The Dynamic Discourse of the Family Business History: Strategizing through the Past into the Present and the Future explores how family business owners express and perceive their family business story and the implications of these stories when it comes to strategy formation of the firm. It builds on 20 cases of family businesses (23 owners) of various generations, life-cycles, sizes and industries, listed or privately-held.
The second project titled Corporate Museums, Memoralization and Organizational Memory explores corporate museums as a specific form of history use in organizations, particularly the creation of narratives told in the museum, the orchestration of the physical space and the integration between museum and the organization.