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    Obituary: Björn Axelsson 1948-2021

    Björn Axelsson 1948-2021

    On April 19, IMP lost one of its most experienced and competent B2B researchers.

    Björn presented his PhD thesis The rise and fall of the Wikmanshyttan steel works: A commentary on the approach in a company history study at Uppsala University in 1981. The thesis was a thorough examination of the fundamentals of Interaction Approach that was used to trace the interaction processes that impacted the evolution of a steel company for over a century. Already at that time Björn was an engaged member of the IMP Group, committed to developing the conceptual frameworks that marked the IMP research tradition and resulted in in the book Industrial Networks – A New View of Reality (1992), edited together with Geoff Easton and recently republished as one of ‘Routledge Revivals’.

    In 1998 Björn became Professor in Business Studies at Jönköping International Business School, where he formed a research group focused on purchasing. From 2002 and until his retirement Björn was Professor at Stockholm School of Economics, where he continued to pursue his research in procurement issues, in private and public settings. Björn published numbers of books and journal articles, an engagement he continued after his retirement. Together with Finn Wynstra he published an influential book on service procurement: Buying Business Services (Wiley, 2002). His most recent publication, co-authored with Håkan Håkansson, is What is so special with outsourcing in the public sector (Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, 2020). Besides his academic teaching and research activities, Björn was a well-known profile among Swedish business leaders, through his engagement in management development and training for managers.

    Björn will be remembered as a researcher and teacher with considerable experience and insight of business practices in particular in purchasing. But most of all, we will remember him as an extraordinary generous, friendly and always encouraging colleague, with a great sense of humor.

    Håkan Håkansson, Lars-Erik Gadde, Ivan Snehota, Alexandra Waluszewski, FinnWynstra

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