Prof. Dr.

Tobias Fredberg

Affiliated Visiting Professor

Tobias Fredberg
Chalmers University & RWTH TIM Institute


RWTH Aachen TIM,
Kackertstraße 7
52072 Aachen


Projects and Initatives:

  • IDEA League Challenge between RWTH, Chalmers, ETH Zürich, PoliMi, and TU Delft
  • A top leadership agenda for sustainability as an innovation driver


Tobias Fredberg is affiliated with TIME at RWTH Aachen as Visiting Professor of Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Organizational Change. He is also a professor of Technology Management at Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg, Sweden, academically responsible for Corporate Entrepreneurship at the Chalmers School of Entrepreneurship, Executive Director of the Center for Higher Ambition at the Institute for Management of Innovation and Technology and a partner at TruePoint Innovation in Management (a research and management consultancy firm). He is also an associate editor of the Journal of Applied Behavioral Science and a regular columnist in Göteborgs-Posten (a major Swedish newspaper).

Tobias Fredberg focuses on system renewal in large organizations, with a special interest in innovation/entrepreneurship driven change and in how organizations transform to create more value for a broad set of stakeholders, for example through social innovations, or radical/disruptive technology innovations with a sustainability focus. Almost all of his research projects are longitudinal studies of organizational transformation.

At RWTH Aachen he collaborates with Prof. Piller around a pan-European program called the IDEA League Challenge where elite students focus on societal challenges during an academic year, and around a larger European interview study on sustainable innovation in large companies. Through his work with organizational transformation and his engagement in the global Higher Ambition Leadership network (which he was part of founding) Fredberg has collaborated closely with a large set of leading global organizations. The ideas derived from this work has influenced the strategic agenda of many of these organizations, and transformation approaches developed in these collaborations are in use in a large set of them.

Research interests:

  • Organizational transformation, especially focused on system change over time
  • Corporate Entrepreneurship
  • Sustainable innovation (economic, social, environmental)
  • Organizational development and change methods

Selected Publications:

  • Fredberg T, Pregmark JE. (2021). Organizational Transformation: Handling the Double-Edged Sword of Urgency. Long Range Planning. Preprint online February 2021 (
  • Berggren, R, Pregmark J.E, Fredberg, T and Frössevi, B, (2020), Change in Tightly Coupled Systems: Middle Manager Role and Action, Research on Organization Change and Development, vol 28.
  • Fredberg, T & Pregmark, J.E. (2018) Organization Renewal through Entrepreneurial Initiatives: When the Seed Changes the Soil In Research in Organizational Change and Development. 99-126.
  • Agogue, M., Berthet, E., Fredberg, T., Lemasson, P., Segrestin, B. Stötzel, M., Wiener, M. and Yström, A. (2017) "Explicating the role of innovation intermediaries in the “unknown”: A contingency approach", Journal of Strategy and Management, 10(1), p. 19-39.
  • Fredberg, T. & Pregmark, JE. (2017) Michael Beer, in Szabla, D., Pasmore, W.A. and Barnes, M (eds.). Enduring Thoughts of the Thinkers of Organizational Change, Palgrave Macmillan Change Thinkers Handbook
  • Fredberg, T. & Pregmark, JE. (2016) Transformation in a Tightly Nested System: Employing Fast Cycles of Change, Research on Organizational Development and Change, vol 24, p.185-219
  • Fredberg, T (2014) If I say it’s complex, it bloody well will be: CEO Strategies for Managing Paradox, Journal of Applied Behavioral Sciences, 50(2)
  • Fredberg, T., Kalling, T. (2013) Strategic Management, in Strannegård, L. and Styhre, A., Management: A Reader, Studentlitteratur, Lund
  • Fredberg, T & Norrgren, F (2012) What do Good Global Leaders Do? Harvard Business Review (
  • Fredberg, T. & Norrgren, F. (2012) Enabling Strategic Dialogue, Strategic Communication Management, October, p. 32-36
  • Beer, M., Eisenstat, R.A., Foote, N., Fredberg, T., Norrgren, F. (2011) Higher Ambition: How Great Leaders Create Economic and Social Value, Harvard Business Review Press, Cambridge
  • Fredberg, T., Elmquist, M., Ollila, S and Yström, A. (2011) Role Confusion in Open Innovation Intermediary Arenas, in Wittke V. and Hanekop H. (Eds.), Collaboration, production, innovation - New forms of Collaborative Innovation and Production on the internet, Universitätsverlag Göttingen, pp 177-193
  • Fredberg, T, Norrgren, F and Shani, A.B. (2011) Developing and sustaining change capability via learning mechanisms: A longitudinal perspective on transformation, Research on Organizational Development and Change, vol 19, p.117-161.
  • Foote, N., Eisenstat, R. & Fredberg, T (2011) The Higher Ambition Leader, Harvard Business Review, 89(9) 94-101
  • Fredberg, T (2011) Why good leaders pass the credit and take the blame, Harvard Business Review (
  • Fredberg, T. & Piller, F.T. (2011) The Paradox of Tie Strength in Customer Relationships for Innovation: A Longitudinal Case Study in the Sports Industry, R&D Management, 41(5): 470-484
  • Giannopoulou, E., Yström, A., Ollila, S., Fredberg, T. & Elmquist, M. (2010) Implications of Openness: A Study into (All) the Growing Literature on Open Innovation, Journal of Technology Management & Innovation, 5(3) 162-180
  • Elmquist, M., Fredberg, T. & Ollila, S., (2009) Exploring the field of open innovation: a review of research publications and expert opinions, European Journal of Innovation Management, 12(3): 326-345
  • Fredberg, T (2009) Organizing Customers: Learning from Big Brother, Long Range Planning, 42(3): 320-340
  • Eisenstat, R.A. Beer, M. Foote, N., Fredberg, T. & Norrgren, F. (2008) The Uncompromising Leader, Harvard Business Review, 86 (6-7), 51-57

Additional Links: