Background and activities

Alf Steinar Sætre is a Professor of innovation and strategy at the Department of Industrial Economics and Technology Management at The Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim. He initiated and led the Norwegian Research School in Innovation's Program in Innovation Management and Innovation Strategy (NORSi-PIMS).  Which is a doctoral program in innovation and strategy in collaboration with leading institutions such as Harvard Business School, INSEAD, Wharton Graduate School of Business, Stanford University, Technion, Politechnico di Milano, University of Texas, Copenhagen Business School and UC Berkeley.

Sætre´s reasearch interests include the management of ambiguity in the innovation process, termination of innovation projects, organizational search, organizational adaptation and absorptive capacity, and innovation strategy.      

Sætre has a MsC in Economics and Business Administration from the Norwegian Schoolf of Economis and Business Administration in Bergen. He earned a Ph.D. in Organizational Communication from the University of Texas at Austin, where he was a Fulbright Scholar and Research Associate at the Institute for Creativity and Capital (IC2). Where he was part of a team researching ”agile business practices.” After completing his Ph.D. he worked as an Associate Professor at Lillehammer College.


Dr. Sætre teaches courses and lectures on such topics as:

  • Innovation Management and Strategy (TIØ 4180)
  • Enganged Scholarship (ØK8101) co-taught with Andrew Van de Ven
  • Communication and Negotiations
  • Organizational adaptation and strategy
  • Exploration and Exploitation
  • Organizing for Innovation


Scientific, academic and artistic work

Displaying a selection of activities. See all publications in the database

Journal publications


  • Aspelund, Arild; Moen, Øystein; Sætre, Alf Steinar; Sørheim, Roger; Widding, Lars Øystein. (2009) Teknologibasert nyskaping i Norge. Tapir Akademisk Forlag. 2009. ISBN 978-82-519-2481-8.
  • Sætre, Alf Steinar. (2009) Kommunikasjon i organisasjoner: Perspektiver og prosesser. Fagbokforlaget. 2009. ISBN 978-82-450-0277-5.
  • Browning, Larry; Sætre, Alf Steinar; Stephens, Keri; Sørnes, Jan-oddvar. (2008) Information and Communication Technologies in Action: Linking Theory and Narratives of Practice. Routledge. 2008. ISBN 0415965470.

Part of book/report

  • Sætre, Alf Steinar; Brun, Eric Christian. (2020) Managing exploration–exploitation. Managing medical technological innovations : Exploring multiple perspectives.
  • Sætre, Alf Steinar; Erikson, Truls. (2011) Deep Sea Fishing Inc.: Acquiring the 'right' capital for a new technology-based firm. Entrepreneurship: Perspectives and cases.
  • Sætre, Alf Steinar; Brun, Eric Christian; Gjelsvik, Martin. (2009) Håndtering av tvetydighet i de tidligste fasene i innovasjonsprosessen. Teknologibasert nyskaping i Norge.
  • Sørnes, Jan-oddvar; Stephens, Keri; Sætre, Alf Steinar; Browning, Larry. (2009) The reflexivity between ICTs and business culture: Applying Hofstede's Theory to Compare Norway and The United States. Organizational Communication and Technology: Information and Communication Technology Use in Organizations in Norway and the United States.
  • Sætre, Alf Steinar; Stephens, Keri. (2006) Tricking Your Customers Without Cheating Them: Minimal Details as an Information Strategy. Case Studies in Organizational Communication: Ethical Perspectives and Practices.
  • Sætre, Alf Steinar; Sørnes, Jan-oddvar. (2006) Working at Home and Playing at Work: Using ICTs to Break Down the Barriers Between Home and Work. Case Studies in Organizational Communication: Ethical Perspectives and Practices.



  • Sætre, Alf Steinar. (2016) Bringing new knowledge into the organization: Scanning, framing and connecting. The XXVII ISPIM Innovation Conference: Blending Tomorrow’s Innovation Vintage . ISPIM; Porto. 2016-06-19 - 2016-06-22.
  • Harrison, J. Richard; Kemp, Ayenda; Sætre, Alf Steinar. (2015) PR Landscapes for strategic search. SMS 35th Annual International Conference - Strategy Expanding: Making Sense of Shifting Field and Firm Boundaries . Strategic Management Society; Denver, CO. 2015-10-03 - 2015-10-06.
  • Gjerde, Anne Skalleberg; Sætre, Alf Steinar. (2013) Døren på gløtt for forskere. Dagens Næringsliv [Avis]. 2013-08-12.
  • Myklemyr, Anita; Sætre, Alf Steinar. (2013) Geniforklarer Amazon sjefen. Ukeavisen Ledelse [Avis]. 2013-11-01.
  • Sætre, Alf Steinar; Myklemyr, Anita. (2013) Se opp for forstyrrende innovasjon. Ukeavisen Ledelse [Avis]. 2013-06-14.
  • Meland, Svein Inge; Sætre, Alf Steinar. (2012) Innovasjonsutdanning i verdensklasse. Adresseavisen [Avis]. 2012-09-15.
  • Sætre, Alf Steinar; Meland, Svein Inge. (2012) Verdenseliten med når NTNU starter forskerskole. Adresseavisen [Avis]. 2012-01-30.
  • Tonstad, Per Lars; Hansen, Jon Terje Hellgren; Sætre, Alf Steinar. (2012) Innovasjon - Hard nøtt for ledere. Magasinet Tekna [Avis]. 2012-04-15.
  • Harrison, J. Richard; Sætre, Alf Steinar; Brun, Eric Christian. (2010) Innovation Strategy and the Management of Ambiguity. Invited research presentation to the Faculty of Applied Economics . Faculty of Applied Economics; University of Antwerp. 2010-06-18 - 2010-06-18.