“The Executive MBA programme gives you a solid ground to stand on”

12 October 2021

Johan Burtus, now CEO of Morakniv AB in Mora, graduated from the Gothenburg Executive MBA programme in 2019. With long and wide-ranging experience of working in leading roles in several organisations and on several continents, he believes the programme helped him develop significantly as leader. “You gain a new level of confidence and self-belief. You get so much to strengthen you in everyday life,” he says.

Johan Burtus has worked a lot in Asia. This contributed to his decision to join the programme.

“The education’s focus on Asian culture and business logic was one of the main reasons why I chose to do an Executive MBA in Gothenburg. Another factor was getting access to the latest research and meeting lecturers who have recently researched the full range of topics related to business management, from leadership to supply chain and financial management.”

He was impressed by the lecturers’ ability to transform the theoretical research base into something very concrete.

“We were given a number of really useful tools, mainly in leadership. From understanding oneself to tangible tools to use in everyday life, such as how to take tough conversations, build teams and get people to go from problem to solution orientation. In addition, the lecturers were good at meeting us in the group at our senior level. ”


A more confident leader

Now, a couple of years after graduation, there are some lecturers and modules that Johan Burtus remembers extra clearly:

“We were completely captivated when Professor Gideon Kunda from Tel Aviv lectured for two and a half days on cultural differences and leading teams in the module Organisational Structure and Culture without a single PowerPoint. Frank Stenman, a psychologist who taught the module Organisational Behavior and Leadership was also impressive and taught us how we could grow in our role as a leader and meet different people. The Change Management module with Professor Pekka Mattila, from the Aalto University in Finland, resonated with me as I have worked a lot with change projects, and it also gave me very good new tools and theories.”

Despite many years of leadership experience in international operations, Johan Burtus thinks that the knowledge and tools that come with the education have made him more confident as a leader.

“The Executive MBA programme gives you a solid ground to stand on. You become more confident in your leadership, in the management team and in the boardroom,” he says.

In addition, he wants to highlight the thesis that concludes the Executive MBA programme.

“At first, the thesis may feel abstract, academic and essentially different from the business-oriented reports you usually write. But following a standardised method when researching a topic creates value both for the report and for the reader. It provides clarity and increases credibility. And if you choose a subject you are passionate about, it will be very interesting to do your own research.”


New knowledge and friends for life

After working a lot abroad, the Executive MBA programme was also a way for Johan Burtus to build up his Swedish network. The participants still keep in touch and sometimes meet up at reunions. Even during the training period, the closeness of the group was a large part of the positive experience and of the learning. Johan Burtus adds,

“You gain a lot even outside the classroom. During lunches, coffee breaks, trips… where you discuss everyday problems related to leadership and get helpful input from the others.”

Johan Burtus is passionate about development and sees education as an important part of it. Therefore, he is no stranger to giving his own employees the opportunity to attend an Executive MBA programme in the future. He urges everyone who gets the chance to take it.

“It is a commitment. You have to be able to invest a number of hours each week. But it is also a fabulous journey. I have gained fantastic new knowledge and new friends for life.”


Johan Burtus


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For more information about Gothenburg Executive MBA, contact:

Peter Salomonsson, Sales & Business Development Manager

peter.salomonsson@handels.gu.se, +46 708 62 48 60

Håkan Ericson, CEO

hakan.ericson@handels.gu.se, +46 709 50 63 35