Thursday 25/08/2011

Roger Henning (1947-2011)

With Roger's passing the SSE Riga community has not only lost a dedicated faculty member, but also a long term friend and supporter.

It was with deep sadness that I received the news of the sudden death of SSE Riga faculty member Roger Henning.  

       Roger Henning (1947-2011) 

Roger joined the SSE Riga faculty in the academic year 2005/2006 and since then several generations of SSE Riga students have benefitted from sharing Roger's knowledge in many aspects of organisation and management. Roger was never afraid of challenging the students academically – he wanted to provide them with a solid theoretical foundation that would allow them to analyze why organisations might or might not work. In terms of teaching, the best way to characterize Roger’s approach would be “dedication”. Dedication to students manifested through a genuine interest in their academic development and through a continuous development of courses. Dedication also to younger colleagues, many of them freshly minted Ph.Ds., guiding them and allowing them to gradually grow in their role as teachers.

When Roger came to SSE Riga in the mid-2000s, he was not a first time visitor. Roger had, since the early days of Baltic-regained independence, been genuinely interested in the impact of the economic transition on management practice. In fact, he was one of the few Swedish researchers taking this opportunity. At the time of his death he was working on a book chapter on the impact of Swedish management in the Baltic countries and Poland, drawing on 15 years of field work in the region. Roger’s dedication to Latvia was also manifested in a genuine interest in Latvian cultural life, in particular in the opera - during his Riga sojourns he was a regular at the Latvian National Opera.

At this moment our thought and prayers go to Roger's family. A look in the annual Yearbooks produced by the SSE Riga Student Association tells us how important and close Roger was with his family. When asked about his greatest victory in life, it was his family - wife, daughters and grandchildren - that came to mind.

Knowing that Roger considered John Lennon's words in “Strawberry fields forever” as describing him best, I would like to end with:

Let me take you down, 'cos I'm going to Strawberry Fields.
Nothing is real and nothing to get hungabout.
Strawberry Fields forever.

Anders Paalzow
Rector, SSE Riga 

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