80 years old | Only multidisciplinary research brings good results, says Professor Emeritus Uolevi Lehtinen, who has continued as a researcher even in retirement

“Human behavior is not only subjected to the mold of one or two disciplines, but the prism of several points of view is required for proper explanation models,” says Uolevi Lehtinen.

Business economics professor Uolevi Lehtinen has preached long and earnestly for multidisciplinarity. Lehtinen himself has been a vibrant multidisciplinary person throughout his life.

“I am a single mother and granny grown up son, and we lived in the middle of the barren Here you’ll find köyhälistökorttelissa, where my mother kept a small laundry room,” he explains.

“I was a beloved child, and as a lively boy, I played various sports and arts, drew, cut silhouettes, read from side to side, toured, reciting poems, and acting.”

To the school, Uolevia was patrolled by a primary school teacher. Mom bowed to the idea, but then the class shouldn’t stay – nor freeze. “The school went smoothly. I defended the school bullies in the school yard, and at first I got myself peaty. For a long time I did not receive shocks as the forces increased. ”

“My history teacher referred me to a theater school, and my mother to a one-year teacher seminar. I replied that I would go to high school, from there when I could become a manager in three years, ”Lehtinen says and laughs.

“I became the leader of many places, but my mother’s wish came true when the prophet has a duty to teach.”

To Helsinki Lehtinen arrived completely penniless in the autumn of 1961 and financed his studies by many inventive means. However, the teaching of business did not meet his wishes: “Schematic, rather weak, based on the external number, even though there were a few better profphs there.”

Lehtinen already considered jumping into economics when he became a professor of business economics in 1968. Veikko Leivo kidnapped him in his research stable. Lehtinen became a researcher on that side, mainly in marketing.

His dissertation Character selection model (1975) Lehtinen formulated a mathematical dual model that explained the behavior of consumers in their purchasing decisions quite accurately. When he was a visiting professor at UCLA University in California shortly after that, colleagues wondered how models could emerge in distant Finland that were hot stuff in their publications at the time.

Lehtinen received offers to stay with the Yankees, but returned to Finland. ”Thank you, but no. I am permanently a Finn, ”he replied to the requesters.

Academic Lehtinen has completed his main career in Tampere, both as a professor of marketing, as an originator of further education and as the rector of a university.

What about the core of that multidisciplinarity?

“If people like to emphasize multidisciplinarity in celebratory speeches, its practical construction is badly left out,” Lehtinen begins.

“The main problem is that human behavior is not only subjected to the mold of one or two disciplines, but the prism afforded by several points of view is required for decent explanatory models. Multidisciplinary teams are an ideal form of work, as not a single researcher will be able to master every required discipline. ”

“Economic behavior alone needs to be studied not only in economic terms, but at least in psychological, sociological, and social psychological terms. That’s the only way to get lasting results. ”

From his articles Lehtinen has written a large part for Finnish and international refereed research publications as a free pensioner. There has been enough time and energy.

“I’m not at all suited to the role syljeksivän ceiling oloneuvoksen and I have therefore continued to improve its own research as well as my work directed by graduate students. Retirement does not mean being idle, even then it is allowed to think, ”says Uolevi Lehtinen.

“Big visions don’t get me to retire.”

Uolevi Lehtinen

Born in 1941 in Jämsä.

Student 1960, Jämsä Co-educational School. Economist 1964 and Doctor of Economics 1975, Helsinki School of Economics. Docent.

Assistant Professor at Lappeenranta University of Technology 1976–1977, Visiting Professor at UCLA California 1977–1978 and Professor at Vaasa School of Economics 1979–1980.

Professor of Business Administration 1980–2004, Founder and Director of the Kataja Continuing Education Organization 1992– 1996, Rector 1996–1997, University of Tampere.

President of the Business Association 2001–2006 and Honorary Chairman. 2007.

Honorary Doctor, 1997.

A dozen works. More than 200 scientific articles, more than 200 popular articles and presentations.

Engages in arts, sports and tourism.

Lives in Helsinki, married, one adult son.

Turns 80 on Friday, January 15th.


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