Areas of expertise
Jan Pfister holds the title of an Adjunct Professor in Management Accounting and Control and is a tenured Senior Lecturer ("Yliopistonlehtori") at the Department of Accounting and Finance at Turku School of Economics. He is an Affiliated Researcher at the House of Innovation (HOI) as well as the Mistra Center for Sustainable Markets (Misum) at Stockholm School of Economics.
He is the Principal Investigator of the research project “Performance management for a sustainable future”, which received funding of half a million Euro from the Academy of Finland for the years 2022-2026. In addition, he is the Lead Investigator of the research project “From rural poverty to Smart Villages”, an ethnographic study in collaboration with the University of California at Berkeley investigating poverty elevation in rural India.
Jan is the organizer of the Seminar in Interdisciplinary Accounting Research (SIAR), featuring scholars interested in accounting within its social and organizational context. With colleagues from CBS, NHH, and SSE, he co-organizes the Qualitative Management Accounting Research Group (QMARG), a forum for advanced management accounting researchers in the Nordics. He is a member of the International Committee of the Management Accounting Section (MAS) of the American Accounting Association (AAA).
Before joining the University of Turku, he worked at Lancaster University Management School and the University of Zurich. He spent two years as a visiting researcher at the University of California at Berkeley, holds a Docentship at the University of Jyväskylä, and obtained a Doctorate from the University of Zurich. His dissertation was published as a book by Springer, entailed a paper that won a Best Paper Award at the Research Ethics Symposium of the American Accounting Association, and received recognition by Financial Executives International, that disseminated a summary as Issue Alert to its worldwide members (link to book).
He currently teaches the following courses: Lectures on qualitative research methods (master level); Exercises on qualitative research methods (master level); Cost management (bachelor level); Advanced strategic management accounting (master level); Advanced management control systems (master level); Future studies of professions (group, master level); Executive training modules on performance measurement and management.
He is involved in several international research collaborations, focusing on theoretical, empirical, and methodological topics related to management control systems design and practice, and how efficiency pressures affect employee motivation, innovativeness, and performance. He is also interested in broader societal changes based on the emergence of innovative technologies, including digital platforms and ecosystems. He has been supervising several PhD students.