Prof. Martin Rahe Award
Martin Rahe was the one of the first people I met on my arrival at EADA Business School, four years ago this January. As we sat together in my office for the fist time, I had already been provided with some first character-sketches of EADA’s Director of Research – the responsibility he held until his untimely death. These second-hand references read like the usual list of stereotypes associated with Germans: strict, unbending, Cartesian. None of these being characteristics of mine, the first meeting with him, as a consequence, had an additional layer of diffidence beyond that which usually exists when meeting new work colleagues.
As is often the case when confronted with the person behind the caricature, in this meeting and more so over the next three years, I was to discover that this fierce reputation belied an open and engaged man, with a strong and sincere view of the issues confronting the School, and driven by the challenge of addressing them.
He did, effectively, embody some of the characteristics which the vox populi had told me about, but always in the sense that these are described as virtues. Never one to accept a lazy argument or excuse, he would demand – of himself, as much as everyone else – that if we gave ourselves rules to measure and govern our activity we either stick to them or change them and that we face up to the many challenges confronting a medium-sized, stand-alone business school; one with a great future – if only we are able to play our strengths and address our weaknesses.
In a country where rule-bending is practically a national sport, this could often lead to his being seen as dour and antipathetic, in a stark contrast to the colleague I discovered. Once engaged, his arguments would be peppered with a keen and often self-deprecating humour – one which would turn somewhat darker as the extent of his illness became clear, but never sour or rancorous. His task as Research Director would therefore always be one of encouragement and enquiry, conscious of the value of even the smallest contribution to the spirit of enquiry which is the true sense of Academia.
A friend of his friends and a dedicated professional with a clear sense of duty, Martin’s loss has left EADA with a permanent void. We hope that the Martin Rahe Award will be a fitting tribute to his work and beliefs.
Professor Ramon Noguera