The 2017-2018 academic year confirmed EDHEC Business School’s trajectory with regard to research strategy, the teaching faculty and pedagogical innovation. This trajectory is driven by four major objectives, consistent withthe new “Make an Impact” brand signature:

► accelerate the School’s international recruitment plan: our recruitment drive has seen 10 new professors arrive this year, with another 10-11 earmarked to join for the next academic year (i.e. 43 new professors in 4 years);

► assert our practical research strategy. This strategy is underpinned by 5 research centres, 2 business spin-offs and 3 chairs, which together generate 15% of the School’s resources;

► reinforce actions geared to disseminating research and create an editorial line devoted to this research work and more broadly to all of our knowledge production.

Looking beyond our academic research excellence, we wanted to accentuate our culture of impact on industry, business practices, political and economic decisions, society in general and the training of our students and executive education participants. With all EDHEC research centres and chairs having initially been created in pursuit of this objective, this year saw them individually present EDHEC’s Executive Committee with their results and impact metrics for the last three years, as well as their 3-year visions and the associated objectives in terms of impact. This work has already borne fruit, as illustrated by the following examples.    

In January 2018, the Economics Research Centre published an article titled "Case for new regulation of football transfers. Originating from a position paper on the subject, the article was largely discussed in the broader media. The authors suggest introducing a cap on transfer fees, so as to regulate the market for footballers and notably to foster a more level playing field in national championships.

The EDHEC Family Business Centre (EFBC) worked on the impact of philanthropy in family businesses. This work gave rise to the first conference on that subject in partnership with the Louvre Endowment Fund. Participants from 5 different countries attended the event that was held in the Louvre on 22 March and covered by both AGEFI and Les Echos Solutions. Little research has so far been undertaken on this topic, but it is now recognised as being of key importance for ensuring the future of family businesses. The EFBC’s researchers are continuing their work by looking at complementary research themes from financial, legal and entrepreneurial angles, while highlighting the relationship between financial value and socio-economic value in family businesses.

The Financial Analysis and Accounting Research Centre published a position paper in partnership with France’s Ministry of Housing and Sustainable Homes in December 2017, focusing on the calibration of property-market volatility in Europe’s Solvency 2 prudential rules. The authors showed that this calibration was overly high, with the resultant risk that it could lead insurers to reduce the share of property in their investment portfolios.

The LegalEDHEC Research Centre began its preparatory work for its future A3L project (Augmented Law, Lawyers and Lawyering) against a backdrop in which big data, data analysis and artificial intelligence are generating both new legal risks and new opportunities for businesses, as well as driving an in-depth transformation of legal practice. This was also a conclusion reached by the round table – “Transformation Digitale & Juriste Augmenté : Quels profils? Quelles compétences? Quel recrutement- organised by the research centre in Paris in April 2018 and attended by over 100 legal, AI and recruitment professionals.

In the Finance research field, EDHEC-Risk Institute made crucial progress in its plan to contribute to improving retirement investment solutions with the launch of the EDHEC-Princeton Goal Price Index series in May 2018.

In addition, 2 spin-offs of this historic research centre continued to increase their impact on the financial industry. The first, Scientific-Beta, EDHEC’s supplier of smart-beta indices, saw a more-than 50% increase in the volume of assets replicated on its indices in the space of a few months. The second, EDHEC Infrastructure Institute (EDHECInfra), whose activities are supported by the Monetary Authority of Singapore, published a document in January 2018 that drew investors’ attention to the growth of FakeInfra and the dangers posed by listed infrastructure for the future of infrastructure investment. EDHECInfra also organised the first edition of EDHECInfra Days in London on 7 June, an event that attracted 150 finance professionals from around the world.

The same impact dynamic also drove the work accomplished by EDHEC Business School’s research chairs.

The Leadership and Managerial Competencies Chair focused this year on training business leaders and top managers through the highly sought-after Self-Leadership Track. Camaïeu and Mobivia are among the new additions to the companies supported by the Chair. Employing a mix of different techniques, connected tools and knowledge such as collective intelligence, social media and solid academic experience, the Chair now offers everyone the chance “to find their own free direction” and resolve systemic or individual problems.

Also of note was a well-received report on the Brazilian mafia written for France’s Le Monde newspaper by Bertrand Monnet, Director of the Criminal Risks Management Chair, in June 2017. This Chair continues its research work out in the field, in order to help businesses improve their responses to escalating and ever-evolving criminal threats.

And lastly, on another theme, EDHEC set up the Innovation and Permanent Transformation Chair in March 2018. Launched with the support of Somfy, this Chair aims to provide answers to the crucial question of “how should a business innovate today?” 

And lastly, we also need to mention the work published by the Open-Leadership Centre and the NewGen Talent Centre, the results of which are highly appreciated by our students, businesses and journalists alike. A survey by the first, published in March 2018, explains How to improve diversity and the climate of inclusion within companies”, while the second once again stood out for its New Graduate Job Survey conducted in partnership with Cadre Emploi in January 2018.

Looking beyond our academic research excellence, we want to accentuate our culture of impact (...)

EDHEC is reasserting its desire for its professors, researchers and experts to play a role in shaping today’s and tomorrow’s world. They do this through their work and research and by sharing their results with the largest audience, and not just with the academic world or with students who are set to form the next generation of decision-makers. In order for EDHEC to succeed with this objective, it is vital for us to take up the challenge of communicating knowledge.

In addition to working on the construction of an “EDHEC learning model” for students, we were also engaged in a series of initiatives targeting other audiences.

The year was consequently marked by numerous opinions expressed by professors and experts belonging to the EDHEC community via the specific EDHEC Vox channel. Founded in January 2017 and available on mobile devices, this platform aims to make EDHEC’s most outstanding research results, analyses and viewpoints more widely accessible, whether they concern economic and financial questions, management of risks and legal performance, issues specific to family businesses, corporate strategy (re: Strategy Series), good leadership practices, digital marketing, etc. All in all, over 80 items of content have already been posted online in the form of press opinion pieces, pedagogical videos, or short or long-format articles.

In terms of events, we also rethought our EDHEC Research Day, the annual meeting for EDHEC research and expertise. The next edition takes place on 19 March 2019 on our three campuses in France (Lille, Nice, Paris). The aim is to take a new look at the topic of Digital and AI in order to bring about a positive transformation in both education and the economy. In doing so, we hope to create dialogue between researchers and a highly diverse audience and range of speakers. This 10th edition will also introduce clearer positioning for the EDHEC Research Day, encapsulated by the “Learn, Meet and Experiment around Knowledge” tagline.

We are fully committed to making EDHEC’s scientific culture more effective, readable and visible.  This objective will guide us as we move into the next academic year. In the meantime, and with summer possibly the best time to feed your curiosity, I invite you to discover or re-discover our themed dossiers on line each week, on Linkedin or Twitter #EDHECVox.

See you again soon!

Christophe Roquilly, Professor and Associate Dean for Faculty and Research, EDHEC Business School

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