News & Highlights

  • June 2017
  • Events

HBS European Club Leadership Meeting in Paris

The European Club Leadership Meeting (ECLM) is an interactive conference where alumni club leaders engage with fellow officers, brainstorm key strategies, exchange on the highlights and challenges of running a club, and share best practices. This year’s meeting was held at the ERC in Paris and gathered representatives of eight HBS and Harvard University Associations. Among others, this year’s meeting featured presentations by ERC Executive Director Vincent Dessain, who gave an update of the ERC activities, and Prof. Sophus Reinert, BGIE, who gave a talk on “The State of Global Capitalism”.
  • April-May 2017
  • Events

Off-Campus Information Sessions on the HBS Doctoral Program

Throughout the spring 2017, Marais Young (Doctoral Program) and Jan Pianca (ERC) visited universities and school fairs in Amsterdam, Munich, Paris, and Hamburg to share more information about the doctoral programs, student life, and admissions. The 8 HBS doctoral programs train students to produce innovative, rigorous, and relevant research and encourage students to become exemplary teachers at top-tier institutions of higher learning. The application for fall 2018 will open in September 2017.
  • March-May-June 2017
  • Events

Off-Campus Information Sessions on the HBS MBA Program

In the first half of 2017, the ERC co-organized MBA Admissions Events in Lisbon, Budapest, Kiev, Warsaw, Moscow, Paris, Zurich, Sofia, Berlin, Dublin, London, and Prague. These sessions were designed for prospective applicants to learn more about the MBA Program, curriculum, admission process, and funding. The events included an admissions presentation and the opportunity to meet local alumni.
  • January 2017
  • Events

Workshops on Digital Disruption in London, Munich, and Paris

In January 2017, Prof. Thales S. Teixeira, MKT, came to London, Munich, and Paris to speak about Digital Disruption. Having studied disruption patterns across industries, Prof. Teixeira identified an emerging new wave of technology-enabled disruption called “decoupling.” It is characterized by business models focusing on the separation of consumption activities that traditionally went together such as content and advertising, or browsing and purchasing products. In these keynote talks, Prof. Teixeira explored this new concept and discussed how businesses of all sizes were using digital technologies to disrupt their industries – for example in media, retail, transportation, food, cosmetics, or finance.

New Research on the Region

  • August 2017
  • Case

PFA Pension: Expansion of Alternatives Portfolio

PFA Pension was the biggest commercial pension provider in Denmark. At the end of 2015, the company had decided to boost its investments into the alternative asset class, an area where it was lagging behind its competitors. The aim was to privilege direct investments and co-investments rather than allocations through funds. One year later, PFA could count on an expert alternative investment team, a defined investment process and a number of successful direct investments. Still, a number of questions remained: How could PFA better access attractive deal opportunities? Should PFA try to build a formal deal sourcing model? What resources and skills would be necessary to add to the alternative investment team?

  • Article
  • American Political Science Review

Voter Registration Costs and Disenfranchisement: Experimental Evidence from France

A large-scale randomized experiment conducted during the 2012 French presidential and parliamentary elections shows that voter registration requirements have significant effects on turnout, resulting in unequal participation. We assigned 20,500 apartments to one control or six treatment groups that received canvassing visits providing either information about registration or help to register at home. While both types of visits increased registration, home registration visits had a higher impact than information-only visits, indicating that both information costs and administrative barriers impede registration. Home registration did not reduce turnout among those who would have registered anyway. On the contrary, citizens registered due to the visits became more interested in and knowledgeable about the elections as a result of being able to participate in them, and 93% voted at least once in 2012. The results suggest that easing registration requirements could substantially enhance political participation and interest while improving representation of all groups.

  • June 2017
  • Teaching Material

Hilti Fleet Management Video Supplements

This case explores the introduction of fleet management in the construction industry by the premium power tools manufacturer Hilti in 2000. Following its customers’ needs, Hilti moved from selling power tools to leasing them as a service. The introduction of the new business model contributed significantly to the success of Hilti, since it sustainably differentiated the company from its competitors. For instance, the adoption of fleet management resulted in customer loyalty levels five times higher than under the dominant business model Hilti had formerly employed, and over-proportioned profit contribution at Hilti. Hilti’s Chief Technology Officer described the importance of the innovation as follows: “Hilti developed many very innovative and successful products over the years, but they paled in comparison with the fleet management business model, which was the most important innovation in Hilti’s history.” All told, Hilti, which had about 22,000 employees and made about 4.5 billion Swiss Francs (or $4.589 billion USD) in sales in 2015, managed 1.5 million tools under fleet management contracts in 40 countries, resulting in a contract value of more than 1.2 billion Swiss Francs (approximately $1.4 billion USD). Case A describes the strategic decision-making process regarding the introduction of fleet management in its early planning stages.

See more research

Paris Staff

Vincent Dessain
Executive Director, Harvard Business School Europe Research Center
Daniela Beyersdorfer
Associate Director, Research and Administration
Emilie Billaud
Research Associate and Manager, Reporting and Special Projects
Elena Corsi
Assistant Director
Pietro De Agostini
Executive Assistant
Federica Gabrieli
Research Assistant
Tonia Labruyere
Research Associate
Jerome Lenhardt
Research Associate
Kristina Maslauskaite
Research Associate
Emer Moloney
Research Associate
Jan Pianca
Assistant Director, Educational Programs
Oksana Sichi
Manager of Administration