Europe Research Center
The Europe Research Center in Paris (ERC) opened in 2003, and plays an important role in helping HBS develop and strengthen relationships with European business and academic leaders. The ERC enables Harvard Business School faculty to study more effectively one of the world's most important economic regions during a time of significant transformation. The ERC has contributed to more than 260 faculty publications (case studies, research notes, books and articles) and research projects. Research topics range from the challenges of European economic and financial integration, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, international capital flows, investor relations, consumer marketing, to policy-making issues and the impact of new technologies on business.
HBS Europe Research Center (ERC)
Update January - June 2013
In this update:
- New publications on Siemens, RATP, LEGO, Brainlab, and Emporiki Bank
- New completed research project "Englishnization"
- Ongoing research in Marketing, Finance, and Strategy
- ERC case interviews and field research in Germany, Switzerland, Norway, the UK, France, Spain, Sweden, and the Netherlands
- Selected events: FIELD Immersion program in Turkey; Executive Education Dinner in France; MBA events in Istanbul, Paris, and London; ELC meeting; Global staff meeting on campus; Executive Education Programs in Paris and London; ECLM meeting; and alumni events in Paris.
Newly Released Cases & Completed Research Articles
Case study: "Siemens AG: Key Account Management"
Coauthored with Professor Thomas Steenburgh, MKT, the case describes how the key account manager of an engineering company has to convince a department to give up important contracts. The German engineering company Siemens has set up a global key account management program since 2010. The key account manager of an emerging account has been asked by his customer to cut the costs of two long-term contracts signed with Siemens that are worth about €300 million. Although legally Siemens could refuse the revision, such an act could jeopardize Siemens' relationship with the customer. At the same time, a change in the contracts would bring about losses for Siemens. How should the key account manager handle this problem?
Case study: "LEGO"
Coauthored with Professors Jan W. Rivkin, STRAT, and Stefan H. Thomke, TOM, the case describes LEGO's gradual rise, rapid decline, and recent revitalization as it is keeping up with a changing toy market place. Central to LEGO's management model is the ability to find the right balance among growing through innovation, staying true to its core, and controlling operational complexity.
Case Study: "Automating the Paris Subway (A, B)"
Coauthored with Professor Michel Anteby, OB, the case explores how the head of the Paris Subway decides to transform Line 1 into a driverless line without triggering a social conflict. After the shock of the 2000 Notre Dame de Lorette subway accident, in which a train derailed and caused 25 injuries in a Paris subway station, the state-owned Paris subway operator Regie Autonome des Transports Parisiens (RATP) decided to adopt new security measures and considered the opportunity to automate the oldest and the busiest line of the network. The head of the Paris Subway, Serge Lagrange, believed that automating Line 1 would improve security as well as performance. However, the automation would bring about the downsizing of 219 drivers' positions. Lagrange had to figure out how to get the RATP employees on board, particularly drivers and trade unions. How could he convince them of the necessity to automate Line 1? How could he prevent the potentially major social conflict that might result from downsizing the drivers' positions?
Case Study: "Reinventing Brainlab"
Co-authored with Professor Regina E. Herzlinger, GM, the case explores how the management of Germany's Brainlab AG, a leading provider of software-driven oncology and surgery solutions, needs to evaluate strategic options for proceeding without an exclusive hardware partner in its most profitable business segment.
Case Study: "Persephone's Pomegranate? Credit Agricole and Emporiki"
Co-authored with Professor Dante Roscini, BGIE, the case describes how the French bank Crédit Agricole bought the Greek Emporiki bank in 2006, for €2.8 billion, at the peak of a bull market for bank takeovers. Six years, a major financial crisis, and €5.2 billion of losses later, in a context of great uncertainty in the European banking sector, what decision should Crédit Agricole take regarding Emporiki? Through the example of this European cross-border acquisition the case looks at the Greek banking system before and during the unprecedented Greek sovereign debt crisis; the efforts of Greece and the main actors of the European financial system to prevent the battled country from having to exit the euro zone; and the potential scenarios for Greek banks in mid-2012.
Research Project: "Englishnization"
Many multinational companies look into mandating English as the corporate language to ensure good communication and collaboration. Tsedal Neeley launched an extensive global research study to explore advantages, complications, and best practices of such projects, using the Japanese internet firm Rakuten and its subsidiaries. The ERC research team participated in Tsedal's project by conducting 85 interviews at Priceminister in France and 28 interviews at Rakuten.De in Germany.
Sample Research in Progress
The ERC is currently working on several cases and research projects such as:
- A case on the sustainability strategy of a major furniture retailer, particularly with regards to wood sourcing, with Professors V. Kasturi Rangan, MKT, and Michael W. Toffel, OB.
- A case on a cross-border auction for a software company, with Professor Paul A. Gompers, FIN.
- A case on the vaccine division of a global and diversified healthcare leader with Professor V. Kasturi Rangan, MKT, and Professor David Bloom, Professor at the Harvard School of Public Health.
- A research project on the way CEOs worldwide allocate their time, and how their use of time influences corporate performance, with Professor Raffaella Sadun, STRAT.
The ERC is also exploring a case on a producer and distributor of analog cameras, with Professor John T. Gourville, MKT.
Visits Involving the Center
Research activities in January 2013 through June 2013 involved case site interviews in:
- Germany, for a case study on the sustainability strategy of a major engineering company, with Professor V. Kasturi Rangan, MKT, and Professor Amy C. Edmondson, TOM.
- Switzerland, for a case study on a multi-country early-stage investment firm, for Professor Lynda Applegate, EM.
- Norway and the UK, for a case study on a cross-border auction for a software company, with Professor Paul A. Gompers, FIN.
- France, for a case study on a global healthcare company and its efforts to develop and market a vaccine, with Professor V. Kasturi Rangan, MKT, and Professor David Bloom, Professor at the Harvard School of Public Health.
- Spain, for a case study on a Spanish public hospital, with Professor Richard M.J. Bohmer, TOM.
- Sweden and the Netherlands, for a case study on a major furniture retailer, with Professors V. Kasturi Rangan, MKT, and Michael W. Toffel, OB.
- The UK, for a case study on a motor sport team, with Professor Stefan Thomke, TOM.
In addition, we were happy to see here in Paris:
Prof. Michel Anteby, OB
Prof. Robin J. Ely, OB
Prof. Richard Bohmer, TOM
Prof. Amy Edmondson, TOM
Prof. Francisco de Asis Martinez-Jerez, ACCT
Prof. David Bloom, Harvard School of Public Health
Prof. Felix Oberholzer-Gee, STRAT
Prof. Ramon Casadesus-Masanell, STRAT
Prof. Krishna Palepu, ACCT/GM
Prof. Ranjay Gulati, OB
Ms. Mary Ann O'Loughlin, Director, Corporate Relations and Market Development, HBS Executive Education
Mr. Bill Shea, Director, Corporate Relations & Market Development, Executive Education
Ms. Mary Lou Barney, Managing Director, Global Corporate Relations & Market Development, Executive Education
Mr. Simon Rendall, Managing Director, Marketing, Executive Education
Ms. Keelin Deasy, Program Manager, Global Initiative
Mr. Andy Elrick, Associate Director, Global Initiative
Ms. Susan Hamilton, Director International Development, External Relations
Ms. Lauren Alviti, Assistant Director, Alumni Relations, External Relations
Ms. Katie Martin, Director, HBS Clubs and Associations, External Relations
Ms. Stephanie Goff Governali, Managing Director Alumni Relations, External Relations
Ms. Becky Miller, MBA Program
Ms. Dana Fernandez, Assistant Director, MBA Program
Ms. Jane Turner Michael, Staff Assistant, MBA Program
Ms. Esel Cekin, Istanbul Research Center Executive Director
Mr. Ben Prosky, Assistant Dean for Internal and External Communications (GSD Communications), Harvard Design School
Mr. Joshua Macht, HBR Group Publisher, HBSP
Ms. Sarah McConville Ulicny, VP, Marketing and Branding, HBRG, HBSP
Mr. Morgan Franc, 1st year HBS MBA student
Ms. Emma Simmons, Insead
Mr. Tarun Bishnoi, HEC student
15 ELC members
Field Immersion in Istanbul, January: Field Immersion Experiences for Leadership Development (FIELD), a curricular innovation announced by HBS in January 2012, is a required first-year course that focuses on developing small-group learning experiences that are immersive, field-based, and action-oriented. The course requires a global immersion experience - a 10-day team-based project - in January. In the global January immersion this year, for the second time, the MBA students participated in over 150 different projects around the world, mostly in developing countries, helping local organizations implement specific projects. In Europe, approximately 90 students were sent on 15 different projects in Istanbul with the help and support of the Europe Research Center (ERC). The European cohorts were led by faculty members Prof. Frank Cespedes, EM, and Prof. Jason Riis, MKT. Jan Pianca, Educational Programs Assistant Director Europe at the ERC, travelled to Istanbul to support the program.
MBA Information Session in Istanbul, January: The first MBA Admissions event in Istanbul was organized this year at the Titanic City Hotel Taksim. Dedicated to potential applicants, the presentation focused on the details of Harvard Business School's MBA program, including the admission process, curriculum and funding. Approximately 100 persons attended the presentation. The information session was led by Kurt Piemonte, representing MBA Admissions, and by a panel composed of HBS alumni and students. Vincent Dessain, ERC Executive Director, and Jan Pianca marketed, supported and attended the event.
Dinner hosted by Executive Education in Paris, January: A roundtable dinner, gathering a group of 14 alumni, was hosted by Patricia S. Bellinger, Executive Director of Executive Education, at la Chiberta Restaurant in Paris. Mary Lou Barney (Managing Director of ExecEd Corporate Relations), Simon Rendall (Managing Director of ExecEd Marketing), Bill Shea (Director, Corporate Relations and Market Development), and Mary Ann O'Loughlin (Director, Corporate Relations and Market Development) were also present and welcomed the participants. Vincent Dessain attended the event.
ELC Meeting at the ERC in Paris, March: The European Leadership Council, which successfully brought together 15 ELC members, was hosted at the ERC in Paris. It was preceded by a dinner at La Maison de l'Aubrac. Jim Barry welcomed the members and introduced Felix Oberholzer-Gee, new Senior Associate Dean for International Development, and Ramon Casadesus-Masanell, Faculty Chair Global Initiative, Europe. Ramon Casadesus-Masanell presented the latest developments of the School, including the establishment of the Istanbul Research Center and the events related to the School's 50th anniversary of admitting women to the MBA program. Felix Oberholzer-Gee focused the Council's attention on Alumni Engagement. Susan Hamilton updated the Council on Harvard University's Capital Campaign. Finally, Vincent Dessain presented the latest activities of the Center, and solicited advice on prospective case and research leads.
Global Staff Meeting on campus, April: Global Initiative hosted a one-week summit on campus for HBS staff based in the school's research centers in California, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Japan, India, Latin America, and Turkey. The ERC team participated in all the sessions, including specially-designed MBA classes and overview presentations from different HBS units and departments and from Harvard University. The ERC team presented the latest activities of the Center to campus-based staff, closely collaborated with team members from other research centers to share best practices, and attended several events, including the cocktail hosted by Dean Nohria at the Harvard Faculty Club, the team dinners hosted by Ramon Casadesus-Masanell and by Victoria Winston, and finally the reception organized by Executive Education in Kresge North. The team also used this opportunity to meet with several faculty members on campus to discuss research and case leads. On behalf of the ERC team, once again, a very warm and sincere thank you to Global Initiative for this amazing week.
Executive Education program "Leading High-Performance Healthcare Organizations", in Paris, April: Led by HBS faculty members Richard Bohmer, TOM, and Amy Edmondson, TOM, this leadership development program exposes senior healthcare leaders to new models and strategies for enhancing the performance of their organization. Presented by HBS Executive Education in partnership with the HBS Healthcare Initiative, the program examines and compares organizational practices both within and outside the healthcare industry and offers insights into how leaders can maximize effectiveness and improve value within a dynamic and competitive healthcare environment. The ERC research team had the opportunity to attend several classes.
MBA Information Sessions in Paris and London, June: These information sessions, kindly hosted by Deloitte in Paris and Morgan Stanley in London, were organized to present the Harvard Business School MBA program, including the admission process, curriculum and funding to potential future MBA applicants. The presentations, which gathered over 350 participants in total, were led by Dana Fernandez, Assistant Director of the MBA Program. Jane Turner Michael, Staff Assistant, was also present. In each presentation, the potential applicants could interact with a panel composed of HBS alumni.
W50 Alumni Event with Professor Robin Ely in Paris, June: The event, co-hosted at the Shangri-La Hotel by Harvard Business School and the HBS Club de France, gathered approximately 80 participants. Professor Robin Ely, Senior Associate Dean for Culture and Community and the faculty co-chair leading the W50 celebration, discussed the latest developments of the School and how HBS, under the umbrella of the Culture and Community Initiative, was commemorating the 50th anniversary of admitting women to the MBA program. She also presented the initiatives led by HBS to accelerate the advancement of women leaders who make a difference in the world. Stephanie Goff Governali (Managing Director, Alumni Relations, External Relations), Lauren Alviti (Assistant Director, Alumni Relations, External Relations) and Katie Martin, (Director HBS Clubs and Associations, External Relations) welcomed the participants and co-organized the event.
First European Club Leadership Meeting in Paris, June: The HBS Clubs Team hosted its first HBS European Club Leadership Meeting in Paris on June 19-20. Organized at the ERC, the two-day event, which gathered presidents and leading members of nine HBS and Harvard University Clubs and Associations, offered an opportunity to exchange on the highlights and challenges of running a geographic club. Representatives from Ireland, the Netherlands, Poland, Russia, the UK, Serbia, Nigeria, Germany, and France were present. Professor Ramon Casadesus-Masanell, Faculty Chair Global Initiative, Europe, presented the latest developments of the School. Vincent Dessain introduced the Europe Research Center team and provided an update on the Center. Stephanie Goff Governali, Lauren Alviti and Katie Martin welcomed the participants and moderated the sessions.
Executive Education program "Intellectual Property Strategy", in London, June: This executive education program, which is now offered in London, exposes senior executives and lawyers to tools and techniques that enable their organizations to protect innovative products, creative works, novel designs, and promising brands. The unique program brings together leading faculty from Harvard Business School (HBS) and Harvard Law School (HLS) to examine how recent trends in European and international IP law have influenced global IP management. The ERC provided support during the global outreach to potential participants ahead of the program.
Alumni Event with Professor Michel Anteby in Paris, June: The Europe Research Center, in cooperation with the HBS Club de France, hosted a presentation and discussion with guest speaker Professor Michel Anteby, OB, on his forthcoming book titled "Manufacturing morals: A view from within HBS". The presentation was followed by a lively Q&A session and a cocktail.
We welcome all suggestions and comments. Please contact us:
Vincent Dessain, Executive Director, firstname.lastname@example.org
Daniela Beyersdorfer, Assistant Director, email@example.com
Elena Corsi, Senior Researcher, firstname.lastname@example.org
Jan Pianca, Educational Programs Manager Europe, email@example.com
Karol Misztal, Research Associate, firstname.lastname@example.org
Emer Moloney, Research Assistant, email@example.com
Jérôme Lenhardt, Research Assistant, firstname.lastname@example.org
Emilie Billaud, Executive Assistant, email@example.com
Oksana Sichi, Office Administrator, firstname.lastname@example.org
More information about the ERC: http://www.hbs.edu/global/europe.html
The staff of the HBS Europe Research Center
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