News & Highlights

  • September 2019
  • Working Knowledge

Cold Call Podcast: At, Innovation Means Constant Failure

In this podcast, Professor Stefan Thomke discusses the subject of a new Harvard Business School case study, co-authored by Daniela Beyersdorfer of the ERC. Professor Thomke explains how past experience and intuition can be misleading when launching a new product, service, or process. Instead, embrace a culture where testing, experimentation, and even failure are at the heart of what they do.
  • September 2019
  • Working Knowledge

HBS Working Knowledge: Germany May Have the Answer for Reducing Drug Prices

In Germany, drugmakers must prove that a new medication’s benefits merit a higher price than existing drugs. In this article, Professor Ariel Dora Stern asks whether "value-based pricing" should become the standard elsewhere.
  • July 2019
  • MBA Experience

MBA Voices: A Greek Student’s Experience—Meet Aspa Lekka, MBA Class of 2020

MBA Voices is Harvard Business School’s admissions blog. A collection of community perspectives on the blog provide prospective students with insight into life at HBS. In this interview, Greek student Aspa Lekka, MBA 2020, explains her journey to become one of the applicants admitted to the school.

New Research on the Region

  • October 2019
  • Case

La Roche-Posay: Growing L'Oreal's Active Cosmetics Brand

By: Jill Avery, Vincent Dessain and Mette Fuglsang Hjortshoej

As 2018 neared its end, Laetitia Toupet, international general manager of L’Oréal’s La Roche-Posay brand reflected on the brand’s achievements over the past year. At 1 billion in revenue, La Roche-Posay had recently become the number one dermocosmetics brand in the world. While Toupet was pleased with this feat, she believed that the brand was at a critical juncture. It was time to make some significant marketing decisions related to brand positioning to try to accelerate La Roche-Posay’s future growth trajectory as dermocosmetics moved from serving a niche market to the mainstream.

  • September 2019
  • Case

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation: Shaping the Vaccine Manufacturing Ecosystem

Vaccines for children has been a long-standing focus for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and its critical role in public health made its production an important economic and political issue. This case describes the Foundation's investment in a breakthrough vaccine manufacturing platform for the Sabin inactivated polio virus. While the new technology promised a much lower cost per dose, it also raised questions about the consequences of lowering entry barriers to vaccine production, maintaining high quality and production standards, a strong regulatory environment were critical to protecting the integrity of the vaccine supply. The new technology also threatened to encourage more developed country vaccine manufacturers to exit the market, not an outcome the Foundation was hoping for, as they possessed the capabilities and resources to invest in future developments. It raises the question of whether vaccines are a public good, and who should be responsible for their production.

  • September 2019
  • Case

Shell: A Company of Opportunity?

By: Joseph B. Fuller and Emer Moloney

The Opportunity Hub was a cloud-based platform that enabled managers to market projects they were working on and associated resourcing needs as ‘Opportunity Owners’ and employees, or ‘Opportunity Seekers’, to browse these statements of need and engage when they had interest and availability. The premise was that the commitment would be no more than 20% of an employee’s time, and could be much less, but it would be highly transparent. The Opportunity Hub was intended to offer a solution to Shell’s business challenge of lacking digital capability. The core objective was to organize and dynamically access internal talent to get work done in a more automated way and at pace.

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Paris Staff

Vincent Dessain
Executive Director
Daniela Beyersdorfer
Senior Associate Director, Research and Administration
Emilie Billaud
Assistant Director
Giulia Bussoletti
Executive Assistant
Elena Corsi
Assistant Director
Federica Gabrieli
Research Associate
Mette Hjortshoej
Research Associate
Tonia Labruyere
Research Associate
Emer Moloney
Senior Researcher
Jan Pianca
Associate Director, Educational Programs
Oksana Sichi
Assistant Director, Administration