News & Highlights

  • October 2020
  • Events

Worldwide Week at Harvard

Worldwide Week at Harvard showcases the breadth of Harvard’s global engagement through academic and cultural events with global or international themes. On October 7th-8th, 2020, Harvard broadcasted 24 Hours of Harvard, which featured 24 consecutive hours of around-the-clock and around-the-world events and activities. The ERC contributed by stringing together stories from faculty members, a doctoral graduate, and staff members—showcasing the variety of the Center’s activities in Europe, from supporting faculty members with cases and research work, to supporting students and alumni in career coaching and orientation.
  • August 2020
  • Managing the Future of Work

Unilever’s Workforce Transformation: Hard Truths and Help with Change

In this podcast, Professor Bill Kerr talks to Nick Dalton, Executive Vice President of Business Transformation at Unilever and the protagonist of a new Harvard Business School case study supported by Emilie Billaud and Mette Fuglsang Hjortshøj of the Europe Research Center. Unilever is several years into a company-wide plan to revolutionize its workforce. This vast program includes operational and cultural change across many divisions in more than 100 countries. The effort includes job counseling, retraining, and assistance with career moves—within the company or elsewhere. Dalton discusses what it takes to be transparent about coming changes and work with employees, unions, governments, and others to identify mutually beneficial transitions.
  • June 2020
  • Covid-19 Business Impact Center

Re-Starting Under Uncertainty: Managerial Experiences from Around the World

Professor Raffaella Sadun and the HBS Global Research Centers travelled virtually around the globe and talked with over 50 resilient businesses across a variety of countries and sectors. In her report, “Re-starting under uncertainty”, Professor Sadun explains, “as economies reopen after forced shutdowns caused by COVID-19, managers around the world are faced with a dual challenge: keeping the workforce safe while at the same time preserving business viability in an evolving and volatile market. How should businesses start to design their ‘new normal’ at this time of heightened uncertainty? While we are still far from knowing what constitutes a ‘best practice’, there is already a great deal of experimentation emerging all over the world.”

New Research on the Region

  • October 2020
  • Teaching Material

Essent: From a State-Owned Utility to a Commercial Company (B)

By: Ananth Raman and Elena Corsi

  • September 2020
  • Case

Wladimir Klitschko: F.A.C.E. Your Challenges

By: Boris Groysberg, Michael Norris and Carin-Isabel Knoop

In 2020, Olympic goal medal winning boxer and former heavyweight world champion Wladimir Klitschko had built himself a “second ring” to continue his career after retiring from professional boxing. He was a hotelier, boxing promoter, author, teacher, speaker, and had built an organization to train businesspeople on his “Challenge Management” philosophy. He believed that any problem could be turned into a challenge to be overcome, and he taught a method based around F.A.C.E.—Focus, Agility, Coordination, and Endurance—to do so. Some major European firms, including SAP and Deutsche Telekom, had begun using Klitschko’s methods to train their teams. Given the new realities of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, how could Klitschko use his method to help people around the world adapt?

  • September 2020
  • Case

Disrupting Justice at RightNow: Persevere, Pivot or Perish

By: Shikhar Ghosh and Amir Reza Rezvani

The case examines the focus of an early stage company, and how an unexpected external incidence can threaten or void the business model. It encompasses issues such as defining and pivoting a business model, organizational requirements for a pivot, investor relations, disruptive business models, as well as business conduct in continental Europe. In 2017, Dr. Torben Antretter, a former competitive tennis player and academic researcher, founded RightNow with his two co-founders. RightNow was set out to provide consumers with “Justice-as-a-Service” by purchasing their legal claims that they would not pursue otherwise. Just one year after its inception, the company had closed a 25 million financing to increase its market share and leverage further growth opportunities. Upon closing of this financing round, matters took a sudden and unexpected turn when the National Supreme Court announced a ruling that airlines were no longer required to refund flight tickets. This decision wiped out RightNow’s profit margins. Antretter and his co-founders had to decide what they should do with the business. How should the founders approach investors? Should they quit and walk away from their entrepreneurial dream or try to reinvent the business with a different focus? What would be the strategy going forward?

See more research

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