News & Highlights

  • June 2021
  • Cold Call Podcast

IKEA Navigates the Future While Staying True to its Culture

In this podcast, Professors Juan Alcacer and Cynthia A. Montgomery discuss the subject of a new Harvard Business case study - “Which IKEA Do We Want?” - supported by Emilie Billaud and Vincent Dessain of the Europe Research Center. After years of success in providing quality furniture at affordable prices, Swedish furniture maker IKEA is challenged by the rise of online shopping and changing consumer behavior, plus the arrival of a new leader. The company's top executives know they had to step out of their comfort zones and embrace new strategic initiatives to stay relevant. But which initiatives will best enable IKEA to evolve while staying true to the company’s core values?
  • June 2021
  • Events

Webinar Featuring Professor Regina E. Herzlinger and Brainlab CEO Stefan Vilsmeier

This June, the Europe Research Center co-hosted a webinar “HBS Perspectives in Health: Brainlab - The Surgical Suite of the Future” with the Harvard Business School Health Care Initiative. This hour-long conversation was led by Professor Regina E. Herzlinger and Stefan Vilsmeier, CEO of Brainlab (also one of the Europe Research Center’s recent case protagonists), who discussed innovation in MedTech as well as trends and the future of the industry. The webinar, moderated by Vincent Dessain, also included a Q&A for participants to engage with the speakers.
  • April 2021
  • Events

HBR/HBS Alumni Clubs Live Webinar with Professor Frank V. Cespedes

This April, Harvard Business School Professor Frank V. Cespedes presented his book Sales Management That Works: How to Sell in a World that Never Stops Changing during an HBR/HBS Alumni Clubs live webinar. After a brief introduction by Vincent Dessain of the ERC, Professor Cespedes led an engaging and interactive discussion about the impact on sales activities of new buying processes, e-commerce, and big data. He then shared some interesting thoughts on the implications of these megatrends for hiring, training, performance management, compensation, the construction and re-construction of sales models, and required links between the C-Suite and customer-facing groups in companies.

New Research on the Region

  • September 2021
  • Case

On the Bubble: Startup Bootstrapping

By: Jeffrey J. Bussgang, Tom Quinn and Annelena Lobb

Bubble was a software company in the low-code/no-code market, making tools that allowed users without traditional programming backgrounds or technical skills to build software. The case covers cofounder Joshua Haas’s engineering background, as he experienced a high demand for coding expertise in the startup community, but a low supply of coders. It then outlines his founding, with cofounder Emmanuel Straschnov, of Bubble in 2012, and their subsequent bootstrapping for six years until 2018, when a well-known tech entrepreneur and angel investor offered them an attractive financing deal. The case covers Bubble’s product-led growth, or a singular focus on the product (as opposed to investing in sales and marketing) as a strategy for user acquisition and retention. The case also covers the difficulties of hiring new employees, and Bubble’s strategy for building a team.

  • September 2021
  • Case

Publicis Groupe 2021: Changing Nearly Everything

By: Rosabeth Moss Kanter, Tonia Labruyere and Vincent Dessain

After a leadership change at the French advertising company Publicis, new CEO Arthur Sadoun has to navigate changes due to digitalization and a pandemic.

  • September 2021
  • Teaching Material

Hester Pharmaceuticals (B): Securing Supply

By: Dante Roscini and John Masko

In 2020, amid the COVID-19 pandemic and a rise in “reshoring” sentiment in the U.S., Hester Pharmaceuticals had to decide whether to build a new plant for its new oncology drug Akrozumab in Germany or in the U.S., or whether it should hire a contract manufacturing organization (CMO) to produce the drug. As it made its decision, Hester had to con

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Paris Staff

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