Faculty & Research
Learn about the ideas, innovation and inquiry driving academic excellence
In addition to face-to-face teaching, events included the first in-person Faculty Retreat in four years, held in June 2022 in Fontainebleau. An unprecedented occasion in the same month was a conference in celebration of the 90th birthday of Emeritus Professor Bob Ayres, who joined INSEAD in 1992 and is considered as one of the fathers of industrial ecology. It is an honour to count a true pioneer of sustainability scholarship among our faculty.
Currently led by Dean of Faculty Javier Gimeno, INSEAD professors include a growing number, who – like Bob – are pioneers in their fields. Indeed, recruiting, developing and retaining outstanding researchers and teachers is a key element of the school’s strategy. It was therefore vitally important that the 2021/2022 academic year brought a resumption in recruitment. This enabled us to welcome three new assistant professors with PhDs from top institutions and two new affiliate professors with impressive records for the 2022/2023 academic year (see New Faculty section).
Professors W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne, creators of the highly influential “Blue Ocean Strategy” model featured once again in the 2021 Thinkers50 ranking of business thought leaders. They were joined in the rankings by colleagues, Erin Meyer and Gianpiero Petriglieri (both from the Organisational Behaviour research area). In addition, Hilke Plassmann (Marketing) was made a member of the Thinkers50 Radar Class of 2022
Among other faculty honoured were Michael Y. Lee (Organisational Behaviour), named an Emerging Scholar of the HR Division of the Academy of Management, Georgina Hall who was a Finalist of the 2021 A.W. Tucker Prize, for the Mathematical Optimization Society and Chiara Spina (Entrepreneurship and Family Enterprise), who was listed in Poets & Quants best 40 professors under the age of 40.
Faculty also continued to play important roles as editors and reviewers for leading peer-reviewed academic journals. Among other appointments, Guillaume Roels, took on the role of Department Editor, with Manufacturing and Service Operations Management, while Vibha Gaba, became a Co-Editor, of the Strategic Management Journal.
Worthy of special mention is Derek Deasy (Organisational Behaviour), who received the 2021 Dominique Héau Award for Inspiring Educational Excellence, presented every year in memory of a late and much-missed faculty colleague. Congratulations must also go to all the winners of INSEAD teaching prizes, voted for by programme participants.
Was a Finalist of the 2021 A.W. Tucker Prize, for the Mathematical Optimization Society
Serves as Co-Editor of the Strategic Management Journal
Was made a member of the Thinkers50 Radar Class of 2022
Named Emerging Scholar of the HR Division of the Academy of Management
Received the 2021 Dominique Héau Award for Inspiring Educational Excellence
Was one of Poets & Quants best 40 professors under the age of 40
* Rising to 166 resident faculty and 40 women faculty on 1 October 2022, when two new affiliate professors joined
Alexandru is a prizewinning researcher, whose PhD research on corporate financial policy gained the prestigious BlackRock Applied Research Award in 2021. Before going to London Business School for his doctoral studies, he worked for the Deutsche Bundesbank and the European Central Bank and gained degrees in economics from the Bucharest Academy of Economic Sciences and Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona. Alexandru is currently studying how differences in historical regulation have shaped the provision of market risk insurance by the private sector. He is also investigating how gaps in consumer protection regulation allow insurers to recover losses after the financial crisis.
Elsa is an expert on empirical financial accounting, which she now teaches in the MBA programme. Her research focuses on the effects on the capital markets of corporate disclosures and the role of financial intermediaries in this process, including equity analysts, debt analysts and the business media. Elsa joined INSEAD after completing a PhD at London Business School. She also holds a BSc and a MSc in Accounting, Finance and Control from Bocconi University in her native Italy.
Asher’s research on debiasing decisions has featured in leading academic journals and conferences, as well as the mainstream media – including Harvard Business Review, Forbes, Fortune, Scientific American, and Politico. His wide-ranging work covers topics such as numerical judgment, overconfidence, gender stereotypes and misinformation. The current focus of Asher’s research is the relationship between organisations’ use of language and female experiences in the workplace. His innovations include using machine learning to study how hiring women into leadership positions affects stereotypes in organisational language and perceptions of leadership. He holds a PhD from the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University and a BA from the University of Oxford.
Svenja’s writing, teaching and coaching aim to develop responsible and effective leaders by helping them understand how their experiences and ambitions – as well as the pushes and pulls of their surroundings – shape who they are and how they act. She focuses particularly on the career transitions of female leaders. Her work draws on her own unique combination of experiences as a senior learning and development manager for Daimler and HSBC, and as a clinician in Germany and the United States. Svenja originally studied clinical psychology and psychoanalysis at the University of Bremen, Germany, and at Stanford University, California. She also holds an Executive Masters with distinction from INSEAD, and for the last decade, has served on the faculty and coaching staff of numerous INSEAD programmes.
Vlad’s research interests include game theory, auction theory and industrial organisation. He is currently working on how to balance price and quality interests in the design of procurement auctions with differentiated suppliers. He also studies the strategic importance of information manipulation in large auctions. Prior to joining INSEAD, Mares received his PhD at Rutgers University and taught at the Olin School of Business at Washington University in St. Louis and the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.
In order to further foster that spirit of exchange and discussion, Dean of Research Lily Fang instituted a new series of Faculty Lounge seminars. In these sessions, which began in March 2022, faculty members give broad-brush presentations on timely themes or summarise their body of work. Topics for the year included blockchain, digital relationships and even an INSEAD-developed search engine.
There was also the return of on-campus INSEAD conferences. Between April and June, INSEAD professors organised events devoted to: Accounting, Asset Finance and Corporate Finance; Entrepreneurship; Finance; and Stakeholder Governance. With the world being able to travel again, these events not only brought great minds from INSEAD together but also enabled us to welcome – and exchange ideas with – faculty from other institutions.
As usual, there was much to be proud of throughout the academic year, including our latest research-related ranking results. In 2022, INSEAD ranked number one in the world for research productivity in General Management and ranked in the top ten overall worldwide for publications in the last decade in the University of Texas, Dallas global research ranking. We were also placed number five for research in the Financial Times Global MBA Research Ranking.
Groundbreaking scholarly discovery with a practical, international focus continues in many fields – from the value of emotional intelligence to the impact of AI and machine learning, from the circular economy to the challenges of hybrid working, and from the war in Ukraine to the world’s most innovative countries. As usual, many INSEAD-authored academic articles were nominated for prestigious awards. Winners included: Abhishek Borah (Journal of Marketing), Olivier Dessaint (Review of Financial Studies) and Wolfgang Ulaga (Academy of Marketing Science).
Another prize-winning paper by Paulo Albuquerque and Pierre Chandon (INFORMS Society for Marketing Science), based on large-scale, randomised control trials, has resulted in a change in nutritional labelling of food products across Europe. This is just one example of how INSEAD’s rigorous and responsible academic research is transforming international business practice and government policy.
Practitioner-targeted publications of particular note in 2021/2022 include Professor Theodoros Evgeniou’s contribution to the World Economic Forum’s AI C-Suite Toolkit, which is designed to support executives in their implementation of AI. There were also seven new books from INSEAD professors that offered valuable insights into management practice while also being accessible and informative to the non-academic reader.
Among the year’s many pedagogical publications were several new “immersive learning” case studies, delivered through virtual reality (VR) headsets, of which there are now over 30 examples. This makes INSEAD a true world leader in an important field of teaching innovation. Much more than a passing trend, VR promotes active and interactive modes of learning that are proven to increase understanding and knowledge retention.
As usual, the school was among the leading recipients of awards for more traditional case studies (see graphic), all available through the INSEAD Case Publishing website.
Two of the 18 – The INSEAD–Sorbonne Université Behavioural Lab in Paris and the Centre for Organisational Research in Singapore – are “research enablers”, open to faculty from any academic area and involving real people in experiments and surveys. 2021/2022 saw the publication of 21 peer-reviewed articles in leading academic journals based on data previously collected at the Behavioural Lab. This year saw the Centre for Organisational Research expand its pool of Singapore-based research participants by 49% to 2,280 professionals from all walks of life.
Similarly, the Initiative for Learning and Teaching Excellence (iLITE), is a powerful “teaching enabler”, which also carries out research into pedagogical best practices. It provided vital support for faculty during the enforced transition to virtual programme delivery. Now that professors and students are fully reunited on campus, the team is building on the innovations and lessons learned during the pandemic and looking to understand the specific demands of teaching hybrid programmes.
In addition, the Hoffmann Global Institute for Business and Society plays a coordinating and reporting role for all INSEAD research on sustainability and ESG, across the 18 centres/initiatives and nine research areas.
Examples of how centres and initiatives looked to address issues around the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) included the work of the INSEAD Gender Initiative, which ran an MBA elective on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and provided panel speakers for the ChangeNOW Summit in Paris.
Also focused on developing solutions to issues facing business and society, the Healthcare Management Initiative once again organised the MBA Master Strategist Day. This annual event gets the entire MBA cohort to work with a real-life not-for-profit organisation facing real-world challenges. This time the initiative collaborated with the Almouneer Diabetic Eye Clinic chain in Egypt, and asked MBA students to develop potential strategies for the organisation’s expansion.
Indeed, collaboration is a key part of the work of the centres, as underlined by the INSEAD Blue Ocean Strategy Institute’s role in helping to build the curriculum for the forthcoming joint degree programme with the University of Michigan – The Master of Engineering in Global Aerospace Leadership.
In terms of knowledge exchange, the James M. and Cathleen D. Stone Centre for the Study of Wealth Inequality welcomed Clementine Van Effenterre, an economist from the University of Toronto, as a visiting professor, while the INSEAD Marketing and Sales Excellence Initiative held six exclusive Discovery Events for its 16 corporate members. Topics covered included “Blockchain and Metaverse – What Marketing and Sales Leaders Need to Know”.
Further knowledge exchange was made possible at the 10th Annual PhD Student Consortium hosted by the INSEAD–Wharton Centre for Global Research and Education. The Centre also held six joint research seminars and supported faculty in publishing seven articles in leading academic journals with 12 further research collaborations in progress.
The INSEAD Corporate Governance Centre was also busy, publishing two global survey reports on sustainability governance in partnership with Boston Consulting Group and Heidrick & Struggles. In terms of new teaching resources, the Global Private Equity Initiative produced a new case study describing the ESG journey of Pro-invest Group, an asset management and investment firm, and the INSEAD Africa Initiative ran a programme on Valuation and Risk Management in Banking in Rwanda.
Finally, The Rudolf and Valeria Maag INSEAD Centre for Entrepreneurship continued to promote innovation and enterprise among our community through their start-up bootcamps and their biannual INSEAD Venture Competition (IVC). The 44th IVC received a record 187 submissions from 530 participants with Nalati Restaurant & Event taking the Grand Prize.
The INSEAD-Wharton Centre – like the INSEAD Sorbonne Université Behavioural Lab – is part of a much wider landscape of institutional partnerships. The INSEAD–Wharton Alliance has now been well-established for over two decades and includes student and faculty exchanges. The Alliance Sorbonne Université, first established ten years ago, is a network connecting the school to intellectual and financial capital – and involves nine of France’s top academic institutions.
The fact that such historic and globally respected institutions partner with INSEAD only serves to confirm how the school’s research reputation matches the very best in the world.
The Knowledge team returned to campus in 2021/2022 to launch a brand-new website, complete with a transformed logo and streamlined, contemporary design. This marked the first step in the revamp of all the INSEAD websites.
The content is now much easier to read, as well as being more accessible on both desktop and mobile devices. This year also saw the implementation of a new editorial strategy to both expand the format and range of articles provided and allow us to tap into faculty expertise with comment articles on trending global topics. Another highlight of the year is the ongoing collaboration with the Hoffmann Global Institute for Business and Society, which resulted in ten new articles in the wide-ranging ‘Crossroads: Business and Society’ series.
The team’s translation of INSEAD research for a practitioner audience had the same clarity and perfect pitch as ever. As a result, Knowledge continues to take INSEAD insights to an ever-wider audience, as confirmed by the year’s usage statistics and high levels of engagement.
INSEAD faculty and spokespersons have contributed to top media outlets including BBC, Bloomberg, Channel NewsAsia, CNBC, Financial Times, Forbes, South China Morning Post, Les Echos, Le Figaro,The Business Times Singapore, The Economist, The New York Times, Nikkei, The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal, to share their latest research and opinions. These partnerships strengthen INSEAD’s position as a thought leader in business, economics, and societal spheres while reinforcing the school’s mission and values.
Key stories that drove faculty media coverage included research and commentary on relevant business topics (management education, remote work, digitalisation, crypto crisis, technology layoffs, AI), environmental issues (climate change), geopolitical events (war, civil crises), and economic and societal trends (diversity, equality and inclusion, healthcare, interest rates, growth and outlook, inflation and cost of living).