The Chair seeks to contribute to the international academic debate surrounding the new inclusive business models and CSR issues, and it aspires to have an impact on the broader society.
The objective of the Chair is to develop high quality research into social business, and into the broader issue of corporate involvement in the fight against poverty, both in France and abroad.
From an academic standpoint, this means tapping into a widely unexplored field of research, thereby positioning HEC Paris as a pioneering school in this area. From an operational point of view, the objective is to provide companies with the necessary theoretical and managerial knowledge for them to achieve a greater involvement in the fight against poverty.
The Chair’s research program is structured into three thematic clusters.
First of all, qualitative and quantitative studies aimed at achieving greater understanding of poverty and the mechanisms that generate it. The Chair has been particularly involved in the analysis of “poverty penalties” in France, in other words the paradoxical situation whereby low-income consumers pay more for a large number of products and services: the goal is to quantify this phenomenon, to identify the main causes and provide companies with solutions to break this vicious circle. The Chair is also actively involved in the study of consumer behavior of low-income households: what budgetary choices, what strategies when faced with stigmatization? Following an in-depth analysis qualitative, a quantitative study (of 1000 households) has been launched. The first results will be published in 2014.
The second cluster: studying the benefits companies might reap by getting involved in fighting poverty, in terms of value creation, innovation, and transformation of their practices. As an example, the « BOP for Top » project analyses win-win partnerships between companies in the luxury sector and companies with rare, valuable know-how from developing countries. Another example: the Chair is working with two multinational companies involved in a large number of social business projects, to assess the business impact of these projects for the companies.
Finally, the Chair is involved in research projects aimed at determining the most effective intervention levers for companies in the struggle against poverty. An ambitious research-action program is currently being set up with players from the Action Tank “Entreprise & Pauvreté” to identify the mechanisms and key success factors of social business in developed countries. For example, the Chair is currently working on the mechanisms of collaboration between firms and NGOs, emphasizing the need to coordinate different institutional logics.
Several other projects are also looking into the practices of companies abroad, like the « Last Mile Delivery » project, which aims to identify the most adapted marketing strategies companies can adopt to reach consumers from developing countries.
"The Danone case, or how social innovation can help a multinational company reinvent itself", by Bénédicte Faivre-Tavignot, executive director of the Chair
The ambition to change the world is at the heart of the most innovative entreprenarial endeavors – be they those of Ford, yesterday, or, today, of Google. Nevertheless, an established company that nurtures such an ambition must also reinvent itself. Today, social business is the new frontier, in that it combines an ambition for development and the conquest of new markets. So, can environmental and social innovations become the levers of a transformation of big companies, not only improving their performance but also contributing to the invention of a new, more sustainable and more inclusive economy? The example of Danone provides a concrete framework to study the initiatives taken by multinational companies from first-world countries to address the low-income populations from emerging countries.
Read the whole article in the ParisTech Review, in English or French: http://www.paristechreview.com/2014/01/24/danone-case-social-innovation/
=> Download some of the research material following the links below:
* "Challenges in Marketing socially useful goods for the Poor" California Management Review, Summer 2010, 52 (4), 29-47, Bernard Garrette and Aneel Karnani (2010)
* “Building Social Business Models: Lessons from the Grameen Experience, Long Range Planning", 2010, 43 (2/3), 308-325, Muhammad Yunus, Bertrand Moingeon and Laurence Lehmann-Ortega (2010)
* “Is Marketing Losing its Luster? A Longitudinal Study of Public Perceptions of Marketing”, Frédéric Dalsace and Dimitri Markovitch (2010)
* Special issue n°208-209 of the Revue Française de Gestion, co-authored by David Menascé and Frédéric Dalsace (2010-2011),
including the following article: Le social business, laboratoire d’apprentissage des stratégies de rupture, by Bénédicte Faivre-Tavignot, Laurence Lehmann-Ortega and Bertrand Moingeon
including the following article: Structurer le débat Entreprises et Pauvreté: Légitimité, Intérets, Modalités, Efficacité, by David Menascé and Frédéric Dalsace
* The study on the double-penalty the Chair conducted with the BCG (in French)
* "Leveraging BOP markets for strategic Renewal: a longitudinal study of Danone", working paper, by Bénédicte Faivre-Tavignot and Laurence Lehmann-Ortega (2010-2011)
* "Getting involved: BoP versus Social Business", Journal of Social Business, 1-1 by Frédéric Dalsace and David Ménascé
* "Les pénalités de pauvreté en France: comment le marché aggrave la situation des populations pauvres", revue FACTS 'Field Actions Science reports' - Institut Veolia Environnement, by Frédéric Dalsace, Charles-Edouard Vincent, Jacques Berger and François Dalens (2012)
* "L'entreprise contre la pauvreté", Institut Jean Jaurès, by Frédéric dalsace, David Ménascé et Pierre Victoria (2011)