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Block seminars

The HEC Paris PhD Program offers every year or every other year an attractive series of block seminars open to PhD students from all over the world.

HEC PhD Block Seminar, Mathilde Guilhon, PhD ESCP Business School
A very inspiring seminar in Strategy! Activities (e.g., article reviews, article development workshop, learning diary) as well as meaningful group discussions enabled me to advance my thesis project and to reflect on my future research career.


PhD candidate, ESCP Business School

Every year or every other year, in spring/summer we offer PhD Block Seminars in Accounting and Management Control, Marketing and in Strategy & Business Policy. 

Each Seminar offers PhD-level training, typically about current research trends and frontiers in specialized topics.

Duration: 18h or 20h, one week (4 to 5 days), in April, May or June. The courses will take place on our campus.  

Credits: 3 ECTS (European Credit Transfer System)

Number of seats: Max 15 participants to ensure a maximum of interaction.

Tuition: 900€  (Participants from HEC Partner Network Universities: 50% discount).

Location: HEC Paris, Campus Jouy en Josas,  Access


How to Apply:  

If you are interested by joining a course please submit your:

  • CV (résumé)
  • Personal statement (max one page) which includes your current research interests (thesis topic) and contact details of your thesis supervisor.

to Britta Delhay,

Application Deadline: Three weeks before the start of the course, 2022. Note that admissions are handled on a rolling basis and that late applicants may not be accepted if the course is full. 

Admissions Decision:  1 week after submission of the application.

Campus Services: On-campus housing possibility according to availability: approximately from 80-90€/night, library, IT services, restaurant, sports facilities.

Any question? Britta Delhay,


Topic: “Category Research in Strategy Taking stock and Future Perspectives”   (18h/3 ECTS credits) 

Dates:  April 4 - 8, 2022 

Instructor: Rodolphe Durand, Professor of Strategy and Business Policy, HEC Paris, France

Rodolphe Durand joined HEC Paris in 2004 and currently is the HEC Foundation Chaired Professor of Strategy at HEC-Paris and the academic director of the Society and Organizations Center which he launched in 2009. Previously, he chaired the Strategy & Business Policy department (2009-2013), served as the MSc in Strategic Management’s Academic Director (2012-2015), and was Visiting Professor at New York University (Stern Business School, 2011), Cambridge University (Judge Business School, 2011) and London Business School (2013), and Visiting Scholar at Harvard Business School (2012). Rodolphe’s primary research interests concern the sources of competitive advantage and the interplay between the cognitive and normative determinants of organizations’ performance. Read more  about Professor Durand here.

Course description:

The aim of this seminar is to reflect on the recent expansion of category research in markets. This collection of articles points to categories as social, cognitive, and strategic constructions, accomplishments that result in actors stabilizing their conceptions of who is a member in a market category and what are the consequences of remaining so. It is the purpose of this seminar to acquaint participants with some of the issues of market category creation and development using several lenses to examine the advantages accruing to those who can countervail the imperatives of category membership. Much research in the study of categories in economics, sociology, and strategy assumes away the category definition problem by using conventional or convenient conceptualizations (e.g., formal industrial classifications, industry reports, third parties’ aggregations, etc.). This course takes the position that there are many very interesting and important issues that are missed when one assumes that market categories pre-exist competition and strategy in the first place.

The course involves morning and afternoon discussion sessions distributed over four days. Each of the four class days will consist of a morning session in which a collection of articles will be openly discussed among everyone in the course. The purpose of these morning sessions is to introduce conceptual material to fuel analysis and new conceptual development. The afternoon session will involve individual work, small group discussion and group presentations about the key research issues that are suggested by the reading material assigned that day. Thursday’s session will differ slightly in that each student will present an idea for an original research project that is suggested by the week's reading and discussions.

The course syllabus and reading material will be made available a few weeks before the start of the course.  It is recommended that students begin to read the articles ahead of time and to begin preparation for the article reviews. The course period itself will be highly concentrated and time will be tight.

A very inspiring seminar in Strategy: activities (e.g., article reviews, article development workshop, learning diary) as well as meaningful group discussions enabled me to advance my thesis project and to reflect on my future research career. 
Matilde GUILHON, Ph.D Candidate, ESCP Business School 


Programme schedule (subject to change slightly) : 

  • Day 1 - April 4: 10h00 - 12h00, 13h30 - 16h30
  • Day 2 - April 5: 14h00 - 16h00, 16h20 - 18h20
  • Day 3 - April 6: 9h30 - 12h00, 13h30 - 16h30
  • Day 4 - April 7: Personal research work (no class)
  • Day 5 - April 8: 9h00 - 12h00

Topic:  “Debt Contracting, Banking and Disclosure” (20h/3 ECTS credits)   

Dates: June 20 - 23, 2022

Instructor: Regina Wittenberg-Moerman, Professor of Accounting, Visiting Professor at HEC Paris, University of Southern California - Marshall School of Business, USA

Dr. Regina Wittenberg-Moerman specializes in financial reporting quality, debt contracting and trading, information asymmetry, financial intermediation, and bond analysts. She has held positions at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. Wittenberg-Moerman's published research includes "The Role of Information Asymmetry and Financial Reporting Quality in Debt Trading: Evidence from the Secondary Loan Market" in the Journal of Accounting and Economics, “Price Discovery and Dissemination of Private Information by Loan Syndicate Participants” in the Journal of Accounting Research and “A Debt Analysts’ View of Debt-Equity Conflicts of Interest” in The Accounting Review. Read more here

Course description

The objective of this class is to provide students with a sound framework for understanding and evaluating empirical research in debt contracting, banking and disclosure. Our focus will be on methodology and research design as well as on the underlying economic questions. The course will aim to survey a wide variety of the empirical research in accounting and to touch on related research in corporate finance, with an emphasis on recent developments in both areas. 

We will be covering a variety of topics, including: Debt markets and financial reporting, Debt as a governance mechanism, The role of lenders in disclosure and information environment, Loan officer behavior and Bank disclosure and Information sharing.  

For each session, students will be provided with a set of papers to read. Students will be assigned to present a paper (or multiple papers if they are related) and will be responsible for leading the discussion on that paper. The format of each session is not intended to be a lecture but an active discussion, and students will act as both the author and discussant on the papers they are assigned. Students not assigned to a specific paper are expected to contribute to the discussions by asking 
questions and providing comment. 

Class format 

For each paper, we will be discussing the following questions: 

  1. The research question and the theoretical or intuitive constructs motivating it. Why is the question (un)interesting? Are there well-specified alternatives to the hypotheses? Is the question descriptive or predictive? How compelling is the logic/intuition used to develop the hypotheses? 
  2. What is the study’s research design? Consider the sample selection and empirical tests. 
  3. How well is the research design tied to the research question? To what extent is the design capable of distinguishing between alternative hypotheses? 
  4. What difficulties arise in drawing inferences from the empirical work? 
  5. What are the major results? How do the authors interpret them? How do you interpret them? 
  6. What research questions are raised by the paper’s results, and what unresolved research questions related to the paper could be investigated? How? 

Session outline (tentative) 

Session # 1 and 2: Introduction to Debt Contracting Debt Markets and Financial reporting 
Session # 3 and 4: Debt as a Governance Mechanism
Session # 5 and 6: The Role of Lenders and Bond Analysts in Shaping Disclosure and Information Environment 
Session # 7 and 8: Loan Officer Behavior 
Session # 9 and 10: Bank Disclosure and Information Sharing


  • Monday June 20: 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
  • Tuesday June 21: 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
  • Wednesday June 22: 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
  • Thursday June 23:  9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. 


Tuition: 900€

  • Participants from HEC Partner Network Universities: 50% discount
  • Participants from other Universities: 100%

Location: HEC Paris, Campus Jouy en Josas,  Access  

How to Apply: 

If you are interested by joining us please submit your:

  • CV (résumé)
  • Personal statement (max one page) which includes your current research interests (thesis topic) and contact details of your thesis supervisor.

to Britta Delhay,

Application Deadline:  May 30, 2022.

Topic: “Marketing Management” (18h/3 ECTS credits)   

Dates:  May 9 to 13, 2022

Instructor:  Frank Germann, Professor of Marketing, Visiting Professor at HEC Paris, University of Notre Dame, USA

Dr. Germann’s research interests are in the area of marketing strategy. More specifically, he is interested in how marketing actions (e.g., the use of marketing analytics), marketing personnel (e.g., the Chief Marketing Officer), and marketing assets (e.g., brands) influence firm performance. His research has been published in leading marketing journals, including the Journal of Marketing , Journal of Consumer Research , International Journal of Research in Marketing , Journal of Retailing , and Marketing Letters . His research has also been featured in the Harvard Business Review , by the Marketing Science Institute as part of the Institute's journal selections initiative, on NPR, the Today Show (NBC), The Atlantic, CBC, and USA Today, among others.  Read more about Professor Germann here.

Course objectives:

The seminar will explore the conceptual and applied dimensions of marketing management. The conceptual goals of the course are to expose students to:

  1. major areas and works in marketing management, 
  2. understand the anatomy of conceptual and empirical research in marketing management, 
  3. develop research ideas in the domain of marketing management. 

An additional goal of the seminar is to expose the students to the methods most commonly used in marketing management research. Specifically, the seminar will cover the basic models used in marketing management (fixed-effects regression, 2SLS etc.) and how to estimate these models in STATA. The seminar will also cover how STATA can be used for data management purposes (merging data, creating new variables etc.).   

Course description:

The seminar will be composed of 5, 3-4 hour class periods (18 hours in total).  Classes will be devoted to: 

  1. discussing several articles that cover important theories and topics in the marketing management domain. Discussion will be devoted to a) the underlying theory/theories of the article, b) why the article is important, c) good points of the article, d) bad points of the article, and e) research ideas that the article might suggest or engender, 
  2. learning how to retrieve and format (e.g., merge) data as well as how to estimate the most commonly used models in marketing management. This part will involve hands-on exercises using STATA.  

The articles the students will read will be a mix of classical, seminal works and more recent works in the assigned areas. 


We will discuss proposal ideas and specific deliverables during the class. As part of the seminar, students will be asked to develop a research idea which they will summarize in a 5 page proposal.The written research proposals are due (via email) on or before May 27, 2022.

Great seminar in Marketing Management. Discussions in the group and professor's inputs and guidance inspired me and I learned a lot.
Aristid,University of St. Gallen (Switzerland)

Programme Schedule:  

Day 1, May 9, 2pm to 5pm


  • Overview of Stata 
  • How to download data from Compustat
  • Summarize/tabulate data 
  • Sort data 

Day 2, May 10, 9am to 1pm

Market Orientation and Stakeholder Analysis:

  • Merge datasets in STATA 
  • Drop variables (with if Command etc.) 
  • Create new variables (lagged variables; using “egen” etc.) 
  • OLS regression

Day 3, May 11, 9am to 1pm

TCE and Business Relationships:

  • Logistic regression 
  • Generate variables (dummy variables; mean-centered variables) 
  • Obtain predicted variables etc. 
  • Forval command (e.g., run regression by year) 

Day 4, May 12, 9am to 1pm

Marketing in the Upper Echelons

  • Endogeneity I 
  • 2SLS 
  • Cragg-Donald statistic 
  • Sargan test
  • Propensity score matching 

Day 5, May 13, 9am to 12pm

Marketing-Finance Interface:

  • Endogeneity II 
  • Fixed-effects/random-effects model 
  • Hausman test 

Tuition: 900€

  • Participants from HEC Partner Network Universities: 50% discount
  • Participants from other Universities: 100%

Location: HEC Paris, Campus Jouy en Josas,  Access

How to Apply  

If you are interested by joining us please submit your:

  • CV (résumé)
  • Personal statement (max one page) which includes your current research interests (thesis topic) and contact details of your thesis supervisor.

to Britta Delhay,

Application Deadline: April 15, 2022.