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Blocked seminars

The HEC Paris PhD Program offers every year an attractive series of  PhD Blocked Seminars open to PhD in management students from all over the world.

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)

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

In spring 2020 we offer 3 PhD Blocked Seminars in Marketing and in Strategy & Business Policy.   

Duration: 1 week - 20h, in March or April

Credits: 5 ECTS (European Credit Transfer System)

Number of seats: Max 20 participants to ensure a maximum of interaction.

Participants from HEC Partner Network Universities:  350€
Participants from other Universities: 500€ 

Location: HEC Paris, Campus Jouy en Josas,  Access


How to Apply:  

If you are interested by joining us please submit a:

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

Application Deadline:  March 1, 2020
Admissions Decision:  2 weeks after submission of the application.

Campus Services: On-campus housing possibility: approximately from 60-80€/night (registrations will open mid-January), library, IT services,  restaurant, sports facilities, welcome pack - course materials

Any question? Britta Delhay,



Topic:  “Marketing Management” (20h/5 ECTS credits)   

Dates: March 30 - April 3, 2020

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 Overview:

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 linear 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.).

The seminar will be composed of 5, 4-hour class periods. Each class period 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.

For each class period, students will read 3 articles. The articles will be a mix of classical, seminal works and more recent works in the assigned areas.

Programme Schedule  (tentative):  

Day 1 Introduction
Day 2 Market Orientation and Innovation
Day 3 TCE and Governance Mechanisms
Day 4 RBV and Environment
Day 5 Marketing-Finance Interface 


Topic: “Category Research in Strategy Taking stock and Future Perspectives”   (20h/5 ECTS credits) 

Dates:  April 6-9, 2020

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 objective:

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.

Programme schedule  (tentative):

Day 1 Origin and functioning of market categories
Day 2 Mechanisms of market inclusion and exclusion
Day 3 Market Mediation
Day 4 Course wrap-up and Individual Presentation


Topic: “Institutional Analysis: Individuals, Organizations and Societies”   (20h/5 ECTS credits) 

Dates:  April 20-24, 2020

Instructor: Patricia Thornton, Visiting Professor of Professor of Sociology and Entrepreneurship, Mays School of Business, Texas A&M University (USA).

Patricia H. Thornton is The Grand Challenge Professor of Sociology and Entrepreneurship, Department of Sociology and Adjunct Professor of Management, Mays School of Business, Texas A&M University. She is affiliated faculty to the Program on Organizations, Business, and the Economy in the Department of Sociology at Stanford University.

Formerly she has been an affiliate of the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Duke University Fuqua School of Business. She has been on the faculty of the Fuqua School of Business where she taught entrepreneurship and new venture management. She has been visiting associate professor, Department of Sociology, Stanford University and a visiting scholar in Management Science and Engineering at Stanford University and a visiting scholar in Organizational Behavior at INSEAD. She holds a Ph.D. (1993) in Sociology from Stanford University.

Her research and teaching interests focus on the areas of institutional and organization and management theory, innovation and entrepreneurship, and the social and cultural factors associated with entrepreneurship. She along with cameo practitioners in the Raleigh-Durham area have developed the Action Learning Approach for teaching entrepreneurship using live business plans, entrepreneurs, and investors. Read more here.

Course description

To come