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Society & Organizations Institute

Purposeful Leadership

Purposeful Leadership

Purposeful Leadership is a fundamental part of HEC Paris' mission to shape the leaders of tomorrow who understand that their obligations go beyond the bottom line and contribute to the greater good in society.

First Year Purposeful Leadership
Discover the program

Confronted with burning questions, humankind and its multiple forms of economic organizations must renew its roots and practices. 

We have a wide scale responsibility to act collectively and urgently to face today’s challenges in a world that is increasingly interdependent socially, economically and environmentally.

In this context, the expectations of all stakeholders have evolved. The role of companies needs to go far beyond creating just financial value. Economic performance goes hand-in-hand with positive social and environmental contribution, and businesses can only be successful in the long term if they also enable all of their stakeholders, community and the environment to thrive.

This new environment urgently calls for a new type of Leadership. HEC Paris has decided to play a critical role in this necessary and urgent refounding of business. The objective of the S&O Institute is to prepare tomorrow’s leaders to create a future where businesses strive to create long-term value that benefits customers, employees and communities. By placing Purpose and Leadership at the heart of strategy, we promote the leadership spirit that will contribute to redesigning a responsible and inclusive capitalism to face the challenges of the 21st century.


The first essentials questions guiding Purposeful Leadership

  • Why do we work ? What is the purpose of a company or an organization ? 
  • How can we find meaning in our work ? Is a noble purpose solely in the realm of philanthropy or Corporate Social Responsibility, or can we make this the core focus of a company and all its activities ? 
  • What principles and practices can guide the actions of today’s leaders ? 
  • How can we create an environment in which individual members of an organization can be themselves and blossom personally and professionally ? 
  • Can Purposeful Leadership result in superior business and financial performance ? 



Funded with the support of Hubert Joly H81, Executive Chairman of Best Buy, the Joly Family Endowed Chair In Purposeful Leadership is a first and significant step to positioning the school as a recognized center of global excellence for the study and dissemination of Purposeful Leadership. 


hubert joly pictureI believe that leadership is about purposeful, authentic, human service.








améliorer et développer les entreprises

Far more than a token nod to more conscientious behaviour, Purposeful Leadership will be a way for businesses to survive the coming decades and make positive changes to the world, affirms HEC Paris...

so institute - Podcast - Hubert Joly - news

HEC Paris invited Best Buy’s Executive Chairperson Hubert Joly to the first in a series of online seminars, organized by the Society & Organization Institute (S&O). In a wide-ranging Q&A led by S&O...

Purposeful leadership - remise des prix denis machuel - HEC paris

Sodexo CEO Denis Machuel helped bring down the curtain on the three-month freshman course in a closing ceremony featuring 381 students, 18 tutors and a top academic team from the S&O Center. The event...

HEC Paris - Mont Saint-Michel - Purposeful Leadership - Sept. 2019

A year after creating the Joly Family Endowed Chair in Purposeful Leadership, HEC Paris launches its three-year sense and leadership program, destined for the entire HEC Grande Ecole 2019 intake. A...

Purposeful Leadership - soirée de cloture - panel Frérot

The second of the three-tiered Purposeful Leadership program featured 10 business leaders who shared with HEC’s first-year students their professional and personal quests towards purpose. In a high-wire...

HEC Paris - Joly Family Endowed Chair in Purposeful Leadership

Best Buy Chairman and CEO Hubert Joly and his Alma Mater signed an agreement on July 4, creating HEC’s first-ever personally endowed Chair, devoted to purposeful leadership. The 1981 graduate, who was...

Hubert Joly

In a rousing introduction to Hubert Joly at the Matins HEC, H&C editor-in-chief Arthur Haimovici described Best Buy’s CEO as being responsible for developing “a new model for the retail industry in the...