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S&O Research

To promote the creation of a European way of thinking about enterprise and society



An Institute of Excellence for research

Founded in 2008 under the aegis of Rodolphe Durand, the S&O Institute brings together 60 professors and PhD students from HEC Paris. Our research approach combines a broad range of methods tailored to the studied phenomena. It also incorporates theoretical lenses from various disciplines including economics, sociology, psychology, philosophy, and history, which is then integrated with a management focus. The research is conducted in partnership with other leading academic institutions in Europe and North America.

Research that directly addresses the challenges of our time

The S&O Institute offers new ways of understanding the world, helping organizations reconcile economic priorities with a new series of imperatives. The research conducted by the Institute’s academics tackles concrete issues, yielding results that businesses can immediately put to use in these following areas: climatic constraints, responsible finance, impact investment, social inequality, ethical imperatives, implementation of CRS policies, renewable energy, circular economy, partnership between public and private sector, action of NGOs, incentives at work, diversity in the workplace, liberalization, regulation, and more. 

Have a look to the Monthly Research Seminars 2020-2021


Research of global significance

The S&O Institute has become a vibrant center of reflection recognized throughout Europe. Over the past four years, the Institute’s members have already produced more than 80 research papers, of which more than half have been published in leading academic journals. Through its publications, academic exchanges and partnerships, organization of international events (the Medici Summer School, the European Theory Development Workshop), and its doctoral scholarship scheme, the S&O Institute is proudly contributing to the development of an international research community concerned with key contemporary challenges.


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We engage in the study of what forms the basis of responsible capitalism.
As crises shake the economy and societies worldwide, can Europe and its legacy of state-firms partnerships and intercultural relationships be a source of knowledge for addressing the key challenges of the XXIst century?

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What you need to know about Sustainability and CSR

S&O Executive Factsheets

Have a look at our collection of 19 factsheets

Latest Research

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Activist Hedge Funds: Good for Some, Bad for Others?

Do activist hedge funds help or harm the companies they target? Mark DesJardine of Pennsylvania State University’s Smeal College of Business and Rodolphe Durand of HEC Paris (members of the HEC’s Society & Organizations Center) investigated the long-term effects of hedge fund activism on companies that get targeted by these activists. In their extensive research, they found the value of targeted companies spikes the first year after targeting but drops in later years relative to similar non-targeted companies. In addition, the authors found that being targeted by activist hedge funds put a halt to the broader investment portfolios and socially responsible efforts of companies.

Read the article

Also featured in the Financial Times and the Institutional Investor

Full Press Review on the Hedge Fund and Impact on CSR Research


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Labor Market Polarization and the New Geography of Jobs

The labor market is strongly polarized. What consequences on the society? Based on their latest research, professors of Economics Tomasz Michaslki and Eric Mengus explain this "Great Divergence", and give insights on how to find new ways to create added value, both in bigger and smaller cities.

Read the article

Also featured in VOXeu


Optimizing Feed-In Tariffs to Boost Renewable Energy Production

Feed-in tariffs (FITs) are crucial tools to increase the adoption of renewable energy technologies. But setting them at the right level (price) is a balancing act. If they are poorly designed, they can backfire, stunting the industry and wasting public money. A duo of HEC researchers, along with a colleague from the University of Texas at Austin, have shown that, to set optimal FIT levels, regulators must take into account the behaviours all players affected, including technology manufacturers.

Read the article


Walking the talk: why companies should be politically transparent

More and more companies flaunt their policies regarding social or environmental sustainability. However, these same companies may promote policies that contradict their stated CSR objectives through their political actions. Enough is enough, says a group of top researchers arguing for political transparency in a paper that won the California Management Review’s Best Article Award 2019.

Read the article


S&O - B4IG report on Inclusive Business

Inclusive Business Report: What it is and Why it matters

We explain what an inclusive economy means to us and detail barriers to inclusion and levers that businesses can use to remove these obstacles.

Read the report



S&O ARCS Report - Researcher-Practitionner Collaboration on Sustainability Research

Accelerating Researcher-Practitioner in Sustainability Research

The report showcases 7 sustainability research collaboration

Upload and Read the Report
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Social Impact Assessment Strategy Report

Make the best of social impact measurement

Download the report

Seminars & Workshops

Jun 14
9:00 am

We are pleased to announce the organization of the 13th edition of the Medici Summer School in Management Studies for doctoral students and young researchers June 14 –18, 2021. The school is organized and sponsored by Bologna Business School (University of Bologna), HEC Paris (Society and Organizations Institute) and MIT Sloan School of Management (Economic Sociology PhD Program).

Medici Summer School

The Medici Summer School in Management Studies is a unique opportunity for doctoral students and young researchers to interact with thought leaders in the management field. The Summer School combines lectures and research seminars that contribute to the development of enlightened practice in the management of business.

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Research Partnerships

The S&O Center has cultivated various partnerships ranging from business schools to academic institutions in order to facilitate research on topics including, but not limited to, climactic constraints, social inequality, technological disruption, and corporate social responsibility.

Read more


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Are Carbon Markets the Solution Against Climate Change?

By Arnaud Van Waeyenberge

July 20th, 2021
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Activist Hedge Funds: Good for Some, Bad for Others?

By Mark Desjardine, Rodolphe Durand

March 30th, 2021
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Sustainability Indices: Do Investors Actually Care?

By Rodolphe Durand, Luc Paugam, Hervé Stolowy

June 19th, 2020
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The Role of Marketing in Climate Change: Carbon Footprinting and Pricing

By Daniel Halbheer

September 11th, 2020