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Article

Ready for change?

Strategy

No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it's not the same river and he's not the same man. (Heraclitus) This special online issue of Knowledge@HEC invites you to reflect upon change, and how individuals, firms, institutions, and the broader society deal with it.

©francesco chiesa Management of Change - Knowledge HEC Paris

Change is everywhere. Pervasive and ineluctable, it is the essence of life and progress. But embracing change is not an easy endeavor. Neither for individuals nor for organizations, be it firms, institutions, or the broader society. For this special online issue of Knowledge@HEC, we went around all departments of HEC Paris to understand how our faculty has been thinking about change, through a series of research pieces, teaching initiatives, and events.

Change offers an inspiring research topic for many HEC professors. This is the case, for instance, of Itzhak Gilboa (Economics & Decision Sciences) and Olivier Sibony (Strategy & Business Policy), who joined forces to understand how decision theory can help us face the hundreds of decisions, big and small, that set the direction we take in our professional and private lives.

Change is also at the core of my research discussing how firms can use the art of storytelling to prevent resistance to change and garner support for it. And what about the benefits of change for society as a whole? Shirish Srivastava (Information Systems and Operations Management) looks at radical changes in information and communication technologies, by examining the role of e-government in the fight against corruption.

Aware of the difficulties associated to anticipating change and embracing it, our faculty has also been active in designing a series of teaching initiatives that enable leaders to manage change. This is the main idea behind the Executive Master in “Consulting & Coaching for Change”. Directed by Matthis Schulte (Management & Human Resources), the master enables participants to develop change leadership, and handle new or difficult situations creatively and with confidence. Our Digital Learning Team has also put together an overview of some of the online courses we have developed for those who want to foster changeanticipate it, and lead through it.

Over the last months, our campus hosted a series of events focused on the opportunities and challenges associated to change. Peter Ebbes (Marketing), Christophe Pérignon (Finance), and Ludovic Stourm (Marketing) joined forces to organize the “Big Data Day” to discuss how Big Data are revolutionizing our approach to research and practice. Daniel Martinez and Dane Pflueger (Accounting & Management Control) gathered a vibrant community of international scholars to discuss how contested markets force change at the individual, organizational, and institutional level.

And if you think you have no role to play in this context, take a look at the recent book by Alberto Alemanno (Tax & Law), who advocates for a role of citizens in lobbying for change and creating a better society. So that we can all be the change we wish to see.

Happy reading!

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