Q1 : After several years spent in various universities and institutions, you joined ICN Business School Artem as general director, can you briefly review your professional background and tell us what motivated this choice, please?
I wanted a project position, between the academic and business worlds, to mix my know-how a little bit and then, I had old but good memories of Nancy.
Q2: In general, how do you view studies and research in business schools in France and in the “big countries” of the EU?
When I define my academic affiliation using the “CNU sections”, I often say that I belong – by publishing mainly in finance – to section 5 and a half (5 is economists and 6 is managers). Research in business schools is a bit like that, a hybridization of subjects, a wide range of problems and analyses, various techniques,… A great wealth!
Q3: What role should studies and research play in ICN? What are the objectives you would like to set for research at school in the coming years?
All the teacher-researchers in the school are dedicated to doing research (otherwise, they would not be teacher-researchers!). There are at least three imperatives in this regard:
- We must increase quantitatively but also qualitatively our production of publications with a concentration in category 1 and 2 journals and not by 3 and 4 as at present;
- We must increase the amount of research funded, transfer more to our economic environment. Turn to companies to listen to them and see how our research can be useful to them. Undoubtedly, IRENA will be a good transfer vehicle;
- It is important not to forget what is also the specificity of business schools unique, case studies and their publications. It is part of the school’s window and the toolbox for students (not just from the school, by the way).
….. increase the quantity and quality of our production, increase funded research, case studies and their publications…
Q4: Can we imagine a stronger positioning of ICN in terms of research axes, in other words, should we clearly define research priorities at school?
Very clearly, the freedom of research of teacher-researchers is part of the rules of the game. Obviously, the selection of teachers is based on the school’s needs and the applications we receive are often marked by an attraction for Artem. As a result, it is only natural that research on innovation and sustainable development should take an increasingly important place in the school.
Q5: Société Générale has decided to systematically include an analysis of the environmental, social and corporate governance dimensions in its equity publications. Like the SG, shouldn’t the school also be identified through its concern to be present in current debates (green economy, etc.) and close to the concerns of decision-makers (business leaders, etc.)?
It’s obvious. It is part of the school’s DNA to address these concerns.
Q6: What are the means you intend to use to achieve the school’s research objectives?
It seems to me that we must encourage teacher-researchers to take their place, their full place in the school and the research carried out there. It is more or less easy depending on the individual, but the gradual arrival of “locomotives” at school is likely to drive research from the school. The upgrading of publications at ICN will be the major project of the academic management for the next three years.
… to bring teacher-researchers to take their place, all their place in the school and research…
Q7: Should ICN open up even more to the academic world or cooperate more with other schools or universities in terms of research? Can you briefly describe where the school stands in terms of partnership with the academic world or schools?
It is obvious. For example, the school’s international relations policy has changed radically; our partners are all accredited. Once that said, our researchers need to get into the habit of “dating” our partners when they travel for a conference, for example. Otherwise, there are many collaborations between schools or with universities; I have the feeling that this is a matter of personal rather than institutional decisions. That said, we must not forget the major role played by our association with the University of Lorraine and its research laboratories, Cerefige, Beta, Loria,…
Q8: “Sponsored” research (i.e. research paid for by companies) has reportedly tripled since the entry into force of a European directive at the beginning of 2018. Do you think this can be a realistic option in the redeployment of research at school? If so, what means can be used to achieve excellence and efficiency in this area?
Of course. This is also the reason why the “Research Advisory Board” was created, composed of researchers of the school and external persons from the CNRS, companies, foreign administrations, etc., who are used to seeking external funding. The teachers-researchers are also supported by the school’s corporate relations department and a coaching specialist.
Q9: If we need to get a little closer to the business world, what direction should we give to the school’s study and research work? Should they be more policy-oriented? Should they be in a more active and clearer support for decision-making? Should they be more relevant to the major national or international economic policy debates in the business world?
We can see the financier! Policy oriented, of course, but it is simpler at the macroeconomic level for economists than for managers, it seems to me. However, managers must find a place with companies in decision-making. Our students know this well! They do “reverse coaching” during Artem Insight or events during which they are entrusted with a company issue and give axes of resolution.
… managers must find a place with companies in decision-making…
Q10: In terms of communication on research and studies, should consideration be given to using new channels and targeting more effectively the recipients of the various publications produced by the school? If so, what are your targets in terms of readership?
That seems to me to be Irena’s goal. The research done at ICN must be made readable, made readable by all and “disseminated” as the Anglo-Saxons say. The readership must be composed of partner companies (or not), former students, local elected officials, all our partners, finally. It must echo among readers and inspire as many as possible in one form or another. Finally, in terms of research, my wishes and recommendations for ICN BS researchers are very simple: let them enjoy it!
… make the research done at ICN readable, make it readable by all and “disseminate” it…
Florence Legros, General Director of ICN Business School, is a university professor in economics.
She was an economist and director of studies at Caisse des Dépôts, a consultant in local finance before joining the commitments department of Dexia-Crédit local de France and then the pensions department of Caisse des Dépôts. She joined the university in 1994, first in Perpignan, then in Paris Sud and Paris Dauphine where she created the school of insurance and directed the Magistère Banque-Finance et Assurance as well as the E-MBA CHEA. She was Rector of the Dijon Academy (2008 to 2011), Deputy Director of the Centre for Prospective Studies and International Information (CEPII) (1999 to 2004). At the same time, she pursues a career in consulting, with administrations and companies. She was an associate researcher at the Center for European Policy Studies (CEPS in Brussels), served on the Pension Orientation Council (COR, 2000 to 2004), the National Economic Commission (2008 to 2015). His research interests include the economics of aging, pensions, social policy, savings, finance and macroeconomics. His work has been published in various peer-reviewed journals (Review of Accounting and Finance, Australian Journal of Actuarial Practice, Economic Review, Revue d’économie financière, etc.). She has also edited books and co-authored articles or chapters published in referenced books.