Alumni Association honors IESE’s best research in 2022

During the association's governing board meeting held last Thursday in Madrid and Barcelona, the work of Professors Sebastian Reiche, John Almandoz, Fabrizio Ferraro, Javier Zamora, Josep Valor and Beatriz Muñoz-Seca was recognized.

Alumni Association honors best research

March 10, 2023

Professors Sebastian Reiche, John Almandoz, Fabrizio Ferraro, Javier Zamora, Josep Valor and Beatriz Muñoz-Seca have received the 2022 Research Excellence Awards from the IESE Alumni Association. Their research work has focused on subjects such as top-down deference in team management; green investment and its compatibility with public policies; the introduction of artificial intelligence to improve the efficiency of business operations; and achieving positive economic results without compromising good service.

The awards ceremony was held during the annual meeting of the Alumni Association‘s governing board on the Barcelona and Madrid campuses, and recognized the best research carried out by IESE professors over the past year.

The awards were divided into three categories:

Best articles

  • How global leaders gain power through downward deference and reduction of social distance
    Professors Sebastian Reiche and Tsedal Neely (Harvard Business School)

The study theorizes how people in a position of power in an organization use downward deference – the practice of yielding power to subordinates when they have extensive experience – to reduce social distance, increase team connectedness, and build trust and collaboration. It was based on a study of 115 senior leaders in a large U.S. company.

  • The Impact of logic (in)compatibility
    Professors John Almandoz, Fabrizio Ferraro and Shipeng Yan

The article analyzes the positive relationship between the relative size of green investment in an economy and the environmental performance of firms, while taking into account how state policies influence this relationship. The authors analyzed a dataset of 3,706 firms from 20 countries between 2002 and 2013, when green investment choices were just starting to become more important.


Best Case:

In 2018, Anovo, a service provider for technology products, began exploring the possibility of introducing artificial intelligence (AI) to improve the efficiency of its operations. By 2020, it was piloting its first implementation: a new automated diagnostic process that employed machine learning (ML) to optimize the company’s smartphone repair business. The new system, developed by technology provider Novaquality Consulting, simplified and streamlined repair operations. The case reviews the story of how the AI-based diagnostics project was conceived, developed and implemented, analyzing the challenges and decisions faced by Anovo and Novaquality at each point in the process.


Best Book:

  • The key to making money without compromising service excellence
    Professor Beatriz Muñoz-Seca

The third book in the SOC-Service Operational Canvas trilogy is a consumer-friendly account of how to build a structured approach to making money and delivering service excellence. The book aims to provide managers around the world with a methodological blueprint for improving financial results and delivering excellent service.


Governing board

The awards ceremony took place during the Alumni Association’s annual board meeting, chaired by Alejandro Beltrán and attended by Dean Franz Heukamp and Mireia Rius, director of Alumni & Institutional Development at IESE.

During the meeting, the association’s annual report was presented. The main milestones of the past year were also reviewed, including the 1.2 million euros allocated to research and scholarships for MBA and MiM students and the launch of the new platform connecting the extensive network of alumni around the world to continue learning, growing, sharing and supporting IESE’s mission.

The launch of the virtual card for members of the association was announced at the event. The card will facilitate access to the campus and the use of services (such as parking, which will be free for members) when attending continuity sessions, meetings and career services.

During the meeting, the association announced the details of the Global Alumni Reunion 2023, which will take place on the Barcelona campus from November 16-18.