Social Trends Institute funds three research projects led by IESE professors
To study sustainable business models, diversity messaging and shared reality in teams
September 14, 2023
The Social Trends Institute has awarded grants for three research projects led by IESE professors for the 2023-24 academic year, on how business models can benefit societies, how inclusivity messaging sways consumers and ways fostering shared perceptions helps team cohesion.
The projects and professors receiving financial and institutional support from the institute, founded to promote understanding of globally significant social trends, are:
- Shaping a Thriving Society: Exploring the Dynamic Intersection of ESG Strategy, Firm Location, and Stakeholder Management on Performance and Social Impact. This project is jointly led by professors Pascual Berrone and Romain Boulongne.
The three-part project explores innovative business models and practices aimed at fostering economic and social resilience (i) within disadvantaged urban communities and (ii) among different stakeholders integrated into the firm governance. It will contribute to discussions around creating more inclusive and resilient socio-economic models and new notions of a thriving society.
Two other IESE faculty members – professors Desirée Pacheco and David Wehrheim – will assist them. The team also includes two external scholars: Rodolphe Durand of HEC Paris and Trevor Young-Hyman of the University of Pittsburg's Katz School of Business.
- The Power of Inclusion. Prof. Elena Reutskaja’s three-part study explores how cues on diversity and inclusion in marketing communications are received and understood by consumers. It also examines how this then influences consumers’ opinions (both self-perception and perception of the company) and behaviors (purchases, word of mouth, loyalty).
The project is based around the concept that the way companies express diversity, equity and inclusion messages transmit not only the values of the company but also the values of society in which these stimuli are spread.
The research team, which includes IESE PhD candidate Rocío Martínez and Prof. Cait Lamberton of Wharton, will employ traditional methodologies such as online, lab and field experiments, surveys and sales data from companies, as well as non-traditional biological methods including eye-tracking, emotion-recognition and brain activity to go beyond self-reported reactions.
- Shared Reality: A Strategic and Versatile Tool for Enhanced Work Meaning, Prosocial Behavior, and Performance. Prof. Maya Rossignac-Milon is lead researcher in this project which looks at how creating the experience of shared reality with colleagues may serve as a tool to overcome the barriers of a changing workplace and promote prosocial behavior and work meaningfulness.
Rossignac-Milon and her team will develop and test a method of increasing shared reality in newly acquainted dyads across both in-person and remote contexts.
The Social Trends Institute promotes rigorous academic research that advances understanding and discussion of topics relevant to the future of work, to technology and ethics, and to the pillars of thriving societies.
United by a shared mission to make a positive impact on society through the dissemination of advanced research, the Social Trends Institute and IESE signed a collaboration agreement in 2018 which includes a yearly joint call for research proposals.