Research center - CSR

Research center - CSR - KEDGE
Coordinated by Professor Ralf Barkemeyer, KEDGE's Center of Excellence for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) conducts interdisciplinary research into the socioeconomic and environmental impacts of organizations at various levels of analysis. The CSR Center of Excellence creates knowledge through its research activities, shares this knowledge through its training activities and contributes to the dissemination of good practices among companies.

The research challenges

With 18 permanent faculty, KEDGE's CSR Center of Excellence is one of the largest European research and higher education centers dedicated to corporate social responsibility in the broad sense.

Its research themes include:

  • Circular economy,
  • Climate change, biodiversity and other environmental challenges,
  • Social and socioeconomic challenges, ranging from the level of the individual employee to wider governance questions linked to the role of business in society,
  • Ethics and human rights,
  • Reconciling financial performance with environmental and social performance, and the role of trade-offs in corporate sustainability.

The profiles of CSR Center of Excellence members are extremely varied, combining a range of different research disciplines. The Center is also very international in scope, both in terms of research topics as well as based on the fact that it brings together experts from various different countries.

The impact on teaching 

The KEDGE approach to CSR is fully transversal. All KEDGE programs and curricula, irrespective of level and topic, include a CSR component. In addition, under the Grande École Program, students can choose to enter a CSR specialization: a full-fledged major of the PGE is specifically devoted to this expertise on both the Marseille and the Bordeaux campuses.

The impact on companies 

The Center of Excellence develops and initiates collaborations with major companies such as BMW, Volkswagen, Suez, Lyonnaise des Eaux, or ASDA plc.

They cover subjects as diverse as:

  • Gender equality,
  • The evaluation of social and environmental performance,
  • Sustainable food consumption,
  • The governance of water distribution systems.

To take one recent example, one of the group's experts has launched a partnership project with the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) to better understand the legitimacy of multi-stakeholder initiatives. Likewise, members of the Center of Excellence are working with Société Générale on the topic of disability in the workplace. All these collaborations have in common the aim of generating useful and usable knowledge and helping companies to understand and manage concrete socioeconomic and environmental challenges. 

The impact on the ecosystem

Center of Excellence members are actively involved in leading research networks and international conferences such as the Academy of Management (AOM), the European Group for Organizational Studies (EGOS), the European Academy of Management (EURAM) or the International Association for Business and Society (IABS). In addition, Center of Excellence members have been co-organizing the Corporate Responsibility Research Conference (in partnership with the University of Leeds, UK) since 2005.

Several Center of Excellence members contribute, as associate editors or editorial board members, to internationally recognized journals such as the Journal of Management Inquiry, the Journal of Business Ethics, Business Strategy and the Environment or Business Ethics: A European Review.

The partnerships

The Center’s partnership policy is based on the profiles, international backgrounds and projects of each of its members. These may include CIFRE theses (industrial agreements on training through research), research chairs, research partnerships, etc. This network includes a range of French, European and Overseas universities as well as professional networks.

Recent Publications

Members of the Center of Excellence publish articles in leading publications such as the Academy of Management Review, Organization Studies, Business Ethics Quarterly or the Journal of Business Ethics. A particular feature of the CSR Center of Excellence is that it also generates publications outside the managerial literature, for example in the journal Nature Climate Change. 

In addition, Center members popularize their research through mainstream media channels. In recent years, this has included outlets such as Le Figaro, Le Monde, Washington Post, The Guardian or Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung as well as radio transmissions on BBC Radio 4 (UK), ORF (Austria) or Deutsche Welle (Germany).


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