Recent Submissions

  • Least-cost distribution network tariff design in theory and practice

    Schittekatte, Tim; Meeus, Leonardo (2018)
    In this paper a game-theoretical model with self-interest pursuing consumers is introduced to assess how to design a least-cost distribution tariff under two constraints that regulators typically face. The first constraint is related to difficulties regarding the implementation of cost-reflective tariffs. In practice, so-called cost-reflective tariffs are only a proxy for the actual cost driver(s) in distribution grids. The second constraint has to do with fairness. There is a fear that active consumers investing in distributed energy resources (DER) might benefit at the expense of passive consumers. We find that both constraints have a significant impact on the least-cost network tariff design, and the results depend on the state of the grid. If most of the grid investments still have to be made, passive and active consumers can both benefit from cost-reflective tariffs, while this is not the case for passive consumers if the costs are mostly sunk.
  • Reliability Options: Can they deliver on their promises?

    Bhagwat, Pradyumna; Meeus, Leonardo (2019)
    Capacity mechanisms have been controversial in theory as well as practice. Lessons from experience with different capacity mechanisms led to the development of the reliability options. This mechanism promises two advantages over other types of capacity mechanisms. Firstly, it ensures the availability of capacity contracted via the capacity mechanism during scarcity. Secondly, the reliability option mechanism limits any energy market distortion due to its implementation and provides the consumer a hedge from high prices. We assess the ability of reliability options in delivering the two promises by analysing the reliability option designs in Italy and Ireland. We find that they deliver on the first promise but only partly on the second.
  • Flexibility markets : Q&A with project pioneers

    Schittekatte, Tim; Meeus, Leonardo (2019)
    Flexibility markets are recognised as a promising tool to make better use of existing distribution grids and thereby also reduce the need for grid investments. In this paper, we analyse four pioneering projects implementing flexibility markets: Piclo Flex, Enera, GOPACS and NODES. Based on a literature review, we develop a six-question framework and we then analyse the projects with that framework. The questions are: (1) Is the flexibility market integrated in the existing sequence of EU electricity markets; (2) Is the flexibility market operator a third party; (3) Are there reservation payments; (4) Are the products standardised; (5) Is there TSO-DSO cooperation for the organisation of the flexibility market; (6) Is there DSO-DSO cooperation for the organisation of the flexibility market. We find that all the considered flexibility markets are operated by a third party. All projects also engage with multiple DSOs in order to become the standardised platform provider. Important differences between the projects are the extent to which the flexibility markets are integrated into other markets, the use of reservation payments, the use of standardised products and the way TSO-DSO cooperation has been implemented.
  • The welfare and price effects of sector coupling with power-to-gas

    Roach, Martin; Meeus, Leonardo (2019)
    Electricity markets with high installed capacities of Variable Renewable Energy Sources (VRES) experience periods of supply and demand mismatch, resulting in near-zero and even negative prices, or energy spilling due to surplus. The participation of emerging Power-to-X solutions in a sector coupling paradigm, such as Power-to-Gas (PTG), has been envisioned to provide a source of demand flexibility to the power sector and decarbonize the gas sector. We advance a long-run equilibrium model to study the PTG investment decision from the point of view of a perfectly competitive electricity and gas system where each sector’s market is cleared separately but coupled by PTG. Under scenarios combining PTG technology costs and electricity RES targets, we study whether or not there is a convergence in the optimal deployment of PTG capacity and what is the welfare distribution across both sectors. We observe that PTG can play an important price-setting role in the electricity market, but PTG revenues from arbitrage opportunities erodes as more PTG capacity is installed. We find that the electricity and gas sector have aligned incentives to cooperate around PTG, and instead find an issue of misaligned incentives related to the PTG actor. Although not the focus of our analysis, in some scenarios we find that the welfare optimal PTG capacity results in a loss for the PTG actor, which reveals some intuition that subsidizing PTG can make sense to reduce the cost of RES subsidies. A sensitivity analysis is conducted to contextualize these findings for system specificities.
  • An emergency health financing facility for the European Union. A proposal

    Ashby, Simon; Kolokas, Dimitrios; Veredas, David (2020)
    The unprecedented public health crisis caused by COVID-19 overstretched the structures and mechanisms of the European Union, in particular those that deal with emergencies. In order to be ready for the next health emergency, we propose the creation of the Emergency Health Financing Facility. In its broader version, this Facility integrates some of the existing EU emergencies structures and adds a new layer for the most extreme emergencies that does not increase the burden on public finances. This new layer essentially consists of securitizing health emergency risks in the form of fixed income securities that are sold to institutional investors. The Facility follows the growth of marketbased risk financing facilities across global and regional initiatives, led by the World Bank.
  • Reward taxation in Belgium. Practices, experiences and opinions

    Baeten, Xavier; Van Steerthem, Angie (2020)
    Companies are pressing for phasing out non-statutory benefits in combination with lower taxes on fixed and variable salaries Belgian companies are very dissatisfied with the fiscal and parafiscal levies on salaries. In particular, they are frustrated with the high taxation on fixed and variable salaries and the approach to taxation of the mobility budget. Only the taxation of supplementary pensions can count on any support. With a view to the future, many companies are arguing for extensive reforms, with as the basic principle a downscaling of the profusion of fiscal and parafiscal schemes for non-statutory benefits in combination with lower levies on the fundamental elements, and in particular, the fixed and variable salaries. These are the main findings of a detailed study on the taxation and social security of various remuneration tools by Vlerick Business School's Centre for Excellence in Strategic Rewards. As a result of the collaboration with the employers' organisations VBO and Voka, legal services provider Claeys & Engels, and HR services provider Hudson, no less than 293 companies participated in the study. The study covered three points, namely the satisfaction with the current income tax system, the obstacles companies are experiencing, and preferences for the future. One of the survey’s main findings is that only 6% of the companies are satisfied with general payroll taxes from both a fiscal and parafiscal point of view, regardless of the size of the company. The respondents’ main criticisms related to the high taxes and advance levies on cash (including holiday pay and end-of-year bonus) and variable remuneration. They also pointed out that there are too many different systems—no less than 35 for various non-statutory benefits. Moreover, there is a difference in treatment in indirect taxation (personal income tax and corporation tax) and social security. There were also many specific criticisms about the mobility budget, such as its complexity, the impossibility of including the mobility budget in an overarching approach of flexible rewards, the absence of some mobility instruments in the mobility budget, and the fact that this scheme is much less attractive if the company is not located in an area that is easily accessible by public transport. The study also looked at the tax treatment of 35 non-statutory benefits, examining how many companies are using them and how satisfied they are with them. The top 3 most commonly used and most appreciated benefits are company bicycles, hospitalisation insurance, and meal vouchers. At the other end of the spectrum, the researchers found that the schemes involving the reimbursement of contributions to the third pension pillar (known as pension savings schemes), share-related remuneration, private PC schemes, and intellectual property are used less and that the level of satisfaction with these is consistently below 50%. As regards the preferences for the future, there is a clear need for extensive reforms, as only 3% of respondents want to retain the current payroll taxes. However, they are aware that these reforms cannot be straightforward reductions, and they are prepared to drop the favourable tax regime of many non-statutory benefits in exchange for lower taxation of fixed and variable salaries. Furthermore, there are loud calls to allow employees to make extras contributions to their pension plans (e.g. from their variable salaries). This would be a type of second pillar ‘plus’, under favourable conditions, and in any case more favourable than under the current scheme. Finally, the participating companies are cautiously enthusiastic about the system of unlimited social security contributions combined with limited benefits.
  • What is the right price. 6 paths of value creation that can lead toward higher pricing

    Tackx, Koen (2019)
    Our research insights translated into added value for you and your organisation Research – either academic or research for business – can only be valuable when shared. That’s why we translate our research into easy-to-read whitepapers focusing on the key insights that are relevant for you as a manager. This way, your organisation can profit directly from the latest research, the newest theories, the expertise of our faculty and much more.
  • Acting with foresight in times of budget austerity

    Van Dyck, Walter; Schoonaert, Lies (2019)
    Horizon scanning is acknowledged to be one of the key components of a demand-driven healthcare system. We propose it to be a dynamic collaborative process driven by national unmet need matched with continued insight into the innovative pharmaceutical industry medicinal pipeline. Summer 2019 an international agreement was reached between payers to set up and commission an international horizon scanning initiative (IHSI), which is the international front-end of such a system. In this Policy Paper we propose a two-stage structure and organisation of the back-end national part of the horizon scanning process still to be implemented. This will lead to healthcare budgets managed with better foresight, a necessity in the face of breakthrough, some potentially curing therapies coming at a high cost. Taking the Belgian national component of the proposed horizon scanning system to implementation will require a pilot to be carried out. This to test the internal and external validity of the proposed design.
  • European scale-up report

    Collewaert, Veroniek; Manigart, Sophie; Standaert, Thomas (2020)
    Unique view of the landscape and management of European scale-ups The widely held belief that European scale-ups are mainly innovative tech companies is incorrect; they can be found in all sectors and at all levels of innovation. However we can identify major differences between sectors in terms of size and growth, with scale-ups that are active in IT and consumer goods and services leading the way. Scale-ups with external investors on board are more professionally managed and have made greater progress in terms of internationalisation, innovation and talent management. All the same, attracting additional funding proves very difficult and hampers their further growth ambitions. These are some of the conclusions of a large-scale study conducted by Vlerick Business School on behalf of Professor Veroniek Collewaert, Professor Sophie Manigart and post-doctoral researcher Thomas Standaert used information about more than 80,000 scale-ups in 8 European countries as their starting point. They specifically investigated management practices by means of a targeted survey among 124 of these scale-ups.
  • Innovation and digitisation in the petrochemical supply chain. Digitisation as an enabler for a sustainable future

    Vereecke, Ann; Van den Bergh, Joachim; Cabos Rodriguez, Alejandra (2020)
    Following the 2018 workshop on the “Digitalisation in the Petrochemical Supply Chain”, EPCA partnered again with Vlerick Business School (VBS) to explore how digitisation can be an enabler for a sustainable petrochemical supply chain. By bringing to the table real case studies in an interactive workshop, highlighting how digitisation can minimise the ecological footprint of the supply chain, EPCA and VBS aimed to showcase cutting-edge solutions and to encourage the EPCA Supply Chain Community to embark on a digital transformation journey which will ultimately make their businesses more sustainable. The report summarises the lessons learned from desk research and from the interviews conducted by VBS researchers with experts in the field, in preparation for the workshop, as well as the conclusions from the roundtable discussions at the Digital Café.
  • The prospective value creation potential of blockchain in business models: A Delphi study

    Schlecht, Laura; Schneider, Sabrina; Buchwald, Arne (Technological Forecasting & Social Change, 2021)
    Blockchain technology is gaining awareness and drawing attention in corporate practice and academia. Both fields expect a fundamental impact of blockchain on business and society. However, since blockchain research within the business model context is still in a nascent stage, more in-depth insights is required of blockchain’s impact on firms’ value creation and value capture. This study builds on a Delphi approach and aims to identify the future value creation potential of blockchain for organizations by 2030. Based on expert interviews, workshop insights, and prior literature, we developed a meaningful set of 36 projections of blockchain implications for business models. Our findings, based on the elements of the PEST framework, predict massive efficiency gains through technological progress and promise complementary offerings through various novel combination possibilities, novel forms of collaboration and business model opportunities, and a dissipation of the significance of blockchain types. The combined use of blockchain solutions with other technologies is likely to serve as the basis for ecosystem developments. Our projected finding is that the internet of value will replace the internet of information by 2030. Thereby, our research contributes to technological forecasting and strategic planning by providing managers clear indications of blockchain developments and action recommendations.
  • New new, new old: Understanding individual and contextual influences on graduates' career choices

    Buyens, Dirk; Mayrhofer, Wolfgang; Andresen, Maike; Arnulf Ketil, Jan; Homberg, Fabian; Kalvina, Agita; Kieran, Sarah; Ludviga, Iveta; Vandenbroucke, Astrid (2020)
    Young graduates are the talent of the future and they will become an important group in organizations in the next decennial. Individuals’ career preferences and work values have shifted over time and, as a result, claims in literature posit that the traditional career will slowly fade away in order to make way for the modern career. In addition, strong contextual forces such as globalization, technology, organizational restructuring, and the growth of services have altered the way we look at careers and challenge what older generations have hitherto taken for granted. Research presented at this symposium will add substantially to the existing literature on what new cohorts of graduates expect from their future career and employer. Authored by scholars from eleven European countries, the papers included in this symposium integrate individual and contextual factors influencing graduates' career intentions across contexts.
  • Five evolutions in individual career development and their consequences for organisational career management

    Quataert, Sarah; Buyens, Dirk (2020)
    In a hybrid world, for many people work is a lot more than just a functional way of earning money. Professional careers have a strong symbolic function, providing us with a considerable part of our social identity and strongly influencing our self-esteem and overall happiness. Therefore, keeping employees engaged and committed by offering them challenging and rewarding careers is an important area of focus for many organisations and HR departments. However, as a reaction to changing economies, ways of working and organisational designs, the concept of a ‘career’ has changed tremendously. Careers are no longer a sequence of hierarchically ordered jobs, but rather a continually evolving gathering of work-related experiences for which every employee carries individual responsibility. As a consequence, career success is a highly-subjective measure and can only be reached when self-set goals and career values are respected. This white paper consists of two chapters. In the first chapter, we describe five main principles in individual career development that have evolved during the last couple of decades and that strongly impact contemporary career perceptions, leaving the field of careers with a broad spectrum of individual needs and preferences. The second chapter addresses the consequences of these changes for organisational career management and provides suggestions for Talent Managers on how to effectively respond to the evolving career landscape.
  • Venture capital winners: A configurational approach to high venture capital-backed firm growth

    Manigart, Sophie; Standaert, Thomas; Knockaert, Mirjam (British Journal of Management, 2021)
    The positive effect of venture capital (VC) on firm growth has been widely documented. However, there exists a large variation in growth, with only a small number of VC-backed firms reaching a substantial size. Prior studies have linked the variation in growth of VC-backed firms to differences in resource endowments of the entrepreneurial top management team, the firm or the venture capitalist, without considering their potentially complex interaction. In addition, the literature has taken strong growth aspirations in VC-backed firms as a given, without examining their potential variation, and its potential implications. Therefore, this study aims at examining which configurations of resource portfolios and growth aspirations lead to high VC-backed firm growth. In order to do so, it takes an inductive, theory-building approach, and builds upon fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analysis (fsQCA). Our results show that strong growth aspirations in the entrepreneurial top management team are a necessary condition for high VC-backed firm growth. Furthermore, we identify four configurations which, in combination with these aspirations, lead to high VC-backed firm growth.
  • Distressed portfolio company exit and cross-border venture capital investors

    Devigne, David; Manigart, Sophie; Wright, Mike (2013)
    Drawing upon an escalation of commitment framework, this study investigates how differences between cross-border and domestic venture capital investors in access to information, social and structural factors affect their decision to terminate an unsuccessful investment. We track the exit outcome of 1060 venture capital investments in 684 European technology companies. Results show that domestic investors have a high tendency to escalate their commitment to a failing course of action. In contrast, cross-border investors terminate their investments efficiently, even when investing through a local branch. This is explained by cross-border investors having more limited access to soft information, a lower social involvement with the project and a lower embeddedness in the local economic and social environment, which are all factors that contribute to lower escalation of commitment. Local branches of cross-border investors are further shielded from escalation of commitment through structural safeguards. Domestic investors may hence benefit from mimicking the behavior of cross-border investors.
  • Eighteen shades of grey? A literature review into the theoretical flavours of change research

    Wetzel, Ralf; Van Gorp, Lore (2013)
    Organizational change appears as an intriguing stimulus for business success as much as change protagonists appear as eroticizing manipulators. The ’sexiness’ of concepts for organizational change is that its stimulus is not driven by variation in terms of manipulating contexts, of tools, partners, or of overall preferences. It obviously fascinates by pure simplicity and repetition. Organizational change management concepts seems to thrill by boredom and by permanently postponing the climax of ‘really being better’. This is not only the case regarding the well-known plethora of similarly trivial change concepts. Boredom is also the case in, and probably caused by, organizational change research (OCR), since an increasingly loud voice of criticism diagnoses general partiality and apathy in the field. For us, this diagnosis conflicts dramatically with an existing tremendous variety and richness in the indispensable background of organizational change research - organization theory (OT). Particularly since organization theory has developed radically new perspectives on organizations over the last decades, an up-to-date theoretical foundation of OCR is key for the future impact of change management efforts. The purpose of this paper is to explore, how organization theoretically diverse research on OCR is actually grounded, since insights into the organization theoretical foundations of OCR are completely lacking. For this reason, a selection of 85 articles on organizational change was made, published in top tier journals in 2010. We conducted a reference analysis based on 18 prominent organization theories and their main contributing authors. The findings show firstly a very strong theoretical selectivity in OCR, focussing on cognitive, learning, discursive and neo-institutional theories. Other theories are almost fully neglected. Secondly, our analysis indicate this practice as being a sign that current OCR struggles hard with transforming the cognitive frames of topical OT into own fruitful accesses to its object. The resulting ‘vanilla practice’ of theory application appears as a dissatisfying escape strategy performed to cover theoretical antagonisms and to avoid a deeper confrontation with the underlying assumptions of the identity and conditions of OCR.
  • Job insecurity, knowledge hiding, and team outcomes

    Huang, Guohua; Lee, Cynthia; De Stobbeleir, Katleen; Wang, Li (2019)
    Job insecurity – the threat to the continuity and stability of one’s employment – is an increasingly pervasive issue facing the vast majority of employees. There has been much knowledge accumulated about antecedent and outcomes of job insecurity. However, further advancements in our theoretical and empirical approaches can help us to better understand the consequences, processes, and boundary conditions of job insecurity itself, job insecurity change, and job insecurity climate. With four papers using a moderated mediation model and one paper using a dynamic, mediated model, the current symposium contributes to our understanding of job insecurity by: (1) exploring why and when job insecurity is associated with employee health outcomes and proactive behaviors, (2) examining sources and consequences of job insecurity change when significant organizational changes were taking place, and (3) identifying mechanisms and boundary conditions in the relationship between job insecurity climate at the team level and team outcomes. By showcasing five empirical papers, this symposium focuses on identifying and exploring novel moderators and mediators in the job insecurity process to enrich our understanding of job insecurity, job insecurity change, and job insecurity climate. Together, the combined contributions of these papers add to our understanding of job insecurity as a between-person, within-person and/or multilevel process and illuminate future avenues for research within the field.
  • When supplier development initiatives fail: Identifying the causes of opportunism and unexpected outcomes

    Tran, P.; Gorton, M.; Lemke, Fred (Journal of Business Research, 2020)
    This study investigates a ‘dark-side’ of supplier-buyer relationships, specifically the links between supplier development initiatives, relational norms and supplier opportunism, utilizing thematic analysis and qualitative comparative analysis. While buyers often employ supplier development initiatives to improve procurement, they can be ineffective and stimulate opportunistic behaviour by suppliers. Drawing on the case of agri-food supply chains in Vietnam, the paper analyses the relationships between specific supplier development initiatives and forms of opportunism, considering the role of relational norms. While often regarded as reducing the likelihood of opportunism, this study identifies that relational norms may include norms of opportunism in supply chain relationships, which sanction a degree of opportunistic behaviour. The study contributes to supply chain management theory and practice by investigating how buyers can address opportunism, so that supplier development initiatives curb supplier opportunism rather than trigger it.
  • Pharmaceutical net price transparency across European markets: Insights from a multi-agent simulation model

    Van Dyck, Walter; Riccaboni, Massimo; Swoboda, Torben (2020)
    In innovative drug markets the widespread practice across the EU of country-specific confidential agreements reached between national payers and innovative pharmaceutical manufacturers continues to be a highly disputed basis for pharmaceutical health policy making. With pharmaceutical health policy striving for fair and sustainable pricing under increasing budgetary pressures, public stakeholders are more and more willing to be involved in transparent access decision-making related to novel medicines, considered to be a societal good. Full net price transparency is believed by many to promote price competition and to increase equity by making presently unaffordable pharmaceutical products accessible to patients in lower-income markets. To investigate the viability of a net price transparency (NPT) system we develop and analyse a multi-agent model representing the European country-level situation to conduct counterfactual analyses of various NPT systems. In line with previous recent NPT research in other geographical, regulatory and market contexts, we find that a full NPT system encompassing higher- and lower-income EU countries would not be viable. This while, counterintuitively and acting as rational economic agents, middle- and lower-income countries would not be deciding to join and give up their confidential agreement system with the pharmaceutical industry. Also, a full NPT system would be seen to be unjust while violating Ramsey pricing and distributive justice principles. Maximally, a partial price transparency system could be a viable solution if entailing only the group of high-income countries including UK and Germany committing to NPT, leaving all other countries free to opt for confidential discounts. Viability of this solution is contingent upon UK or Germany accepting a higher price than they could get in their present confidential rebate system. Finally, in a dynamic game theoretic analysis, we show that middle- and lower-income countries, might be joining the high-income group later. In any case, a net price transparency system would delay access in middle- to lower-income countries. Hence, we conclude that even a partial transparency system would be a challenging case to reach from a political perspective and it will negatively impact population health improvement by the novel therapy, especially in lower-income countries.
  • The consequences of greater net price transparency for innovative medicines in Europe: Searching for a consensus

    Riccaboni, Massimo; Van Dyck, Walter; Gyger, Pius; Bentata, Pierre; Marques-Gomes, Joao; Czech, Marcin; Mestre-Ferrandiz, Jorge; Greiner, Wolfgang; Voncina, Luka; Groot, Wim; Wilsdon, Tim; Ross-Stewart, Kirsty; Pistollato, Michele (2020)
    The merits of greater or lesser net price transparency (NPT) has been a topic for discussion for many years across business and industry in general. However, in the past few years, the debate on NPT of innovative medicines has intensified, with organisations such as the United Nations (UN), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) leading calls for greater transparency in the pharmaceutical sector, specifically focused on prices. In May 2019 the World Health Assembly (WHA) approved a resolution to support the greater public disclosure of prices and research and development (R&D) costs for both medicines and other health products supported by several European and non-European governments. To contribute to the international debate on the transparency of medicine prices in Europe, Merck Sharp & Dohme (MSD) asked Charles River Associates (CRA) to curate a panel of experts to develop evidence on the impact of greater NPT of innovative medicines. Professor Walter Van Dyck1 and Professor Massimo Riccaboni2 were asked by CRA to lead this research, supported by a wider panel of 10 experts from a range of European markets. A structured literature review was first conducted to summarise the theoretical consequences of greater NPT. This was supplemented with a survey of national payers and payer experts3 from a range of European markets. This was used as pre-read information for an expert advisory board of 12 economic and health economic experts representing 12 countries selected to give a range of market sizes, national income and payer approaches. The debate and the consensus reached by the advisory board have been summarised in this report. In addition, a computational model has been developed by two key investigators to provide new, empirical evidence to illustrate the impact of NPT on different European markets.

View more