Recent Submissions

  • Patient preferences to assess value in gene therapies: Protocol development for the paving study in Hemophilia

    van Overbeeke, Eline; Hauber, Brett; Michelsen, Sissel; Goldman, Michel; Simoens, Steven; Huys, Isabelle (Frontiers in Medicine, 2021)
    Introduction: Gene therapies are innovative therapies that are increasingly being developed. However, health technology assessment (HTA) and payer decision making on these therapies is impeded by uncertainties, especially regarding long-term outcomes. Through measuring patient preferences regarding gene therapies, the importance of unique elements that go beyond health gain can be quantified and inform value assessments. We designed a study, namely the Patient preferences to Assess Value IN Gene therapies (PAVING) study, that can inform HTA and payers by investigating trade-offs that adult Belgian hemophilia A and B patients are willing to make when asked to choose between a standard of care and gene therapy. Methods and Analysis: An eight-step approach was taken to establish the protocol for this study: (1) stated preference method selection, (2) initial attributes identification, (3) stakeholder (HTA and payer) needs identification, (4) patient relevant attributes and information needs identification, (5) level identification and choice task construction, (6) educational tool design, (7) survey integration, and (8) piloting and pretesting. In the end, a threshold technique survey was designed using the attributes "Annual bleeding rate," "Chance to stop prophylaxis," "Time that side effects have been studied," and "Quality of Life." Ethics and Dissemination: The Medical Ethics Committee of UZ KU Leuven/Research approved the study. Results from the study will be presented to stakeholders and patients at conferences and in peer-reviewed journals. We hope that results from the PAVING study can inform decision makers on the acceptability of uncertainties and the value of gene therapies to patients.
  • Total reward statements: How to maximise the potential? Insights into the added value of total reward statements in reward communication

    Van Steerthem, Angie; Baeten, Xavier; Van Hove, Marthe (2021)
    The whitepaper ‘Total Reward Statements: how to maximise the potential?’ is based on a quantitative and qualitative research project by the Centre for Excellence in Strategic Rewards. It offers an overview of the different aspects of the Total Reward Statement (TRS), based on the quantitative and qualitative results of a large-scale survey (N=193). Looking at the situation as is, 30% of our respondents offer a TRS to the entire workforce or to a part of the workforce. 82% of that group is (very) satisfied with the firm’s TRS. The main reasons for them to offer a TRS are to create employee awareness about the reward offering, to enhance appreciation of the reward package, and to shift the focus away from purely financial reward components to non-financial components as well. As an additional advantage, the TRS has a positive impact on attracting new recruits, retaining talents and engaging employees. Today, the majority of the TRSs are self-developed, are offered once a year, and are integrated in an online platform. The most popular reward components in a TRS seem to be base pay, bonus, company car, contribution to the pension plan, cost allowances, car allowance, home-work travel allowance, premium paid for hospitalisation insurance, disability insurance, guaranteed income insurance, long-term incentives and subscription to public transport. Possible drawbacks to implementing a TRS could be the time and monetary investment in the tool, the difficulties in data management, the fact that the TRS is a snapshot with a focus on the past, and the question concerning how far you can go with transparency. As for communicating about the TRS, it remains crucial to communicate regularly and creatively. As for the future, companies that are looking into implementing a TRS indicate that collaborating with a specialist provider is the preferred way to go. They would still opt for a periodical offering of the TRS and keep an online focus. Almost all of the respondents indicate that communication is unmistakeably one of the most important aspects in the TRS process. Based on examples from practice, there are 7 characteristics of a great TRS: • making the reward overview as visual as possible • keeping it short and impactful • adding tailored tips and information • showing a multi-year evolution • complementing it with a glossary • including the fairness aspect • providing the possibility to click through to receive additional information
  • Business meetings in a post-pandemic world: When and how to meet virtually?

    Standaert, Willem; Muylle, Steve; Basu Cox, Amit (Business Horizons, 2021)
    The COVID-19 pandemic that erupted in 2020 forced businesses across the world to adopt virtual meetings. With many people working from home, software platforms like Zoom and Teams became ubiquitous. However, their widespread use also revealed many weaknesses and limitations. While technologies for virtual meetings have existed for decades, these technologies have advanced significantly in recent years, and today range from audio-conference facilities to telepresence rooms with high-resolution video and sophisticated virtual presence features. The available alternatives differ significantly in costs, complexity and capabilities, and choosing the most effective technology for each meeting setting is not always easy. This is important, since after the pandemic, virtual meetings will move from being a necessity to being a widely accepted alternative to traditional face-to-face meetings. Consequently, the questions of when and how to meet virtually will become even more significant. In this paper, we describe a decision-making framework for choosing when and how to meet virtually, based on the importance of communication capabilities for categories of meeting objectives and taking into account meeting size and duration. The framework is based on extensive empirical research conducted in partnership with a number of major US and European companies.
  • What to reward executives for? A taxonomy of performance metrics in executive incentives supplemented by an overview of business practice

    Baeten, Xavier; Van Hove, Marthe (2021)
    Executive target setting and linking it to incentive systems, proves to be a complex process. Moreover, boards are under increasing pressure to use a balanced set of (strategic) performance metrics, and to look beyond financial indicators. Key performance indicators (KPIs) are defined as critical indicators demonstrating a company’s progress towards its key business objectives. The challenge many boards and companies are facing, is two-folded. On the one hand, there is an increased focus on the use of non-financial performance metrics to be included as a driver in executive incentive systems. On the other hand, companies are also having difficulties to find the right set of financial KPIs and often tend to use “easy-to-measure” data while the real challenge is about finding the more critical KPIs, taking into account shareholder structures, business cycles, level in organisational hierarchy, but also being aware of the drawbacks caused by at least some financial KPIs. Vlerick Business School’s Executive Remuneration Research Centre has developed this paper in order to inspire practitioners looking for the ‘right’ financial and non-financial KPIs, both underlying short-term incentives and long-term incentives. It does so by providing a taxonomy of different indicators that can be used. On top of this, the reader will be inspired by the inclusion of a large set of real-life examples (more than 100!) found in remuneration reports of Stoxx Europe 600 companies as a key source of inspiration, grouped by type of KPI. The objective of the paper is not to be prescribing by providing the ultimate set of KPIs, which would be a mission impossible as this is highly dependent on each firm’s specific situation. Rather, the objective is to take a broad and non-prescribing perspective by providing an encompassing overview and inventarisation of performance metrics used in executive remuneration. As such, it offers a guide to improve the choice of key performance indicators by summarizing examples and inspiring practices. Needless to stress that KPIs need to be deduced from the firm’s strategy and the objectives the firm wants to achieve.
  • Spillover effects of distribution grid tariffs in the internal electricity market: An argument for harmonization?

    Govaerts, Niels; Bruninx, Kenneth; Le Cadre, Hélène; Meeus, Leonardo; Delarue, Erik (Energy Economics, 2019)
    In many countries, distribution grid tariffs are being reformed to adapt to the new realities of an electricity system with distributed energy resources. In Europe, legislative proposals have been made to harmonize these reforms across country borders. Many stakeholders have argued that distribution tariffs are a local affair, while the European institutions argued that there can be spillovers to other countries, which could justify a more harmonized approach. In this paper, we quantify these spillovers in a simplified numerical example to give insight and an order of magnitude. We look at different scenarios, and find that the spillovers can be both negative and positive. To be able to quantify these effects, we developed a long-run market equilibrium model that captures the wholesale market effects of distribution grid tariffs. The problem is formulated as a non-cooperative game involving consumers, generating companies and distribution system operators in a stylized electricity market.
  • The future of renewable gases. Our take on the role of renewable gases in the energy transition

    Broeckx, Saskia; Roach, Martin; Meeus, Leonardo (2021)
    The European Green Deal aims to make Europe climate-neutral by 2050. This vision of a net-zero carbon future has prompted the European Commission to up its emission reduction target: by 2030, greenhouse gases should be cut by at least 55% compared to 1990. This target was approved by the European Council in December 2020 but is still to be translated into European legislation. Meeting this target requires decarbonisation of all carbon-intensive energy consumption sectors, i.e. industry, buildings and transport. Quite understandably, the gas sector is concerned about its future. Natural gas is, after all, a carbon-based energy source, which, in the absence of carbon capture and storage, contributes significantly to greenhouse gas emissions. Initially, many thought the energy transition would be an all-electric one. Those who still think so are now in the minority. Electrification is not always feasible, technically or economically. In some cases, full decarbonisation will require the use of alternative clean energy carriers, such as renewable and low-carbon gases, like hydrogen and biomethane. The EU’s Renewable Energy Directive, along with other legislation, is currently being reviewed to update it in line with the new 2030 emission reduction target. This Directive already includes targets for electricity generation from renewable sources, so it is expected that similar targets will be set for renewable gases. Given that technology and infrastructure investments have a lifetime of typically 20 to 60 years, the gas sector has no time to lose. This is why the Fluxys Chair was founded in January 2018. Fluxys is the independent transmission system operator that owns and operates Belgium’s high-pressure natural gas transmission grid, its natural gas storage infrastructure and the liquefied natural gas terminal in Zeebrugge. Through academic research by Professor Leonardo Meeus and doctoral researcher Martin Roach with the Vlerick Energy Centre, the company is seeking to anticipate any upcoming Belgian and EU legislation in order to make informed investment decisions. How can the existing natural gas infrastructure be repurposed for the transport of decarbonised gases? How can we harness the full potential and opportunities of renewable gases? What context is needed to decarbonise the gas sector so that it can play a role in the future integrated energy system? Two years on, it is time to take stock of what we know and what we do not yet know. The white paper ‘The future of renewable gases’ outlines the context of our research, as well as providing background information.
  • A new algorithm for resource-constrained project scheduling with breadth and depth of skills

    Snauwaert, Jakob; Vanhouke, Mario (European Journal of Operational Research, 2021)
    This paper addresses a multi-skilled extension of the resource-constrained project scheduling problem (RCPSP). Although a handful of papers dealt with the multi-skilled RCPSP (MSRCPSP), little to no attention is given to the ideal levels of skills for multi-skilled resources. In this paper, skills are measured along two dimensions known as breadth and depth. In a project environment, the breadth of a resource is perceived as the amount of skills an employee masters. The depth of a skill is the efficiency level at which work can be performed by a resource that masters that skill. The MSRCPSP with breadth and depth consists of scheduling activities with skill requirements and assigning multi-skilled resources to those activities. To be able to efficiently solve the MSRCPSP, a genetic algorithm is developed. Using the created activity schedules and resources assignments, the best workforce characteristics are analysed. Key aspects in this analysis are the breadth and depth. The problem-specific procedure combines a new representation, a new crossover and tailor-made local searches. Computational experiments measure the impact of different multi-skilled resources and their efficiency levels on the makespan of the project.
  • Practice note: Imitatiegedrag bij junior auditors: De impact van de werkstijl van de senior en de rol van promotiedruk

    Cardinaels, Eddy; Reusen, Evelien; Goris, Jeffrey; Stouthuysen, Kristof (2020)
    Om audit kwaliteit te waarborgen, hebben meer ervaren auditors (i.e., senior auditors) de taak om minder ervaren auditors (i.e., junior auditors) tijdig te beoordelen en te voorzien van gepaste coaching en ‘on-the-job’ training (IAASB 2014). Het geven van het goede voorbeeld door de senior is hierbij belangrijk, zeker wanneer we erkennen dat junior auditors in het begin van hun carrière vaak geneigd zijn het gedrag en de werkstijl van senior auditors te imiteren. Hoewel het imiteren van anderen deel uitmaakt van het menselijke gedrag, hebben we tot op heden nog maar weinig inzicht in hoe imitatiegedrag de oordeelsvorming bij junior auditors beïnvloedt. Het doel van dit onderzoeksproject is om de rol van imitatiegedrag in junior-senior auditor relaties na te gaan en inzicht te krijgen in de gevolgen hiervan op auditkwaliteit. Tegelijkertijd onderzoeken we ook hoe promotiedruk dit imitatiegedrag kan versterken. De neiging van junior auditors om hun senior te imiteren – zelfs wanneer deze laatste zijn werkstijl niet in lijn is met de verwachte professioneelkritische houding – kan meer uitgesproken zijn wanneer de senior auditor een doorslaggevende stem heeft bij toekomstige promotiebeslissingen. De bevindingen van deze studie zullen leiden tot waardevolle inzichten voor het wereldwijde auditberoep.
  • Literature review: The impact of auditor interactions on audit quality

    Cardinaels, Eddy; Reusen, Evelien; Goris, Jeffrey; Stouthuysen, Kristof (2020)
    The judgment and decision-making literature in auditing largely focuses on individual auditor judgments. However, auditors do not work in isolation. They interact with other auditors in audit engagements and with other participants in the financial reporting process. For this reason, scholars have called for more research on how the people, tasks, and environment that auditors interact with influence their performance and hence, the audit quality of their work (Nelson & Tan, 2005; Trotman, Bauer & Humphreys, 2015). This review identifies three specific issues related to these influences that, we believe, warrant additional research and consideration. The first two issues relate to between-auditor interactions within the audit firm. The third issue relates to interactions with groups outside the firm
  • Addressable ads are shaping the future of TV Marketing. Combining the benefits of digital advertising with the power of the big screen

    De Schaepdrijver, Leen; Baecke, Philippe; Tackx, Koen; Coeymans, Jeroen; Lauwers, Lode; Van Driessche, Bert (2021)
    Combining the benefits of digital advertising with the power of the big screen With the rise of digital media and big data, the media landscape has gone through turbulent times. Technology is developing more rapidly than ever, and we are now able to collect and process data in volumes and formats that we never could before. Digital companies were the first to jump on this train of technological revolution and are now harnessing the power of data. Where the TV landscape had barely changed during the past decades, it is now feeling the heat of digitisation. Digital channels are offering interesting alternatives to linear TV in terms of content and experience, and digital advertising has been growing exponentially during the last decade. In turn, TV has reacted with digital initiatives of its own, blurring the distinction between traditional media and digital media. Nonetheless, there is still a long road ahead before they get to par with the tech giants and truly adopt a technology- and data-driven way of working. It is safe to say that digitisation has shaken the entire TV ecosystem to its foundations. Various factors are threatening the comfortable position that TV advertising has been in for the last few decades. Both consumers and marketers are changing their behaviour and expectations, and digital advertising is taking advantage of this new vacuum by answering their needs. When looking for opportunities to try and combat the dominance of big tech, ‘addressable advertising’ might be the answer. This innovative advertising technique on TV brings together the benefits of TV advertising and those of digital advertising. Combining the best of both worlds, addressable advertising makes it possible to target specific households via their set top box with TV ads, whilst at the same time offering opportunities to improve campaign measurement. However, there are still some challenges ahead such as scale, standardisation, cost and general inertia. And as addressable advertising is highly data-driven, this advertising technique is also closely linked to the challenging topic of privacy and ethics. In order to get access to data, companies will have to give their customers enough value in return for their data.
  • Explaining academic interest in crowdfunding as a research topic

    Le Pendeven, Benjamin; Bardon, Thibaut; Manigart, Sophie (British Journal of Management, 2021)
    Crowdfunding research has grown exponentially since the first academic papers in the field were published in 2013. This interpretivist study attempts to explain why academics worldwide have chosen to study crowdfunding. As no explicit theories currently exist to guide our research, we have relied on schooling and management fashion theories. Based on interviews with 30 crowdfunding scholars, we develop a model which interprets the underlying reasons why academics have chosen this research topic. Our results show that, beyond scientific reasons, career and socio-psychological reasons also explain why academics have chosen to research crowdfunding. By documenting both the scientific and non-scientific reasons why researchers study a certain topic, our findings contribute to the knowledge about the rationales behind scientific development in the fields of management, entrepreneurial finance and entrepreneurship.
  • Flexible models for complex data with applications

    Ley, Christophe; Babic, Sladana; Craens, Domien (Annual Review of Statistics and Its Application, 2021)
    Probability distributions are the building blocks of statistical modeling and inference. It is therefore of the utmost importance to know which distribution to use in what circumstances, as wrong choices will inevitably entail a biased analysis. In this article, we focus on circumstances involving complex data and describe the most popular flexible models for these settings. We focus on the following complex data: multivariate skew and heavy-tailed data, circular data, toroidal data, and cylindrical data. We illustrate the strength of flexible models on the basis of concrete examples and discuss major applications and challenges.
  • De CFO: Waakhond of jachthond?

    Baeten, Xavier; De Ruyck, Bettina (Goed Bestuur & Toezicht, 2020)
    De beloning van de CFO krijgt veel minder aandacht dan die van de CEO. Xavier Baeten en Bettina de Ruyck verrichtten een onderzoek onder ruim honderd Nederlandse en Belgische beursgenoteerde ondernemingen. Dit artikel is een wake-up call voor commissarissen om bewust(er) beloningsafspraken te maken met zowel de CEO als de CFO.
  • Remuneratie in turbulente tijden

    Baeten, Xavier (Management Scope, 2020)
    De crisis vraagt om contemplatie. Professor Xavier Baeten van Vlerick Business School komt met een pleidooi over de noodzaak om remuneratiebeleid te herijken.
  • Is de CFO de Lucky Luke van de besluitvorming?

    Heyvaert, Carl-Erik; Decorte, Thomas; Stouthuysen, Kristof (FD Magazine, 2020)
    Data is vluchtig en bedrijven moeten sneller actie ondernemen om optimaal in te spelen op ontwikkelingen terwijl ze zich voordoen. De cfo kan de organisatie helpen sneller te handelen dan zijn schaduw.
  • Influence of acquirer boards on M&A value creation. Evidence from continental Europe

    Defrancq, Corneel; Huyghebaert, Nancy; Luypaert, Mathieu (Journal of International Financial Management & Accounting, 2021)
    We examine how the size and the composition of acquirer boards are associated with shareholder abnormal returns for 2,230 M&As made by listed firms in Continental Europe. Although board size proves insignificant, our findings do offer some evidence as to a beneficial effect of board diversity on M&A value creation. Gender diversity appears marginally positively associated with acquirer shareholder abnormal returns. The fraction of foreign directors is in general not significantly positive, unless the rule of law in the acquirer country is weak. Nonetheless, nationality diversity in the board turns out harmful in purely domestic takeovers. The influence of age diversity is marginally positive, yet only in domestic and horizontal takeovers. Next, the fraction of independent directors has a robust positive effect on the acquirer CAR, while directors with multiple board appointments prove valuable especially through preventing firms from pursuing poor takeovers. Finally, CEO duality is detrimental only in industry‐diversifying deals initiated by acquirers that are not controlled by an individual or a family shareholder. Any negative CEO‐duality effect is mitigated when the acquirer‐country rule of law is strong.
  • The issues that shape strategy

    Meeus, Leonardo (2020)
    Companies do not only compete in markets; they also compete on social and political issues. Depending on the business opportunities or threats they identify related to an issue, companies will behave as veterans that defend the status quo in an industry, as reformers that will work with the authorities to change the rules of the game, or as heroes that help solve an issue. In this article, we identify the typical elements of success for each of these three generic nonmarket strategies. We do this based on a framework that focuses on the framing of issues, the alliances that can be mobilized around an issue, and the arenas that can be used to make a move.
  • The issues that shape strategy

    Meeus, Leonardo (The European Business Review, 2021)
    Companies do not only compete in markets; they also compete on social and political issues. Depending on the business opportunities or threats they identify related to an issue, companies will behave as veterans that defend the status quo in an industry, as reformers that will work with the authorities to change the rules of the game, or as heroes that help solve an issue. In this article, we identify the typical elements of success for each of these three generic nonmarket strategies. We do this based on a framework that focuses on the framing of issues, the alliances that can be mobilized around an issue, and the arenas that can be used to make a move.
  • Training for the energy transition: Community learning at Florence School of Regulation

    Meeus, Leonardo; Glachant, Jean-Michel (2020)
    This chapter presents the value-add and next steps for European network codes and guidelines.

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