Recent Submissions

  • Are sustanability-driven SMEs more resilient?

    Kolokas, Dimitrios; Veredas, David (2021)
    We have all heard about the urgency of shifting towards more sustainable business practices. Though large, mainly listed, companies have been under the scrutiny of regulators, customers, and media, a society cannot make the sustainability transition without the active involvement of SMEs. Today, SMEs in Europe count for more than 60% of value-added. However, ESG (Environmental, Social, and corporate Governance) transformation might be expensive, uncertain, and has a long-term nature. Hence, it is important for SMEs to understand that ESG practices not only benefit society but their resilience as well We measure resilience in terms of credit risk, and this is the first study that sheds light on this topic by analysing the impact of ESG performance on the credit risk of 350 Belgian SMEs. We find that, indeed, on average, investing in sustainability pays off as SMEs become more credit-worthy. In addition, the decrease of credit risk due to an increase of the least resilient SMEs’ ESG performance is also dependent on their liquidity. This study has been conducted by the Centre for Sustainable Finance at Vlerick Business School, and it has been financed by our partner ABN Amro Belgium.
  • Innovative solutions for paradigm changing new therapies

    Maes, Ingrid; Boufraioua, Hafida; Van Dyck, Walter; Schoonaert, Lies (2019)
    We are living in an era of progress in human health. Advances in ATMP (Advance Therapy Medicinal Products), like cell and gene therapies address the root cause of disease and are beginning to yield breakthrough treatments for some of the most devastating illnesses. Several of these breakthrough therapies offer potential to cure these illnesses with one single treatment. Gene therapy is a platform-based technology, possibly providing game-changing long-term solutions for unmet medical needs. Particularly in some rare, monogenic diseases gene therapies holds promise to deliver one-time, transformative therapies to patients.
  • Employee engagement in a digital environment

    Vanderheyden, Karlien; Wöllenstein, Christian; Bönnemann, Colja (2023)
    Digital transformation is the process of integrating digital technology in all areas of the business to achieve its strategic goals. The focus of digital transformation projects often tends to be on the technology rather than on the human aspect. But when asked, 74% of executives cite cultural and organisational changes as the biggest challenges to a digital transformation journey, with only 26% mentioning technological changes. Now, cultural and organisational change requires employee engagement. And, as research confirms, employee engagement is indeed critical to the success of any digital transformation, which is why we discussed it as the subject of our previous webinar organised by the Vlerick Centre for People in the Smart Digitised Supply Chain: Engaging supply chain employees in a digital environment. Moderating the webinar was Vlerick Professor Karlien Vanderheyden. Christian Wöllenstein, Project Manager at OMP and Colja Bönnemann, Digital Transformation Lead at Exxon Mobil, shared their views and experiences as practitioners. A digital transformation has a profound impact on employees and their jobs. How do you ensure their engagement throughout the entire process?
  • Sustainability and executive remuneration. How to make sustainable reward policies more than a box-ticking exercise

    Baeten, Xavier (2022)
    Evidence points that sustainability-driven executive renumeration policies, leading to improved ESG (environmental, social, governance) scores. In turn, increased ESG scores tend to positively impact profitability.
  • Web 3.0 and the metaverse. Making business sense of transformative digital technologies

    Butler, Martin; Cumps, Bjorn; Viaene, Stijn (2023)
    Artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, blockchain, virtual reality, augmented reality and other forms of spatial computing … We are entering a new digital era – one that is more immersive, more contextual, and more integrated with the real world than ever before: welcome to the world of Web 3.0 and the metaverse. Here are two exciting phenomena that could transform how we interact with digital technology and the internet, with digital content, and with the world around us. To fully appreciate the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead, you need to look beyond the technological aspects and focus instead on the applications and the value they can bring. This is why we have developed the Vlerick 4E framework. It provides a lens through which to view what is happening in the world of Web 3.0 and the metaverse, adding an extra layer of knowledge and insight that will inspire you and help you better navigate this emerging world, enabling you to unlock business value from its transformative technologies. What are the opportunities for your business? This paper will put you on the right track to finding out. You will learn the key concepts that are essential to grasp the potential of Web 3.0 and the metaverse. Explore our framework for identifying and evaluating the business opportunities they offer. And discover real-world examples of how this framework can be applied in different domains and industries. Get ready to be inspired!
  • Unlock the power of DEI - A strategic approach to driving sustainable change

    Boros, Smaranda; Gorbatai, Andreea (2023)
    The world we live in is systemically unfair and unequal. Equal access to opportunity often doesn’t exist – and many people still struggle to be heard. Inequalities exist throughout society – and are often replicated in organisations. Companies have the power and the mandate to address inequalities that their employees, and other stakeholders, experience. And through such interventions, they can contribute to positive change in the broader society. To be successful and beneficial for our organisations, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) initiatives should be tightly connected to the story we tell about our organisation’s purpose in the world. This story should communicate, clearly and consistently, not only the types of diversity we need and aim for, but also the importance of equity (access to the same opportunities and resources) and of inclusion (focus on everyone’s perspective being heard and valued) for our organisation’s success. Read here to learn more about why DEI matters.
  • Setting the foundation of remuneration. An in-depth exploration and taxanomy of (Executive) Remuneration principles

    Baeten, Xavier; Van Hove, Marthe (2024)
    (Executive) remuneration principles are systems of beliefs and reasoning employed by the board of directors and remuneration committees to support the design of executive remuneration systems1. These principles – often expressed through phrases like ‘pay-for-performance’ and ‘competitive pay’ – are affirmative statements that influence remuneration decisions, and they act as a cornerstone guiding the design of executive remuneration.
  • Private equity fund terms in Belgium

    Manigart, Sophie (2024)
    The goal of this white paper is to bring more information transparency to the opaque market of Private Equity fundraising, and, more specifically, to the commonly used terms and conditions in Limited Partner Agreements (LPAs). Our hope is that this will facilitate fundraising by General Partners (GPs) and raise investment willingness by Limited Partners (LPs) in the future, thanks to greater insight into common market practices in this opaque industry.
  • Unlocking the power of corporate purpose

    Dewettinck, Koen; Machtelinckx, Jana (2024)
    The greater the gender balance on the board, the greater a business's sense of purpose Some 90% of Belgian CEOs and board members believe that having a clear purpose contributes positively to the long-term performance of their business, with 78% having translated this into concrete, strategic objectives. However, only 63% of employees are believed to be aware of the impact of purpose on day-to-day activities – and just 58% report that performance indicators have been properly defined to measure progress on purpose. The greater the gender balance on a business's board, the greater the sense of purpose embodied throughout its strategy, decision-making and communications. These were the main conclusions drawn from a survey on purpose among 116 CEOs and board members. Conducted by Professor Koen Dewettinck and researcher Jana Machtelinckx of Vlerick Business School, the study assessed how much value Belgian businesses place on purpose and whether they ultimately put such social objectives into practice.
  • An in-depth study of executive remuneration based on Stoxx Europe 600's FY 2022 Annual reports - European Executive Reward

    Baeten, Xavier; Van Hove, Marthe; De Ruyck, Bettina (2024)
    How much are senior executives being paid across Europe today? What are their remuneration packages made up of? And is executive remuneration becoming too complicated? This white paper answers these questions and more. It’s the result of an ongoing study by Vlerick’s Executive Remuneration Research Centre. Since 2014, the centre has been compiling a comprehensive database of CEO remuneration. The work is painstaking, and involves extracting information from remuneration reports published by Stoxx Europe 600 companies. And the results are illuminating.
  • How to make a success of ESG in your organisation. Top priorities for driving sustainable business

    Baeten, Xavier (2024)
    The days of sustainability being at the periphery of business operations are well and truly over. The most successful businesses today will plan to achieve both profitable and sustainable outcomes. From now on, business will need to prioritise both profit and purpose. In this white paper Professor Xavier Baeten shares the top priorities for driving sustainable business.
  • 6 questions about the role and positioning of the HR business partner in the organisation

    Machtelinckx, Jana; Van Gansbeke, Silke; Buyens, Dirk; Dewettinck, Koen (2024)
    In the ever-evolving Human Resources landscape, the role of HR Business Partners (HRBPs) has become increasingly pivotal in shaping and driving organisational success. Collaborating closely with business leaders and line managers, HRBPs are instrumental in crafting and executing effective people agendas that align seamlessly with the overall business strategy (CIPD, n.d.). In this white paper, we dive more deeply into the role and positioning of the HRBP in the organisation by asking 6 questions, organised into 2 chapters.
  • Strategy under uncertainty. Turning uncertainty threats into opportunities

    Peeters, Carine; Hamilton, Brett; Weiss, Martin (2024)
  • Liquidity or profitability: How retail investors can shape liquidity risk models in times of high interest rates

    Roméro Diaz, Nicolas; De Bondt, Jan; Veredas, David (2023)
    The great success of the one-year “Staatsbon” or government bond was caused by the low deposit rates at Belgian banks and the reduction in withholding tax (from 30% to 15%). This forced banks to revise their deposit rates and give up profitability, or to retain the low rates and lose liquidity. Investor demand for high-interest, fixed-income instruments means that banks need to readjust their risk models and compete with sovereign and private sector alternatives.
  • How to get your employer to invest in your training and development

    Jordaan, Barney (2022)
    If you need to ask your employer to invest in your development, our white paper explains how to go about it. Because learning new approaches doesn’t just benefit you – it benefits your employer too.
  • Brand religions. Is it time to choose yours?

    Goedertier, Frank (2022)
    If you’re taking your first steps into brand management, it can be challenging to even know how to start. And there can be a temptation to try to embrace all approaches to brand strategy – or switch between them as you develop your own brand identity. By thinking of branding as a religion, organisations can find focus externally and internally – which can drive business success. The big question is, which religion will be best for your organisation? This white paper gives organisations the ability to consider clearly which brand religion may work for them, and choose a principal approach that provides focus for the rest of the organisation.
  • Building purpose-driven organisations. The new frontier

    Dewettinck, Koen (2022)
    Purpose can provide a North Star for an organisation – a consistent point of reference in an otherwise changeable business environment. It also creates certainty about what an organisation stands for and wants to achieve. In this white paper you'll learn how to become a purpose-built organisation that measurably improves business outcomes.
  • Decision-making on ESG criteria in executive remuneration: Board perspectives

    Baeten, Xavier; Van Hove, Marthe; Loyens, Said (2023)
    This white paper investigates how boards decide on the inclusion of ESG (environmental – social – governance) criteria in executive incentive systems. ESG-driven incentives relate executive remuneration to a firm’s societal responsibilities and towards a broader set of stakeholders such as local communities, employees, customers, and the environment. Listed firms are increasingly adopting these criteria, but several important questions still remain regarding the reasons why boards adopt them and the challenges they face.
  • Walking on the dark side of the moon. A day in the life of DEI manager

    Boros, Smaranda; Gorbatai, Andreea (2023)
    In recent years (especially after the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement in the wake of George Floyd’s murder in 2020), companies have stepped up their Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) awareness and practices. We see more and more job openings for DEI managers. When we talk to DEI professionals, we see that the DEI team has often moved from a voluntary entity to an integral part of the organigram – with KPIs, strategy, budget and paid workload for its members. At the same time, in the wake of new economic crises, we read more and more in the news of DEI functions being reduced or axed altogether. Earlier in 2023, Ellen McGirt reported on the findings from Revelio Labs that “a 33% churn rate for DEI-related roles at more than 600 companies engaged in layoffs, compared to 21% for non-DEI roles”. No wonder then that on 15 May 2023, when we met 22 members of the Diversity Managers Association of Belgium (DMAB), from 20 companies across over 12 different sectors (from public transport and finance to distribution and pharma, including DEI managers for non-profits) on our Brussels campus, to talk about the wellbeing and career sustainability of the DEI manager, naming the workshop “the dark side of the moon” turned out to be very appropriate. Most DEI professionals are doing what they do because there is a personal story fuelling the passion. Often enough, they have the experience of ‘difference’ and ‘otherness’ - either relating to themselves or their family. Which means that what we do is not a job; it has real stakes. On the bright side, this brings passion and resilience. On the dark side, it brings disappointment when change is slow, pain when you can’t make the difference you set out to make, and guilt when you are too tired to carry on. Social justice is not an empty noun. It is personal. With this white paper we invite you to take a walk on the ‘dark side’ of DEI implementation challenges, and explore together with us the challenges of such projects, and identify specific actions that DEI managers and organisations can take to address the complexities of DEI strategy execution.

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