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Only months after its creation and even before the start of the Formula One season, the Chair in Intercultural Management formed by ESCP and partner Groupe Renault had already launched a research project about intercultural competence.

The ESCP-Groupe Renault “Intercultural Management” Chair was created in November 2017 and had its first steering committee on the 26th of January at Groupe Renault’s global headquarters in Boulogne-Billancourt, France. Its scientific director, ESCP professor and Excellence Centre of Intercultural Management academic director Marion Festing, then discussed with Groupe Renault the chair’s goals with regard to the production of research, among others, and presented three possible topics. 

The first research deals with intercultural competence, more specifically its performance implications for international careers, leadership, teams and the multinational enterprise. Another project could be concerned with the effectiveness of intercultural trainings methods, which not only prepare for national cultural differences but for a broader cultural understanding embracing various diversity dimensions. The third research area could address inclusion issues, all of these themes being related and enriching each other. Over the course of the chair’s three-year partnership, this work should answer questions such as "How does interculturality impact a career?", "What impact does the intercultural experience have on the organisational team?", "What is talent in an intercultural context and how should it be managed?", "Which forms of training work best in developing intercultural competence?" and “How can inclusion be measured in an intercultural context?”.

Groupe Renault VP, Corporate Social Responsibility & Renault Foundation Managing Director Oliver Faust proposed that Béatrice Foucher, VP Renault Talent Management, be involved because she is strategically responsible for the global talent management of the Renault Groupe and can establish links with some of the car manufacturer’s employees who have worked abroad so that research can be based on concrete cases.

Renault DRAC plant in China


During the committee, Mouna Sepehri, Executive VP, CEO Office, Groupe Renault, underlined the common perspective that there are very different ways of understanding cultural diversity: through the challenges related to expatriation, gender issues or cross-generation differences for instance. All participants of the steering committee agreed that the research work should start as soon as possible in order to create meaningful results during the chair’s lifespan, while making sure it has a real interest for both ESCP and Groupe Renault. A PhD student remunerated by the Renault Chair has already been recruited to work on some of these research projects, and others financed by ESCP will also be involved. First conceptual ideas will be presented in May, and an empirical investigation at Renault discussed.

Chair in Intercultural Management