IEI Seminars on New Thinking

IEI Seminars on New Thinking

Print Friendly and PDF

Governance and Innovation in Polish Shale Gas: Institution Stretching and Conforming to Challenger Technologies

30 September

The aurora of renewable energy technology (RET) fighting against a fossil fuel regime is prevalent for explaining the lack of a sustainable energy system. This paper will first consider national innovation capacities fostering niche energy technologies. An important distinction will be observed between RET and carbon energy technology (CET) and whether the national innovation capacity influences deployment of both niche RET and CET. The common assumption is only RET deployment is stifled by dominant regime actors, however, the results from the Polish case study will demonstrate CET also becomes stifled by a national energy regime and the lack of an adequate national innovation capacity. Incumbent/challenger literature of the Multi-Level Perspective, provides a grounding to reflect on the role of governance, policy measures and perspectives in fostering a narrative around spaces of protection necessary to foster niche energy technologies, for both RET and CET. A brief case study of the introduction of hydraulic fracturing technology by foreign and domestic oil and gas firms in Poland demonstrates the challenges for CET to conform to an existing carbon energy regime. The results demonstrate the incumbent/challenger relationship is not based on a dichromatic relationship of RET/CET but the established national innovation environment of a country. The results contribute to the starting hypothesis that the established (in this case the lack of) national innovative capacity affects both RET and CET technologies: State institutions that hold limited experience in flexibility or developing policies that push-pull technologies to commercialization, do not build spaces of protection, resulting in broader system rigidity and an inability to deploy newer RET or CET and transform an aging energy regime.

This research seminar was presented by Michael Carnegie LaBelle, Assistant Professor of Business and Sustainability at CEU Business School and at Department of Environmental Sciences.

28 October

The Product Platform Decision: A Case Study of Automobile Sector

Automobile sectors, almost every single player practices with sharing platform. It may be different brands owned by the same player such as AUDI, Skoda, SEAT, VW, it may be different brands owned by different firms such as Volvo and FORD, Ford and Mazda. The platforms are shared by products at different segments such as luxury and non-luxury, a practice commonly criticized by damaging the luxury one, but also by products at similar price range. Using the terminology of product differentiation, with platform firms have achieved vertical differentiation as well as horizontal differentiation, with horizontal differentiation more widely practiced. Given the fact essentially every big player in US, Europe and Japan has adopted platform approach, it is worthwhile to study the cost benefits of this practice and its potential risks. In this paper, we seek to address the main drivers behind different platform decision.

This research seminar was presented by Paul Lacourbe, Associate Professor of Operations Management at CEU Business School. 

7 November

Doing Business in Not-So-Open Societies

For 25 years, CEU Business School has been the forum for scholars and practitioners of managerial professionalism and entrepreneurship in post-socialist economies of Eastern Europe and Central Asia (EECA). As an integral part of Central European University, the School has also been deeply committed to promoting values and ideals of the Open Society. These two roles of the School – helping managers and entrepreneurs succeed in the “world as it is” and championing a progressive change in the region's market environment – will come to a stark contrast in an intellectually provocative “Doing Business in Not-So-Open Societies” workshop, to be held on November 7, 2014 as part of Business School’s 25th Anniversary celebration.

The workshop was anchored on the research of CEU Business School’s professors Yusaf Akbar and Maciej Kisilowski on what is known in the literature as "nonmarket strategies". This body of thought challenges commonly taught approaches to strategy, which associates business success primarily with organizational efficiency and product/service innovation. By contrast, nonmarket strategy scholars argue that important path to sustainable competitive advantage also lie in leveraging social and political forces that surround businesses rather than purely focusing on market context.

Based on years of teaching, consulting, and recent systematic field work in post-socialist markets from Czech Republic to Chechnya, Professor Akbar and Professor Kisilowski pointed out that nonmarket strategies are at the very center of business decision-making of managers, entrepreneurs, and business leaders in the region and beyond. While in Western economies, nonmarket approach can be viewed as at best an addition to the main focus of business strategy, the findings of Akbar and Kisilowski’s research suggest that, for Central/Eastern Europe and Central Asia managers, successful execution of nonmarket strategy may be fundamental. Doing business in the still not-so-open post-socialist societies may be primarily about navigating an intricate and probably opaque net of social and political forces and relationships.

The November 7th workshop introduced the audience to the core of Professor Akbar and Professor Kisilowski’s findings, featuring original testimonials by anonymous managers from Central/Eastern Europe and Central Asia. These cases then set the stage for a revealing discussion that will especially address two interrelated questions:

  • Does the importance of nonmarket factors force business practitioners and scholars in Central/Eastern Europe and Central Asia and emerging markets more generally to develop and execute an alternative set of approaches to business strategy?
  • How should an institution committed to the pursuit of values of the Open Society respond to the not-so-open business reality highlighted by Akbar and Kisilowski’s research?

11 November

Organizational culture, quality performance and integrity in multinationals

This research focuses on the relationship between quality performance and integrity in multinational companies seen from the perspective of organizational culture. The assumption is that in order for a global company to be able to reach and maintain high levels of productivity, smooth and efficient managerial strategies, as well as to pursue integrity, a close attention is needed to the culture of the corporation. Culture does not only mean the internal work environment, communication and leadership.

This project takes culture both in the sense of corporate culture, but also referring to the cultural backgrounds of managers, and the national cultures of the countries in which companies operate. Our main research questions are: to which extent are quality performance and integrity of a company influenced by the cultures of the organization and of its leaders? How can measurement of changes in the organizational culture ensure control of quality performance through time?  

This research seminar was presented by Davide Torsello, Associate Professor for Social and Cultural Anthropology at CEU Business School. Professor Davide Torsello is the winner of CEU Outstanding Research Award for 2013-2014 Academic Year, to learn more please click here: CEU Business School Research Award Winner

We look forward to welcoming you at our events!

Please RSVP: 




  • "I have been recently nominated as the Regional IT Manager for West Africa at Unilever. My CEU Business School education has been a key differentiator during an otherwise very competitive recruitment process. I would like to thank all my great peers of the 2013-14 cohort and the wonderful faculty at the B-School for the valuable learning experience I had during my time in BP."

    Moussa Moumouni

    MSc in IT Management class of 2014

  • 📞+36 1 887 5000
  • Nádor u. 9.
    Budapest 1051, Hungary