Multicultural Management and Corporate Performance

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Press release 11 June 2007

Creation of the Renault-Polytechnique-HEC Chair in

Multicultural Management and Corporate Performance”

Carlos Ghosn, chairman of the Renault Foundation, General Xavier Michel, Ecole Polytechnique Chief Executive Officer, Bernard Ramanantsoa, HEC Chief Executive Officer and Jean-Bernard Lartigue, Polytechnique Foundation representative, signed a cooperation agreement on 11 June 2007 to establish a new Chair in "Multicultural Management and Corporate Performance”.
The agreement was signed at Renault’s head office in Boulogne-Billancourt in the presence of Yannick d’Escatha, chairman of the Board of Ecole Polytechnique and Henri Proglio, HEC chairman of the Board.
The announcement fulfils Carlos Ghosn’s wish to establish a chair in the area of managing cultural diversity. With this ambition in mind, the Renault Foundation approached these two centres of excellence which jointly put together an international academic project.
International in scope, the Renault-Polytechnique-HEC Chair will work in liaison with prestigious foreign institutions located in countries where Renault has a strategic interest – notably Japan and India. The Chair will be financed by the Renault Foundation over a five-year period.
Eric Godelier (associate professor in business studies and president of the Department for Education and Research in the Humanities and Social Sciences) will hold the Chair for the Ecole Polytechnique. Eve Chiapello (professor of management and sociology) will co-hold the chair for HEC.
The Chair aims to encourage young graduates to understand and implement managerial practices suited to diverse economic realities in different national, professional and organisational cultures. The Chair's activities will include a training programme, a set of independently-conducted research projects, and the formation of an international network of leading researchers and institutions.
The training of some forty students from Ecole Polytechnique and HEC will encourage multicultural research at the international level. Five two-person teams (one HEC and one Polytechnique student) will be chosen from these forty students to spend time in international companies in order to research best international practices and methods. They will be tutored by the French Ecoles and supported locally by foreign partner universities. Some research topics will be drawn up in collaboration with Renault. Research results will be presented at symposiums and subsequently published.
Ecole Polytechnique and HEC produce students whose reputation and skills are recognised not only in France but also internationally. Both schools have devised internationalisation strategies which naturally have led them to develop expertise in the area of multicultural management issues.
Through this Chair, Ecole Polytechnique and HEC will be furthering a partnership already established through the INSEFI and the GIS ESD.
Renault has developed an international and multicultural dimension, particularly through its alliance with Nissan. Its managerial practices constitute a source of learning and research whose aim is to devise methods and forms of management suited to the specific characteristics of different cultures.
Created in 2001, the Renault Foundation, which falls within the Renault Group’s international expansion strategy, aims to encourage cultural exchanges between France, Europe and other countries in the world in which Renault operates, as well as to promote knowledge and learning. It focuses on training high-achieving foreign students and helping them to develop their careers in a multicultural environment.
Renault Foundation signed several cooperation agreements before with French and foreign academic institutions, and notably with Ecole Polytechnique through the creation of the Master ParisTech Fondation Renault, “Transport et Développement durable”, and the “Cycle Majors” program.


Ecole Polytechnique: Philippe Alquier, +33 (0)1 69 33 43 60

HEC: Catherine Rousseau, +33 (0)1 39 67 94 23

Renault Press Relations: Nathalie Bourotte, +33 (0)1 76 84 64 69

Renault Corporate Foundation: Thibaud Van Rillas, +33 (0)1 76 84 96 82

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